TRAILER for DOCMENTARY of LEFT BRAIN RIGHT BRAIN · Sep 8, 09:29 AM

— Carol Currie

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"LEFT BRAIN RIGHT BRAIN" .. a 10 min short by Mark Degen · Aug 13, 07:18 PM

— Carol Currie

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FIRST PASSING OF BRUSH to the LEFT · Aug 13, 07:07 PM

Through the Spring of 2016, my right hand tremor was getting so severe, that i was having a hard time painting. I had started a large 30 × 60 commission before the tremor was getting bad. But it was getting so severe that I had to hold and push down tightly on my wrist to make the tremor subside enough to paint right hand, so my neurologist offered a drug (propanolol) to try to settle the tremor. She said it can help with some patients with tremors, but it can be short lived. So i was game to try having tried so many natural alternatives. My first thought was maybe it will buy me time.
And lo and behold, it worked !!! But knowing the drug may stop working, i started practicing writing with my left hand, drawing circles, straight lines, and following lines of the practice letter books for kindegarten children. I practiced in front of a mirror so could see how i was holding the pencil in the right hand, then switched hands to try to get the same grasp.




I thought that should be the first step, as well as brushing teeth, shaving, applying eyeliner, and eating. I figured once i mastered writing and all personal and household tasks, i would then proceed to start to practice painting with left hand.
But within two months, my tremor got worse. And with my fine motor skills not developed yet, such as writing, i couldn’t consider painting detail with my left hand.
……So i thought my career was over! ……….
Which lead me down a dark path … anger … frustration … i remember looking at my file of reference photos to be next year’s future paintings … then throwing them to the floor in a rage, screaming … stu saw the tale end of this as he entered the attic studio … can’t imagine what he was thinking … is she crazy .. should i leave the room … maybe she didn’t see me … i could back up and leave … but he did the opposite by hugging me tightly, enough that my rage turned to tears … and i cried and cried, like i was mourning my best friend. (Keep in mind, i had not been emotional since this health issue started back in 2012 – except the one time i thought i might die of brain cancer and leave the love of my life behind – but that only lasted an hour as we held each other tight. Then it was back on to focus. So this fit surprised me).
But after i calmed down, stu and i had a conversation, sitting in the studio, as i was picking up the papers and photos from THE FILE (of future paintings) and showing him what i will miss … this one, and that one … he sat calmly and quietly as i spoke at great length of each photo that i can’t do, then he finally spoke up and calmly said, well maybe you should give your brushes away … hmph … wha? … (he knows me all too well – for me once i contemplated that, it was like a challenge … i said to myself, hmph i don’t think so) …
And that was the first step to the next aha moment …. i took a break for awhile to seriously think about my options.
Then, i had to go back to the large 30 × 60 COMMISSION i was working on. Too much time had passed and i really had to get it done … the clients weren’t pressuring me (they were good friends who understood), but it was me who put pressure on myself. I had blocked it in and did some detail before the propalonol wore off. But when the drug was wearing off, i had to forcefully holding my wrist down…which caused pain in my shoulders, wrist and forearm…i thought i really can’t finish the painting in this much pain, AND I had only just begun (there was the whole right side of the painting, 2 trees, and detail, and fine branches, etc)!


NOTE : THE BRAIN IS DIVIDED INTO TWO HEMISPHERES (see photo)



The above image is an MRI of my brain. Note that the MRI takes mirror images of the brain .. so the infarct is shown on the right, but it is in fact on my left side. There should not be any white lesions unless the brain is abnormal.

SO .. to continue….every time i sat down to paint, i had an internal dialogue .. my right brain kept saying gently, “give me the brush” (referring to the left hand) .. then my left brain would say firmly, “NO YOU CAN’T EVEN WRITE!”… and this argument continued for months while i struggled to paint right hand! It was like a child saying, “mom give me the brush”, and the mom SCOLDING, “NO!”
(SIDEBAR … First off, I should say, I am not crazy! haha. I didn’t know what this was. i have never experienced this … but my research neurologist at St Michaels Hospital, who is doing a Case Report, studying how i switched brains, has heard of this phenomenon such as when a person suffers from a brain injury or stroke. There is a struggle between the brains … he referred to the left hemisphere a bully, while the right hemisphere is more creative, free and brave to try. He said i find this fascinating as his eyes lit up .. he laughed and jokingly said maybe don’t tell people that. We laughed. But we both found it fascinating.)
I am looking forward to posting a link to the neurologists Case Report… Coming out later in 2019.

