The Many Faces of My Art

img_20151019_003205I recently recovered from a year-long injury that greatly impacted my art.  I had a ligament tear in my dominant hand’s thumb.  Anyone who has dealt with a thumb injury knows full well why humans (and other opposable thumb bearing animals)really appreciate the thumb and all of its capabilities.

As a result of this injury, I started creating with my non-dominant left hand.  I was not fully on board with this until my sweetheart pushed my “challenged, I’ll show you” button.  Thank goodness he did this for me!

I started using a watercolor cake set because of its portability – I was determined to do one painting a day.  This “forced” creating method benefitted me in many ways.  I, through little control of my own, was able to create more abstractly, my painting really loosened up, I learned much more about watercolor so I didn’t dislike the media anymore, and I learned forgiveness for my art.  During the year-long process I had a sudden revelation.  I did not judge the results of each day’s exercise as harshly as I would have if I had done the same work with my “right” hand.

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Sunrise in the Heartland – acrylic, intuitive painting process

Also, my sister-in-law and fellow artist Kathleen Kvern introduced me to intuitive painting processes.  I could paint with my hands and I finally got the cool and warm color concept down pat.That concept may be a given to you but I had very little learning of color theory.

 

 

 

The long term impact has been a greater appreciation for my health and well-being and my ability to create, I have learned to listen to warning signs and take care in a more conscious manner and I am glad to have had the experience.  Many shared similar stories with me – for one reason or another someone’s creative processes either had to change or the artist made the choice.  So many valuable lessons were shared with me.

 

I also now have felt the sayings, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.  Prior to the injury I was growing in several creative directions at once, moving away from my master artist role of natural materials basketry and all things wild – birch bark, porcupine quills, roots and more.  The injury made it very difficult to anything that required to hands so I was very grateful for my awkward left handed brush grip.  During the last 2 months, I was getting stagnant in my painting – my mind wasn’t flooded with its usual creative ideas.  I started working with  natural materials again, and once I did,  the creative flow became a flood.

Birch bark work, porcupine quill embroidery, pastel drawings, mono-printing, weaving, acrylic paintings, spray-paint paintings and more make up the body of my work.

I guess I’ll never be a “watercolor artist”, an “oil painter”, a “potter” or any of the other many creative venues.  I am proud to say that I am creative though.  No boxes for me means that the creative world is wide open to me!  Experiment, try, try again and you will find your  niche!

 

 

Overcoming

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After a busy September, I have found myself challenged to create on a daily basis.  September art included a solo show of my work, four entries for “All Things Birds” and three entries for “The Gathering”.  I was fired up by the challenge to get everything done. 

Then I kept waiting for my dominant hand to heal from a torn thumb ligament.  My mood darkened as the daylight did.

This all changed when my sister-in-law was telling me how her art was changing by doing a daily art – even if it was just prepping surfaces.  I had this a-ha moment and suddenly I was no longer overwhelmed and frustrated.  I had this great journal that my honey had bought for me that was waiting to be filled.  I decided that I would just work with my left hand and the images that I would create would be ” good enough”.  Much to my surprise, I noticed that some things got better, some were easier and I was really  enjoying the challenge.

The slowed process of using my non-dominant hand is giving me time to “look” more than I would otherwise.  Today I am grateful for revelations!