Sometimes, coming up with a good title for a new print can be a challenge. While not every artist does it, I always make it a point to title my work. At one point I struggled to come up with titles. People who looked at my work would see machines, or buildings, or factories, or any number of other things. I slowly came to understand that I was a really a contemporary landscape artist. It was just that the landscapes that I was looking at were not the ones that most people see. After that, the titles began to come more easily.

I think a good title is one that suggests something to the viewer, and perhaps gives them a clue regarding the subject of the work, without being too explicit. A good title should raise a question in the viewer’s mind, and thus cause them to look at the work a second time, more carefully. So my titles now tend to tell the viewer something about the source of the image, but perhaps a little obscurely. For example, the title of one of my large woodcuts contains the longitude and latitude of the place where I was standing when I saw the scene. Playing with Google Maps can provide some additional insight (I had someone do this on their internet connected cell phone during a show).

So a good title can help the viewer understand what it is you, as a artist, are seeing. You just don’t want to give it all away. Otherwise, where is the mystery?