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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

Susan Joy Gustafson

The vibrant, shimmering, tropical colors of the Hawaiian landscape first inspired me to paint. Seven years ago I retired from a career in dental hygiene due to a progressive genetic blindness called Retinitis Pigmentosa. I decided then it was time to study watercolor painting! Painting helps me move through the grief of loosing my sight. As an undergraduate I had wanted to be an elementary art teacher. My visual field is about the size of a three by five index card and my acuity it good, just becoming smaller. (Mirage, my guide dog, enables me to move about and paint). Losing my sight compels me to relish beauty, look intently and imprint the spirit of the object in my mind’s eye. My paintings are joyful and full of living pigment. I love the communion of sitting outdoors and feasting on a subject, embossing the image for a time when I will no longer be visual. Blindness generates an imaginative and whimsical interest to my compositions I hope you will enjoy.

Autumn Aura