SO AFTER A MONTH OR TWO OF THIS internal BATTLE, with the argument escalating …. my RIGHT HAND begrudgingly gave my brush to my LEFT HAND
………………………..AND………………………………WOW…………………………..
it was CHILLING!!!!!!! It felt so natural .. so real .. that it gave me chills (and still does). It was the moment where my brain clicked like a switch … everything became POSITIVE, FREE … and Life changing!
In that moment i knew i would be a left hand painter……………

okay .. so i asked myself, how do we do this?
(Apparently my neurologist says, they are finding once your left brain surrenders the power to allow the right brain to try, they start to work together).
That’s the simple answer … I will tell that story later…BUT it would be a huge learning curve of settling my right hand down while the left was trying to practice (They call it sympathetic movement).

Below is a closeup of the painting with right hand and left hand.
I slowed during those months of BATTLE between THE BRAINS.
But I started blocking it in seriously in September and finished the entire painting late OCT.
A very special piece!

P.S. I would find out 3 years later by another neurologist, that it made sense that i could not write as well as i could paint .. firstly, there are many mechanisms in the brain that allows writing from translating the reading, comprehension, and writing. Whereas painting had memory neuropathways established. But you would have to tap into that which took practice.


Click thumbnail to enlarge each image



  • RIGHT HAND BLOCK IN early Sept 2016
  • RIGHT HAND
    Mid Sept 2016
  • LEFT HAND
    Bark, leaves, small branches
    Late Oct 2016
  • 30 x 60 Completed
  • Celebration INSTALLED October 2016



— Carol Currie

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CELEBRATION TIME with the LEFT HAND · Aug 1, 07:44 PM

After dealing with the possibilty of a brain tumor in 2013, a severe tremor developed in my right hand. I thought my career was over. In 2016, once I made the decision to overcome this huge obstacle, I started practicing with my Left Hand. And it is now time to celebrate my NEW NORMAL and allow myself to think of the FUTURE … which to me, is a priviledge.

No one knows what this brain lesion will do, but the future is now, and i am ready to finally create a body of work (with a left perspective). After so many of these images were thrown to the floor in frustration, anger and sadness, thinking i would never paint again, it is now my opportunity to represent their beauty, and my left hand is up to the task.

The paintings are all dedicated to Stu … who encouraged me to open up THE file.

And finally after 2 1/2 years of practice, I finally started larger format works starting in April 2019.

Click thumbnail to enlarge each image

  • Peak 1 Acrylics on Panel 30 x 40 $3850
  • Peak 2 Acrylics on Panel 30 x 40 $3850
  • Awenda 1 Acrylics on Panel 40 x 60 $6200

— Carol Currie

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CHAPTER ONE - HOW IT ALL STARTED - 'THE' HEADACHE · Jul 1, 01:28 PM

In 2012, we were running shows every weekend with art, music and demonstration from different artists and musicians booked until late July. We were a going concern in the arts community of midland all the while working on our own full time artist careers of commissioned sculpted paintings and flat panelled paintings…creating approximately 2 very large painted bas relief sculptures, and 15 large format flat solo works. Our careers were just starting to take off, and we just mastered how to create smaller moulds of our bas relief sculptures, which would present a product that would be a smaller more affordable hand painted 3-D replica version of the large sculpture.
UNTIL ……….

Mid May 2012, I had a severe headache…debilitating…on a scale of 1-10, it was a 10 … preventing me from attending the events in may, while I lay in bed. Since we were living above the gallery in a non-sound proof century home, we were forced to cancel future shows to address the headache, which immediately progressed to numbness and tingling in the lower right leg. Within 7 days, we went to our GP and our doctor ordered a cat scan which showed a cyst type lesion, so they ordered an MRI … and that began the process of numerous doctor appointments.
By early july the headache was numbed by a variety of medications, so I felt strong enough to do exhibit my solo work at the Toronto outdoor show. The MRI was scheduled later in july and we were waiting for an appointment with a North York neurologist. So we waited. And life carried on as usual.

— Carol Currie

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