Meeting Notes, June 26, 2015

At today's meeting Loretta, Tim, Bill, Renita, Lisa, Diane, Charlie, Eunice, Kristina, Annie, Kay, Marty D, Teresa (new), Judith (new), and me (Celeste). 

Today's suggested table topic: Titles for paintings. What do you think about titles for paintings? Do you have good and bad examples? How do you think you do titling your paintings? 

Celeste: Once I saw an article (that was meant to be funny) in an old Artist's magazine. It was like a Chinese menu... you would pick a verb, an adjective and a noun from each column to “get” a title (Laughter!) You would wind up with something like “Meandering Woodland Creek”. Oddly enough, the idea seems viable. For myself, I generally just use locations such as Sandy Delta Park, Sauvie Island etc. I brought in a painting that is based on the Tualitin Wildlife refuge. I also brought in a sketch of my friends flight boots from Vietnam. I plan to do a painting of them. 

Charlie: I have strong feelings about titles for paintings. I believe that a title can exalt a painitng or nearly destroy a painting! "Nude descending a Staircase” comes to mind... also a statue called “Flight". I believe it's really a mistake to go in any type of saccharine direction. If you ever see a high school exhibit of art you will see some titles that are simply maudlin. (Maybe young people are prone to the dramatic). I am taking a pastels class with Charlene Fitzgerald. 

Diane: Titles are very important….but if I don't have to show my work I don't need to title it. (Laughter!) 
Words evoke emotion. There is no question about that. I brought in my sketchbook from Lisa Caballero's drawing sessions. 

Renita: Most of the time I have a hard time titling my paintings. Once, however, I was doing a pour-type painting. (This is where you pour paint on the surface and then leave it and come back to it). I poured the paint into a grid type of pattern. When I came back to look at it it seemed as if magic people had appeared in my poured painting! They were clearly there (but it was unintentional). Coincidently, the next day there was something on the news about some people who were discovered in the Amazon. I titled this painting "Disappearing into the Grid". 

Bill: Well, Charlie bringing up “Nude descending a Staircase" made me think about a favorite painting of mine… "Floor scrapers".  I have had to become a caregiver for my wife who has suffered an injury. This has given me an opportunity to stay home. I have been spending time in the garden. I have been interacting with my grandson and studying some of the flowers in our garden. I brought in a painting I did of my grandson while he was working at a table on our patio. I brought in a study of a sweet pea from our garden. It was fun to compare the sweet peas of Oregon to the sweet peas of California (in my mind). I did a painting of Jeff Burke at hipbone studio, I finished a nude and finally a painting I did of my neighbors 1947 Studebaker truck. If I were to title this painting I would likely title it "1947 Studebaker truck". 

Mike: It seems to me that watercolorists title their paintings very effectively. I especially like a painting that Sergeant did called Lily, Lily, Carnation. I saw that painting at the Tate gallery. Tilting painting can be, of course, very personal. I painted a tribute to my father once... it had to do with the last letter I sent to him. He died before it could be opened. I called that painting “Last Letter to Lopez". 

Kay: I don't like paintings that are “untitled". I don't have very much desire to name my paintings unless, of course, I show them or exhibit them. I recently took a workshop with Steven Hayes. I brought in two paintings from that workshop. I had a wonderful time and did a lot of reverse things!  I have been taught (for example) to leave white for a cloud in the sky…but this time I dragged the blue directly through the painted cloud! Liberating! Hays is in favor of this type of experimentation.    

Kristina: I sometimes agonize over naming my paintings! It's difficult for me. Once, however, I checked Eric Jacobsen's website hoping for inspiration from some of his titles. What I found, however, were titles like “sunset”!  (Laughter!) 
I brought in a painting that I did recently with Brooks Hickerson downtown--- this painting is of a building that is scheduled to be demolished. It has a water tower on top of the roof. I have titled this painting “Before it is Gone". 

Carrie: Many watercolorists actually begin with the title before they paint! They use the title as a sort of “prompt". Ruth Armitage is known to do this. I painted with Brooks and others at Peninsula Park. I have brought in the results of that and a few other recent paintings. I’ve been doing Gelli prints too…to change things up!

Judith (new) Welcome, Judith: I am a writer who is learning to paint. If and when I title my paintings I have sort of a wise-cracker type of attitude about it. I think I may come up with things that only I understand!  I am hoping to learn to paint in a more loose way. I brought in two of my recent paintings. 

