Wednesday, January 16, 2013
you'll find your new door, down the hall and to the left
First off, I have no intention of making this a "this injury has become a blessing in disguise" post. I was doing just find before this. But, much like the lack of posts over the last few days, there's only so much bitching I'll allow myself to do. So, yes I'm frustrated and get depressed a bit, but it was time to buck up and use this, somehow. Lemonade out of lemons and all of that. Mostly it was going to allow myself to be curious.
When I was a kid I couldn't kick a football right (no pun intended). My father told me to try with my left foot. So I did and was quite successful ("quite" might be exaggerating. I was never a sports guy. I was more competent than "quite successful"). I also felt I had more control and strength in my left arm than I should have had, but my family is all right handed so I learned to write with my right. All of this meaning, I believe there was a possibility I was supposed to be left handed. This surgery allowed me to see if I could wake up that possibility and maybe it has.
Someone asked me if this was like learning to draw all over again. That's too broad, I think. Learning to draw means you lack the experience and knowledge and are slowly acquiring them. This is more like learning to use a new tool. I remember the first time I held a quill in my hand. It didn't make sense but over time it became an extension of myself. That's what this is like, my mind knows what to do, but the tool is so awkward that the execution of drawing/painting is more challenging. Like thinking you want to start drawing with your shoe. I'm sure it can be done, but at first, you don;t know how to hold it, the movements seem uncontrollable, it's unstable, nothing will be comfortable about it.
What I've learned is that I really like the pencil stage of the drawings with my left (the first drawings of my father and the apes were not penciled at first. They were straight to ink drawings). There is an awkwardness and movement and exaggeration in the left handed drawing that I could not seem to let go and get to with my dominant hand. And that had excited me immensely. Much like continuing to learn Italian after getting back from Italy, I have every intention of using my left hand, long after the recovery is complete.
This experience has allowed me to access more of myself in my work.
I will continue to lay out my drawings with my left and stay true to them in the finishes with my right. The idea that not only will I use both hands in my work from now on, but I'm more excited because both hands offer different advantages. Tightly technical execution, and more fluid, moving forms.
A new option in my work has presented itself and I'll use it as the next chapter.
I'm excited to get this damn sling off my arm. But I'm more excited that I feel like this has allowed me to feel even more in control of my world. I'm less dependent on outside validation. Not checking myself or looking for answers through the hundreds of artists I know or that reside in my sizable library.
In 2 and a half weeks, when I get out of this sling, I'll come out with my own voice, screaming. This has been years coming and finally I believe I have the tools to not pull back anymore.
This was a blessing in disguise.