Though this was only a short-term inconvenience for me, I developed a lot of respect for artists who deal with disabilities in their everyday lives. Not only was I forced to use a hand with less muscle control, I also found that I had to stand and hold brushes differently just to see the canvas. Thank goodness for a good tube squeezer, or I don’t think I’d ever have been able to get paint out!
My first piece was a simple arrangement of lemons and limes. Color and value became the most important aspects of this work as I taught myself a new way to paint.
Next, thanks to encouragement from artist Ruth Ann Sturgill, I tried a palette knife painting with my left hand, and the results were pretty juicy. I also managed a few plein air pieces, one with fellow OPAS members on a very cold but sunny December day. Since color and value became my focus, I then tried a large 40 x 30″ technique mixte still life, using multiple layers of glaze to create shape and form.
I am happy to report that my cast is off! Although I continue with physical therapy exercises to regain some flexibility and strength, I am now back to painting with my right hand, even if slightly slower and still a little painfully. Yea!!!
It’ll be interesting to see how the looseness of left-handed painting continues to impact my painting style as my right hand regains it’s strength.