It never hurts to try drawing or writing with that poor, maimed and shriveled appendage that never does anything but hold things in place and go “OW!” when you hit it with the hammer. This week, the diva challenge is to do just that, with the tangle called bales. She (Laura Harms) calls it a non-domonotangle (non-dominant monotangle, get it?) and invites us to increase creativity by firing up our brains in new and different ways. So, I set out to draw a Zentangle with my left hand. And yes, it is my visibly smaller hand and is totally weaker than my dominant right.
As I drew, I first found myself reflecting about my parents. Both are very artistic, and in their 80s. My mom was the person who taught me to draw human proportions when I was in the third grade. I wanted to draw more realistic-looking people.
Mom’s frustrated by how shaky her drawing hand is, now, at age 81. I can empathize, with this exercise. The pen felt weird in my left hand, as though I couldn’t grasp it correctly. And I had to use a lot, lot, lot of will and determination just to draw a curve, or have edges meet up at a center point. My dad uses paint, and as a result, more big-motor arm muscles: maybe my Zentangle tile should have been three feet square instead of 3.5 inches!
Then, I started thinking about drawing as a child. Or, how it might be to learn to draw again if I ever suffered a brain injury or stroke… or lost my right hand. I would have to start from the beginning, first with the big motions, learning control. Eventually, a small pen wouldn’t feel as though it could slip from my fingers at any moment. Remember some of the first ABC letters you tried? Things could go backwards or sideways very easily, and precision was not the name of the game.
And then, I started getting into drawing with my left hand. It was wobbly, of course. But the design— the idea I wanted to express— was still there. Maybe, in its wiggly wobble, it is a little more delicate than my always-sure right hand might convey. The shading is scribbly, yet still expressive. But the idea is still whole.
Thank you, diva Laura. I did get to visit another side of creativity and think some new ideas, just by using my other hand.