Friday, October 10, 2008

Non-Dominant Hand Art

Yesterday Andrea and Suki both shared some non-dominant hand art. For Andrea, that meant she had to use her left hand to draw a sketch while she was on a crowded Paris Metro. For Suki, it meant she had to use her right hand as she had some damage to one of the fingers on her dominant left hand. As I read through their posts, I thought it would be fun to explore work with my non-dominant hand...which happens to be my left hand.

I decided to use large paper to give myself enough room to work with an erratic hand. Suki had talked about feeling the drawing and the shapes by doing it with your eyes closed, so I decided to try that.
This was the first one I did. I found it interesting to note the line at the top was nicely retraced, although my eyes were closed. Also, the notes I made with my dominant right hand.
The second one I did, I thought to try angular shapes. That, however, was soon down the drain as it was not something which felt right to me. This was also with my eyes closed.
This was done with both hands at the same time. I wanted to see if one hand would mimic the other. It was also with my eyes closed and as with the others done in charcoal. The idea of one hand being a mimic of the other didn't really happen.

After doing these, I decided to try one of my doodles. So using a typical pen and colored pencils, I did this:

Even my little note here was done with my left hand. :) I had trouble at first getting the smoothness, this is very child-like and the control of pressure was a challenge. But I have to say...I absolutely loved working this way. Not only was it freeing, but it also was a different kind of focus which I honestly can't explain. I think the closing down of the left side of my brain was fantastic...very much a different kind of meditative process. My imagination is that this would frustrate many people, but I found a great deal of calmness in this task. I will definitely do this regularly.

So, I encourage you to try this as Suki and Andrea encouraged me. Go to their blogs to see the work they have been doing, too. It is fabulous!

Do you have special plans for the weekend? Do you think you might give non-dominant art a try? Are you ambidextrous (can switch use of hands easily)? I am eager to hear from you.


sukipoet said...

Kim, great post. I guess this is catching eh? One of the hardest things to accept, when I did my drawings, is that they were, as you say, childlike. Kinda humbling to me. With the two you wanted to mimic ea other, I felt the did. Not 100%, but look at them carefully. You have that little tail at the bottom of a bunch of circular swirly lines on both of them. I think your left hand showed great control too in the doodle and application of color. I'll have to try that but I always feel "weaker" lines arise from my right hand.

Do you have fun weekend plans?? I hope to spend one day going on the Dublin Art tour again, same one as last yr with some of the same artists and some new. Of course 50 artist participate and I can only go to about 5 and then i need to sleep. But it is fun and the weather is glorious.

Unknown said...

Hi Kim, This is great, I love it when we all interact in a sort, well we always do but here more. The first two drawings: I see a kneeling figure (i can't help myself, I always see something in something) and the lines are so full of energy, they are dynamic! And the one you did with both hands, I just love the little tail on both and here I see portraits. And the third one, it looks so very smooth, I couldn't tell the difference I mean, if you did it with right or left hand...
Tomorrow I'll visit the big exhibition which is going on here at the moment called Picasso and the masters (in three places: le grand Palais, le musée du Quais d'Orsay and the Louvre) We (husband too wow, he bought tickets via Internet as a surprise) go to the Grand Palais at 1.30 pm, I'm very excited about that. Picasso has always been my Idol:)

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Suki,

I can see where you can see some of the mimic of right and left hands. I suppose I have to stand back and take a longer look at these. I always am most interested in the process and the result alludes me. When I was doing that one, I remember feeling one hand stop at one point when the other one continued to move...I can't remember which was which at that point, but I am guessing the left stopped. I suppose that is what made me say that about the mimic not working.

You know, the charcoal might have been a little bit of a false impression with the strength and weakness of the lines. I, also feel my non-dominant hand is a lot weaker and gives a weak line compared to the dominant hand.

I have to say, I really, really, really like the feeling the rest of my body and brain had while doing this. I will do it a lot more. Who knows, maybe I can teach myself to use my left hand in a stronger way.

Mmmm, this weekend. It is supposed to be very beautiful here, as well. I think we might go to the local botanical gardens and maybe I can take some photos there. We also might do a bit of rail painting on our front porch while the weather is nice. At least that is a bit of what we had talked about.

Your plans sound lovely. I hope you will be able to take some least that will not be making art or typing on the computer. You do have to take care of your fingers! How are they feeling today?

Thanks Suki!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Andrea,

I love this concert work, too. It is lovely how we all inspire each other and this has been such a great thing for me to do right now.

