It Wasn't Right to be Left Handed

Fine Leaf co-founder, art dealer, art collector, interior designer, and left handed artist, Joan Terese Hayes, sits down to talk about an art career that almost never happened.  

Were you dissuaded from using your left hand as a child?
As a child, around 5 years old, I was having a hard time learning how to write.  I kept switching back to my left hand, but I was in Catholic school, and the Nuns back then insisted I use my right hand.  I was really struggling learning how to write.  

Why were they insistent on using
your right hand?

Because it wasn't right to use your left hand back then.  This was the mid 1960's and it just wasn't considered normal.


What would they do to force you to use your right hand?
I would get punished and scolded.  They would hit my left hand with a ruler each time I would switch back.  I was only about five years old, I wasn't consciously picking which hand to use, but I clearly gravitated towards my left.  

You're a left handed artist today. When were you able to focus using your left hand?
My mother was not pleased with how they were treating me.  She came into the school several times and demanded they let me use whichever hand felt right to me. The school and the Nuns were not pleased with this, they did not like having someone tell them, let alone, demand what they do.  But eventually they listened, and I no longer struggled learning how to write.