Local blind artist shares inspiring story

By Alex Atwell - Photojournalist

"I would say I try to be a jack of all trades's. I'm a painter, I'm also a musician, I play guitar bass and a couple bands. Yeah, that's what I try to do that or just keep it within the arts and now I get lots of recognition for all my paintings, so it's kind of crazy."

There's a unique reason Brendan is getting attention for his artwork.

"Because I'm blind I guess, and people say I have talent, I don't know if that's true but that's what people tell me. I guess that's for the viewer to determine," he says with a laugh.

"I find since I've lost my vision painting is kind of a new way for me see you again. I get to create images that translate from mine from the memories that were in my brain."

It has also been a healing and rewarding process for Patrick being able to paint.

"Well, it's rewarding because it's a way for me to see you again. And it's healing a process since I've lost my vision. With me being able to have this creative process of being able to translate images from my brain onto campus just creating has done a lot for my mental health. And even more wild is I'm kind of becoming a voice for the blind. I get a lot of blind people reaching out to me through doing gallery shows and getting a little bit of media coverage you're in there. Now I try to get to help out blind people. So that's been very very rewarding for me, you know trying to turn this situation that I have into a positive spin. Trying to help others with it."

"I mean I welcome the attention, if I didn't I guess I would have my easel turned around the other way. I'm trying to kind of branch out to be a voice for the blind at this point. Trying to bring awareness to Natalie being blind but awareness to cystic fibrosis. That's how I lost my vision was just complications with my cystic fibrosis. Like I said I just welcome the attention."

Brendan has painted since he was a kid. He even did tattoos for a while before losing his vision.

"Here I am, I figured out how to paint again. Or use a puffy paint as an outline and it builds up some texture to make it raised. And then all my pains they are all brailled out. At that point, to oversimplify it, it's basically a coloring book and I try to stay in between the lines it's not always the case," he says jokingly.

"I definitely lean towards greens, lime Green is definitely my favorite. In my former life when I had fission I would watch tons of old monster movies like Creature from the Black Lagoon and Nosferatu. I feel as if that's kind of carried over into a lot of my work since I've been blind. Just kind of having those old monster movies embedded in the back of my brain, it's been endless creative inspiration."

"When I lost my vision I had to figure out my technique, what to paint and how to paint it. And these silly little ghouls that I paint a lot of have kind of become my signature piece."

He takes pride in overcoming this hurdle...with the help of humor.

"I just find humor has carried me so far through all of my trials tribulations."

"The part that I'm the most proud of, about getting my artwork out there, is just the response that a tad and just kind of the out reach and being able to meet a lot of other blind people that have kind of gone through similar situations. I found that my humor and kind of help their situation along. And I've found that's pretty amazing."

Brendan's story is being turned into a documentary. Find out more info here...

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