The Nuance of Titles

It is so fascinating for me to hear your reactions to my paintings - to find out what memories, feelings and thoughts my work evokes. Last week, when it came to choosing titles for the paintings in my show, Seeing, Being, Painting, I invited a few people, who loyally follow my blog, to tell me what they would call this painting and why?

Gabriel Bizcarra and Justin Brow both sensed optimism in the image – their title suggestions were ‘Reach’ and ‘Lap it Up’ respectively. They saw the land formation as ‘reaching out’ toward the horizon and the lapping waves as metaphors for embracing and appreciating life’s journey.

The clouds, water, birds, the roaring waves and the unsettling winds suggested the title ‘Restlessness’ to Suzanne Ing, who expressed amazement that I can create a still, calm image of things that are in constant motion.

The many dimensions in the image – liquid, solid, circle, background, texture, coming in, going out, straight, curved – led Ruth Howard, of The Joy Story, to the title ‘Dimensions’. She and Steve Addison both enjoyed the experience of ‘looking through’ as if through a window or the porthole of a ship.

Similarly, Donald Fuggle felt transported through a portal to another world. His title, ‘Portal to Fly’ reflecting the experience of leaping off the rock platform to soar through the sky, over the surging water.

This urge to transgress boundaries, to draw close to edges, is picked up in what Hobart poet and songwriter, Tony Brennan wrote, “I’d title this piece ‘Drawn to the Edge’ because the horizon draws me forward - feeling the wind on my face... But I’m scared of high places or precipices and feel a physical lurching as I draw closer. Your painting captures raw, natural, breathtaking beauty and yet I feel a scary edginess…”

Charlie Falzon and Paul Maynard also sensed unease and longing in the painting. Charlie recalled a childhood memory of yearning for Australia from the shores of Malta. The solitude in this work evoked the titles ‘Isolation’ or ‘Marooned’ for him. Paul’s longing, rather than for a place, was for respite from the pounding waves and wind - he titled the work ‘Gimme Shelter’.

Strangely, doing this made it very difficult for me to choose a title as I had so many more ideas buzzing round in my head. In the end, I settled on ‘Beyond’ as I felt this word encapsulates aspects of all of these unique interpretations – each valid and insightful. I have loved learning through hearing what you think about my work – please keep telling me!

On Saturday Seeing, Being, Painting opened and I’m thrilled to say many of my paintings will be going to new homes! You can still see the show and pick one up until 13 December – call me if you want to meet there, ph 0432 922 653.

You can see me create this painting on video - 4 hours work captured in 2 mins 15 secs!

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