A byproduct of early childhood art skills was the ability to “draw” the alphabet and pass third grade perfunctorily without getting my knuckles rapped weekly with a steel-edged wooden ruler by my elementary public school teacher, Mrs. Romero. I had to hide my left-handedness with my upper body crouched over my arm to disguise my distorted hooked left wrist. Later the hooked wrist procedure evolved into a drawing skill that became my form of expression. It was the first thing I showed ability at. Praise came from teachers, parents and other kids for my crude cartoons and basic drawing ability. Wow!
Although I scraped by the third grade, objects and doorknobs were still placed on the wrong side by some unknown dictator. My body was continuously bruised from trying to negotiate unsympathetic spatial relationships. I had yet to come to terms with the right-handed totalitarian world.
I constantly sight verticals and horizontals with my eyes. This is to make sure buildings, walls, and openings are not off kilter. In addition, this allows for imaginary framing and cropping of mind pictures. I like things plumb, even in my imagination. Oddly though, the objects I am most attracted to are skewed. Why? Seemingly, this is because those objects stand out and are exaggerated for their angular dynamics. Maybe I like them because they are disturbing. The angles become directional devices always useful in meaning and composition and many times implying motion.
In my previous professional life I was trained to make measurements with sight and not a tape measure. Distance and perspective are important visual elements for my work. What is far and what is near? Foreground, mid-ground, and background all contribute to the drama of the image especially when they become flattened out. It is the process of turning physical perspective inside out that is compelling and visually interesting.
My images need to be marked…. like a dog marking his territory. I need to own that space and seek dominance over it. I dislike staying inside restrictive regimented lines. My marks are strong and expressionistic, and gouge the surface. They show construction and exploration of space and proportion with a desired ambiguity and motion between subject and background.
These final marks become scars on the surface that are remnants of healed wounds…the scars that make us who we are. Left-handed or Not. Thank you Mrs. Romero.