When Design Team member, Miranda, created her beautiful henna hand piece of artwork with the Indian themed stamps, I immediately wanted to create something with the theme of hands myself.
I have always loved the theme of hands in art and I have used the theme in my journaling classes before. So I asked the rest of the Design Team if they would be interested in doing a little hand challenge and those that had the time gladly joined in. No rules other than the theme of hands, the artwork could take any form. We agreed not to share until we were all done and it might be something to do with the theme, but three of us chose to do journal pages – they are all very different.
I have taught a few journaling classes over the years and I have often used a guided writing exercise that features hands. I ask my students to close their eyes and think about what hands mean to them. I toss out some common phrases that involve hands in some way and ask them to think about what those phrases mean to them – helping hands, hand of friendship, open handed/tight fisted, hand on heart, hand over, hands across the water, healing hands, etc. Then I ask them to think about the hands of people they know or remember and what those hands mean to them. Finally I ask them to think about how they would describe their own hands and who their hands have nurtured or helped in any way.
I then ask them to open their eyes and start writing. The aim of the exercise is to write fairly quickly without stopping for about 3-5 minutes (longer if everyone is in full flow). It’s a kind of verbal blurt, just writing anything that comes to mind without overthinking or correcting.
It can be a very emotional exercise so I don’t ask anyone to share their writing unless they want to. I’ve done the exercise myself before, but not for a very long time, so I decided that I would do this exercise for my hand challenge. As I didn’t have a clone of myself on hand to be the ‘guide’, I scanned through magazines looking for images and words while quietly thinking thoughts of hands.
The collaged words describe how I feel about my own hands and the rest of the writing comes straight from the heart. If you click on the image above, you should find you can read the larger version. I used a Zig calligraphy marker to write with which I love, but I’m not sure how legible it is!
The background is Distress paints and stencils, with some stamping coloured with pencils.
There’s more hand challenge artwork coming up from the DT girls who took part and you can see it on our Ning community site here. Plus we have thrown open the challenge for everyone to take part – there are no rules about what form your artwork takes, the only common theme is hands and you can interpret that any way you like. This is an open challenge with no specific deadline, so if you find the theme inspiring, why not pop over to the site and have a go – click here to visit the specific hand challenge discussion. (If you’re not a member it is completely free to join and absolutely stuffed full of Chocolate Baroque inspiration.)
I do hope you’ll take on the challenge and have a go, I’d love to see what you come up with.