Reach and Grasp

Have you ever stood at the top of a step ladder and just been able to touch the object you wanted to take down? With me, it is usually a book. Now and then I rearrange books that I don’t think I’ll need right away. I place them on the top shelf and, as is more the rule than the exception, the next day I find I need one of those very books.  Placing them is no problem. I just put them a little more than half way onto the shelf (one must get the correct balance) and push.  Getting them down requires a little more ingenuity.  I either must find a telephone book (good luck to me, with that these days) or use a tool. I say ‘tool’ in the most primitive sense of the word. The same tool that monkeys use to remove ants from their ant hill (a stick) serves me well in tilting the desired book beyond its tipping point and catching it as it falls into my hand.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I quickly sketched my own hand in a reaching pose and again in a grasping pose. I painted the object to be grasped as a cadmium yellow pale orb with Winsor red in the center. The flesh color for the hands was my mixture of cadmium red, yellow ochre and white; the parts of the hand in shadow included ivory black (perhaps too much in places).

The ivory black stripes at (more or less) even intervals represents bars. It could be a prison or a child-barrier on a window. I wanted to include them to illustrate the idea that even if one can grasp the object of desire, that doesn’t mean one can retrieve it to one’s satisfaction.   An example of this is a monkey trap: A cage contains a banana as bait, suspended from a string. The bars are wide enough to allow an open hand, yet close enough to stop a closed hand, such as one grasping a banana. The monkey grabs the banana and cannot remove it from the cage, thus allowing the monkey hunter to capture it.

Watercolor Sketch - Extended Hand, Fist; Reach and Grasp

Reach and Grasp
9″x12″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block

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