How to Title Your Art

Descanso Gardens is in La Canada, California. The grounds boast 34,000 camellia shrubs, 25 acres of California Oak trees, 3000 roses and paved pathways throughout the 160 acre property. (If you listen to audiobooks, you might consider listening to a book like this one while walking through a public garden or hiking a trail.)  

There is a lovely orange moon bridge leading to the tea house, and this (the watercolor above) was one of a handful of watercolors that pleasantly sprouted from my time exhibiting in the gardens a decade ago. 

At the time, I loathed coming up with titles for my art. I usually settled for a subject title, like this one above – Tea House. I got into a wrestling match with titles when I painted different views of the same scene. If you’ve worked in a series, you know what I mean.

Scout, inspecting inventory and reviewing titles

Avoidance in the Art Studio

I used to let art stack up in my studio without a title, just to avoid the angst of naming paintings and prints.  But I also knew if I didn’t title the art, I couldn’t really scan it with a “save-as” title, and store it alphabetically on my hard drive for easy access later

I also couldn’t make prints to sell from the scans, or post the art on social media, or frame and show it at an exhibit, etc.

It seemed titling the art was the first crucial step towards sharing the work after finishing: just name the darned thing!

Printmaking in the studio, waiting to be signed, named or numbered.

Art Title Eureka!

I finally did some research, read a few books, and poured through some essays to tackle the bothersome subject.

All that studying produced a works-every-time system that’s actually fun. My approach to tilting art bridges the right and left brain to generate tons of naming options for a painting, print, photo or sculpture.

I love adding fun titles to my art.  I know there are many artists and art-dabblers who could benefit from some tips and tricks in this arena, so I’ve assembled an online video course called How to Title Your Art.

Fur & purring infused studio help

I’ll Help You with That

If you’re interested in a video tutorial about three different methods for naming your art, let me know where to send you a link to the course I’m excited to share the curriculum with you to get your expert feedback. 🙂

Tea House, Descanso Gardens 8×10 watercolor (sold)

Beautiful, handmade cards by JMC

Make Stuff More Often

On Wednesday, a friend showed me a shoebox filled with beautiful hand made cards. She let me pick some to take home, and I was swooning at each and every one of them. Such generosity! How to choose? Look at them all!

She also shared a beautiful needle point she made, just because. The room we sat in was adorned with her paintings and her pottery, and evidence of the other creative projects she’s working on. All of them with the same goal; to simply make something.

The making was not to sell, or show, or compete… it was just to create a thing of beauty. (Read this is you need a little encouragement to do the same.)

How do you prioritize your make-something time? (Don’t have the room to create? Read this.) I’m inviting you to reserve an hour or two this week (pick an evening – any evening that’s got a one hour window), and get your hands on whatever suits your fancy to be creative and make a thing – any little thing – just for the simple pleasure of creating.

Happy making!

I’ll see you in the next post –


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Art Quote

The optimist lives on the peninsula of infinite possibilities; the pessimist is stranded on the island of perpetual indecision.

William Arthur Ward

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11 thoughts on “Watercolor: Tea House (& how to title your art)”

  1. Pingback: How to Title Landscape Art for Sale - belindadelpesco

  2. I love anyone who helps me to learn. You do it every time, Belinda! Thanks to you I am learning to play and give myself a break as I learn. I am taking a second printmaking course because you sparked an interest. I am persistently staying after my watercolor and I think that I am getting better; it’s a challenge for sure! I think about titles for my creations, but haven’t gotten that far, yet. A perfect time to learn, again! Can’t wait!

    1. Hi Marie! I’m SO GLAD you feel inspired to dive into your printmaking, and stay with your watercolors! That’s what it’s all about. Take delight from things that challenge, because we’re learning! Good for YOU! The Title your Art course is coming soon. I’m working on it today. 🙂 Thanks for your nice comment.

  3. Mary Ellen Gale

    Love the making, not so much the naming. Beautiful painting. Looking forward to the course. I’m off on a bookmaking tangent at the moment so the painting is waiting patiently.

    1. I recall a lunchtime conversation about the challenges of titling art. I’m sending you happy bookmaking wishes (it sounds incredibly fun), and I’ll now include handmade book titles in the coursework. 🙂 Because you’ll be an expert. No, really. Art titles with ease and swagger. xo

  4. Hi Belinda,
    Love the painting and the post. You are so industrious and such an amazing artist. The blog helps me name things, and life does, and all the images and words that swim into my head each day. So glad when your images and words come in. So splendid.

    Thank you for all you so.

    XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

    1. You are a wordsmith AND an artist – a rare combo, I think. Lucky for you and us (because you share it with us) and especially lucky for your collectors who get to live with the art and it’s fitting title for all time. XOXOXOXO

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