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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

Rosemarie Fortney

Art is the lifelong process of discovering who I am and my place in this universe. My art studies at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee were a wonderful opening up to this revelation.

As the progression of RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa) has limited my field of vision to 5 degrees central tunnel, all the artistic insights I’ve learned from fellow art colleagues and mentors has become even more precious. Light has become a vital element of joy to my being as RP causes more photoreceptor cells to deteriorate. My creations are illuminated by bright colors contrasting/combating the darkness. My brush strokes have freedom of movement, which I do not easily experience in my physical, spatial surroundings due to lack of peripheral vision.

A fusion of techniques — camera lens, adaptive technology — all assist in maintaining my compositional design since I’m unable to view my entire artwork as it takes shape. New-found confidence and inspirational Seeing Eye Guide dog, Clyde, helps move my artwork forward — I have a greater desire to create and accomplish so much more than I would have without vision loss.