...is your treat for this week. You've watched and questioned as the process evolves, and I thought you'd enjoy hearing more directly from Ruth herself.
ASK ONE BLIND ARTIST
By Ruth Bieber
As a child, and before I lost my sight, apparently I was quite the good little artist. I guess that fact stuck with me, because years later I continued to secretively harbour the desire to create with form, image and colour - oh, especially with colour! And then it happened. I found myself on sabbatical in New York City; the goal at the time was to write a book about my theatre arts experience, and hopefully produce one or more of the plays I’d written. And so, it was. But there was more, so much more. Magically NYC houses an organization called Art Beyond Sight, and the rest is history.
The truth is there are numerous blind artists worldwide who create visual arts in a variety of interesting ways depending on residual vision, art education and predisposition.
The way I create art continues to evolve, but fundamentally my goal is to create art that is interesting to both the sense of sight and touch. I’m less interested in representational creations, although I have my moments.
Yes, this is my foot, and you can see and feel it (or will when the painting is finished). Mostly I am interested in activating line, texture and vibrant colour. And, I am not so interested in proving to the world, that ‘I did it all by myself’. I am a true creature of collaboration; enter artist, neighbour and friend Win Dinn.
When Win and I first began creating together, we naturally both had to feel our way into the wonderful rhythm we now enjoy. Win’s creativity is surpassed only by her courageous willingness to dive into the unknown and the unseen. My first suggestion to her was to attempt creating a piece of art with eyes closed. In no time she finished a piece that I find very prickly to the touch, but I’ll bet is beautiful to the eye.
|Win here, laughing hysterically over the latter thought! 😂|
I’m sure we also talked about process together but the best thing about art is simply the doing. Initially, we tried to work with implements such as paintbrushes and pallet knives. Go figure, right? I did try, but before long Win understood that I am, literally, a hands-on kind of painter. That’s right - blob of paint in a foam dish, glove on hand. There is only one glove, as I use the other hand to orient my way around the painting. Win is a master at mixing paints, and I get such a vicarious hit from listening to her exclaim in delight at the magic of the blending and movement of colour.
I am deeply spiritual, and love playing cards! Hope that made you smile.
And, the thing I love the most about working with Win is her patient detail to layering, and more layering. The process adds so much energy and texture to each piece, which I find both powerful and delightful. Oh, and the alcohol inks! I would be totally remiss if I didn’t mention the dancing magic of the alcohol inks! The alchemy of the inks is only surpassed by the happy dance – that’s Win when she is accenting an art piece with these bits of liquid magic. Turns out alcohol inks and deep texture are a match made in heaven.
We have explored other strategies such as stamps and stencils, to which I feel I have had some moderate success. The thing is, Win knows I aspire to include some hard edges in my art, and we are always trying new ways to manage. Win is full of ideas, and together we make a creative and fun-loving pair, creating ‘Beyond the Horizon’.