Artists Continue to Make Art After Sight Loss

Question: What does an artist do when she loses her sight?
Answer: She makes Art!
I love reading about how other artists deal with loss of sight. I often wondered how an artist would cope with sight loss. I had read of many artists who lost their eyesight. When I was teaching and lecturing on art and artists, I would often note when an artist would be blind, after years of making art. I wondered how that transition would be made by the artist. I never suspected that it would happen to ME! We seldom ever see ourselves beyond how we are at the moment. And, I believe, we seldom ever imagine that WE would some day have a disability or a challenge like the one we read about that someone ELSE has. .
Making art was something I did most of my life. I cannot remember not making art. When confronted with my own challenge of sudden and profound sight loss in 2007, it meant that I shifted from making painting and woodcut prints, to making pottery.
I have always been a very optimistic person – mostly. After the initial shock and months (now 3 1/2 years) of rehabilitation, I viewed my sight loss as an entry into a new world and took it as a chance to make a new life for myself – one I would never have chosen to make.Sight Loss marked a new phase in my life – I celebrated by switching to a new art medium instead of trying to resurrect the former ones I had worked in for over 30 years. Sight Loss meant a New Kind of Life – New Paths to explore. New Adventures – New Friends – and New Ways of Doing EVERYTHING.

It’s nearly the end of April! It’s a nice sunny day. My travels for the month of April are now behind me, Bob and I had celebrated our 50th Anniversary on April 14 in Puerto Rico. Our daughter Ilsa and her family was there with us for the week. Then, we traveled to Ilsa’s home for our annual family celebration in Kentucky.

Upon our arrival back home yesterday, I started cleaning my studio for the season. It is a kind of ritual that I have to do every spring – Spring Cleaning of the River Road Studio. Once I have it all in order, then I can begin to work there.
Today, I will finish it and be in there working on my pottery and bead work creations from mow till December when I close it for the winter months. SPRING is HERE in PA, Officially.

My studio is now OPEN and I am IN IT AGAIN. But now, there is not the smell of paints and inks, and stacks of canvases. Now, it is CLAY and POTS and a table with a CCTV on it so I can work away at my intricate encrusted bead worked pieces. I have one-person gallery show that will open in September, so I have lots of work to do from now until then.

Art truly is for everyone – even blind people. this blind photographer inspired me today!
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