Artist turns to the left, again

The Coupeville Wharf is a good place to go on a carbon date.  - File photo
The Coupeville Wharf is a good place to go on a carbon date.
— image credit: File photo

He was right, then left, then right, and now he’s left again.

Gerald Roberts, an internationally collected and frequently published Whidbey Island artist, has turned a new adversity into opportunity.

After complete shoulder replacement surgery in late October, Roberts said he grew anxious to get back to his art.

“I believe the urge and drive required to be a true artist must also be great enough to overcome almost any obstacle,” Roberts said in an email. In December, Roberts, a natural right-hander, decided it was time to pick up the brush in his left hand once again.

It wasn’t his first brush with switching hands. For a brief period in 2005 after breaking his right shoulder Roberts took his first stab at painting left-handed and completed five canvases before returning to painting with his right hand. Those efforts were featured in the Whidbey News-Times.

Now, following his shoulder surgery, Roberts said he is determined to have at least eight new left-handed paintings done for the Spring Art Studio Tour happening on Whidbey Island on March 7 and 8. He is one of a select group of more than 30 island artists who gladly open their studios to the public for this annual tour.

Roberts notes that his left-handed paintings feature his trademark mirrored signature, an idea inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, a left-hander, who made mirror writing famous.

For more information about the tour or switching hands as an artist, call Roberts at 678-3068 or visit

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