A Brush with Darkness: Learning to Paint After Losing My Sight

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Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 212 pages
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When Lisa Fittipaldi went blind at the age of forty-seven, she descended into a freefall of anger and denial that lasted for two years. In this moving memoir, she paints a vivid picture of the perceptual and emotional darkness that accompanied her vision loss, and her arduous journey back into the sighted world through mastery of the principles of art and color. The challenge of a child's watercolor set, thrown down like a gauntlet by her frustrated husband, opened the door to a new life. Discovering that her ability to master the small world of the canvas enabled her to navigate the wide world she'd lost, she painstakingly taught herself to draw and paint, substituting rigorous study of the principles of art and color theory for her lost vision. Lisa doesn't see color, distance, dimension, or print. Yet she depicts groups of people caught in the activities of daily living in astonishing detail and spectacular color. She has sold over 500 original paintings internationally. Scientists and researchers seek out her insight into vision and perception. "I truly feel that unless blindness had toppled the carefully maintained edifice I called my life, there is no way that I would be the kinder, more fulfilled person I am today," Lisa writes. "I found my life's passion in painting. Blindness took away my sight but gave me clarity of vision. It took blindness to teach me the meaning of love and friendship."

 

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Very interesting and well written commentary of her strategy for coping with her health issues and loss of sight! It must be very helpful to have a photographic memory?

Contents

CHAPTER ONE Darkness Falls
3
CHATTER TWO Vanishing Point
20
CHAPTER THREE Shadow Play
39
CHAPTER FOUR First Light
61
CHAPTER FIVE Walking in Space
81
CHAPTER six Painting in the Dark
97
CHAPTER SEVEN On the Road
117
CHAPTER EIGHT The Blind Artist
130
CHAPTER NINE Course Correction
155
CHAPTER TEN An Artist Who Happens
178
CHAPTER ELEVEN The Minds Eye the Hearts Ease
201
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About the author (2004)

A trauma care nurse and CPA before she lost her sight, Lisa Fittipaldi, whom the London Telegraph calls "a rising star in the art world," began selling her work in 1996, first at local shows, then at art fairs around the country, and today on her Web site and in galleries all over the world. She has appeared on dozens of local and national television programs, granted radio and print interviews, and given speeches and demonstrations to both blind and sighted audiences. She founded the Mind's Eye Foundation in 1999 to provide specially equipped computers to vision- and hearing-impaired schoolchildren so they can remain in mainstream schools. She and her husband, Al, run a bed and breakfast in San Antonio, Tex.

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