Hands. Qp



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:

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