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