Choosing titles for my paintings is one of my greatest challenges. This challenge comes into focus when I am thinking of titles for my work that focuses on dancers. The dancers in my art work are usually named after family members and close friends. But sometimes I simply run out of names. I thought; “Why not reach out and ask if anyone could suggest names?” I never followed through.
At my last group exhibition, Valores Esteticos / Aesthetic Values (a Chashama event), I was introduced to two sisters, Catania James and Bernita James. They were admiring one of my untitled dancers. Bernita began telling me Catania’s story, about her dream of becoming a ballerina despite her thick body type and receiving discouraging words from others. I was touched by her story and the closeness of the two women. One sister advocated for the other. As we were looking at the artwork, Bernita thought one particular dancer represented her sister Catania and asked if I would consider naming the piece after her. How perfect is that? For me, this moment of connection to my work was humbling.
Catania James is a visual artist who works in mixed media collage and acrylic paint on canvas. When I looked at Catania’s website, I felt that Catania was a good fit for my series inspired by dancers. So, meet Catania, the newest woman in my dance series.
The title of this series is Nature’s Composition. As a body of work, one of my goals is to show relationships where one might not think they exist. I am incorporating my dancers with my abstract paintings. The backgrounds represent nature’s rhythmic patterns. The surfaces are layered with a collaged dancer as if she is dancing herself into a state of abstract bliss. By combining the dancers with my abstract approach to painting, I am exploring how movement in dance and in nature can be seen in relationship to each other. I am inspired by the expression of the power of femininity through dance and now I realize that this sometimes leads to finding the "right" title for an piece.
Do you know an amazing woman? If she has a quirky name, that’s like icing on the cake. She need not be a dancer just simply amazing. Do you know anyone? If so, shoot out the name and tell me a little about her. She may eventually be incorporated into one of my artworks.