So you think my left hand is drawing figures. Maybe I should be doing some of these left handed drawings, in general. I just might even consider dedicating a sketchbook to left hand drawings. It has really been a very meditative experience for me.

As far as the last one...well, I really struggled with using the colored pencils, but I knew I didn't have enough control to not smear wet application. It was a struggle. But maybe if I keep working with the dry mediums I will be able to move to the wet ones. What do you think?

Oh, that sweet husband of yours! How nice was that of him to surprise you with those tickets. I bet the exhibition will be fabulous! I know what you mean about Picasso...and speaking of drawing like a child....well, the man is a master. Isn't he the one who said it was important to learn what the children knew as far as art? I will be anxious to hear what you see and learn. And do have great fun sharing your world with your husband.

Thanks Andrea!

~Babs said...

Hi Kim!
These look so fun,,,I haven't tried the non dominant thing in a long time,,,goes on my 'to do' list,,,which gets longer by the moment.
I see from your previous posts that you've not found a lot of time for art lately either,,,that's my story,,,,but being glue is often a lot more important. I've been Gorilla Glue lately.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Babs!

Yes, being the glue is critical from time to time. I suppose it is all a matter of priorities, but sometimes I just crave that creative time. I have to say, though, that this non-dominant hand thing kind of gives me a real surge. It was great fun and relaxing.

Gorilla Glue Girl! I hear you...I hope all is well, though, and the glue part is just a matter of normal life.

Thanks Babs...I hope you have a great weekend!

marianne said...

Hi kIm,
sure I want to give it a try!
But I have a lot to do this weekend, but maybe otherwise later this week.
Your doodle is very good. I think round shapes are easier. Is that true?
Have a good weekend
Hug >M<

Lynette said...

Kim, I think you did a lot better than I could do using your non dominant hand. I don't think I could draw anything at all with my left hand but I will give it a try this weekend for sure. I actually saw the shape of a lady and her shoulders in that first sketch, pretty neat! Kim, have a great weekend my friend!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Marianne,

You will be very good with this technique, I am sure. I will be eager to see what you come up with.

You know I don't know about the curved lines being easier for everyone. They are more natural for that because my non-dominant hand is my left one or because it is just more natural for me? Suki seems to have angles come naturally...but her non-dominant hand is her right. It is an interesting thing to observe. I will go back and take a look at Andrea who is able to get some nice curves with her non-dominant left hand...but are the angles there, too? Very interesting!

Thanks Marianne!

Andrea and Kim said...

Lynette, I think you will be surprised about what you might get that left hand to do! I do a lot of things with my left hand, but rarely for anyone but me to see or use.

That is cool you can see these images in these sketches. I love that!

Now I am eager to see what you come up with Lynette!

You have a great weekend, as well, Lynette! Is is a beauty!


marianne said...

Hi Kim,
This morning I made my drawing, it was a fun experiment! The result is on my blog.
My kids have autumn holiday, so we have a busy schedule here. Today we visited grandma in Rotterdam and tomorrow we will drive to Friesland (4 hours) to visit friends and spend the night there.
We will leave the house completely upside down as we are having problems with the electricity, we can't use the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher.......All the appliances are drawn from the walls. Tomorrow before we leave I hope an electrician can come.
Hope you have had a nice weekend Kim!

Andrea and Kim said...

Marianne, I am on my way to your blog to see what you have done with this experiment.

Oh, it is always busy when the children are off from school, isn't it? It sounds as though they will have a great time with the visiting and that it has come at the right time with your house upside down!

I do hope you can get the electrician in there to get the repairs done. Doing without those things you are used to having is very difficult in this modern world. Ohh, and things like washing machine and dishwasher...that is tough and extra tough when you have children. What a time for you, Marianne!

Thanks So Much! And I wish for you to have an electrician very soon at your house!

San said...

That is a VERY interesting practice, Kim. And the feeling of freedom you describe makes me want to try it too.

Several years ago I read a book which encouraged writing with the non-dominant hand. It was supposed to free up thoughts, which otherwise might be "censored." And I have also tried spending time with one eye patched, then patching the other one. This makes me very aware of two different ways of looking at the world.

Andrea and Kim said...

San, it is amazing freedom of the brain...or maybe I just need to free my brain these days! :)

You know often, if I am tired of writing with my right hand, I will switch to my left hand. As you can see, it is not pretty at all, but I can read it and that is what matters. But as I worked a long time on the colored piece...basically doing the child like act of coloring...I felt so much calm and peace come over me. I actually have been doing a little bit of scribbling each day.

I love the idea of the patched must have been difficult to see things so flatly, though. Did you find you lost that depth perception we rely on?

Thanks San!