Do you date your paintings?

David's Kitchen Paintings - with dates!

Last week a got an email from a local frame shop. A buyer had dropped off 6 of my daily paintings of fruits and vegetables for framing and asked if I'd put dates on the paintings near my signature.

Of course! So I matched paint and put dates on 4 of them. 2 needed new varnish (lint!) so I scrubbed off the retouch varnish and then put dates on. One had a couple of funny yellow spots on the white background that weren't in the varnish layer so I painted over those and hope they don't return. I'll put a thin layer of Gamvar on all of them since they are finally, mostly, nearly done drying.

I'd recently had a conversation with the collector about dates because he owns a lot of amazing art and really enjoys seeing the dates on the paintings. It helps place them in context: of the time, of the artist's career and of the buyers life.

He had a point. A very good point. In museums I notice if a painting is dated and I use that date to track the development and see the evolution of style. Since our conversation I've been painting my signature - L McShane - AND the year.

But I'm curious: do you put dates on the front of your paintings?


Deborah Paris said…
Many galleries prefer that you don't date them on the front. It makes the work look "stale" if it has last year's date, they say. I don't date them on the front but I do put my inventory number on the back which includes the year and month the work was created.
Lisa McShane said…
That's good to know and makes a lot of sense.
kitkatbear said…
You know Lisa-I think dates are very important on the front of a painting because a good painting is like a fine wine ! It just gets better has time goes by. You remember certain things in that time in your life :)