Posted in Miscellany

*Blind Colour

John Bramblitt became an artist after he became blind. His sense of colour–and his paintings are vividly colourful–comes from the tactile feel of oil paint. He says:

White feels thicker on my fingers, almost like toothpaste, and black feels slicker and thinner. To mix a gray, I’ll try to get the paint to have a feel of medium viscosity

Brain imaging shows that visual parts of the brain become devoted to touch in people who are blind, enhancing their skills especially for more complex patterns. (Full story here.) But that to me doesn’t convey the wonder of it the way that actually looking at Bramblitt’s art does.

Check out Bramblitt’s website. The gallery is fascinating, especially with his commentary on the paintings. The texture and unconventional colour scheme jumps off the screen.

It gives me pause for thought: the plasticity of the brain; the gifts that come with adversity; the unusual perspectives those gifts can bring; the truths they can reveal and the beauty that they can shape.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

8 thoughts on “*Blind Colour

  1. I’m incredibly impressed at the vividness of his work, and the strength of the lines. To do all this without -“seeing” the work….wow

  2. Hi Lilian, I’m not sure if you got my e-mail that I recently sent you.

    But I would also like to say that this part: “It gives me pause for thought: the plasticity of the brain; the gifts that come with adversity;” — I really enjoy this part, and it gives me pause for thought.

  3. Becca, Rachel and Farheen–thanks. I’m just interested in so many things that my blog reader covers a lot of different areas. Until I finish this draft, I’m skipping over a lot of them, but that one really caught my attention.

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