Sunday, November 10, 2013

MORE DONE ON "BLUE COLLAR', WHY YOU SHOULD TITLE YOUR WORK

Another mixed up week of cold, rain, wind, and even sleet.  More hooking was done on "Blue Collar" throughout it all.


"Blue Collar" in progress,  Lori LaBerge  2013

I was curious to see how the light turquoise blue would work on the bottom section, so I skipped to that rather than continue on the top section.  It works nicely, brightening up the piece and adding contrast.   

The stripe from left to right just below center is hooked horizontally, portraying a rail that stretches across the silos at the quartz plant.  The addition of the pulley when the hooking and whipping process is finished will give the piece a more industrial feel. 

While creating the piece I am thinking about what I want to portray.  This work is not meant to be pretty, it is meant to make people think about the jobs blue collar workers do. The thought of meaning brought me to thinking about titles of artwork. Do we need to title our work?  Does it help the viewer?  What if we don't title it?

I like titles.  I think they bring the viewer into the artist's thought process.  After all, if you created something, you must have had a main idea going on.  There must have been something about the scene or abstract concept in your head that attracted you enough to create an artwork of it.  There should be a reason for the creation of the piece.

"Fall Barn Shadows"  Lori LaBerge  2009  
The title lets the viewer know that my interest in creating this piece was the shadows in the snow, on the barn and inside the doorway.


I like to look at a title and figure out if I'm seeing things the same way the artist did. Did the artist make the title quite clear or did they leave some ambiguity?  This is especially important with abstract work which forces the viewer to think creatively. Some viewers like things spelled out and for the most part abstract just doesn't work that way.  A title can help lead the viewer to the artists thoughts.

 "Midstream"  Lori LaBerge  2006
This title gives a clear indication of water running through the center of the work.  From there the work is open to viewer interpretation.

Untitled works have always bothered me.  Untitled 1, Untitled 2, Untitled 3, etc.  I know artists are not writers, but this says something to me.  Does the artist think his or her work is so self-explanatory it does not need a title?  If so, and the viewer doesn't understand the piece would the artist simply dismiss the viewer as "not getting it"?  If the artist couldn't title it, could they even tell me what the piece is about?
"X Marks the Spot"  Lori LaBerge  2008
This is a simple geometric and does not really need a title that explains it.  It is clear that I focused on the shape of the x's while hooking this work.  I was interested in shape and color.  The title is not overly cutesy, which I always try to avoid.  

Every single buyer of my larger work has asked me to tell them about the work and a title is the start of that story.  Titles also help an artist to catalog their work and be able to find pieces more easily. 


    "House Hunting"  Lori LaBerge  2010
The planned title for this piece was "Crow in the City".  As the piece was being completed, I thought there was more to this.  What was the crow doing in the city?  This title is more specific and tells more of a story. 

My experience is that people who visit exhibitions like titles.  It gives them a connection to the artist.  Buyers, especially collectors, like to know the artist, whether meeting them personally or through understanding the meaning or method of their work. 

Notice the titles on the artwork you view, think about whether you relate to or understand that title and have a great day.

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