Blind Painter

Meet 35 year old artist John Bramblitt who paints. And he is not the usual artist however, he is blind.

About five years ago, Mr. Bramblitt realized his sight was going away. “My heart just sank,” he said. “It seemed like the entire world went away.” Doctors haven’t been able to determine the reason for Mr. Bramblitt’s blindness.

Mr. Bramblitt, who had drawn and written before going blind, kept writing. But it wasn’t the cathartic experience he was seeking. He thought about painting. He figured he’d try painting for a year and see where it took him.

One big hurdle: How to apply paint on canvas in the right places.

A solution: Make a raised drawing — a bumpy outline you can feel with your hands — and form a map that makes it easier to determine the boundaries of the image. He tried glue, but it cracked. Then he discovered fabric — or puffy — paint, which leaves a raised line after it dries.

He uses oil paints because each color has its own texture. He feels the paint in his hands to help guide him to the right colors. He also uses his hands to see the canvas, moving them along the fabric to determine the boundaries.

While Mr. Bramblitt started painting for himself, he eventually showed his work to friends and family. When his friend, Jacqi Serie, saw his paintings, she joked that she thought he was faking. “It’s hard [for others] to wrap their heads around the fact that he can draw that well without seeing,” she said.

Video: YouTube
Source: Dallas News
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