Tim: I struggle with titles. I brought in two paintings. One is simply titled “The Watertower". It is a water tower that is scheduled to be removed. It is in Troutdale behind the mall. The second painting I brought in I am calling “The house on Howell Road". That is what it is.(Laughter!) 

Annie: I wanted to show you this cover of the New Yorker magazine that I very much admire. I wanted to see what they call this painting and if you look on this page in the magazine you will see what the artist called it (see photos). I also brought in a book that I don't know if I have seen here before. I really like this book a lot. It is by Mitch Albala. 

Teresa (new) Welcome, Teresa: I am from the east coast. I am retired. I generally do portraits and I like to work alla prima. I am happy to meet you all! 

Eunice: I found it easier to title my paintings when I lived in the desert. So I have many paintings with titles like Desert Morning, Desert Afternoon, Desert Evening, etc.  (Laughter!)
 I brought in my most recent creative endeavor. I have been using T-shirt material to make baskets. I know that this is an unusual thing to bring to our meeting, but I brought them because some of you insisted on seeing them! (Editor’s note: they are very cool)! 

Marty D: I used to think that untitled paintings were terrible. But! I can allow as how sometimes if there is no title the conclusions can be drawn completely by the visual... without any other influence.

Loretta: I especially love some titles I’ve seen on paintings on Facebook. Here are some of them: "Silent Epiphany, shooting star”, "Back roads, sharp left turn”, "Going to an old River”,  “Ladies who lunch" (this was a painting of three chickens) Laughter! also…”Infinite courage". 

Lisa: Whenever I see a live a landscape painting….. I want to know where it is.  If there is some sort of emotional or evokative title I still want to know the location. They should have two lines, if that is the case! (Laughter!) That is just my thing! I am so curious…..I want to know where it was painted!


Kristina wants you to know that if you paint at Rooster Rock you should leave before 9:30pm,  because that is when the skunks come out!! (Laughter!) No kidding, she is serious, the skunks seem to know when the people leave and they go to the picnic tables. 

Kristina and Eunice are in the Lavender festival ---(however, Eunice may be bailing out because of the extreme heat)!

Lake Oswego has a reception tonight for the Lake Oswego Festival of arts. (Eunice, Kristina and several others are also in the Lake Oswego Festival of Arts): 

Plein air with Brooks (check his calendar on the right side of his blog):

Portland Art Musuem July 11 Bastille Day Eduardo Fernandez demonstration, (Free Day)

Eric Bowman Lanscape Workshop (November):

 Jef Gunn First Light, Last Light 4 day workshop (July): 

Other workshops:

OSA Maritime "Call to Artists" (July):

July 18....let's cruise with Brooks Hickerson on The Portland Steamship! Oregon Society and Artists and Oregon Maritime Museum are hosting the first "Portland Steamer Plein Air Cruise" July 18, Saturday, 2015. The Portland Steamer will depart 9 am from its dock at SW Pine and SW Naito. Cruise down the Willamette River to the Columbia River and return. This 4 hour cruise includes refreshments and all the scenery you can paint and draw. You can bring your easels and painting equipment aboard the afternoon before the cruise, July 17th, from 1-4pm.
The cost for the cruise on the historic steam-powered paddle-wheel Portland is $75. You can reserve your space and pay for your ticket at:
or on the OMM web site

Plein air show in Corvallis

Lavender Festival Public showing and sale of artists' work on July 11 & 12, 2015 Saturday & Sunday, at the Chehalem Cultural Center, Newberg, Oregon

The friends of easels meets on Mondays in the gorge. You can always just show up with them.

Create Eugene: (August)

For more announcements/events/groups/paint outs: our facebook page:

Friday Drawing Club after the meeting today results here

Thank you for your ideas and paintings — today, after breakfast, we met on the O’Connor’s Patio…(because the Annex was assigned to a different group). And I hope this doesn’t confuse you too much….but next week is our final Friday meeting —after that, we are returning to Thursdays at 9am in the restaurant again (just as we were before)! 

Next meeting FRIDAY July 3, 8am/9am…. Suggested table topic: Encouragement. What is the best encouragement (aside from sales) that you have ever received as it pertains to painting? (we may have had this topic before, but it has been specifically requested for Friday..... see you then)!

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