Friday, March 02, 2007

oh dear oh dear

Where has the week gone? I've been scattered and have spent very little time working in the studio. A few hours yesterday playing with screens and dyes and discharge - puttering and not getting anything very satisfactory - this happens when I feel pressured for time.

See this fabric on the left? Black fabric screened with either dishwasher gel or something similar. Looks gorgeous. But I rinsed, anti-chlor'd and washed - and guess what? GONE. Back to black. You never can tell with these things. I packed up at 3:00 and went home.

Last night's meeting of my Studio Montclair crit group was a delight. There were four of us there and the chemistry was just right. Of course, crit was the least of it - LOL. Lisa and Keely came without work and I brought hand work - sewing a facing on my quilt.
Susan Lisbin, an abstract expressionist painter, sculptor, printmaker, brought two paintings for feedback. Susan doesn't give her paintings titles because she doesn't want to influence the viewer. I understand that; I guess if you buy one of her pieces, you can give it your own title. But to me, "untitled" is still a bit disconcerting. I prefer to give my own work ambiguous titles.

How do YOU feel about your own work and titles?

12 comments:

martha said...

I like titles. I don;t always use them but I like the stories that they tell. I guess I like to have input on the reaction of the viewer. Not very good at letting go.

linda dunn said...

How could something you've discharged revert to its original color? Excess dye in the fabric re-dying it?

I can't type more 'cause I sewed my index finger this morning :that's what happens when *i"m* tired....

xxld

Sarah Ann Smith said...

Sometimes the title springs into my head with the first image.... it is an integral part of the creative process, and often guides the piece as it comes to life in cloth..... not always, but much of the time. Of course, I work in representational stuff, and rarely abstracts, so that may be part of it.....

Nellie Bass Durand said...

I give titles to nudge the viewer in the direction I have in mind. Don't know if that's a control issue on my part, or not. I do have a few people who give feedback without their getting a title or info. If the reaction or reading is different from my expectation, I know there's more work to be done.

Cathy Kleeman said...

I need titles so I can keep track of what's what. I tried naming things in a series once, #1, #2, #3, etc. but then I couldn't tell which was which. I think each piece deserves its own name.

Susie Monday said...

I too like titles. I like using them and I like reading them. I understand the "no influence" wish, but art is about influence, so why not use all the tools at one's disposal to communicate feeling, emotion, and story? I guess if I made abstract or non-objective work that was purely about quilt form/design elements, etc, it might not be very important. But even so, I like them -- even if like Lisa Call's its just Structure #21. That tells me where to start with my internal conversation with the piece. And I think for those of us who want to sell work, its another piece of the "more emotion is better than less" part of work and communication in design (see John Maeda's Laws of Simplicity)

Susie Monday

BUT the silly blogger asked for the visual code thingie, but did not show anything for me to type! Who knows! Here's my 2 cents worth anyway!!!

Judy said...

Titles usually come to mind when I am working on a piece, but I don't necessarily want to share that title and influence viewers to see my work as I've seen it. I find it very interesting to hear others' opinions and their own titles of pieces that I have concocted. If they purchase the piece, they have every right to name it whatever they wish. If they want my input I will give it freely, but that isn't altogether necessary or important to me. I love catchy titles and I love making them up when I am out walking, but again, I do not wish to influence the viewer. I do use my titles as a tool in order to keep my pieces straight...that is important to me. One shop owner with whom I do business wants my pieces titled in order to guide our clients. So be it!
Just my fifty cents.
xo

Gerrie said...

Sometimes a title is a real stretch for me and sometimes, I have a working title when I start.

I hate it when the discharge doesn't work. Do you prewash your fabrics to remove sizing?

Emmie said...

I'm about 50/50 on titles. If I have a title before starting a piece, that's great. If the piece is finished and I still haven't named it, I usually come up with something corny. Best left untitled..

Frances said...

I have trouble thinking up titles but do not want everything to be 'untitled' so I do give titles but try to keep them brief,
thanks for asking this question as I have found reading the comments interesting,

Rayna said...

I agree it is not always easy to find a title. I never have one in advance, as I don't know what the piece will be when I start. Sometimes a piece of mine will go for months before I name it, and I'll go through numerous possibilities till something strikes me. But it has to be ambiguous enough for people to put their own interpretations on it...and I don't care whether what they feel/see has anything to do with what I had in my head.
I'm fascinated by how/why people name pieces. (Or don't).

Alison Schwabe said...

I always think "unititled" is a copout, lazy, lacking any creative energy: but I hadn't really thought much about how, on the other hand, a title can influence the viewer's reaction. My thinking had only ever been from the point of view of finding something short, appropriate, educated and even witty if possible. To me a good title functions as THE artist statement par excellence! (I hate long, windy artist statements)