Hands, Alex

It’s hard to imagine living without my hands.  When I’m trying to explain something, sometimes I can’t make it clear to others unless I draw a picture of it.  I feel nothing but satisfaction from weeding my garden, folding warm laundry, playing a piano, braiding hair, knitting socks…even washing dishes and untangling knots..seriously, these things bring me to a place where I feel useful and practical. They bring me a certain clarity.  I can’t imagine that these activities are not connected to how I use my hands in art and design.   They may not necessarily trigger specific inspiration to me that I’m aware of, but I like to think they serve as a primer if I’m not ready to launch into something fully. Or that by the act of engaging in them, I’m letting my mind not be forced into thinking about something.

A lot of my work involves tasks of a repetitive nature using my hands- like outlining, filling in areas with paint, weaving..I can definitely say that these tasks help me with evolving ideas for projects.  That repetitive familiarity gets me focused and thinking in a way that can’t just be called upon when sitting still pondering.

When I was reading the ‘Forensic Wrenching’ chapter, I thought of an experience I had in a drawing class while in high school.  We were doing a class that that focused on foreshortening.  Once my teacher pointed out to me to draw the view I had like it was a landscape, my drawings immediately changed. This approach removed me from what I thought the objects were “supposed to” look like. I thought of this immediately after reading the part about drawing the skeleton.  This advice from my teacher helped me to make sense of how to look at and how to make.

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