Artist Discovers Love Of Painting After Going Blind, Creates Stunning Images Through Touch

John Bramblitt is an artist who paints through touch after losing his eyesight 12 years ago. Bramblitt has had epilepsy since he was a young boy and eventually it caused him to lose his vision. “My eyes are perfect, but it’s the part of my brain that makes the images doesn’t work anymore,” he says.

Although he can no longer see color, shape or form, Bramblitt has found a way to paint vibrant pictures and portraits using the textures of paints and his hands to feel out forms and shapes. Take a look at some of his stunning work below, which he kindly shared with

“Basically what I do is replace everything that the eyes would do for a sighted artist with the sense of touch,” explains Bramblitt, who lives with his family in Denton Texas.


John Bramblitt

Bramblitt had drawn all his life, but when he lost his sight, he fell into a deep depression and for the first year it didn’t occur to him to do any art. He felt he had no worth anymore.


John Bramblitt

He eventually realized he had to get back into art. He began experimenting and soon developed techniques to not only draw on the canvas but to identify and mix colors.


John Bramblitt

Much like a sculptor, he’s replaced his eyes with his hands. He uses a special fabric paint with raised edges to first sketch the outline of his work and guide him on the canvas.


John Bramblitt

He uses the texture of the paints to sense what color they are and then mixes them. He says that with oil paints it’s easy to create different textures because they are made from different substances.


John Bramblitt


John Bramblitt

As to how he senses what colors to apply and where, that is a little more complicated.


John Bramblitt

Bramblitt says he gets a sense of color from feeling.


John Bramblitt

He also has a rare condition called Chromesthesia, a form of synesthesia, in which sounds manifest themselves in his mind as colors.


John Bramblitt

For the past decade Bramblitt has been refining his technique to create colorful, joyful paintings.


John Bramblitt

He takes subject matter from life around him. For example, painting his guide dog.


John Bramblitt

And other dogs he meets.


John Bramblitt


John Bramblitt

He says that he began painting because he “wanted to reconnect with people” and he has done that and gotten so much more from his art. “I’m still an epileptic and I”m still blind, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. Life has more color, I’ve got more love in my life.”


John Bramblitt

Images republished on with permission of John Bramblitt.

To get a better sense of his technique and what drives him to paint in the video below. To see more of Bramblitt’s work and purchase prints visit his website.

Please share Bramblitt’s paintings with your family and friends!

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