Sunday, May 8, 2016

Judging The Winning Entry

And the winner is...
To benefit Alastair Dacey, oil painter
who was burned out of his historic Tarbell home,
as part of Todd Bonita's Portsmouth Gallery opening
I was asked to judge the "Best Title for This Painting"
Retail value $600. Each title submission was $20;
over $1,600 was raised.

(See the winning title below)
Todd Bonita
8" x 6", Oil on wood panel, framed

I was pleased and honored to be asked by Todd to do this. And I felt connected to the painting of Todd's dory since I'd photographed it two years ago docked in Perkins Cove and written a poem about (see below).

Using my background with books, over 45 children's books and two "groan up" books, Punography and Punography Too (both Penguin), I first went through all of the entries. It was a daunting task. My only requirement was that the judging be blind, that I not know who submitted what title, and the title was printed on a sealed envelope holding the name and contact information of the entry with their entry fee.

There were two titles for, Waiting, and another two titles for, Awaiting. There were four titles for, Serenity, and then three titles for Tranquil. These titles with their simplicity are truly fine, but if a title can keep that simplicity and still go beyond it, then we have a winner.

There were many title descriptors like Dory, Dory at Dusk, Yellow Boat Blue Water, At Rest and My Dory. These again are fine titles but I was looking for more. Based on noted children's book author Randolph Caldecott's quote, "The words fill in what the picture leaves out, and the picture fills in what the words leave out, both carefully interwoven," I was drawn to go beyond a descriptor title.

I narrowed the list of seventy-eight entries to a top five, listed here in alphabetical order:

Between Going and Staying
The idea of between intrigued me, moored between going where and staying here. But in the end not enough to pull me in.

Dog Overboard
Ha, it made me laugh, a good thing. How could I not be drawn to this? It was thinking outside the box, working with the Caldecott qote, yet, the problem was there was no splash on the beautiful calm sea, so it was close but not quite a winner.

Morning Dory
I loved it, a playful fitting pun that flowered. Morning Glory? Morning Dory. This fit all the criteria and made the top two, coming in a close second.

Orange you glad I didn't paint a banana
Another title to make you smile, and it did, thinking outside of the box. It's funny and it's certainly not merely a descriptor, yet funny still has to have more. So, though it caught my attention, it didn't hold it.

The Mooring After
Oh my, a playful pun on Mooring and Morning (The Morning After?), beautiful in its simplicity, taking the imagery beyond a descriptor, thus following the Caldecott quote, this title had it all. It also leaves a question in one's mind with the after; it keeps you intrigued. This title was not only in the top two, but the winner! With onlookers watching, including Todd, I opened the envelope and announced who was the winner: Avory Resca. She's from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Congratulations Avory. Read  more about this and see more photos on Todd's results page HERE.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
September 1, 2014
Photo of the reflection of artist Todd Bonita's Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Grand Banks Dory number 3798 from The Dory Shop (HERE) tied up
at Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine on August 26, 2014

Art of the Dory

Traditional colors
dip into the water
like a dripping wet oar,

watercolor painting
times of the past, ripples,
reflecting days of yore.

photo and poem © 2016 Bruce McMillan

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