With each new winter, my right hand slows down just that wee bit more.
Decades of "poo shoveling" and hard outdoor equine management is starting to take it's toll on my joints - more importantly my right hand.
I'm not too worried (strong images of work produced by Renoir while crippled by arthritis remind me of what can be achieved when the passion is strong!)
Knowing that I am not the only artist relying on a fully functional, mobile hand, I would like to share my home remedies of how I try to overcome and beat the frustration of drawing with a slow, overworked hand.
A big chunky hard-wearing mug filled to the max with piping hot water is held a few minutes. This is too let the heat seep in and warm-up the whole of my hand. The warmth generated helps to relax it and get a better grip of my pencil. Bliss.
Once the warmth is in deep, I move on to a few warm- up exercises. Circles of all shapes and sizes are sketched on scrap paper. Paying special attention that they are produced at speed in nice flowing swoops in every direction.
After which, mug is re-held tight, fingers jiggled and "serious" drawing begins.
The process does take long but the relief and effects hang around for a good part of the first session.
If you have any other tips you would like to share. I would love to hear them.
"Reunion dans le jardin" (unfinished)
Auguste Renoir, 1911-1915
Source Musee d'Orsay
Despite the vivid colours and strong movement , this Renoir painting was no doubt created through pain and frustration.
Albert André, 1919
Source Musée d'Orsay
This painting by Albert André shows Renoir painting with his brush strapped to his badly damaged arthritic hand.