One of my approaches to titles is inviting specific people into my studio. An artist with insightful vision, Karen Nielsen-Fried is one of my "go to peeps" for my own work.
Here is her take on titles:
One of the wondrous mysteries of painting, for me, is the not-knowing, the necessary journey without a map, the allowing of the unfolding and blossoming of inchoate ideas into the substance and content of the painting. As i work, words and phrases often play inside my head and intrude into my wordless process; they are phrases that arise as my conscious mind tries to make sense of the intuitive and nonverbal process. I sometime experience this as annoying and I refer to it as "Intrusive Title Syndrome". To quiet these interruptions I make lists of the titles as they occur to me. (I have more titles than i will ever have paintings to title). Sometimes a particular title that comes to me while working sticks for awhile and seems, indeed, to name the painting; to put into words the essence of what I am trying to get at with the painting. I put these "good" titles on pieces of tape and stick them to the back of the painting as i continue working. These titles most often change as the process continues, and sometimes when I finish a painting there are 4 or 5 pieces of tape on the back. Very often i will consider and reject them all and then I will sit and look at and commune with the painting, trying to gather it's spirit and convey it by means of a few words.
I am something of a word geek. I love reading dictionaries and thesaurus(es?), love listening to other languages being spoken, trying to hear patterns and bits of meaning. I am intrigued by the subtle nuanced meanings of words; I revere poets who can distill from and articulate with a few words and phrases some deeply-felt truth. And often it is words and phrases, lines of poetry, titles of books, snippets of conversation, that will fuel a painting. It is then my task-- through the process of painting-- to understand the hold these words have on me, and why they are of such import at that moment, why I am moved by them. I want my titles to be this same kind of distillation of the essence of my paintings, while still allowing enough ambiguity for a viewer to be able to have their own experience of finding meaning in the work.