Hands – Caress them and Care for them

I am fascinated with hands.

As far as drama goes, the face is usually the big winner. We know to look to the face to see how someone feels.

Hands are far more subtle, far more sensual, and far more truthful.

Eyes may be the window into a person’s soul, but I believe their hands are the window into their heart.

My painting professor at Santa Cruz once made a side comment to me as I was working on a painting, “hands are made to caress”. He was trying to teach me to see the shape of hands, the roundness and the curvature of them. That comment has stuck with me for about 12 years now, and, as I have seen over time, means far more than it first appeared to.

Functional Hands

inky hands

...and sometimes, my hands just get covered with ink

Our hands are also incredibly functional, amazing tools. They can grip, twist, lift, move, bend, hold, tear, etc, etc. It is amazing what they can do. Would humans have advanced as far as we have without them? I don’t know.

I work with my hands to make art. In many ways, I think of art as a process of absorbing information through my eyes, running it through the processors (brain, heart), and outputting the processed image with my hands.

Without hands, much less is possible.

Always keep the hands

One of my early art lessons from Mrs. Post (my high school art teacher) was to accentuate the important, and leave the obvious vague.

To me, hands are essential, because they tell a lot of the story.

woodblock for a skater print

The last skater print is ready to carve

Whenever I draw a figure, I include the hands. When the image is progressing in such a way that the hands are off of the page, I redraw the image. You may notice that in each of the recent skater prints I’ve completed, I keep at least one hand in the image, preferably two.

The hands get a lot of my time and effort, because I believe that they are a critical part of the image.

Speaking of Skater prints, the last one is in progress, for those following along with this project. I have drawn the image onto the block, and I’m ready to start carving.

I opted for a decent night of sleep last night, rather than stay up till 2 am carving this block.

I should have it done tonight, and then I will be able to reveal the real reason that I have done this series of woodblock prints…

(Those of you that read Dave regularly got a hint today though)

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