Thursday, January 22, 2015

what is it like to be visually handicapped

Now I know what it feels like, looks like, and how one struggles when visually handicapped. Although I am not permanently handicapped to the harsher degree that many others are, I am  sympathetic having lived in a blurry strained world for the past six weeks.
I lost my best prescription glasses on a Frontier Airline flight to Denver in early December. No efforts with customer service have helped to reclaim them so I have had to wait until I could get a new pair along with new eye exams.

Meanwhile, as I was waiting for the new glasses I was under a final deadline to finish the series of Old Testament paintings for my church. I had agreed to have them all finished by the beginning of January.  Monday, January 20th was my very last day to add details and adjustments to the art.
This is an illustration for a story in a reading series that was published by SRA/McGraw-Hill's Reading Mastery.
I have been wearing glasses since I was 10 years old. I am very nearsighted and have severe astigmatism. With my astigmatism as a handicap, the computer is very hard to figure out. The text and pixelated forms are not only blurry, but they change shape in a frenzied dance, waving and doubling back and forth. I love spending time at my desktop reading blogs and looking at art sites. I haven't been able to do that in a while. Hence the lack of posting on this blog also. I can't be sure that I spell correctly when it is all wavy and blurred.
Eye of Christ detail from Easter Vigil series.

I painted the figure of Christ for the last of the Old Testament series with this handicap. To do this work I had to stand nose to the canvas and paint very slowly. With my nearsighted vision I can see detail pretty well if I am 5 inches from the subject. That describes how I have been working for the past six weeks, standing nose to the canvas, unable to step back and judge my progress.