Artist of the Month: John Bramblitt

Artist of the Month: John Bramblitt

John Bramblitt is a really nice guy. His dog Eagle is a really nice dog. Together, they travel the world, creating art and spreading joy, to everyone. But we are fortunate, because John calls Texas home.

John supervising blindfolded children as they finger paint
John leads one of his favorite workshops

John is blind, but that doesn’t prevent him from creating colorful paintings of just about anything you would want to see. We met John many years ago when we conducted a Careers Forum in Denton, where he went to school and now lives with his family, including wife Jacqi, son Jack, retired guide dog Echo, and Eagle. We went on to follow John to Albuquerque and the Southwest Conference on Disability for several years. John was a resident artist at the conference, where he conducted some of his now famous workshops, and talked to people about his art. Along the way, he wrote an award-winning book, “Shouting in the Dark,” a chronicle of his life’s journey and all that he has learned.

John worked with Art Spark Texas at one of the Albuquerque conferences as the painter for Sight. Sound. Soul. It was quite a night, with Henry Butler at the piano and John on the stage painting a 6 x 8 foot painting of Henry’s face. Henry kindly let John tactilely explore his face prior to the performance, so John could adjust some marks he had made on the canvas, following his wife’s description of Henry’s photo. This is just one example of John’s fearless exploration of his art, and one that we remember fondly. The painting hangs in the New Mexico Developmental Disability Department office, reminding them everyday of the power of creativity and art!

self portrait by John Bramblitt
An early self-portrait

John didn’t start out in life as a painter, or as a blind person. When he was in college, his life took a major turn when he lost his sight due to epilepsy. What he had hoped to be a career in creative writing became elusive to him. He will be the first to admit that it was a dark time for him. But, through his grit and determination, as well as his humorous view of life, he found his way to painting. And we sure are happy that he did!

You might be startled by the bright colors that John employs in his work. But, according to him, he plays music really loud when working because it triggers flashes of color in his mind. These are the colors that you see on the canvas.

John posing with his vibrant paintings of Einstein, Johnny Cash, and others
John and some of his portraits

John generously gives of his time to many arts organizations in the North Texas area, as well as several non-profit organizations that are close to his heart. We always love when we get a visit from John and his family, and are proud to name him the February 2019 Art Spark Texas Artist of the Month.

Please visit John Bramblitt’s website for more information. And be sure to like and follow his Facebook page. You won’t regret it!

Celia Hughes
Executive Director
Art Spark Texas

2 thoughts on “Artist of the Month: John Bramblitt”

  1. John is an amazing artist. He produces more realistic examples of celebrities than any sighted artist.
    A genuinely nice person. It’s a pleasure to know John and Jacqi.

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