Sightless Painting

Squishy. Gritty. Slick. These were some of the words heard from visitors as they described the paint during the Family Painting Workshop with John Bramblitt on October 10. Nope, it wasn’t a finger painting workshop, participants were actually painting blindfolded!

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October 2009 is the seventh annual Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month. Organized by Art Education for the Blind (AEB), Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month raises public awareness about making art and culture a part of life for adults and children affected by sight loss. This year, in conjunction with the Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month, the Dallas Museum of Art is working with John Bramblitt to lead two painting workshops and to demonstrate his process as a blind painter.

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The Family Painting Workshop was made up of three mini workshops for families to paint together. Families each received a palette of paint, but not just any paint – textured paint! We mixed flour into the red paint, birdseed into the yellow, sand into the white paint, and added nothing to the blue paint. Participants had the chance to touch the paint to explore the various textures before choosing a raised line drawing created by John Bramblitt. John and his wife brought drawings of everything from butterflies and cars, to balloons and fish.

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Participants each chose one design and then put on a blindfold. Then John showed everyone how to visualize and to use their sense of touch, rather than their sight to paint. After determining the color of paint with touch alone, each painter used his or her non-painting hand to trace the line drawing and to try to determine where to begin painting. One father and daughter even competed with each other to determine who could make the best blindfolded painting! Everyone has a great time painting and all were eager to take their textured painting home.

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John Bramblitt will be at the Dallas Museum of Art again to talk about his process and invite visitors to explore sensory painting on Thursday, October 29th from 6:30-8:30pm. Join us in the Center for Creative Connections if you want to learn to paint without eyesight!

Posted by: Amanda

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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, Art Projects, Children’s art, DMA Programs, Parents

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