Category Archives: artists with disabilities

Vision Problems Guide Artists

By looking at his paintings, you probably never guessed that Edgar Degard could not see well. However, the French realist painter was believed to have a congenital retinal problem. Similarly, Mary Cassatt and Claude Monet both had cataracts, which explain why the artists had trouble differentiating color later in life. And sketch artist Charles Méryon never toyed with color because he was well aware of his color-blindness.

Several artists have suffered from eye problems that pose obstacles to their chosen career paths. However, many artists leveraged their disabilities, using them as tools to guide their distinct style and career.

For instance, Peter Milton was diagnosed with color-blindness in 1962. This occurred after he spent years painting, teaching art, and studying under the master of color, Josef Albers. Upon receiving his diagnosis, Milton abandoned color; instead, he committed himself to the creation of black and white masterpieces. The absence of color did not void other creative elements of his artwork, though. Milton produced intricate works of art that are best described as “visual puzzles in which past and present seem to merge.”

Milton found a way to work around his eye problems while other artists did not. It has been reported that one in 10 men has color-blindness. A professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University, Michael Marmor, recognizes the challenge artists face when diagnosed with vision troubles. He tells NPR that “most artists who found out they were colorblind just switched to printmaking or sculpture.”

Some artists worked through their eye problems to create the art they loved and were known for. Claude Monet was quoted as saying, “At first I tried to be stubborn. How many times … have I stayed for hours under the harshest sun sitting on my campstool, in the shade of my parasol, forcing myself to resume my interrupted task and recapture the freshness that had disappeared from my palette! Wasted efforts.”

Throughout history, several artists approached vision troubles differently. Some worked through them, others looked past them, and many worked around their eye problems. Milton, who is a shining example of how to work around color-blindness, attributes his artistic style to his disability. “… It helps to have a disability,” he told NPR, “because when you can do anything, which of all the things you can do are you gonna choose? So something has to help you make the choice.”

Some of the world’s most well-known artwork has been produced by artists with vision problems. The pieces may seem to use askew color options or be void of color entirely, but to us, these color choices make the artwork appear distinct. And who knows, perhaps an artist accepted his or her disability and set out to create art in this authentic way.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

EnChroma Introduces Colorblind People to Color

The Gift of Color Vision

The Importance of Color Vision and Art

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“The Pixel Painter”

The-Pixel-PainterHow would you respond to a losing your eyesight? What if physical limitations forced you to rethink your favorite activities? Could you adapt?

Setbacks can too easily keep us from doing what we love. More often than not it seems we are quick to accept restrictions and slow to persevere.

A 97 year old man is proving no obstacle – even blindness – needs to stop a pursuit of dreams. You are never too old to put art at the heart.

Who is “The Pixel Painter”

Hal Lasko suffers from wet macular degeneration. This type of visual impairment is age-related. The disease prohibits Hal from seeing fine detail. In fact, his vision has deteriorated to such a level that he is considered legally blind. Even though age-related macular degeneration causes trouble seeing straight ahead, Hal pursues artistic activities.

In his professional career, Hal Lasko was a type designer; an artist who created fonts. This allowed him to turn his attention to digital art. At that time, he did not know that a computer would later become his preferred medium for artwork.

Interestingly enough, there are no secrets or intricacies to the computer tool he uses to produce art. Hal uses one of the simplest apps: Microsoft Paint. On this program, Hal is able to enlarge portions of his design so he can see what he is doing.

It took him months to make the switch from brush to computer screen, but now he spends several hours a day creating detailed artwork. He creates beautiful landscapes with a digital look; they are beautiful and inspirational in unique ways.

Hal turns 98 this year. In honor of his birthday, all original work is available on http://www.hallasko.com/. Each piece is appropriately priced at $98.

To promote this special sale and chronicle the story of an artist, follow this link and watch Hal Lasko’s video interview: http://www.today.com/tech/legally-blind-97-year-old-makes-masterpieces-simple-paint-app-6C10732493.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art and Disabilities:

Art Therapy Treats more than the Heart

How to turn your Passion into Profit

Art Beneath Your Feet

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Blind Artist’s Vision is Clearer than that of Sighted Individuals

For an artist, how important is the ability to see? For example, does a painter need sight in order to make artwork? Yes, such an individual does need sight, but not necessarily the type that comes through the eyes. Rather, they need sight that comes through the imagination. Artist John Bramblitt is proving this to the world by creating incredible paintings with only his fingers and his imagination at his disposal.

Studio artist John Bramblitt sees life in color, despite the fact that he is blind. His blindness, caused by epilepsy, intruded on his life about nine years ago, when he was just thirty years old. Adjusting to living with blindness after a lifetime of sightedness was certainly not easy. When asked what shade his initial depression was, he said, “Oh my word, it was the worst black. It was like being in a hole.” Amazingly, the artist began to learn to paint after these complications with his sight began.

Bramblitt’s paintings are just about as vivid as can be, which gives us a peek into his mind and allows us to see things from his perspective. But how does a blind individual know which colors to use and how to mix them to achieve the artful effects they desire? John Bramblitt has learned the “feel” of colors by memorizing the texture of different shades of paint. (The texture varies in each color due to the oil content in the paint.) He outlines what he wants to paint before rendering it, and he carefully guides the strokes of his brush with the help of his fingers.

This incredibly positive and unique artist often paints images of people’s faces, which is a difficult feat for someone who can physically see, let alone an artist who is blind. Bramblitt imagines a subject by touching his or her face. He used this technique on Tony Hawk, an individual he had never before seen in his life. The finished product resembled the subject remarkably. Bramblett has used the same technique on his wife and son. Although he has never seen either with his eyes, it’s obvious he has seen them perfectly in his mind, as his portraits of them are quite accurate.

Bramblett has great anticipation for his future as an artist. In his own words, “It’s brilliant (the future), it’s just the most brilliant colors and I can’t wait to see it take form, to see it take shape.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-20037973.html

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