Monday, June 16, 2014

The All Important Signature

Today I received a new book , Art & Soul: Notes on Creating by Audrey Flack which got me to thinking that I need to reinstate a page on this blog which features my list of good books for artists.  I had this page a while back but somewhere along the way it disappeared.  While flipping through the pages one title caught my eye.  It reads, Picasso As A Star.  Flack relates the story of how Picasso once signed a napkin on which there was no art, just some doodle, and his signature was therefore more important than the art.  From this act of ego, Flack attributes Picasso with the contemporary role of artist as egomaniac.  I don't argue that but Picasso had a substantial resume of ego acts to his credit.

For those who have taught in high school I feel confident they have seen "The All Important Signature".  This is the large scale sprawling signature which covers the entire lower right hand corner of a drawing or painting.  This is the signature which the student artist has seen on commercial reproductions of some famous or not so famous artists and they have practiced their "soon to be famous" signatures numerous times.  This signature becomes much more important than whatever is underneath and is in no way a good addition to the work.  Thankfully most textile artists sign their work on the back.

I can't wait to read the other tidbits of art lore contained in this little tomb and I will be working on my Reading List page to be published later.


Thanks for stopping by
Studio 24-7
I've been away and will be
away some this summer but
like Arnold S. said
"I'll be back!"


  1. Thanks for this post, Terry. As an abstract oil painter I only sign my name on the back of work because it would disturb my composition to have it on the front. I had a gallery owner tell me that buyers want to see a front signature, but I couldn't be persuaded. By the way, great work at upstairs artspace! Sorry I missed your opening, as I was in Italy.

    1. Hi Beth. Thanks for your comment. I'm with you about the signature but the comment from the gallery owner is interesting.

      Sorry you missed the opening at Upstairs Artspace but thank you for viewing the show. The space is so beautiful and I have loved having my work there.

  2. I think a signature is important. I do sign my textile paintings on the front by embroidering my initials and the year with a thread that matches the color of the fabric it is on. (I often dyed white embroidery thread when I dye my fabrics for that purpose and to have matching thread if I want to do some hand stitching.)

    It is fairly small and inconspicuous (almost unnoticeable) but it is there. I want people to know it's my work and I want them to know that I am proud enough of the piece to sign it and "claim" it on the front.

    If you go to my webpage (, you can see the artwork on my home page and see the initials (barely) on the bottom right corner.

    I do agree that sometimes artists sign their work to large and it distracts from the work.

    1. Hi Lisa, I've been away with limited internet access so couldn't post your comment. I think you your description of how you sign your work is very appropriate and not at all the oversized and overdone type of signature I was thinking about. The important thing for me is to remember what it's about....the art..... not the signature. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!