One of the most soul-searching things an painter has to do is title his work, and attach a price to it. For experience artists, who've been through this hundreds, perhaps even THOUSANDS of times, the task becomes almost routine but nonetheless thought provoking. Experienced artists usually have pricing their work down to a formula--X number of dollars times X number of hours spent working on the painting. Perhaps they may assign bonus points if the work is especially fetching, or subtract points if they want to sell and forget it the sooner the better.

Titling work is another matter, but here again the experienced artist usually has formal thought processes ranging from simply REFUSING to title the work, or attaching some generic term plus a number, to deep, insightful messages expressing what the painting, unfortunately, does NOT. Personally I like something clever, memorable, funny, profound, short and/or sweet. If the title adds something to the viewer's understanding of the work, so much the better.

For the beginning painter, however, both these efforts often becoming excruciatingly complex. This fact was underlined to me recently as several of my freshman high school students had work selected for a month-long exhibit at a local women's service club. The registration form called for them to place a selling price and title on their work. Not ONE of them had ever considered either item in conjunction with their creative efforts and it was fascinating to watch them twist and squirm under the pressure. I steadfastly refused to offer even the slightest degree of help or advice. My contribution was to remind them that this was part of becoming an artist, and perhaps and perhaps the LONLIEST part. Each one, I'm proud to say, rose to the occassion beautiful. They must have done a pretty good job in estimating (perhaps UNDERestimating) the value of their work too, because only a week into the exhibit, three of the six works have sold.