Blind Painter Sargy Mann

This is an astonishing story. Sargy Mann grew increasingly blind as he aged, eventually completely losing his sight. But he still wanted to paint. From a Guardian article on his life: After meticulously mapping out a scene on canvas one day after completely losing his sight, he hesitantly decide to apply paint, starting the ultramarine blue. “What followed was one of the strangest sensations of my life: I ‘saw’ the canvas turn blue as I put the paint down. Next I put my Schminke magenta, and ‘saw’ it turn rose. The colour sensation didn’t last, it was only there while I was putting the paint down, but it went on happening with different colours…”

”Like all painters, he suggests, he felt he knew instinctively … that ‘seeing’ was a learned activity that went on in different, discrete parts of the brain – the imaginative piecework of collating form, and colour, and light into an understandable vision of the world, one you constantly made up as you went along.”

BBC video interview and painting demonstration:

Regardless of his limitations, what Sargy Mann needed was inspiration, determination, and a system. Not everyone can do everything equally well, but set your mind to the right thing and you can do it.