So this past Saturday I was invited to participate in a photography project called Hands of Humanity, by budding photographer, Annabelle Soete. She explained that she wanted to explore and experiment and hands attracted her attention. She noticed that as she delved into the local arts community she found more people willing to be photographed and less likely to be self conscious about the appearance of their hands. She also confided that she liked the push this project had given her to reach out and connect with other people, strangers and friends alike.
We had only met briefly a handful of times (yes, I said it) over the last year or so and I really did not know Annabelle when she decided to Facebook me to ask if I would be interested in a photo shoot at my studio. "You betcha!" I thought as we set the time and day. I was intrigued to hear Annabelle discuss "the architecture of the hand" as she called it in its' texture and personality. She wanted character and history and was also excited over the skills each of her models shared with her.
When Annabelle arrived, we set to work right away. I was nervous to be the model at first, as this is not the usual side of creating that I am on, even though I have been the subject for a few friends in the past. I was now the observed and not observer, and I was being observed in my own habitat as my hands did that painting thing that they do. Annabelle took over 100 candid shots! I had no idea that much imagery was captured in such a seemingly short amount of time. She kept seeing things and experimenting and was very passionate about the whole process. I thought her photos were great. She was learning about seeing as well as figuring the technicalities of the camera. She was stepping into the creative side of her mind and I could see it happening. That was very interesting. We did talk and get to know one another. That was a gift for me.
I am an oil painter and I am Chapter 6 in Hands of Humanity. I live on the outskirts of town in Bedford, Virginia where I know the arts community is vibrant and have been told it is surprisingly large. I know people who are real and I just became friends with a woman who is from France and has travelled the world!