I think it just must be good to mess with your brain sometimes.
I’m actually a big fan of ruts. I like the comfort of knowing what comes next. I enjoy pattern and repetition. I like the “aaaahhhh” of sinking into a favorite chair, in the way I usually do, with the kind of book I generally read, having no intention at all of shaking up the pattern.
But, when it comes to drawing, I am learning the pleasure of switching things up. This summer I participated in a daily exchange of drawing challenges with a couple of artist friends. We drew simple still life forms mostly. So I used the exercise to switch hands when sketching. I’m right handed, but I find I just enjoy drawing left-handed. It’s, well, different.
My left-handed gestures are a lot more free.
My left-handed rhythm is a lot more expressive.
I work much faster left handed.
When I’m sketching to plan a work, plotting and problem-solving and considering options, that’s right-hand work. (In a don’t walk and chew bubble gum at the same time kind of way, if I’m problem solving composition issues by sketching, I feel like I’ve given my brain plenty to do.)
But when it’s time to FEEL the content of a drawing, that’s when I like to mix in the left handed work.It’s less like walking and more like dancing. And, for some reason, when I draw left-handed I involve my whole body more in the process.
In the image shown, the black and white sketch of the fork and plate was part of the sketch-sharing challenge. Each stroke felt like “swoosh.” Adding the background shapes and lines came very naturally drawing left handed. In the image shown of a recent textile composition, I wanted to be as involved as possible in the emotion of the girl in the work. Turning off the control of my dominant drawing hand allowed me to take a step further inside.
Our brains are wonderful and complex. It’s fun to find ways to tap into patterns that work a bit differently.