The Prompter Room

For Sunday, December 27, 2015:


“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into [the] sun.”

Pablo Picasso

One of the gifts Santa brought me for Christmas this year was an adult coloring book of Celtic designs.  I have long wanted one of these coloring books – part of my inner child has never grown up, it seems – to help me relax and give my hands something to do, and I was excited to unwrap that present, and the colored pens that came with it.

Yesterday I went through the book to look for a design to start with, then I opened the pens and laid them all out in front of me.  Because it’s been so long since I’ve done any coloring, I wanted to find a simple design (some are surprisingly complicated) so I could ease into the process again.  And because I have significant tremor in my dominant hand, I needed one with a lot of white space.  I had already decided to not worry about staying in the lines because of that — Picasso also said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” — but I do want to try.

At the same time, I decided to try coloring with my non-dominant hand.  It turns out, after all, that I have much more control with my left hand than with my trembling right hand.

I’ve long been semi-ambidextrous because I had to learn cursive handwriting with my left hand when I broke my right arm just days before third grade started, and then re-learn regular and cursive writing when the cast was removed.  (That’s how old I am – schools still made students go back to their dominant hands in such cases, especially if it involved going from left-handed back to right-handed.)

I would have been just as happy to stay left-handed in all things, but, among other things, I did continue to eat with my non-dominant hand, and over the years I would practice writing that way, too.  That experience is what generated my exercise of writing and/or drawing with one’s non-dominant hand to encourage new creativity.

Another decision I made yesterday could prove interesting: I’m not going to worry about colors.  I want the final results to resemble jewels, so the deer I’m working on now won’t be tawny and grey.  It may be blue instead.  Or violet.  I haven’t decided yet, but it already has red and pink wings.

There is no sun in this particular design, but there will be yellow spots.  Or knots, rather, since it is a Celtic template.  I hope Picasso will approve.  I know I do.  Maybe that’s even more important.


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