Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Left-Right, Left-Right

Yesterday, I made a discovery about my own 'creativity'. Having struggled to express myself visually - and in my current determination to think visually before words, I unconsciously picked up a watercolour pen and began sketching these play-birds. Nothing unusual in that, except that without thinking, I picked up the pen in my LEFT hand, though I am actually right-handed. I quite liked the quirky creatures, could write about them, was unconcerned that they were not 'proper' sketches. Did it matter? Not at all, for actually, as I played, it felt as if my brain was being washed out, made new. That the tired old cells that had been struggling all day to complete a written thesis was behind me. I did not need to think, or plan. (I plan even when producing a visual page. It's not that I can't be spontaneous, it's just that pre-planning is part of what I always do.)

So upstairs at my 'writing' desk, I picked up water-colour crayons, again with my 'other' hand, then sprayed the images with water and left them overnight to dry. Tonight, I wanted to make notes. "I'll write left-handed," I decided. "Why not? Both hands are used when I'm TYPING; I don't give a thought to which is which."

Again, tonight, that sense of release. This is no laughing matter - though the images may be laughable. This is something I want to explore - somewhere I have a book on left-brain/right-brain creativity, but I am more interested in this sudden freedom from tiredness. I guess it probably has more to do with me thinking "this does not have to be perfect". I loved trying to control the pen and making the notes in joined-up writing. What I'd like to know, is whether anyone else finds an escape in using their non-dominant hand. Curiously, I was not frustrated in not being able to scribble instant notes. And why did I unconsciously pick up the paint-stick in the way I did? At least I have some 'journal-fodder' to paste in my 'junk-journaling' folder!


  1. I love the simple joy inherent in the bird sketches. Interesting what our hands can do when our mind is "not" in charge. Lovely.

  2. i love the concept behind the left hand idea - you know, i had to do a task when i was in art college last year; it was in a life drawing class and i had to use my left hand and draw the figure but i had to keep my pencil on the paper and only look at the figure.. and do you know what! it ACTUALLY came out better than my original drawing with my right hand! its funny how you dnt really think 'maybe i will use my left hand today' to see if its better at a job than the other.. you just take foregranted whichever hand is all the more dominant.. :/ if you get what i mean!?

    Ps - Thank you for the 'follow' :)

  3. The birdies and journal page are quite charming! I would say you are officially ambidextrous! I have the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book, which explores lots of dominance issues and has exercises to get you in the artistic "mode." Last weekend my granddaughter and I were coloring in a book, and I was using my left hand because I was sitting to her left. She kept looking at the way I was holding the crayon and trying to color, and informed me that I was doing it all wrong. LOL-she is only four.

  4. Okay, those birds are cool! I love how they look. And it's so interesting that you used your non-dominant hand. I have never tried that, really. Just to write my name, but I hated it and stopped. Maybe I'll try this again!

  5. This a great post - very thought provoking. I love your birds and can't believe you can control your left hand so well. I should try this, but I think I would be frustrated. I was introduced to your blog by a member of Christian Journaling. I am now a "follower"! So glad to have discovered you :-)