What's in a Title?

February 9, 2017

How does an artist come up with titles for their artwork?  Some artists have a title before they create the piece. Others, decide on the title once the piece is completed, sometimes changing the title as time goes by. I have often struggled with coming up with a title for my paintings.


The recent presidential election has provided ample opportunities for everyone to weigh in with strong opinions on a multitude of issues - women's rights, federal deregulation, immigration/refugees, LGBT rights, religious freedom, and trade, to name a few.  Last month, I pondered what and how I could represent some of these issues via my artwork, hopefully starting a much needed dialogue between the "two" polarized sides.  A dialogue that might create understanding, compromise, and action.  After experimenting with several ideas, I created the artwork below.  


Now the difficult part, I needed a title that would let this piece speak for itself and hopefully engage others in conversation and action.  "We the People, Tranquil Nation?, Fraying, Liberty Lost," and others were tested out on my social minded daughter.  None of them resonating with her.  Discouraged, I looked at the piece and asked, how about, "Island Nation?" She smiled and nodded in agreement.  What do you think about the title?  What does the artwork say to you?


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