Colin Huw Gibbs

Colin Gibbs painting

Name: Rev. Colin Huw Gibbs
Date of Birth: 14 February 1935
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Joined Blind Veterans UK: 17 July 2003

Colin has always had a creative side. Before he joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1953 he worked as a Junior Reporter at international news agency Reuters, providing copy for the BBC and national newspapers. He returned to Reuters after leaving the army in 1955 and moved into sales and marketing for a variety of London companies. He then went on to join the church and become ordained.

Much later in life Colin began to lose his sight as a result of age related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of sight loss in older people.

“Blind Veterans UK have made such a difference in my life. When I was told that I would lose my sight I thought my life would shut down but I am so much more confident now. During my induction week I was shown was the art and craft room. I hadn’t painted in years and never thought that I would be able to with my sight loss. I now paint all the time at home”
In October 2016 Colin took first prize in an exhibition of veterans work with his piece ‘Autumn Afternoon’, with the judges particularly impressed by his use of light and shade.

“The team at the Llandudno center have shown me so many new techniques and materials that make it so much easier. They have helped me a whole new style of painting - I call it ‘Imaginature’."

Colin’s sight loss has left him with very little useful vision, much of which is blurred. Colin can only see colour once 4 feet from an object. Our instructors have trained Colin and provided equipment such as magnifiers, enlarger screens and lighting to help Colin make the most of this.

“I focus on an object and walk towards it until about 12inches away to work out colour and any detail I can make out and memorise. I step back to see what I can make of the surroundings and then use my imagination to fill in the gaps. Often I will pick leaves to magnify to get more detail.”