“I Am Home” original watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen
We are always advised to make a title inviting. To use it as a “hook” to get people to read or look at something we have created.
After all, who would want to see something bland and uninteresting? I have been making art and writing for most of my life, and I have yet to find the composing of titles an easy job. It has even been suggested to me that the titles I apply to my blog posts could be a bit more….you know. (My loved one is so forthcoming.)
Early on I used to try and think of great titles for my paintings or sculptures. I was even known to think of something and do a painting to match the title. As the years went by if the art stayed around, I would change the name on occasion. I have even found myself lazily changing the name of a piece which was sold long ago on its archive record. Dr. Advice will often ask “Wasn’t that painting called ….?” I am ashamed to admit I do not remember. Once out of my hands….. Foundries to which I have entrusted a piece sometimes suggested a better name, to which I often shrugged a shoulder. What’s really in a name?
Long time readers will remember that I frequently changed my own name as a child as well. Serving as my own shrink I determined some years ago that a change of name was an easy way to shake up the status quo and enter the world of pretend.
We too all have titles. Miss, Ms., Mrs. Are they really important in telling people who we really are? Emily Post and Miss Manners tell us there is a right way in written address for unmarried women, married women, divorced women and widowed women. How many people pay attention to those rules unless printed on heavy white bond paper in a social situation? According to that I am not kayti sweetland rasmussen, but a replica of my husband with Mrs. planted in front of it. Mrs. Dr. Advice probably doesn’t fly.
We are each unique. Many artists resort to the number system. If you can’t think of a name for a piece of art, give it a number. If you give it a big number it makes it seem as if there had been many precursors which is intriguing to those who decide to like what they see and they think you must be very important. I hesitate to resort to that method when recalling that prisoners and Holocaust victims are given numbers.
I have known people to give their pets the same name as their predecessor. That must be rather insulting to a new dog when he realizes that when their name is called, their master is remembering another.
In studying some of my family records, the name Hiram comes up three times, one after the other. It makes it hard to distinguish which Hiram made the dresser in my guest room, Hiram one, two or three, without looking through the papers. My own name, occurring in several generations, presents the same problem, though none of us was a cabinetmaker. It’s left to succeeding generations to make the call.