Watercolours, Gouache & Fineline Pen‘My Left Hand’, 202120”x 14”

According to Aristotle, the hand is the “tool of tools.” I have long admired ‘Praying Hands’ (c.1508) a pen-and-ink drawing by German painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer. ‘Drawing Hands’ (1948) a lithograph by Dutch artist M. C. Escher, depicts a sheet of paper, out of which two hands rise, in the paradoxical act of drawing one another into existence. As generally acknowledged by artists, hands are notoriously difficult to draw and paint, so inspired by Dürer and Escher I set myself the challenge of drawing a portrait of my left hand using my right hand. (I am generally ‘right-handed.’) I use the term ‘portrait’ because hands, similar to faces, in their own languages and gestures express so much, and are unique to each person. Pencils and paintbrushes are extensions of the fingers of the artist. In my view the face should not be considered the sole means of portraying a person and their emotions, personality and identity. I therefore conclude that a painting or drawing of a hand should be considered a portrait, and in my case – a self-portrait.