Saturday, July 09, 2011

Left Handed Art Making-

Last week Jane Davies at the Sketchbook Challenge site
interviewed Lynne Hoppe and I was immediately intrigued by her art work. She draws and paints using only her non-dominant hand. Every drawing book I've ever read has encouraged this and I've done it, but never with the idea that I should always make art that way. It just seemed like an exercise to loosen up and get the left brain activity confounded, forcing more intuitive, right brain stuff.

When I saw her work however, I knew I had to try it. It has that naive quality that I lust after. In fact, I haven't been doing much art work lately because mine seems so terribly serious. I don't want it to be serious. What I want is playful, loose, childlike and far from realism. I struggle with it and am always having conversations with my inner critic.  So far, it has been winning and I haven't been drawing.

Until Tuesday. I came home for lunch and started to draw with only my left hand. Then I added oil pastel, some watercolor and you know what? I was having fun! All left handed!
Got the whole thing done in 20 minutes and drove back to work feeling pretty happy, indeed.

Meet Gertrude - her name means "warrior maiden" - I looked it up later in the day.

Wednesday, lunch time, somewhat fearfully, I did it again!  This time I was having a war with my critic, but I stopped listening and in 15 minutes, I met Holly. It means, "Holy".  Thanks for your support, little one, you do bring blessings of hope for this struggling artist.

Thursday. A difficult day at work. And it shows here. Plus, I was getting all bent out of shape because I couldn't get my whites to be as opaque as I wanted. I gessoed this page, so the printed ink didn't smear, but the oil pastel didn't want to smear much either.
What to do? What to do? Wait a minute, we live in the age of e-mail and kind hearted artists. Maybe Lynne Hoppe would help me. So, I did it. I e-mailed Ms Hoppe and hoped for the best.

Meanwhile, I met Gretchen.  It seems those lips sure are speaking out.  Her name means, "child of light."

And here we are on Friday after help has arrived. Lynne Hoppe answered my e-mail and my pile of questions and I am so grateful!  She advised preparing the page with matt medium for a nice surface.  It worked! Those oil pastels GLIDE on right over the printed surface and that old book page held together beautifully.   Additionally, she wrote all kinds of stuff about her technique - the use of gouache right on top of oil pastel and how she gets from start to finish. Really, really helpful and generous. I feel so much better now. This little face is mostly oil pastels with white gouache in the hair, but I will be braver as time and practice go on.
This is Trixie. This name comes from the Latin, Beatrice, which means, "one who brings happiness and blessing."
Wow. Ain't that the truth.
Thank you again Lynne - from the Welsh, "waterfall or lake". Your blessings are, indeed, flowing over me.


Martha Lever said... you drew these with your non dominant hand?? Did I read that right? W)OW. I am impressed even if it is your dominant hand! I love them and I love that you named them too. I think I like Trixie the best even though it would be hard to choose a fav!

d nova said...

way to go! GOOD work!

u'r doing what this book is about:

drawing on the right side of the brain

HollyM said...

hat's interesting about drawing not just for practice with the non dominant hand. I've gone through lots of the inner critic stuff too which is the reason I stopped doing watercolors a number of years ago and switched to fiber. It doesn't have to be perfectly realistic so I could let go.
That's probably how the non dominant hand thing works too. Because you don't expect it to be perfect it is easier to tame the critic.