Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Titles and Poetry For My Art

I've been asked how do I title my paintings? Sometimes the title comes before and some times after a painting. My paintings inspire me but so do words! A snippet from a conversation, a line from a song, a poem I've read. Words are everywhere! They consume us with thoughts, they're in advertising, they help us communicate! But the most inspiring words to me are those that have a lyrical quality. Like a poem perhaps.

Some favorite painting titles of mine are "She Pinned Things To The Earth, So They Wouldn't Follow Her Around", "View For Two Under The Moon", "He Felt The Light Go To His Heart", "She Built Her Nest With Flowers and Bits of Sky".

There is a funny story that goes with one title. I was showing an image to a friend of mine and she said something, and I thought she said something else, which wasn't what she said at all! I thought she said, "She Was Charmed by His Weaving". Nope. I was totally off! We laughed. BUT, I loved the words and decided that would be a perfect title for one of my small bird paintings I had just finished.

Awhile ago I decided I wanted to create a book of my paintings to go with some of the poetry that I've read and written and also that some of my friends have wrote. The book is still in the works. But I thought I would share this wonderful poem written by James Jordan, a customer who purchased one of my paintings and then commissioned me for another. Upon seeing and reading the title of my raven painting below, he was inspired to write a poem. His wife Catherine was the editor and the poem is below.

The Owl Wouldn't But The Raven Would

'Twas a dark night in Ravenwood
The night when Owl came out to call
Why did Owl go to Ravenwood?
To meet the Raven dark and tall

Croaked Raven to Owl "What's afoot?"
Hooted Owl "There's dark arising
And evil ones have come to moot,
Ravenwood's peace they're threat'ning."

"Behold! The flocks in panic fly,
And smoldering trees turn to smoke,
As fire burns bright in the sky."
Raven shrugged his feathery cloak.

Soon Raven asked with heavy sigh
"What to the flocks does this bird owe?
My warrior days no longer nigh,
Why tell me of this tale of woe?"

Owl gestured at the huddled trees
"Would you see this fair wood dead?
Turn your back and take your ease?"
Raven bowed his grizzled head.

"Heroes must stand forth" Owl hooted
"Who else to save fair Ravenwood?
Who else to brave the darklings mooted?"
The Owl wouldn't, but the Raven would.

-- Poem written by James Jordan