Renowned blind artist teaches workshops in Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY – John Bramblitt has an extraordinary eye for making art, but unlike most artists, he can’t see.

“The thing I love about art is that art is just about what you can do. It’s one of the things I love about it,” Artist John Bramblitt said.

He’s loved drawing since before he could walk, but seizures and Lyme’s disease took that away while he was in college at the University of North Texas.

“Art helped me get through that. I was so angry and depressed, and I couldn’t draw anymore. I thought it was impossible. I couldn’t feel the pencils or pens,” he said.

It took a year before Bramblitt picked up a paintbrush to try his favorite pastime again. An experience that changed his life.

“It was art that really pulled me out and saved me,” he said.

More than 15 years after he went blind, it’s now his life’s mission to teach others how to create art using other senses.

NewView Oklahoma raised money to bring Bramblitt to Oklahoma City to teach a workshop for the students in their art program.

“It builds confidence and self-esteem that they, too, can enjoy and excel in their experience in the arts,” said Sandy Wright with NewView Oklahoma.

His favorite subjects are people he’s never seen, like his wife and son.

Using his sense of touch more than anything else.

“Whenever I make a line, I make a line that I can touch and feel. It’s a tactile line,” Bramblitt said.

His paintings have lots of texture and vibrant colors, but how can he tell which color is which?

“With my colors, I braille my paint, so I know what colors I’m using, and I actually mix that paint so they feel different, so I can make white feel like toothpaste or black feel like oil,” he said.

And all those colors that he never sees come together to make life’s canvas complete.

Bramblitt has been awarded three presidential services awards for his art workshops.

He will create an art piece Friday night for an event at IAO gallery near downtown Oklahoma City

For more information on the event, click here.

Bramblitt will be hosting a lecture and book signing Saturday afternoon. Click here for more information.

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