I was born with bilateral glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, acute myopia and a hearing defect. My sight condition was not diagnosed until I was 11 years old so I missed out on my early years of education as I was unable to see the blackboard and most teachers wrote me off as being uneducatable. I spent most of my school days painting in the art room, collecting milk crates or playing football and I grew up on my wits in a mining village in the heart of the Northumberland coalfield.
Throughout my life I was faced with a visual challenge but was never deterred by my handicap and went on to enjoy a very successful Import and Export Shipping career that took me all around the world. The culmination of my career was starting my own business which became known in every part of the world and won many National awards.
In 1997 my sight diminished further and I had no other choice than to take early retirement and I was registered blind. It was at this point that I started painting with water colour and later moved to acrylic. Most of my paintings feature seascapes, fishing boats or some element of water that are always captured in my mind when out walking with my wife, Janet, and guide dog, Marshall, around the many beauty spots of Devon and Cornwall.
Because of my blindness it is not possible for me to sit out and paint on location. My wife takes photographs with a digital camera for me which are downloaded and I then use the Daylight Professional Artist’s Lamp and Magnifying Lamp which is a prerequisite in making the required details accessible. Without quality lighting it would be impossible to follow and see the digital photographs in detail to create a quality painting. I am able to use Daylight lamps for long periods of time without sustaining any side effects such as flashing, floaters or even headaches which is often the case when I have used other lamps. My motto is ‘We have little sight, so keep it bright and of course we require very good light’.
Daylight Lamps have helped me in my journey to enjoying art again, and I look forward to being able to share some tailored advice and product reviews for others living with low vision.