These bright and colorful paintings were made by American artist John Bramblitt who lost his eye sight at the age of 30 as a result of complications from epilepsy that he was suffering since the age of 2. As he grew older, the seizures became more and more frequent and more violent. At first, his vision would become blurry but eventually clear up. With time, however, his vision got worse and worse after each episode, until he could no longer see. Curiously, it wasn’t until John Bramblitt went completely blind that he started to paint.
Bramblitt learned to distinguish between different coloured paints by feeling their textures with his fingers. He also learned how to apply paint by outlining an image and using his fingers to guide the brush strokes. While many of his portraits are taken from events in his life he experienced while sighted, he has also produced life-like paintings of people by simply feeling their face with his fingers. Bramblitt has never seen his wife or his son but has painted remarkable portraits of them.
Bramblitt's art is gaining notice in galleries around the country. His most recent work includes song lyrics written in Braille among the colors and faces on his canvases, which he invites viewers (including those who aren’t blind) to touch and feel.
Bramblitt now teaches art at workshops focusing on adaptive techniques for young artists with disabilities, for which he has received three Presidential Service Awards.
Visit John Bramblitt's website to learn more about his life and technique.
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