Let me show you my best painting secret!
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He is one of the UK's most successful artists. His beautiful paintings remind one of Pierre Bonnard with their striking colorist influences. He also has one of the coolest names in the art world. Sargy Mann. He is also blind.
Sargy Mann has been an artist his entire adult life. His blindness became permanent in 2005 when he was already an old man. I say old in an objective sense. When you watch the video below you will be amazed by his energy and capacity for work. Even if he he still had his eyesight his accomplishments would be remarkable. But as a blind man? Well it is nothing short of inspirational.
What really struck me though is when Sargy Mann tells us what happened when he approached his canvas for the first time after complete blindness set in. He explains that he could see the colors clearly. He knew what the painting was in front of him. The colors were vibrant. The shapes manifested in his mind's eye. He was painting and he was enthralled by it. Onlookers were amazed by the painting's beauty too.
This made me realise that when we talk about seeing like an artist we must see intuitively. We must not worry about the details. Like in a dream we know what we see even though we cannot describe every little detail of what we see. Yet we are in no doubt about what is before us or what we are experiencing. We lose so much when we rely only on our eyesight.
Of course Sargy Mann is also an inspiration for his tremendous spirit. His capacity for positive action despite his loss is remarkable. I shall keep it in mind the next time I am in a petulent mood. Get on with it and stop moaning. Remember Sargy Mann!
So take a moment to watch this artist live his art and take comfort knowing that we all are capable of much more. We all are so blessed with talent.
Below is a brilliant documentary by Sargy Mann's son Peter Mann.