Blind veteran Bob has been sharing his passion for painting

5 April 2018 17:00

Since learning sight loss painting techniques, blind veteran Bob has been sharing his skills with others living with a vision impairment.

RAF Blind veteran Bob, 73 and from Norfolk, joined Blind Veterans UK in January last year after losing his sight due to age-related macular degeneration.

Since attending an art week at our Brighton centre, where he learnt vision-impaired painting techniques using acrylic paint, Bob has been helping others with sight loss to enjoy art.

Blind veteran Bob teaching his local sight loss group to paint
Bob explaining techniques.

Bob is seen above explaining techniques to a keen group of would-be artists.

Bob said, “I really enjoyed the painting course in Brighton. Dave, one of the art & craft instructors at the Brighton centre, is really excellent and showed me many techniques for painting with my sight loss”.

Bob is also a member of The Norfolk & Norwich Association for The Blind and his idea was to take his newly acquired painting skills and teach local members. Bob’s first class was a huge success.  He explains, “Most of those attending have age-related macular degeneration leaving them with no central vision, just peripheral, and so I showed them how to put tape across the paper to create a horizon then, using a paint roller and light blue paint, they could paint in the sky”. 

"One of the first things they notice, when they arrive, is I give them 4” paint rollers and 2” brushes, much larger than they would be used to painting with.  Seeing a room of women brandishing rollers was an experience!"
Blind veteran Bob

Another trick Bob learnt was for painting clouds.  He explains again, “I use small sea sponges, natural sponge from the sea, and dipped in white paint these create very effective cloud formations”.

Table of paintings done by Bob Maple's local sight loss group
The result of the first lesson can be seen above.

The response to his first class was so good he has been asked to go back and do more which he says he is very happy to do.

He agreed that, “It is all about adapting, making use of different tools.  Painting is a wonderful pastime and I am so glad I can continue to do this and to teach others too”. 

This is what it is all about and we at Blind Veterans UK are very proud that Bob has been able to pass on the skills he has learnt to others. Keep up the good work, Bob.