You may have noticed that I'm known by many names. It's time to pick one and stick with it. My wake up call was seeing myself listed as "Patty Scarborough" on the Leopold Gallery website.
Up to this point I've been going by P. Scarborough or Patricia Scarborough.
On two occasions recently, however, dear ones have quietly and respectfully asked, “Do you really go by Patricia?”
The truth is, no. Or at least that name is used seriously only when I’m in big trouble, and then it’s pronounced Puh-tri-SHUH!
Obviously my parents needed a name to separate me from my siblings. According to the dictionary, Patricia means I’m the queenly, noble one in the family. (Which will start my siblings snorting with laughter.) When I see photos of myself as a child all spindly legs, doorknob knees and Einstein hair, noble is not a word that comes to mind.
That's me in the middle, looking all Patricia-y.
Years ago, casting about for an art identity that would use my name and sound professional it seemed natural to go by my official, Mom-yelling name. Therefore the name on the studio door, the website and business card is Patricia Scarborough. The trouble started early on. Nineteen letters scrawled across the bottom of a painting can create a problems, like starting in the left bottom corner and getting to the right bottom edge with three letters yet to go. (There’s also the whole problem of patrons not investing in women artists. Hopefully we’re over that.)
Thus was born P Scarborough, which is already plenty to unwind with a paintbrush.
Yet, introductions need to be made, letters signed and phones answered, real conversations need to happen, and that requires more than an initial. (Honestly, years ago a fellow called to visit with me about a painting he was interested in. "Hellow", he started. "Is, uh, Pee in?")
Back to the top. To my friends, family, grocery store clerks, students and patrons, to anyone who wants to say hellow and share a joke or the weather report, I am known as Patty. Not Trish, nor Patsy, no cute i on the end, or a fancier ie. Good old Midwestern y.
It may not be aristocratic, but it’s me. And thanks to Leopold Gallery. If Patty is good enough for them, it's fine by me.
I've been sharing the odds and ends of my art life for the last 8 years.