My ancestral grandmothers were creatives during a time when women were not accepted as Artists. One identified herself as a hobbyist and modestly signed her work with small lowercase initials. The other declared herself to be an Artist. Bold, but at the end of the day she signed her work with her last name only or a masculine version of her first name. Her lettering was strong and in all caps, but she did not reveal herself as a woman. It was a practical measure.
I sign my works simply with my first name. It is feminine and unchanging and without flourish. No big statement, just me doing what I enjoy.
I am a proud member of The Women's Caucus for Art www.nationalwca.org , a national organization which works globally to provide professional, educational, and activist support for female artists. The work of the WCA is important and necessary because, though women can now freely identify as artists, many professional paths and recognitions are still considered to be male territory.
Please support women in the arts and the efforts of organizations such as the WCA. Thank you.
The work space of an artist is often filled with curiosities. Too ordinary to be ornamental, these objects serve very practical purposes.
The top photo features items from my studio.
They are used to help steady my hands or hold my pencils. (see inserts) I have rheumatoid arthritis, and as the disease progresses my abilities change. In response, I modify my instruments and processes. RA is the primary driver of the evolution of my work.
I borrowed the taping idea from Renoir, who had one of the first documented cases of RA. He tied the brush to his hand in a similar fashion.
When you visit an artist's studio, go ahead and ask questions! You will gain valuable insight about the artist's problem solving and the uniqueness of his or her process.
It is true that the process of creation begins long before the first mark is made. But, the mark is the commitment. The mark makes it real.
I grew up with artists and I often agonized over how to begin a drawing or painting. "Draw the first shape you see, " I was gently advised.
That first shape you see, it is your focal point. Once it is established your work will build and develop into a finished product that is true to your inspiration.
Make your mark today, and keep going.