With the assistance of children’s author Tate (Kate Larkin, the Bone Expert, 2008, etc.), blind artist Bramblitt chronicles his childhood and his art without resorting to pathos or sentimentality.
From an early age, the author accepted the two halves of his life, sick and well, and integrated the two. In his memoir, he offers no complaints of the poor medical care he received from age 4 in his Texas hometown. He suffered from undiagnosed congenital kidney disease for three years, then months of Lyme disease, again undiagnosed, and eventually the epilepsy that would lead to total blindness. He was lucky, however, in that he always had friends by his side. They may not have always understood his difficulties, but they supported him. The author’s determination to complete school and teach, in spite of missed classes and incompletes, illustrates the remarkable tenacity with which he has attacked life. Early on, Bramblitt drew from memory—“all my favorite drawings were stored in my brain in all their intricate detail.” Surely this ability is what led him to find and develop haptic visualization, a way of seeing the small parts of an object in order to make them a whole. The sense of touch is a large part of the nature of that perception, and Bramblitt’s work is a good example of an artist who proves Picasso’s comment that a painter “paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.”
An artist’s story about more than just his talent and his techniques.