Blind Painter Uses Touch And Texture To Paint Better Than You
As evidenced by the internet, many people can‘t draw, but try nonetheless. John Bramblitt, however, only took up painting after he became blind 13 years ago. It can be somewhat hard without the gift of sight, but that doesn’t stop John. Using canvas with special lines on it, and textured paint in Braille marked bottles, he seems to be doing quite well. Touch lets him identify the paint by the texture as well as the borders of shapes. He also uses haptic feedback to paint portraits of people he has never seen – including his wife and son.
John was robbed of sight by epilepsy related complications. A university graduate, he suddenly found his dreams of being a creative writing teacher dashed. And as he started to slip into misery and depression he rediscovered painting. While he had always been interested in drawing, it never occurred to him that it was possible without sight. But as he had to learn to operate the world by touch, so he re-learned and even developed techniques for painting blind. Lines on paper tell him where he is in relation to the canvas, and different kinds of paints have difference substance qualities: some paints are thicker, some oilier, and so on. And mixing paint also means feeling composition by touch. As John says on his website, “This is actually a very precise way of mixing colour because your sense of touch is extremely adept at sensing subtle changes in texture. With practice it becomes even more so.”
In the end, John is an optimistic, inspiring person, and he even has a message for you: “Everyone has an artist somewhere in them; sometimes they just need a little help letting it out.”