My signature – the one I use on my paintings – is evolving.
That’s a good word: evolving. It indicates change over time. My signature has changed over time but slowly.
Thirty years ago I signed everything with my regular initials, J.F.D., with no stylization or decoration.
Then, 15 years ago, it became style-ish, dropping the curves and converting completely to stiff, straight lines:
Then, about 7 years ago I made a big change. I adopted a Spanish phrase for my signature: Querer Es Poder. It is most often translated as ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’ But it’s much more than that. Querer means to want, to desire, to yearn for, to dream about. Poder means power and also to be able (to do something). I’ll let you noodle around with the various combinations of meaning! The signature itself became a stylized symbol of my own making:
But as I began to get in touch with my genuine self in art, mostly through the transformative process of my work with Theresa Vandenberg Donche, I began to see the Spanish phrase-name and symbol-signature as artificial and pretentious.
For awhile I didn’t sign anything.
I wanted to sign my name . . . but my penmanship is atrocious and unpredictable under the best of circumstances. I couldn’t see spending hours and hours on a canvas only to ruin it with a crappy signature in the bottom right corner.
So, I bought a few oil paint markers and began to practice and practice. I decided it didn’t matter whether anybody could read every letter of my name. What mattered was that they could read most of it and that it was consistent.
Just two weeks ago, I felt comfortable enough to actually sign a few things. The new signature looks like this: