I don't know how I am going to gauge the success of my sign in terms of footfall. All I know, is that there have been more people through the door. This could be because of the prolonged good weather. There is only so much time that you can spend lying in the sun. I am quietly optimistic that the sign will result in more visitors.
Today I want to talk about signing your work. To sign or not to sign that is the question. It is an age old tradition that artists sign their work. I think that it is an obvious necessity to authenticate the work. So why the deliberation?
I had someone bring me some oil painted landscapes and they had signed their name in its entirety in black Sharpie along with the date. If you think I am lying, I can assure that I am not. To say that I was horrified would be understatement. I asked why they had done this, they said that they wanted it to stand out. More than the picture, apparently.
As I am predominantly a printmaker I do sign and edition my prints. There are however, exceptions to the rule. I produce a fair amount of embossed images. I think that a conspicuous title and signature would detract from the subtlety of the work. I then sign the frame on the back.
I also sometimes print right up to the edge of the paper, I would generally then sign the mount. I think the key to signing your work is making sure that it is suitably inconspicuous. It's about the art not the signature. If you think that your signature is going to draw the eye then sign the back. That is perfectly acceptable.
The thing that I have talked about before is dating your work. I think it is important to know when you produced what. This can be done on the front or back.
I think that is up to the individual really, I keep notes about that kind of thing. The reason for that being, say I saw an Open Exhibition that had a theme that I had produced work on. Sometimes there are guidelines that state the work must have been produced in the last 12 months. If my work was 18 months old and had a big fat date on. You can see what I am saying. I am not saying raid the attic, or under the bed for historical work but a date can stick out like a sore thumb.
Josh Hollingshead who I have shown a couple times at the gallery, quite often incorporates his signature into the painting in some clever way. So that it doesn't look out of place and if you look hard enough you will find it.
Finally, I want to quickly talk about edges of paintings on canvas. There are 2 schools of thought maybe even 3. Messy edges can be the first thing that you can see when a painting is flat against the wall. Some buyers find it off putting. Edges painted with another colour, I'm not sure about this either. I think I prefer edges that have been kept as clean as possible. Masking tape does a great job and any slight marks are totally acceptable. Just thought that I would mention it as it is quite a 'divide the audience subject'.