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See Part I of this topic for background to this post.

Signature. This step always strikes fear into my heart. Why? Ellen is a psychotherapist, so I have plenty of opportunity to talk about the pathological implications of my signature angst without having to dish out a copay. It feels so permanent. And so personal. So, before dropping anchor, so to speak, I decided to experiment.

Options were: sign the original; sign each print; sign on the painting; sign below the painting (which would leave a white border inside the mat); sign with full name or just initials; etc., etc., ad nauseum. I signed a blank piece of paper with several different signatures, scanned the page, and then brought the image into PowerPoint, set the background color (white) to transparent, and cropped each signature. Then I went crazy and tried out different signatures and different placements.

Here’s a “where’s the signature?” gallery. Click on the the first picture to enter the gallery and see if you can find the signature on each picture (I experimented with placements for three different versions of my signature: dpr, D. Ronka, and David Ronka).

After getting Ellen’s feedback I opted for initials right next to the crosswalk. Initials seem less obtrusive on a small painting than a full signature, and it also seemed to match the energy of the painting. The placement of the signature is also visible when I crop the painting into different views (Part III of this topic will be on cropping). Whew! I’m still not comfortable signing a painting.

Here’s the final version:

I’d love to hear your opinion:


Does anyone else have signature angst? How did you overcome it? Do you use different signatures for different kinds of paintings? Do tell!

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