Can blind people draw?

Can blind people draw? It seems like an absurd question on the face of it.

Tommy Edison, who has been blind since birth, takes on the task with courage and humor. (Direct link to video).

The challenge is not just remembering where you put the lines. There are tactile drawing tools he might have used. The problem is that a blind person's apprehension of form is primarily tactile, and therefore viewpoint-independent. As he puts it: "Everything I experience is three dimensional. So it's very difficult for me to imagine putting a three dimensional thing onto a flat piece of paper."

He visualizes both a cat and a car from the side, but made up from details gathered by the hands: The car has only wheels and doors, but no roof, hood, or outer contour. A three-quarter view or foreshortened view would probably be hard to conceptualize.

A good challenge for sighted artist is to do the exact opposite of what Tommy Edison is doing: to look at an object, and to apprehend the felt form, ignoring appearances.

Previously on GurneyJourney
Seeing with the hands
Tactile drawing (using yarn on Velcro)
Check out Tommy Edison's Movie Reviews
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