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!

 

 

Art Sale Today!

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Purchase locally created art today!  The art is being offered by members of the Manitowish Art League and can be seen at the Vilas Business Incubator on Highway 51 and Townline Rd in Manitowish Waters.  For more information contact Barbara McFarland at 715-543-2975.