07 October, 2012

Mindful Thoughts on Seeing Differently

Handedness and the integration of one's art.

Thanks to Dutch artist and blogger, Paula Kuitenbrouwer, for seeing my art as a way to unlock new possibilities.  That is the idea:  give up on reason a bit, and follow the brush. Except in my case, it is the pastel stick.

Her post, Changing from Right Hand Drawing to Left Hand Drawing (or vice versa), is advice for a reader who is suffering a loss of function in her dominant hand.  My immediate reaction to this was how hard it would be for me to switch hands for writing, but that in art making there would be less trouble.  My thought is that art is so much more than technique!  It is ideas & reactions; expressions.

Mindful Drawing.

Image: Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519). Study for the Hands of Saint John, ca. 1491-93. Black chalk on paper. 11.7 x 15.2 cm (4 9/16 x 5 15/16 in.) The Royal Collection © 2011, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. h/t: About.com.


Karin Goeppert and Kenneth Burns said...

Wonderful drawing by Leonardo first of all.
And yes, maybe it is a good idea to try something else. Maybe drawing/painting with your left hand if you're right handed. I feel stuck at the moment with my pastels so I did an oil painting today. It freed me a bit, a new challenge. I agree with Paula Kuitenbrouwer: looking at your art gives ideas for unlocking new possibilities.

www.mindfuldrawing.com said...

Casey, first of all a big thank you for allowing me to upload your work on my blog. Thank you also for our conversation on switching (artistic) hands. Your thoughts are interesting especially when you mention that switch hands for writing would be more difficult that in art making. For me it would be equally difficult because I draw with coloured pencils. For working with oil or acrylics, I would have to go through a demanding time to find a new equilibrium. For working with pastels, I would definitely sign up for a workshop with you.
Grateful greetings for your inspiration,

Celeste Bergin said...

Casey (and Paula), do you know Annie Salness? She had a debilitating stroke and she now paints with her non-dominant hand. The remarkable thing is....she paints as well with her left hand as she did with her right! It floors me! http://anniesalness.blogspot.com/

Casey Klahn said...

Thank you, Karin.

Paula: it is a compliment that you thought of my work for your posts, and I am humbled by that. I have enjoyed your blog for a number of years, now.

Celeste, I remember her name, and just went over there and hit FOLLOW. I also posted your comment at Mindful Drawing, because it is the proof I think we wanted for this idea.

Micros said...


Interesting post.

I have overcome many physical challenges in my life, but one of the most interesting ones was getting ready for a large solo show and having the bones of my right hand (dominant at the time) broken due to an accident. Retraining to use the left hand was challenging but very rewarding. That happened 30+ years ago, and to this day, I use both hands, not favoring one over the other.

We can accomplish momentary impossible situations, IF we let ourselves.


Casey Klahn said...

Micros, I am surprised that this post has now identified two artists who have actually achieved switching hands for their art. Thank you for your input!

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