First, my way to the Arts was convoluted, as it is for many. In a very personal article for my undergraduate college, I wrote about that journey and how training as a biologist and a career in Biochemistry brought me to the Arts. It all began with a final Liberal Arts class I needed during my Senior year. I chose the only Studio Arts class the college offered and carry the joy of it with me to this day.
Second, people often wonder about my name. "Wonder" is, well, a nice way to say butcher.
I use my maiden name, Ferguson, as my "artist name" with good reason. More about that in a sec, but Ferguson is my personal identifier, even if it makes my name too long for picky exhibit coordinators' name tags.
I am not British, so my last name is not Ferguson Butler and it does not work to alphabetize me under "F." Further, it's not hyphenated to be Ferguson-Butler; that's just crazy long for me to use as a surname. Butler by itself is nicely short, although Bonnie F. Butler is the one who receives the bills around here. She's not the artist, so please don't truncate my artist name that way.
I will gladly answer to BF Butler, though, because that's how I sign paintings.
Other than the pride of using my maiden name, my primary reason for using Ferguson is that it separates me from the three other Bonnie Butlers who are artists. Yes, there are at least four of us.
- One Bonnie Butler lives in PA
- One Bonnie Butler specializes in folk art. She is actually Bonnie Bess Watson Butler and lives in Mississippi.
- Another Bonnie Butler, who I do not find online, specializes in watercolors and I saw a still life painting of hers in a friend's home over 20 years ago. My friend asked if the print was mine, because I was a watercolorist at the time.
- Then there's me.
As an aside, there's also the photographer, Bonnie Butler Brown. Don't want to leave her out or try to confuse the picture.
This would probably make Rhett and Scarlet proud.
So now you know.
PS - See my art and photography at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton VA and please "like" the Pastel Society of Virginia on Facebook. I am the Founder, doing so in 2011.