Towards the end of 2009 I was unemployed and had a lot of free time waiting for promising news from potential employers. I didn’t want the days wasted on refreshing my inbox and panicking. So, I decided to occupy my mornings and afternoons with things that enriched my life such as exercising, cooking and drawing. I wanted to draw ever since I was an infant, unfortunately I never really knew what to draw and the fear of drawing badly was even more discouraging. I wanted to draw so well and in such a unique way that I never really got started. My ego played a self defeating role every time I picked up the pencil.
Looking at the planets residing in the 5th house of my natal chart it was easy to finally understand why tension was built up in that area of my psyche. I have both Saturn and the Moon side by side in Leo’s proud den. While the Moon in the 5th is a blessing for the creative soul, Saturn on the other hand brings restrictions in the form of very tough but rewarding lessons, but only for those willing to free themselves.
The 5th house holds many psychological influences, amongst them it is home to individual self expression and creativity. In her book Saturn: A New Look At An Old Devil, the very amazing Liz Greene had this to say about those of us with Saturn in the fifth house, “The creative flow is blocked, or if it is not blocked then the experience of self-realization which is natural may be blocked. The perfect circle of outpouring and inner transformation is interrupted, and the man often pours his energy out and thinks he receives nothing back because his own sense of inadequacy prevents him from realizing that it has nothing to do with the audience”. Greene also points out in the next sentence, “This applies not only to creative expression but to romantic love as well”. That second line was quite a slap in the face to say the least.
Anyhow, the audience has always been and still is at the forefront of my mind when I attempt to create any non-commercial piece, particularly when sketching and drawing. In my career as a commercial artist and designer, I play the role of middleman between the client and the audience. Therefore I am much less concerned with being exposed, it is my job to produce work for a client for a specific commercial goal.
After reading more about Saturn’s position in my natal chart, it was clear that I needed to exclude the audience if I was to do any drawing, that also had to include my own opinions. I decided to make drawing a very private practice using my ‘other’ hand because it made me feel vulnerable. Drawing with my non-dominant hand has ironically become my greatest tool. Using my left hand forces my brain to function in an unpredictable way. My feet turn inwards, my lips squeeze to the side and my vision at times becomes blurry. My hand jerks abruptly causing the pencil to pulsate in random spastic strokes. I reconnect to the child within, that same infant I used to be before I became so ‘right-handed’ and so egotistical. I draw in a sketch book made for my eyes only and don’t overly think about what to draw. There’s a full section on my journey with using my non-dominant hand in drawing and writing which I will begin in a week. The first drawings were very surprising, they were of my right hand holding the sketch book. I turned the tables on myself, I drew a sketch of the part of me that struggled all these years to draw.
A scan of my first drawings of the right hand using my non-dominant left. This was to me the most natural way to begin drawing using my left hand. I started to see that things we take for granted, including our own bodies, contain a lot more information and detail and we should take the time to see.