Archive for October, 2011

Everyone Has Misery?

Dear Artist,

Recently I was helping an artist with art titles. The painting was a dramatic portrait. The sincere, slightly tragic look in eyes of a dark haired beauty got us talking and searching for words, “Bittersweet” too trite, “Tender” she’s not a piece of meat, “Angelic” oh stop!

“I want to call it Everyone Has Misery.” (I’ll withhold the artist’s name here since he didn’t give me permission to gossip about him.)

I eyed him sideways.

“No, it’s great, Everyone Has Misery, and look you can see the misery in her eyes.” He said.

“I wouldn’t call it misery.” I said quietly and wondered if he was serious or just pulling my leg.

“Yes, it’s there, you see? I want to show life, truth, misery.”

His voice was getting agitated in the same way it does when I ask him to paint in certain sizes or colors. “O.K., fine, life, truth, misery, yes it’s all there, but it’s a beautiful painting. Her eyes look serious, contemplative, and this painting could be a good seller.”

The artist makes prints of all of his work, so the image needs to speak to more than just one art collector.

“Misery.” He said again.

“Darling, if we call it misery no one will buy it.”

“Someone might buy it.”

“Not likely.”

And then we had one of our “Is this a game for you or do you want to make money?” conversations.

“Of course, I want to make money. I mean I need to make money.”

So we continued on with our quest to find the perfect title for his painting. If you’re having trouble naming your work of art, find someone to help you. An art dealer is best because they see art in relation to the sale of the art. If you haven’t developed personal relationships with art dealers, maybe you should start, we are not as difficult as has been portrayed in movies and most of us truly love artists, we just get a little cranky sometimes when an artist acts too much like an artist (Just kidding – I think)

Best regards,
Gloria Gales


Robbie D. Sayers, The Traveling Monarch Visits The Big Island, Oil on Canvas, 20"x16"


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