About Painting with Low Vision
Barrie Goodfellow, registered blind and deaf artist
Talks and Workshops at Art Clubs, Blind Clubs and Schools
Hear My Story
I was born with bilateral glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, acute myopia and a hearing defect. My sight condition was not diagnosed until I was 11 years old so I missed out on my early years of education as I was unable to see the blackboard and most teachers wrote me off as being uneducatable. I spent most of my school days painting in the art room, collecting milk crates or playing football and I grew up on my wits in a mining village in the heart of the Northumberland coalfield.
Throughout my life I was faced with a visual challenge but was never deterred by my handicap and went on to enjoy a very successful Import and Export Shipping career that took me all around the world. The culmination of my career was starting my own business which became known in every part of the world and won many National awards.
In 1997 my sight diminished further and I had no other choice than to take early retirement and I was registered blind. It was at this point that I started painting with water colour and later moved to acrylic. Most of my paintings feature seascapes, fishing boats or some element of water that are always captured in my mind when out walking with my wife, Janet, and dog, William, around the many beauty spots of Devon and Cornwall.
Painting has improved my quality of life as being visually impaired, I now want to see every aspect on the horizon; the sunrise, the sunset, the colour of the sea and the type of fishing boat. I consider myself to be a lucky artist living in an area of natural outstanding beauty. My fascination with fishing boats goes right back to my early days of working in the shipping profession when I used to watch the fishing boats coming out and going in to North Shields complete with a following army of seagulls. I used to find them very peaceful to watch and a far cry from the stress of the situations that I was often placed in on the river bank looking after big cargo ships. Life is so good today just painting and memorizing the beauty to be encaptured on a canvass and simultaneously wash away 40 years of stress.
If you are an art-based Organisation in the South West of England and you would like me to visit you and give a talk or workshop please get in contact on the e mail format attached to this site. Any fees are donated to charity after the deduction of out - of – pocket expenses.
Because of my blindness it is not possible for me to sit out and paint on location. My wife takes photographs with a digital camera for me which are downloaded. My paintings are from the heart and mainly of the South West especially Cornwall and are brightly coloured so they can be appreciated by visually impaired people. My motto is ‘We have little sight, so keep it bright’.