“Only the Lonely” done- 12 minutes before the”official” deadline. It has gone off into the wide netherworld of cyberspace in little electronic swirls and whispers, and will hopefully coalesce in the designated email inbox as a fully realized, fully articulated sweeping ode to a magnificent equine in shades of burnished grey, evocative of isolation, fragmented beauty, windswept barren plains, the essential duality of light and dark, day and night, good and evil. Or maybe it will just look like a picture of a horse.
My bestest best friend in the whole wide world complemented me on my names today. “You always have the most clever, intelligent names…” which is high praise, coming from her. And it is true, I spend a great deal of time thinking about what I’m going to call a picture. If I can’t come up with the perfect name for it – before a single line has been drawn – it doesn’t happen. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, and almost all of them are half finished train wrecks of ink and paint. They lack that last little bit, the “je ne sais quoi” if you will, and I have to think it’s because of the name.
A name gives purpose, direction, attitude. My degree is in fine art, but my field of study for 4 years was Illustration, or “the visual representation of a thought, emotion, idea” etc. The naming of a piece, therefore, captures the mindset I want to be in while working on it, dreaming about it, scribbling it out. Hopefully, sometimes some of that makes its way into the actual art as well, but that might just be wishful thinking. And it’s fun, too. “Office Romance” presents not only the real life love affair of husband and wife cattle ranchers, but also presents what for many of us would be an ideal working environment – on the back of a horse with your sweetheart, breathing in fresh air and sunshine, roaming across the open country. “Red” is not only done almost entirely in a red color palette, but also reflects the common barn name of many chestnut racehorses, including Man o’ War and Secretariat. “Lope” shows a cantering, or “loping” horse, but was done as a fundraiser for LOPE (Lone Star Outreach to Place Ex Racehorses @ www.lopetx.org). And I must mention here that “Only the Lonely” was actually suggested as a name for another piece by my mother, but I immediately grafted it onto the then unformed drawing which was simply hanging out there waiting for the perfect name. So, thanks Mom!