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.