“Titles have never given a just idea of things; were it otherwise, the work would be superfluous.”
I’ve finished the Drawgasmic piece. I completed the hatching on the two upper blue areas, and then decided to add some more darker hatching to the remaining blue area and the green areas too. I like the additional texture this creates.
The title has been tricky to devise, but I think I’m going to go with it. So far, friends have responded to the picture by saying it feels energetic, full of movement, and makes them want to dance. Yay! This is very much what I’d hoped for. But I didn’t want to invoke that in the title because I felt that would be too literal. The figures are already very illustration-y. I actually gazed at the drawing for a long time and wrote down the words that came to mind: peace, calm, magic, focus, floating, joy, forest, freedom, music, dancing, love, dream. I like the forestlike, dreamy quality of the background, compared to the cartoonlike clarity of the dancers. I thought about what I wanted the piece to convey, which is more than just the “dance and feel beautiful” message, though that’s certainly a big part of it. I want it to inspire the viewer to connect with the peaceful energy and innate wisdom we seldom access in our day-to-day lives — to find her “inner dancer,” whatever that means to her. So I titled the piece “Underneath What We Know To Be Possible” to evoke the internal dreamscape that’s (I believe) greater than what our intellectual brains understand to be true.
Sigh. On the one hand, I’m very sincere about all of this. But on the other hand, I nearly always hate any kind of writing about nonverbal arts, because the writing just sounds like so much BS. Naming things diminishes them; putting words to something confines it. Sometimes that’s useful — if you’ve ever articulated a vague fear, you know how much that decreases its power over you — but in the case of music, dance, or visual art, I feel that words just get in the way. When we experience nonverbal arts, we generally experience them nonverbally; a trained dancer may be able to break down a ballet into a series of words (plié, jeté, etc), but even so, the beauty and meaning in the dance don’t derive their impact from these words. So to title a drawing, to articulate what it means to me and what I want it to do for the viewer… it’s just not my favorite task.
At times like this I feel it’s very interesting to be both a writer and a visual artist. 🙂
“Underneath What We Know To Be Possible” will go out in the mail tomorrow, and sometime after that will be scanned and posted to my Drawgasmic artist page. In July it will go on sale simultaneously in-person and online, date TBA — I’ll keep you posted!