A Cape Breton artist who lost the use of his dominant hand after an accident last year is creating again after finding a new way to do what he does best.
Kenny Boone is a right-handed artist, born and raised in Cape Breton.
About a year ago, everything changed.
“I was moving a plate-glass mirror and as I picked it up. Within seconds, it split in two and the top part of the glass came down like a sword and cut the underside of my wrist. It was a bad laceration,” said Boone.
He was rushed to hospital, was treated and was then sent home to heal.
“But it was weeks later that I realized my hand was becoming, what physio would call ‘the claw.’ It basically folded in because my tendons had been cut … and I was losing my hand because of that simple little accident that had happened,” said Boone.
He underwent a six-hour surgery to reattach tendons and has been recovering ever since.
“I’m being told I may have damage for the rest of my life. I mean, that was hard to accept, ” said Boone.
“My life is built on being an artist and every aspect of my life is about creativity, it’s about painting, it’s about seeing the world around me and all of a sudden my only focus was the fact that I’ve lost my dominant right hand.”
Boone is back creating, attempting to teach his left hand to make up for the lack of dexterity in his right.
He said the idea of picking up a pencil or brush with his left hand didn’t occur to him, at first. But Boone started slowly, trying to hold a brush properly, attempting to paint.
“They were really bad drawings at first but the more attempts I made, the quality of the drawing, the quality of the line became much better because I was gaining a little bit of control,” he said.
Boone said, initially, results were a little “sloppy,” but things slowly got better.
“I did this stunning painting, and I didn’t stop. Once I got started and I realized my left hand could be helpful. I just continuously went on this learning curve. I’m still struggling to this day.”
Boone said he’s had to “simplify” his artwork but said he’s “impressed” with the results.
“It’s coming along. It might take another month, another year [but] I’m in it for the long run,” he said.
“I like the sloppiness now, whereas, even three years ago if I was to have a blob of paint that I didn’t like, it would steer you off in a direction where you would quit painting. Now I accept the fact that the brush has fallen, to work with what’s in front of you.”