I never chose to be an artist, art chose me. It is really kind of funny and may be God’s little joke because I was born legally blind. For the first three years of my life I was so far sighted that I could not see my own hands. I of course knew no better. I could see shapes and colors and movement. So I loved TV with all the moving colors and my parents while suspicious had no idea that I, their first child, had a significant problem with vision. When it was discovered at the age of three, I received my first pair of coke bottle glasses and began visual therapy, patch wearing and all. I saw my mother for the first time and began to connect visually. Since the age of eleven I have worn contacts which brought my vision up high enough to read and to drive. I am lucky.
My art reflects my distorted view of the world, because color shape and movement define my art. The fundamentals of vision are the tools I use in creating abstract imagery. Others may never notice these things but I am acutely tuned in.
I also care deeply about organizations which help those who have low vision or who are blind and as part of that I have been involved with an amazing organization called Lighthouse for the Blind. Every year they host “Art in the Dark “where all the art is covered and bidders must see the art through their hands. The money that they raise goes to helping children and adults whose are legally blind to learn braille, find jobs, and find independence.
I am forever grateful for my vision and it is now my livelihood. I still do not have perfect vision, but it is pretty good. Ironically when I moved to Florida I drove to the DMV to change my license. I had all the paperwork that they require, but I flunked the eye exam. I did great on one eye and then could not even see the letters or that there were letters with my left eye. Oops one of my contacts was out. I suggested switching the contact I did have over to the other eye and trying again, but the DMV was not having it. I did not remember not putting in the second contact, and could not see that it was still in the container and my brain compensated and funneled everything to my right eye. So I retrieved the missing contact and went back to the DMV. Finally, I passed, and have my driver’s license.
You see (no pun intended) I cannot know what I do not see. I also see what you do not see. I look at the world through and artist’s eyes. I see contrast and color and notice patterns that you probably never see. Perhaps my vision is better that 20-20 , in that I see the beauty behind the acuity. Just like a musician can hear the music in their brain, I can see the painting in my brain. In my work, The Music between the Keys, I explore what it is to see what is not yet there and then to create it. That is how I view my work, it is visual emotion brought to the viewer as shapes, lines, colors and movement.