Now Showing – Downstairs

 

Ruth Marcanti: Right to left

In the Fall of 2011, I injured my wrist and consequently had to wear a hard cast for 8 weeks. During that time, I began creating art with my non-dominant, left hand. Working with pastels, I completed a series of abstract florals in bright colors. This was a digression for me as my previous work consisted mostly of landscape imagery with local color in paint, collage, or pastel.

Finally, after many weeks of physical therapy, the healing was complete.  When I began painting and drawing again with my right hand, I found that I was incorporating the simpler compositions and richer color of the florals into my new landscapes. My style had changed. Influenced by the left hand florals, my work was now infused with more a more vibrant palette and less complex imagery.

Since I met with great success in this new focus, I decided to continue creating certain series with my left hand. In  2012 I  had a solo show in which I exhibited my left hand florals on the left hand side of the room and my right hand landscapes on the right. It was very well received both in terms of comments and sales. I continue to show my left hand work,  focusing more on landscapes, both real and  imagined. I find that when using my left hand, and the right side of the brain, I tend to see the whole composition;whereas  when painting with my right hand, and the left side of the brain, I focus more on details.

This entire experience  taught me many lessons, not the least of which is my respect for those people who overcome great disabilities and hardships. My experience pales in comparison.