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On Being a Lefty and an Artist by KC Moore Copyright 2010

September 23, 2010

Manthano © by KC Moore

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There is much conjecture about the left hand/right brain connection.  I think many people assume if one is an artist that it’s axiomatic that they are left-handed.  I write with my left hand, play golf, and do most sports with my right.  I cut with scissors in my right.  Is that a simple case of adaptation since there were no left-handed scissors back then?  In painting and eating I use both, equally.

I watched one of my children pick up crayons with one hand, look at it, and then change it to the other hand.  I was interested to find out what he would choose…he’s decidedly a lefty.  I grew up in a time where they forced a right-handed regimen on children.  My parents didn’t ever mention it so I never gave it a thought.

In school I wasn’t ‘discovered’ until perhaps 8th grade and it was decided that it was too late to change me.  At that time they taught penmanship and I always made top grades so I remained undetected until we were lined up to receive some sort of shot.  I actually had to prove it because the shot was given in the arm you didn’t write with.  It caused quite a discussion at the time.  Certainly I lived in a different time and place than today.

I am often asked about it and when I say I am left-handed people express an ‘ah ha’ reaction, relieved as if it confirms some truth they’ve always wondered about.  I have really never talked about all the subtle differences in the use of my own hands and have felt it to be small talk which I rarely entertain.

I certainly wouldn’t set myself up as a typical artist for I spent most of my life in the corporate world and didn’t seriously pick up my art until late.  I’ve met artists that are completely right-handed or left-handed…I don’t understand the physiology of it but I have to think there’s no hard and fast rule.

The reason this all surfaced recently is that I saw a video of Picasso painting (see attached).  Ask yourself before you watch it, what was your initial assumption?

Watch him on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExCQZ940Rbw&feature=related

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