Blind Artist Teaches Visually Impaired East Texas Students

Blind Artist Teaches Visually Impaired East Texas Students

LONGVIEW, Texas – If you can’t see, you can still do a painting. That’s what a North Texas artist discovered after he lost his sight.

John Bramblit is legally blind, but that didn’t stop him from painting.

“If you’re visually impaired you just find a different way of doing it,” Bramblit said. “And the great thing about art is it’s all about what you can do and what you can’t do doesn’t matter. So if you want to draw something, you want to paint something you want to make something you just find a way that works.”

And that’s exactly what he taught a group from 20 school districts in Region 7. The kids started by feeling what’s inside a box and then drawing it. Whitehouse Junior High seventh grader Caselynn Dechiro figured it out quickly.

“I can feel, I can feel as well as draw, like feel while I’m drawing,” Dechiro said.

Bramblit teaches to draw by making a dent so the lines can be felt.

“There’s lots of different ways to be able to paint without having sight,” Bramblit said. “Today though I’m going to show the kids my favorite way because I’m going to make each color feel different. So, every color will feel different.. I think of colors and textures as being the same thing now.”

He says, for example, he’ll make white feel like toothpaste and black feel like oil. Bramblitt says at first his paintings were pretty chunky so they could easily be felt.

“But over the 20 years though I’ve been able to paint thinner,” Bramblit said. “So, I can do painting now that are very, very thin because I have different techniques. But to be honest it’s more fun to paint thick.”

His purpose today is to bring out the students’ creativity.

“And be able to show them and prove to them that they can do whatever they want, they can be whatever they want,” Bramblitt said.

Bramblit was always involved in art, but he didn’t start painting until he lost his sight in 2001. He believes everyone has an artist somewhere in them.

March 2, 2023




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