Artist’s signature

June 22, 2015

Recently I read that your art should carry your signature….without you ever having to sign your name. (I’m not sure of the source, I think it might have been here .)

Friends have said to me that they can see when something has been done by me- whether graphic design, calligraphy, oil pastel or paintings. They recognise a personal mark and/or approach in the colours and visual vocabulary.

This is less easy for me to see, I’m up too close generally. But I was surprised yesterday when going through some old work and throwing pieces away (this has to happen periodically, worth another post), I discovered a watercolour (one of the ones I’m keeping) from 40 years ago (no, I’m wrong, it was 27 years ago) which reminded me of one of my recent bottle paintings.

I’ve cropped the painting and put them side by side.

The watercolour with diamonds is done at the time I was exploring the range of colours in value- contrasting crystalline transparent pastels with dense fiery reds, indigos and earth colours. And this was inspired by my mentor Abe Weiner’s work (type in Abe Weiner either in the Search box here or google to see his paintings).

I was quite amazed by the similarity in colour feel and handling of works separated by 27 years of time and development. Here are crops of both works, and underneath are the originals.

9 Responses to “Artist’s signature”

  1. AJ Says:

    Hi! I really like your post! It’s good that you discovered your own style of painting! I have to say that I am a little jealous – either I don’t have one or I just can’t see it. But yeah, congratulations that you are consistent to your way of painting! i would also like to see how your artworks changed/developed throughout these years, within the same style!
    All the best!

    • Hi back AJ, I don’t think I have actually discovered my own style of painting. Others seem to recognise it.But I don’t yet have a particularly consistent way of applying paint or developing a painting. Well, maybe I’m starting to.

      I think that ‘style’ is the least important thing painters, especially those at the beginning of their journey should think about. If you read Art and Fear by Bayles and Orland, throughout the book they speak about how through doing the work, and developing your own habits- with materials, approach, choice of subject matter, influences etc, your own work eventually emerges. It takes a lifetime and more. To see how my art has changed over the years, go back through my blogs of the past few years. Or see my portfolio site http://www.szoutewelle.wordpress.com
      Good luck, Sarah

      • AJ Says:

        Thank you Sarah!
        I looked at your artwork – I really like the instruments!
        I will also try to get and read the book you mentioned!

  2. What beautiful work! I’ve just had a bit of a tour around your blog and really enjoyed viewing your work and reading your posts. Thank you! Have a great day. 🙂

    • Janet thanks for spending time here and for your comment. I looked at your work and really like it. I think the combination of hands on drawing/painting techniques and digital enhancement really works well. (I left a similar comment on your blog, but am not sure it showed up.)

  3. Great to have you on board. Cheers, Sarah

  4. Ed T. Says:

    Great article. I have done a lot of thinking about this for my art. I think as long as the work is at least certified somewhere on the piece with your name and signature that is what is important. For me as a picture framer also I like to see signatures because it is much easier to organize and preserve the art seeing the name right on front.

  5. decorartuk Says:

    What an unexpected find! 27 years apart, yet the colours you choose are almost identical. I must admit I have noticed that I’m madly in love with blues and greens… but I always thought that this has something to do with the paints that I’m using. I wonder what would happen if I swapped my acrylics with oils (the palette would also change a bit), would my hand still stretch to grab that cobalt blue? (Remains to be seen…)

    You definitely have a very distinct style, Sarah. I haven’t seen enough of your calligraphic artwork, so I probably wouldn’t recognize it, yet I think I already know a bit about your paintings. K.

    P.S. I don’t sign my paintings. I’ve been thinking about developing some kind of symbolic mark recently. I’d love to have it as a stamp. I like old wax seals that people used to seal their envelopes with. To my mind something like that would be cool.

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