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artist surnames

Today being the birthday of Claude Monet—not only a great Impressionist painter, but the inspiration for a number of baby girls named Monet– we thought it the perfect moment to peruse the art world—past and present– for some other creative surname possibilities.

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posted by: Nook of Names View all posts by this author
artistrock

By K. M Sheard, Nook of Names

I’ve been musing for a while now on the rich mine of names that are the surnames of artists.

Many of them have a great ring in themselves, as well as carrying strong artistic connotations.

With the most famous, it is as though their names “mean” their paintings.

Say Monet, for instance, and lovely, soft, impressionistc images float into the mind.

Here, then, is my pick of the artists:

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Middle Names: What’s your favorite kind?

middle

Middle names are, in many ways, the place where you can get most adventurous with your choices.

Or are they?

What, in your opinion, is the best kind of middle name to choose?

A creative name that you might love but that you wouldn’t dare put in first place?

A name with important symbolism — the city where your child was conceived, the name of a personal hero?

Or maybe you see the middle name as the ideal place to represent family:  to use the baby’s father’s first name, for instance, or pass down grandma’s maiden name or honor a family member who is recently deceased.

Or the middle name to you might be an opportunity to create flow and melody in a name, and so you look for a middle name with the perfect combination of syllables and sounds.

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Saint-Cecilia-picture

By Linda Rosenkrantz

In the pantheon of Catholic patron saints, we find protectors of counties and cities, of living things ranging from caterpillars to wolves, not to mention those who guard against conditions from compulsive gambling to gout. What I’ve always found especially interesting are those associated with various occupations—in particular the ones relating to the creative arts–and the stories behind those patronages. Like how did a thirteenth century nun get to be the patron saint of TV?

So, if you’re a poet or a potter or a photographer, you just might find some naming inspiration here.

GIRLS

Barbara According to Catholic beliefs, the martyred Saint Barbara offers special protection for architects and stone masons because her troubled life included imprisonment in a tower.

CatherineCatherine of Bologna is considered the principle patron saint of artists. An Italian cloistered nun, she was a painter herself, in fact one of her surviving works, a 1456 depiction of St. Ursula, now hands in the Galleria Academia in Venice. Catherine of Alexandria protects potters and spinners.

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abby-7-1-13

The Nameberry 9 by  Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

Are we becoming more tolerant of creative names?

My kids’ friends and classmates are a diverse lot, and their names reflect it.  There’s Seamus and Shivarama, a boy named Delaney and a girl called Jordan.  Yes, we have Matthew and Sam and Zoe.  But in their school of 300 kids, I can count the number of names that repeat on one hand.

Even though we know lots of boys with unusual names, it seems like girls have the edge.  Statistics bear it out.  In 2012, over 78% of boys received a Top 1000 name, but fewer than 67% of all girls did.

This past week seemed to be all about unusual, but perfectly wearable, names for girls.  I’m not thinking of headline-grabbing choices like North and Khaleesi.  Instead, I’m thinking of the wide universe of wearable names, choices that are a little bit different, but not staggeringly strange.

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