A Subtle Signature

After I complete a painting and before I varnish it, I take time to think about where and how to add my signature. Visible enough, but not too much.

My signature on the front says the painting is complete and ready for public viewing. In some earlier works, my signature was more pronounced and sweeping. While I still sign my art as "CColdren" with a slight flourish, I now opt for an inconspicuous mark using a light-colored pen or colored pencil that is subtly discernible and unobtrusive. I don't want my signature to be so obvious that it distracts the viewer from connecting with the art, or disrupts the composition and diminishes its impact.

But there is a place for a bold autograph and that's on the reserve side. The back of each of my painting gets a consistent signature treatment — "Cynthia Coldren," the month/year, and the title. I do this in black marker to enable identification and authentication of the art in the future.

So whether my painting stays in the family, is gifted or sold, the details go with it to tell the complete story.