John Bramblitt discovered the recipe for painting extraordinary art after he lost his sight and makes us see life just a little bit brighter because of it.
Sit in front of an empty canvas holding a pallet full of oils and close your eyes. Dip your fingers into the paint and touch it, really touch it. What do you feel? Probably the tacky wetness, the viscosity to be sure, but what happens in your heart? Are you transported and inspired by what you’ve got on your hands? Does it reach your soul and set you onto a course of visual magic? Lofty words, to be sure, and ones to which you may not easily have the answers. But if you’re John Bramblitt, it’s very simple. “Yes.” To all of it.
John Bramblitt uses touch to sense color. He is uniquely in tune with the paint and is able to blend hues together by feel to create something that is mind blowing for a couple of reasons. One is because they are exceptionally moving pieces of vivid art. And, two, is because John is blind.
Since 2001, due to epilepsy medicine, John’s been unable to see with his eyes. He wasn’t a painter before that. He was a writer. And he found himself drawn to the canvas, drawn to creating visual arts after he lost his eyesight. Yeah, AFTER. He relies on the feel of the paints on his fingers and how they transform as they are mixed together or with water. He views it all as a recipe and himself as a sort of baker of images.
To hear John tell it, he’s like a master chef, creating extraordinary delicacies for the eyes instead of the belly. Different colors have different viscosity and weight in certain paints—oils most specifically. When you get to water colors, well, they all feel–as in touch–pretty much the same so John uses braille code paints to help him create what he “sees” in his heart. These are paintings that embody his deepest cares, like those of his wife and his son, whom he’s never “seen.” But he feels them, with his hands and, most importantly, his soul, and that depth of emotional connection comes to life on the canvas in almost photo realistic ways.
Maybe it’s hard to believe a blind painter would exist, let alone be so masterful. After all, it seems like an oxymoron to say, “Blind painter,” doesn’t it? But this man, this artist, feels in a way that comes from every sensory input possible and his canvases transform, transport, and move us because of it. Claude Monet, who had gone nearly blind later in life due to cataracts, once said of his own extraordinary painting, “All I did was to look at what the universe showed me, to let my brush bear witness to it.” And so, too, does John Bramblitt, with all his heart.
John Bramblitt Videos
To discover more of John's incredible artwork and see what else he's up to, check out his website at http://www.bramblitt.com/