The artist and keratoconus

The artist and keratoconus


At the age of 13 I was told that I would be blind by 21. That was in 1977 and obviously I can still see. Well


  1. I think that a substantial part of being an artist is not what you can create, it is what you can conceive of. Learning how to paint a good reproduction of something – freehand or not – does not necessarily make you an artist. Creating something using whatever tools, that did not exist before except in your own mind, does make you an artist – a creator, not a copier. I think your usage of photos to paint from make you a painter, but your use of computer tools to create something that did not (as a whole) exist anywhere except in your mind, is what makes you an artist. I understand the difficulties your vision creates in allowing you to be an artist on the canvas, but the computer tools are those that put the act of creation into your hands.

    1. That’s a really good point and I agree wholeheartedly 🙂 “What we conceive of.” 🙂 Thanks 🙂

  2. I hear you. I’m heavily myopic (-5 dpt, basically been that way for all my life), and although I wear glasses, the world still looks distorted to me: either because it’s, well, all depth-of-field (and quite a noisy one! Need more pixel samples! LOL), or because the lenses refract light and thus turn straight lines into curves and throw proportion off.
    I’m not that good at drawing from a static flat copy, though, even when I can hold it close to my eyes unaided; so when I’m forced to use photo references only, it’s always a major headache. It’s somehow easier for me to use videos that, being dynamic in nature, help me to construct a 3D image in my head and draw from there.
    I have to say, I really like the way you approach colour in paintings. I think it fits along the advice the late great Andrew Loomis was giving to aspiring artists in his books. Any random photo is “realistic”, but a good photo or a good painting is “hyperrealistic”: an image on paper (or even on a computer screen!) has a smaller dynamic range than the light does in the real world, so in order for this limited image to produce the same impression as the real world does, the artist has to play up some features of what he sees and mute others. I think Paul Klee said something along the lines that an artist does not re-create but co-creates.

    1. We have bad eye-sight in common 🙂 It is a strength as well as a weakness 🙂 Thankyou for sharing that. And thankyou for your generous comments about my colours. Also thankyou for telling me about hyperrealism. I must look that up. 🙂

        1. Cool. Thanks. I will see if I can convince the wife to let me get it 🙂

  3. I share your problem. I only have one eye, my left, with keratoconus, but I get to add to that a hereditary problem with red/green color-blindness. I don’t feel that any tool an artist uses for any reason invalidates the art. William-Adolphe Bouguereau probably used optical mirrors to put a photo-like image on his canvas which used to make the preliminary drawing. This made his work very realistic. But it doesn’t invalidate his work any more than using a camera makes a photographer less than an artist. Must we paint without paint brushes too? The art is not in the tools, it is in the mind and heart of the artist.

    1. Thank you for your comment. 🙂 Yes, maybe we should all go back to finger painting! 🙂 I agree with you 🙂

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