15-Your John Hancock

It’s Important
Believe it or not, your signature is a big part of your paintings. It’s a thing we can tend to ignore or forget.  For one thing, the simple act of signing a piece means you’re done, you’ve finished. Don’t diminish it’s importance! Your audience really wants your piece to be signed!

Decide and Stick with It
What letters are you going to use? I sign my name with just “Baggetta”, not Marla Baggetta or Marla Tarbox Baggetta. Yes, Tarbox is my maiden name! I sign with “Baggetta”, not because I’m trying to hide my first name or the fact that I’m a women. It’s simply because I think it looks better. I don’t sign my name with PSA, or IAPS, MC after it, (Pastel Society of America and International Association of Pastel Societies Master Circle). Most buyers care about those letters. Only other pastelists really even know what those letters are. Just be consistent once you settle on the content.

John Hancock 1

 

Make Your Mark
I don’t sign on my paintings the same way I would sign a check. It’s different; more of a mark, a logo, than anything else. It has evolved over time and is still evolving! I don’t sign in the same spot every time. Also, I choose where to sign depending on the piece and what feels like would be the best place to create balance. I try to sign large enough to see it and recognize it somewhat, but not too large that it’s distracting.

Choose Your Tools
I like to use a Nu-pastel to sign my pastels. I keep a few different colors sharpened to a point and keep those separate and only use them for signing. Occasionally I’ll use a lead pencil instead. Find a couple tools that are right for you.

John Hancock 2

John Hancock 3

Add or Detract?

I once had a student come to me for a critique of her work. She brought several very lovely pieces. I thought the work was extremely strong, except for one thing; her signature was terrible! It really detracted from the work. Don’t let this happen to you! Work on your signature. Spend some time with it. Check out how professional artists do it and come up with your own style of making your mark!
With Warmest Regards,

Marla