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Right side, Left side

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Saturday, 11th October 2008


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MY FRIEND Danny Gregory recently got into trouble for being too right-sided in his thinking.


‘thus we see the limitations of right-brain-focused thinking, emotionalism, hysteria, and rage (of which the American Left is almost entirely guilty of).’


The drawings which caused such offence are a pen and ink echo of Francis Bacon’s ‘screaming popes’. The incensed writer consigned his or her copy of Creative License* (Danny’s guide to discovering and increasing your creativity) to “a small ritual backyard conflagration on my hibachi”!

In Mind Maps for Kids, Tony Buzan advocates joined-up thinking. He feels it’s so important to get both sides of the brain communicating with each other that he suggests that you learn to juggle, and gives simple instructions to get you started.


I must try it, but meanwhile, even though my right shoulder is 95% mobile compared with my left these days, I decided to test out my left-handed drawing skills again. As you can see, it’s only marginally more shaky than my right. I find I can handle my Parker Reflex fountain pen, the one that I like to write with, more successfully than the rollerball that I’ve used on previous occasions. The rollerball’s innate tendency to roll about emphasises unintentional hand movements (which can be a good thing). The fountain pen nib feels as if it’s in more intimate contact with the grain of the paper, but it still flows freely.

Drawn with the right hand

Drawn with the left hand

Danny Gregory, An Illustrated Life, to be published autumn 2008

* Danny’s latest book Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration From The Private Sketchbooks Of Artists, Illustrators And Designers, including extracts from 50 visual journals and interviews with the artists, will soon be hitting the shelves . . . and possibly the odd barbecue, given his lively style . . . near you.