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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Art Challenges

Coloured etching of waterfall
All the way through school and college I was fascinated by art and  drew and painted every day.  I couldn’t have chosen a more difficult career as a blind person. However, the miniaturisation of video cameras in the 80s provided me with the opportunity to paint and etch, because without it I wouldn’t have had enough vision. The camera allowed me such powerful magnification, I was able to paint detail like never before. I was even able to see the end of my brush and pencil for the first time. 
However, due to this  majorly focussed method of drawing, I was never able to see my art work in its entirety. I had a video camera pointing at a table, on which I laid my art work. On my left there was a monitor at head height where the work was shown. While looking at the monitor I was able to paint or draw anything under the camera. To complicate matters further, I was totally blind in my right eye and in my left there was only a little vision out of one section. 

It was like painting a jigsaw puzzle one piece at a time. I had to constantly maintain the total picture in my head so that the complete image would make sense.
As with all students leaving, college many years ago, I met with the careers adviser. He read a list of all the classic blind jobs of the day. piano tuning, audio typist, masseur, physiotherapist, and telephony.  I shook my head and rejected them all.

He could have saved some time at the beginning if he had only asked me what I wanted to do?
   Despite having very poor vision, I had found that I was good at the “dual” arts of drawing and pontification! I was determined to pursue my art. When I told him this, it was as if I had suggested brain surgery. I’ll give him credit, he did his best to try and dissuade me. “Your sight isn’t good enough. There’s not any money in it. Do you know how fierce the competition is?” All is true and I considered his views carefully and then rejected them!.  

Consequently, I went off to become an artist - in later years, when what little vision I had failed, I became a journalist. Where I get to pontificate on a daily basis, great!  
black and sepia coloured stones steps going down to the river
When I think back it’s hard to believe that I worked as an artist for nearly sixteen years, until I lost what little vision I had.  The artist and reporter of today seem like two different people. However, I’ve now put a number of prints for sale on to a website. It is best that these etchings get aired, rather than sitting in the loft gathering dust.

The difficulty is, the artist is effectively dead as I am now totally blind and unable to create any more etchings, but I want people to enjoy the work I have completed.
Have a look and tell me what you think, see the link to the right and below.  

1 comment:

  1. Let Ian inspire you whilst you wait for work to come in. Max