I’ve had people ask me over the years why I sign my art L. Gruger when my name is Lindy Hanson. And also, how I became Lindy when my name growing up was Linda. Well, here’s the story.
I was born Linda G. Gruger. Over the years I would sign my artwork either L.G.G., Linda Gruger or L. Gruger.
When I was young, my Mother said that she gave me a middle name with the letter G. just in case I wanted to use my last name as my middle name when I got married because that’s what she did. She often would sign her name using the letter from her maiden name as her middle initial.
Also, while I was growing up, my Mom told me about how she always wanted to call me Lindy because that was her nickname as a kid. It was a nickname using part of her last name. She was the youngest in her family so she was called “Little Lindy”.
But she never did call me Lindy. I always liked the name though and secretly wished someone would call me that. I thought it a lyrical name. It sounded nice rolling off my tongue. Plus, my sister was Sherri and my brother was Larry so it would make sense that I would be Lindy. But no one ever called me that. It college my roommates called me Lin or Linnie, but not Lindy.
When I was in my 30’s I started signing my art L. Gruger and stuck with that as my signature for my paintings.
Then I met Peter Hanson in 2002. His sister was named Linda Hanson.
Peter didn’t really like calling me “Linda” because of his sister being named that and he wanted to find a good nickname for me. Soon after we met, he heard the story about my mom always meaning to call me Lindy. He decided that was the perfect name for me and started calling me that. I, having always wanted the name Lindy, loved it! So Lindy I became.
When we moved to Bend after we were married in 2003, I decided it was the perfect time to start going by Lindy Hanson. New married life, new town, new job, new friends….new name.
But since I had always signed my artwork L. Gruger. I thought for my art, I should continue to use my L. Gruger name . So with my art I became Lindy Gruger Hanson and continued the L. Gruger signature.
I didn’t think it would be fair to my collectors if I started signed my work L. Hanson since I had been showing and selling my work for so long. I think this situation happens a lot to women who marry later in life and have already established a career. Do you change your name or not?
I also want to mention that Peter passed away in 2005 from colon cancer. It was very important to me after he was gone to continue to be called Lindy. It would have been easy to slip back to being called Linda as there were still family and friends in Seattle and New York who wanted to call me that. But I insisted everyone continue to call me Lindy! For one, I had become the name, it was mine and I loved it and also, it was a way to honor the memory of Peter. I’ll have more about all this in my One Artist’s Journey, Part 5 blog post on Feb. 18th.