Like many of you, I began painting at an extremely young age. The act of putting color onto paper was intoxicating. It led to a lifetime of making art, for which I am forever grateful. I found my painting “voice” early when I began looking at people and what they were doing. Landscapes, flowers and fruit didn’t interest me, but Native American culture did interest me.

Painting is a personal form of communication, and as with all forms of communication, it has its imperfections. Therefore it finds agreement or acceptance with only a segment of the audience. The degree with which any art form succeeds is in part the responsibility of the viewer. As I have often said, “art if in the eyes if the beholder.” During the years I was privileged to teach art, it was wonderful to see recognition dawn in the eyes of students.

We tend to take our eyes for granted, and why shouldn’t we? They are as integral to us as our hands and feet or any other part of our body. In art, we talk about our “vision”. What sort of feeling does your painting or sculpture give? I have hoped that my depictions of our Native people have somehow portrayed the joining force of the human spirit rather than a left over segment of history.

My eyesight has dwindled to the point of being “legally blind” as so many of us older codgers become. It is annoying of course, and satisfactorily eliminates lots of those activities we have been taking for granted. Dr. A is my knight in shining armor and picks up the slack in so many ways. Magnifying aids are fine, but sometimes a bother, so rather than take one with me, I simply take Dr. A to do the reading.

It became apparent some time ago that I could not see lines that I had written or sketches I had made for a painting. Bummer! Throughout history, painters have lost their sight and continued painting what they could still see. Monet made some of his most beautiful work after he lost his sight.

Though our painting may not be the same as it was previously, there is no need to put the paint and brushes away to collect dust. Who knows, perhaps another Monet will show up. There are a number of sites on the internet of blind painters, some of whom have been blind from birth. They are still enjoying the act of creating, and a new form of communication. These artists are an inspiration.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.


  1. I am very much looking forward to the new suite of paintings you are doing on linen. I’d like to buy one! I already own a Kayti Sweetland Rasmussen sculpture and watercolor; I now need an oil. Name your price, Miss Sweetland!


  2. Blind artists and deaf composers. What courage it must take to carry on. My hands are increasingly arthritic, but I can still play the piano, and my GP says it’s the best thing for my hands. The painting is not threatened by arthritis, but rather by time spent gardening, which isn’t good for the hands, but does wonders for the spirit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. arthritis is so painful and just doesn’t let up. My mother in law was a knitter and a gardener and her poor hands were so misshapen with arthritis. But like you, she could not stop gardening. It takes hold of one. Though I worked in my gardens until I found I kept losing my cane in the bushes and had to wait for someone to help me up and find the cane. So nice that you can still play your piano. They always say music tames the savage beast. I guess it looks kindly on arthritis too. There is usually a bright side to everything.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re such an inspiration, Kayti. I can be tempted to fall in to a bit of a funk from time to time, wishing that I could stop working, travel, and generally not worry about the things I worry about. Then, I remember: I’m healthy. I have most of my mental faculties. I still can write, and walk, and wander about from time to time. What’s not to like?

    I suppose the truth is we’re all in transition, all of the time. Where we’re coming from and where we’re going isn’t always clear, but the it’s the “going” that counts. Sitting down in the middle of the road and whining is an option, but it’s not a very attractive one, and besides — if we sit down too long, that arthritis might make it impossible to get up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Time after all, is irrelevant. It will keep moving whether we worry about it or not. Dr. A is a worrier, I’m too dumb to waste the time. If it’s gonna happen, it will.

      You are an amazing woman with so many interests that keep you on the move. I think the most important thing is to keep our faculties. There are aids for everything else. Keep moving or we rust. It is hard not to be able to see the future, but perhaps it’s better that way. It keeps us wondering just where we will be in a few years. I asked my college age students once where they thought they would be in 20 years. They tossed the question back at me and at my age of about 65 at the time, I said probably doing the same thing. How wrong I was! I had not anticipated being handicapped or visually im[aired, so that was a positive attitude at the time. It;s best to take it one day at a time and enjoy the journey.

      Liked by 1 person

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