Thursday, April 7, 2016

Naming a Painting

I recently finished a new painting entitled Naw Ruz. The title has nothing to do with the content or inspiration of the painting. It was on the festival of Naw Ruz (March 21st) when I happened to complete the work. Naw Ruz is an ancient Persian holiday (celebrated throughout the Middle East) as well as one of the Baha'i Holy Days (ending the period of fasting). Naw Ruz means "New Day."

Carey Corea "Naw Ruz" 
Encaustic on cradled panel, 30"x 30"

 Detail of "Naw Ruz"

Detail of "Naw Ruz"

I name paintings in an enigmatic way. Sometimes if the painting coincides with a holiday, like Naw Ruz or Memorial Day, it takes that event as the title. However, that doesn't happen that often. Most of the time the title is a hidden mystery that probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me. Sometimes one of the painting's concepts and form suggests a name. For example, "Odalisque and the Virgins" has to do with purity of isolated colors (the virgins) detached and floating above the surface of the painting . Whereas the surface is characterized by multiple layers of built up paint that has been textured by over-painting and scraping – revealing its exotic complex beauty (the odalisque). It is painted with abandonment utilizing splatters and drips, bold brush strokes, and the juxtaposition of harmonious colors. The base surface tells a different story from that of the 25 individual solid colors (like orderly angels) suspended in the air above it. Picasso once said, "all art is sexual." Maybe he meant "paradoxical?" In any event, this painting seems to contain a little of both dynamics. It is up to the viewer to feel it and possibly to think it.

Carey Corea "Odalisque and the Virgins" 
Encaustic on cradled panel, 16"x 16"

Other titles come directly from Holy Texts. "Jake's Dream", "Ark of Fire", "Possessors of Circles", "Beauty of Joseph", "Twins", and "Dry in the Sea" all have their origin in the Bible, the Quran, and primarily the Baha'i Writings. Sometimes a particular graphic element in the painting suggests its name. "Red Square", "Seven", and "Patterns" are examples. Once a painting was named after its source of inspiration – "Crow's Pond." Some titles are deeply personal and will be kept that way.

Well, I intended this post just to quickly share my latest painting, but it turned into something else. Isn't that indicative of the mysterious creative process?

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