In February 2019, following surgery to implant a deep brain stimulation (DBS) device to treat hemi-dystonia, I began exploring the brain/creativity connection by painting in the abstract style with my left hand (the side impacted by the dystonia and aided by DBS and certainly not my dominant side at all). My initial plan to paint 20 left-handed abstracts between the one-month period from the initial insertion of the DBS antenna to turning “on” the device, has morphed into a daily painting practice.
I’m a self-taught artist, painting mixed media abstracts with my left hand and watercolor florals with my right.
Painting commissioned pieces is one of my favorite creative outlets. Before I begin a commissioned piece, I ask the patron to share their five favorite colors and their five favorite songs. Each painting begins with words written left handed in cursive on the paper or canvas. The words are thoughts/blessings/descriptions of the patrons – things I’ve heard them say or something I wish to articulate regarding their uniqueness. Over the words I always apply a thin layer of metallic paint to give shine and movement through the next layers. I then begin listening to the recipient’s five favorite songs in rotation – and I paint.
As you see in the paintings on my Homepage, my five favorite colors: Turquoise, Orange, Rose Madder, Payne’s Grey, and Yellow Ochre, are featured in some combination in the non-commissioned pieces I paint for myself or prepare for an exhibit
The five songs that always provide inspiration for me: Lovely Day (Bill Withers); Summer Breeze (Seals & Croft); Night (Ludovico Einaudi); 5 Bagatelles, Op. 23 (Arr. C. Alexander for Clarinet & String Quartet): No. 4, Forlana (Tesla); Longing/Love (George Winston).
Over the course of the last three years my enjoyment of exploring the brain/creativity connection has deepened. Being a part of the local artistic community has brought me great joy and a wonderful circle of friends – individuals I admire and aspire to emulate.