One hand I extend into myself, the other toward others.
~ Dejan Stojanovic
Quarentini Painter challenge for hands/hand. Oh, dear. I’ve studied hands before. Focused on for projects and series years ago. I once did a drawing series of hands on 50 brown paper luncheon bags called “handbags.” An artist in search of a model need look no further than the end of ones arm, I learned. Now, I wanted a non-academic composition for hands. My first attempt was black and white, ink painting from a dinner/Bookclub gathering. (The very last gathering before the shut down.) A random photo snapped as I was perched higher above a harshly lit tablescape. It captured a magical hand floating against black attire in the table’s spot light. Mesmerizing photo. Not so much the painting. So second attempt...
Some people read palms to tell your future, but I read hands to tell your past. Each scar makes a story worth telling. Each callused palm, each cracked knuckle is a missed punch or years in a factory.
~ Sarah Kay
From my series of photographs of Music on the Hill (see Wind), I selected a colorful, pattern filled picnic scene. Hands were preparing crudités. It seemed fun and refreshing. Definitely a challenge to complete in 2 hours but satisfying. Contrasting with the somber, black and white stark winter dinner hand, the summer-filled season of sharing hand brings warm smiles. Yet in both the hand is not central and plays a subservient role to the spread - dinner or picnic.
I looked for the Richard Serra’s Verblist to insert here because it always make me think of hands doing. However, in the end I preferred this poem instead...
Rock Paper Scissors
by Arthur Sze
Midnight snow swirls in the courtyard—
you wake and mark the steel-gray light of dawn,
the rhythm in your hands
of scissors cutting paper;
you pull a blade against ribbon,
and the ribbon springs into a spiraling curl
when you release it;
here, no one pulled a blade against the ribbon of desire,
a downy woodpecker drilled into a desiccated pear tree;
you consider how paper wraps rock,
scissors snips paper,
how this game embodies the evolution
of bacteria and antibiotic;
you can’t see your fingerprints on a door handle,
but your smudging,
like trudging footprints in snow,
track where and how you go—
a chrysoprase heart in a box—
how you look at a series of incidentals
and pull an invisible thread through them all.
Two paintings of hands - one watercolor and one ink - and sketches of hands: