I LOVE YOU - American Sign Language

EloiseArt

Joined February 2013

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Artist's Description

The “I Love You” sign in one combined motion is the first sign everyone should learn – it’s the heart of communication – “I love you and I want to tell you.” The pinky finger by itself is the letter “I” as it is used in the American Sign Language Manual Alphabet. The index finger and the thumb make the fingerspelled letter “L”. And the thumb and the pinky finger make the letter “Y” . In this way, all of the first letters of the words “I Love You” are represented. I love you. Let me show you with my hands. Look in my eyes and you’ll see it there as well.
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The wonderful thing about the concept “I LOVE YOU” is that is spans age, race, and gender. As I’ve taught deaf children over the years, nothing warms my heart more than catching the smile of one of my students as he or she flashes the “I LOVE YOU” sign on the way down the hall or as the final salute of the day while getting on the school bus. No matter where we are or how far apart we are standing, if I can see them and they can see me, then I can tell them “I love you.” It is our own communication – our secret – our bond. I love you. You don’t have to hear me to know it. I love you.
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This piece is watercolor on textured canvas. The textured surface shows the viewer the reality of life – the deaf live in the same world as the hearing – they shop at the grocery store, put gas in their cars, and take their children to the doctor just like hearing people. And for them, everything is textured with the challenge of communicating.
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The many colors in the painting represent the diversity of the deaf culture – deafness has no ethnic boundaries – they are their own people with their own language. And with this sign, we see that it is a language of love. “I love you.”
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