Learning to See Through Art
Last updated: April 2023
My typical evenings
Most evenings you will find me wrapped up in my latest art project. This is the highlight of my day, this time revolves around drawing, painting, sketching, or coloring.
During the day I am working on the usual household chores. When I have been successful in completing these chores, I then cross off these accomplishments from my never-ending list. My “reward” is my art time at night.
Myopic macular degeneration (MMD) can, at times, present some challenges to this art time. I often have an LED lamp on my desk lit, the overhead can lights with their LED bulbs shining bright, and the 4 additional lights in the ceiling fan beaming as well. With this assistance, I am able to work on any project I so desire.
I also have a pair of “computer” glasses, prescription ones, so that I can focus on my project at hand. Often I am using my Mac computer to project the picture I am working on. With these glasses, I can focus on my desktop and the computer without any problem.
I feel very blessed to be able to do the things I do, painting, drawing, sketching... My MMD has been in a holding pattern for about a year now. With the injections I received back in the early days of my diagnosis, the bleedings were successfully stopped.
That being said, the damage that those leaks did cannot be undone. The constant reminder is the blurry “thumb-shaped” blob that obscures my left eye’s vision. The daily rechecks with the Amsler grid is my persistent reminder of this.
My worry becomes multi-fold: Is the affected eye holding its own? What about the good eye? Any changes in the vision of that eye that I can detect? What are the possibilities that this will become worse? Or when will it happen? What will my limitation be? Will I lose my art to this disease?
Turning it around
On those days when I worry and wonder what is to be, it is difficult to be optimistic. But I really try to dig in and turn my thoughts around. I try to focus on what I can do, what I can see, and continue to pursue this crazy art world I have entered into.
The soul of the artist
American author Seth Godin once said, “What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something is risky. Something is human. Art is not in the eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.”
As I journey through this thing we call life, I hope that no matter what I am creating, no matter how frustrating myopic macular degeneration is or becomes, that I will be able to overcome my resistance, ignore the voice of doubt, and make something worth making. Truly believing that art is not in the eye of the beholder but in the soul of the artist.
Do you find that fear interferes with your ability to regularly go to eye specialist appointments?