Painting Blind


You know how sometimes ice freezes on the windows of the house or the car and the light comes in and you can kinda see shapes, but you can’t really see out because it is blurry and broken up? And when it is on your windshield you don’t drive until you’ve scraped it off (or you shouldn’t. *cough* *cough*), because that would be dumb?

Apparently, I am not all that bright.

I don’t think anyone is surprised by this.

Last week upon waking up in the morning my eyelid chose to rip off part of my cornea for no apparent reason and with zero warning. I have no idea what kind of dispute they got into overnight while I was dreaming, but I really don’t feel that violence was the answer.

A trip to the eye doctor netted me the announcement that I had dry eyes, a prescription for medicated goo, and a long lecture about how corneas work.

The eye goop makes everything seen out of the eye it is in look exactly like an iced over window. And instead of doing anything sensible, I decided to paint. Because of course I did.

The first day I was clear I had some fascinating issues resulting from keeping one eye gooped up and closed. Depth perception is a thing, and I regularly missed my water cup with my paintbrush which you’d think might indicate there were other issues, but I really am remarkably unobservant most of the time.

The next day seemed better and I thought I had adjusted well to one eye. Then a friend asked for a ride to the clinic and without thinking I agreed.


Apparently eyes that were okay indoors were NOT okay in the sunlight and I spent the entire drive with eyes streaming and other assorted complications and it would have been smart to go home and make other arrangements, but then you are already half way there….

Parking with depth perception issues is an adventure.

Also, I really needed an eye patch. One with sparkles.

Long story short, we are all glad that I didn’t take out large pets and small children.

After arriving safely at home I was sensible enough not to drive again for a bit, but not sensible enough to give up trying to paint. The end result is actually not bad. But if you look at any of my reference photos:

And then you look at my painting, they aren’t quite the same. I swear I painted what I saw, but apparently, with wacky eyes the flower looked really stripy. Who knew? So I am pretending it is a new variety of water lily.

Also, I may need to tone down the green a bit.

ANYWAY, this water lily is from last fall’s visit to Kew Gardens. Because I went to Europe and mostly took photos of flowers I had at home. Because, of course. I loved the reflection in the water and wanted to try it. Full disclosure – the stripy-ness isn’t the only issue with this painting. It looks okay from a distance but up close you can see me waver all over the place. But it’s a reflection, so I decided it was okay. Also, I am too lazy to redo it. Also, I painted it while basically blind. That makes it INCREDIBLE. I am basically a genius.

The flowers may not be different than ones I have access to here, but I don’t care. Kew Gardens is lovely, and not just because you can purchase a full English tea and sit in the sunshine while consuming it. Speaking of food, there is a bakery on the way from the station to the garden, and on the way there was a little girl with a pastry the size of her head and a look of deep satisfaction on her face. Ever since I have desperately wanted a donut the size of my head even though I don’t like donuts. I have issues.

There was also a little boy in the gardens with bright yellow rain boots and no inhibitions. One memorable minute I didn’t capture on camera was of him on the floor of bridge peering though the gaps in the slats with his butt high in the air. Adorable.

Also, you know why it is named Kew Gardens? We decided it was because the birds there said “kewkewkew” when they talked. So of course there is no other logical explanation.

I refuse to Google it to learn otherwise.

7 Responses

  1. I love that you didn’t let this issue slow you down. Perhaps a new subspecies…a Malarkey waterlily. Take care of those precious eyes of yours.

  2. Brandi, I love the painting just the way it is! It is beautiful. Sorry you are having issues with your eyes. Hope it gets better soon.

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