Friday, November 1, 2013

Same Great Paintings with a Different Signature

Well, my adolescent desire to be different has caught up to me and it has created a pall of dis-ease.

In what I always thought of as a creative attempt to shrug off being just another Sue in a sea of Sues, Susies, and Susans, years and years ago I started spelling my name as “Sioux”. I’ve signed my paintings that way for years.

People would ask if I were Native American, and I would tell them the closest I have come to being Native American was when I was accused of running around “like a wild Indian” as a child.

I settled on Sioux, because although it sounded the same, it seemed so exotic and the letters were so much prettier—an X in my name! (I’ve loved typography since way back when.)

But, over time, as I experience more of the world outside of  Looney-fornia, particularly the time we’ve spent of late in the Southwest, I’ve become more aware of and sensitive to Native American concerns. I do not want to offend the people who will someday be my neighbors by appearing I am something that I am not. I was, and still am, a simple Irish girl with a burning desire to stand out from the crowd in some way.

In hindsight, maybe Grand Prix would have been a better choice—showier and less offensive. Though over the years I’ve grown more comfortable with the me that is me; Susan isn’t so bad after all, I guess.

So, henceforth, you’ll see a different scribble on my paintings. Long after I’m gone and my artwork is a ubiquitous fixture in thrift stores, another generation of collectors can wonder if Sioux and whatever-I-settle-on are one and the same.

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