Like many active artists, John Bramblitt has plenty of beautiful creations. Unlike them, he hasn’t actually seen a single one of his works in over a decade, having completely lost his sight for the last 13 years.
Rather than rely on sight to guide him in his paintings, the artist uses a highly-attuned sense of touch. He can distinguish the color of each paint by feeling their textures with his fingers; he uses haptic visualization to create a mental picture of his subjects; and he starts paintings by drawing raised lines using fabric paint that help him find his way around the canvas.
According to Bramblitt, the blindness has even proved as somewhat of an advantage for his art. While most sighted artists work by spending a lot of time looking at a subject, he has developed his sense of touch so well that he can feel a person’s face for five minutes and immediately have a full image in his mind. Losing his sight has also changed his entire way of perceiving the quality of his work – no longer do his portraits rely on a precise likeness to a subject, for instance, with the intangible elements being as much a part of every single work he makes.