I’ve been a professional artist since I left school and joined Royal Doulton as a Paintress, like every job there’s always something new to learn. When I first moved from painting figurines to being a watercolourist I found the biggest challenge was painting on a flat surface. It was also strange to me to be painting a picture using colours which would look the same when I finished. That sounds weird doesn’t it? Let me explain, when you paint ceramics they have to be fired in the kiln in order to harden or fix the colours, however the process of ‘firing’ a piece also often completely changes the colour of the glaze. So I could be painting a ladies skirt in a green glaze with yellow highlights which when fired would be a blue skirt with lighter blue highlights.
So not painting around corners or into grooves and being able to see the actual colours at the time of painting have been new experiences for me but I am naturally artistic just like my mother and my sisters so I’ve never really struggled to pick up new painting techniques.
Generally, moving into oils and acrylics has been a relatively pain free experience too although I do sometimes still find portraying perspective a challenge.
There’s always a but isn’t there? The one thing that I’m finding really really difficult is actually naming my artworks.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Now I’m probably with old Will on this one, does it really matter what an artwork is called it’s still the same piece isn’t it?
You’ll have noticed that to date all of my paintings have been simply named whatever they are but it seems there is a school of thought that paintings should have names with more meaning to them. Indeed a gallery owner recently told me she regularly renamed artists work because the names were so poor!
Now I’ve tried to come up with ‘better’ names but since I am really struggling, as is the modern way I’ve turned to Google for advice and it seems I’m not alone in this predicament. I found this really quite helpful article which makes lots of suggestions I particularly like the one about holding an ‘titling party’ where no one goes home until all the works are named, that is just so retro. I’m not sure it would work for me though because all of my friends enjoy a glass of wine or many at a party and so I think we’d probably get the pieces named but may not be able to remember those names the following day!
I decided to call my latest painting ‘Long Shadows’ (bet you can’t guess why 😉 ) and I was quite pleased with that but as soon as I posted it people gave their own interpretations which made me think ‘why would I choose name and potentially restrict the viewers personal insight’?
Maybe I should emulate Jackson Pollock and just give each painting a number?
image courtesy of 84colors blog