Monday, 10 March 2014

The Hands Say All

I am fascinated by hands. My own and those belonging to other people.  I always notice hands and I find male hands, or at least some of them, very sexy.  I talk with my hands, waving them about and gesticulating.  There is that old joke about people like me, that if you tied their hands down they couldn't speak.  My ex used to point out that on days I was unwell and had barely enough energy to move, anytime I talked my hands twitched at my sides, trying but failing to make their usual enthusiastic gestures.  I was getting ready to go out today and found myself contemplating something, I don't recall what it was but what I noticed was that I was holding my hands in a praying position.  I do not pray.  I do not follow any religion or hold any religious beliefs, but I apparently have an inclination to put my hands into a praying posture while thinking.  I have modeled it here for you, photo taken quickly just before I went out.  The cat helped out by giving me something to pray to.

Plans change, as do outfits,  and mine for today changed slightly.  I went out with my mum, made a quick detour to buy some much coveted art supplies and then we went to my favourite cafe to enjoy a coffee and a treat, mine being a  gluten free brownie. Thus fueled, I proceeded to chat poor mum's ears off.  While we were there and I was being verbally fascinating, I noticed that mum and I were sitting with our hands in exactly the same position.  We had our elbows on the table ( which is okay because we were finished eating and drinking and I checked with Miss Manners and she says this is fine ) and hands clasped in a saying grace sort of posture.  My second prayer of the day.

The putting together of hands seems to span cultures, both eastern and western and be part of many religious or cultural traditions.  Some interesting thoughts on the subject can be found here

It seems to be a natural gesture, and in my case I think it accompanies sincerity and focus, and although I personally have no religious background to have taught me this, I would guess that it may be a universal instinct among humans and thus have become an appropriate gesture for prayer and also for respectful greeting as it is in some eastern cultures.

I also love using my hands in my art.  Even when I am painting and brushes are available my hands get in there and I fingerpaint, smudge or use drawing instruments and media such as smudging tools, pastels and charcoal along with the paint.  I often unintentionally use my sleeve but perhaps that is a whole other post. The supplies I was so keen to purchase today are  water colour crayons which I love using in my journals.  I draw with them, sometimes in a very scribbly sort of way and sometimes more carefully.  Then I go over them with a wet paint brush or even a wet finger to soften and blend, because when wetted they become a lovely and heavily pigmented water colour paint.

This is a journal page in progress.  Yes, that is my signature circley-flowery thing. When it dries I will use chalk pastels and my fingers to add another layer of colour and texture to it.  My fingers are twitching in anticipation already!

And sometimes I do scribbly portraits, using charcoal, water colour crayons and/or pastels and my fingers.  These are messy and inaccurate and have loads of errors caused by accidentally smudging my hand over an area I didn't intend to and I love that.  I only do self portraits because it would be cruel to make anyone else this ugly.
I work fast and messy and then set it aside.  Tomorrow I will look at it and something will be glaringly wrong to me or I will suddenly see what else it needs and I will dab and rub and blob some more.  I might improve it and I might make it worse. This poor lady has blue splashes on her face.  How much worse can it get?

Now, I'm off to wash the charcoal and paint off my hands.  And my keyboard.

12 comments:

  1. i like the way you work...it's very similar to me. some days it's better, some it's worse!

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    1. Art journals are a good place to learn to accept mistakes. When I first started I would tear a page out if I hated it. Now I leave it because there is always something to learn from it, even if the lesson is just accepting your journey. :-)

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  2. Ha, I am another mad gesticulator, words just aren't enough! My mum always said she could tell if I was tired or downhearted or ill because my hands would stop moving. Funny, isn't it, how integral our gestures are to our communication? I bet you gesticulate when you talk on the phone too - I do!
    Good to catch a glimpse of your beautiful tabby, and it's always a joy to see your art. I am fascinated by the processes by which artists create, I wouldn't know where to start or what to do. And I like your self-portrait/lady with her blue splashes and quizzical expression! xxx

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    1. You are so sweet; I love it when you visit me. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! Yesterday, when mum and I went to the cafe there were Spanish lessons going on, with individuals at tables with their Spanish tutors. Mum walked past and the gentleman teaching was waving his arms about like mad and nearly whacked her. He was profusely apologetic. I was once whacked by a woman waving her arms while talking and she was so embarrassed. I said, 'Don't worry, it could just as easily have been something I did to you.'

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  3. I talk with my hands too, but I have never really taken the time to notice them in their resting position! This is really cool!

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    1. Hi Sara. My hands are very rarely resting. Perhaps that is why what they do when resting is so striking to me. Thanks for visiting!

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  4. sometimes the china or glasses on the table get thrown around when i´m talking -
    embarrassing if not my own - but what can one do if there is so much to say....
    when i was at art school and we had drawing sessions, always i came out with charcoal and graphite from head to toe. when i do something i dive into it - literally.
    please show more of your artwork!

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    1. Throwing china and glasses! Wow you must get very enthusiastic! Do you throw knives too? I happen to think charcoal makes a very nice accessory. It goes with everything. Thank you for your support about my artwork. I will show more sometimes, and perhaps eventually share some of my writing too. Other than what I write on the blog, I mean. I would like to see your art work too. You are trained, as I am not so I'm sure you have some lovely work.

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    2. haha - knives!
      i neglected the art work on paper for the textiles. drawing is only a tool for me to catch the ideas. a little of my work you can see here: http://www.beate-richter-mode.de/kollektion0501.php?foto=1
      yes - i used to make a living of. but in 2010 i canceled the label, there were no market anymore. now i sew only for me, occasionally for some woman who appreciate my work. thats life.

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    3. I am mad about textiles. I have them scattered all over my home in the form of shawls and scarves and have been known to buy table linens and bed linens I will never use. When I am shopping for clothes it is the colour and pattern that catches my eye and makes me reach for something or pass it by. I am not much of a sewer though I do have a collection of fabric from bargain bins and thrift shops which I could not pass up. I have the ability to sew simple things but I don't really like sewing. I wish I lived in a time when it was normal to select your own fabric and have a tailor make your clothes for you. I'm sorry you had to cancel your label. I hope you have other artistic outlets.

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  5. Woops. THIS is your Visible Monday post. Excellent and casual chic outfit. Perfect for your day. And we all love your hands, too. So nice to read a thoughtful and interesting post. There are lots of artistic ones around the VM environs, so you should feel right at home. And cat bombs. We all love cat bombs. Thanks for the link as well ...

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  6. Thanks for visiting Jan. I have been lurking around Patti's blog for awhile and then after I started my own I challenged myself to link up to Visible Monday. I have certainly noticed artistic people and cat lovers abound. I guess the dog people are too busy walking the dog to be writing blogs.

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I love visitors and I love comments. I will try my best to respond to everyone! Thanks for stopping by.