An example of Liz Gerstein’s art.
Potomac Liz Gerstein is a master at reinventing herself. Throughout her life, she has followed her interests and passions to see where they lead her. The journey has taken her through a multitude of fascinating careers — professional interpreter and linguist, handwriting analyst, palm reader, author and cruise ship lecturer are just a few of her unique professions. And now she is an accomplished artist.
Gerstein began to study handwriting in her native Switzerland, where she worked as a translator and linguist — she speaks five languages fluently. When she came to the U.S. in 1958, she sought out training in understanding the intricacies of handwriting. When she moved to the D.C. area in 1965, she joined the Society of Handwriting Analysts, eventually becoming its president. “I was always interested in handwriting analysis (graphology). I became a certified handwriting analyst — and then became fascinated with the science of the hand (chirognomy) and the physical relationship of the hand to handwriting. Next, I studied the palm and learned how to read the lines on the palm.”
In her first book, “Handwriting and Palmistry,” she discusses four facets of the topics. The opening chapters cover basic hand types, the fingers, thumb, nails, and the size of the hand. In the next section, she writes about palmistry — the major and minor lines of the hand and how to interpret them. In the third segment, she explains how to analyze handwriting (graphology) and in the fourth section, she relates palmistry and graphology to different personality types (intellectual, social/artistic, psychic/intuitive and other personality traits). Her other published books are “In the Palm of Your Hand – Practical Palmistry for Career and Relationship Success” and “About Face – The ABC’s of Face Painting.”
“I don’t want to be known as ‘Gypsy-Liz’ the fortune or future teller,” said Gerstein. “Handwriting mirrors our mental, emotional and physical health and well-being at the time of writing. Everyone recognizes the fact that it can fluctuate from day to day, and sometimes from moment to moment, which is a confirmation that our hand is only the test of the brain impulses, just as the brain’s impulses have etched the line and intricate patterns into the palms of our hands.”
By analyzing several samples, she can define a personality. Besides being a popular local lecturer, Gerstein spent 16 years as a cruise ship presenter. Among the lines she traveled and spoke on were the Costa, Celebrity and Cunard.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to see the world and meet very fascinating people,” said Gerstein. “I traveled to the Orient, Europe, Russia, Hawaii — and all around the world. Each day that we were at sea, I spoke on the various facets of handwriting analysis — and then analyzed passenger’s handwriting.”
Throughout the years, Gerstein had always been creative and artistic. A few years ago, she began taking art lessons from local artist Millie Shott. She now shows her acrylics and mixed media artworks at the Montgomery Art Association and the Yellow Barn at Glen Echo.
Last year, Gerstein combined both her interests by speaking to the Washington Watercolor Society — she analyzed how they sign their paintings. Her next speaking engagement is with the American Pen Women. She also teaches privately and lectures at the Society of Handwriting Analysts of the Greater Washington Area. She is available for professional analysis of handwriting and as a speaker for interested groups. For information, call her at 301-365-7026.