Started a new series of drawings from shots my friend and I took from a visit to the LA zoo of apes and Gorillas. Something about them makes me more comfortable working out the left hand. Starting to do limited exercises with my right arm. It was shocking to see how stiff and weak it is right now. And still hurts 70% of the day. I tend to have less patience with people and have shorter interactions because of the constant irritation.
Starting to read more, again, and that helps.
Introducing Rudy Ray Moore movies to my wife, at night, has become a great way to end the days.
Put your weight on it.
She took me out to lunch after getting my stitches out. My wife that is. She pulled out her journal and said, "draw me something!" Since I started drawing apes, thats what I did. I did a few silly ones. I'll include those over the next few posts, as well.
Once I came home from surgery I had 48 hours without a shower. Then I could take a large bandage off and wrap my shoulder in plastic and shower without getting my shoulder wet.....My wife is a saint. Two days ago, I got my stitches out. Now I can shoulder without getting wrapped in plastic. I got to go out of the house for lunch for the first time in over a week. the air was nice, though the car movement made my arm ache.
I'm now taking percaset (sp?) for the pain. It hurts less constantly now. Last night our little shit head dog, Matilda, jumped up and barked at nothing outside. But she did so, right beside me as I was laid up on the couch with my ice pack machine on my shoulder. the suddenness and loudness of it scared me and made my body jerk. I've never encountered so much pain, so fast and so thoroughly. My entire body arched with searing pain and I could only see red and white. Apparently I cured the dog quite a bit but all I could think to do was get out of the situation. Out from the eyes of my wife. I got up and hustled into the bedroom, alone. Hustle. Not run. Running isn't available to me right now. Hardly anything is, it seems. I write 95% of these blogs on my dictation app on my phone and then email them to myself so I can paste them here.
I lay there on the bed saying "please don't let this fuck up my arm" over and over and over and over, with my teeth clinched and tears forced down. After around 5-10 minutes (or an hour in my time) the pain subsided and I could rejoin my wife in the den. Two pills later, I sat with a hot tea and ice pack and we watched the Avengers together.
Throughout the day I worked a little here and there on, again, larger paper. this time, the 11x17 water color pad by Moleskine. More room. More I can move my arm instead of just my left hand. So, over the course of the day, coming back and forth, I worked up this portrait of my father.
I'm working on a few more pieces this size now.
I miss the consistency and reliability of my right hand so much. But the left does one thing, it takes the availability of "style" away. No way can I stop and think of "how do I want to portray this?" It's now "just get it down". This experience is already teaching me things.
These next drawings were done later the same day realizing that I needed to start working on slightly larger sketchbook. This one being roughly 8 x 11 because I didn't have another hand to hold on to the sketchbook to stabilize it so I started working a little larger. These were done with a ball point pen and then later, the larger drawings, using my brush pen and white out pen. The experiment with the brush pen I thought was a fairly successful first attempt with the left hand realizing, right off the bat, that it would be a little easier to basically paint with my left hand as opposed to draw. Painting, for me, has always been much easier than drawing but as you'll see in the later posts it all starts coming along.
These first two drawings were done with a pilot parallel pan with my left hand on the midsize small watercolor moleskin sketchbook these were purely just to start testing the motor skills of my left hand..... I have little. the feeling is so awkward. It's as if I suffer from a nerve disorder. It's sometimes almost numb and sometimes makes jerking motions I didn't intend. It's like being forced to speak only in a foreign language.
If ever there was a Better excuse to get me to blog on a regular basis this would be it. Long story short, in June of 2012 I tore my rotator cuff due to a bone spur which is part of your bone that just decides to grow a spur of itself on its own and that spur starts tearing into your tendon. I painted the majority of my last exhibition in Los Angeles with this tear which I would later be told was a torn rotator cuff. After painting the rest of that show in extreme pain I then finally set up the date for the surgery to fix my shoulder. The surgery was on December 18, 2012 where they repaired the bone spur by shaving down the bone in my right shoulder and also repairing a significant tear in my rotator cuff and tendon. The main rub to all this is that the recovery time puts me at being in a tight sling for the next six weeks. I rarely go a single day without drawing on some level. So being told that I would not be able to use my right arm or my right hand for anything for the next six weeks was a rather frustrating development. So just as an experiment I decided to start trying to draw with my left hand. After completing a number of doodles and frustrated sketches I decided to share these in my blog. So for the next five weeks please check back here for updates. The next few weeks will be nothing but drawings with my left hand and me describing how the recovery is going. I also want to say that I would never presume that this is an immense hurdle to overcome. There are people that have had severe injuries that have done amazing miraculous things with body parts that were not meant to do what they are now capable of. This is purely my thoughts and feelings and left-handed experiments during my own personal pain in the ass of an arm, as it were. These first few blog entries are from the first week of recovery then they will catch up to present time daily updates. So this first blog has photos of the actual repair over my shoulder and the sling that I'm in.