Hand Print Paintings
A handprint: a purposeful mark. Contact prints of the hand have a tradition in sacred arts, often as a talisman against the evil eye. Sometimes functioning as evidence of the physical existence of divine or holy persons, as in the handprints of Buddhist monks. The earliest handprints go back 30,000 years at Chauvet Cave and other prehistoric sites. The message of the handprint is “I was here”. The hand signifies touch, and the ability to create.
I start with a contact handprint, of either the palm or the back of the hand, or both overlaid on top of each other, and use a traced outline of the hand as well. Then I paint color around it and in layers over it, working further with artist’s brushes, my fingers, airbrush, and splattered painting techniques. The layers, adding both physical and metaphorical substance, enhance the original print, as well as building up a glow, so that the aura becomes luminous. I use color intuitively to express the energy which emanates particularly from the hands. Symbols from sacred traditions are sometimes used to refer to meanings and realities beyond the apparently physical.
Our hands create, and make us human. Because of our opposable thumb, we can grasp tools, and so express our intelligence and imagination. It is my hope that these paintings bring to the viewer an awareness of the marvel of the ability of our hands; to create, to express, to touch.