THEWILLIAMSON COUNTY SUN WEDNESDAY, July 16, 1997 1B
Reprinted from the WILLIAMSON COUNTY SUN.
TEXTURE OF COLORS
Visually impaired artist paints what she feels By PAULA BAKER
Visually impaired artist paints what she feels
By PAULA BAKER
It has been said that when a door closes, a window will open. That seems to be the case for Georgetown artist Lisa Fittipaldi.
Mrs. Fittipaldi enjoyed a career as a financial analyst and licensed certified public accountant at an area hospital. But in 1993 a disease destroyed her optic nerves, robbing her of all but about 30 percent of her eyesight and leaving her legally blind. The door to her career suddenly closed.
Two years later, a window opened when Ms. Fittipaldiís husband, Al, brought home a set of watercolor paints to occupy her time. Having no formal education in art other than attending art shows with her husband, Ms. Fittipaldi began to paint. "I began painting as a hobby, something to keep my mind off of life's stuff," she said.
Even though Ms. Fittipaldi cannot see color, depth, dimension or print, it was clear to her husband that she had talent. She describes what she can see as "like a television with bad reception." She is able to detect the shimmer of light and varying degrees of darkness.
In an interview last week at her Georgetown studio called Blind Ambition, Ms. Fittipaldi wet her finger and touched a yellow paint square.
"Feel that. It feels light. There is really no texture to it," she explained. "Itís a light yellow - thatís as bright as itís ever going to be." She did the same thing with other colors, explaining each colorís texture.
"This one is red, but it has some brown in it. Feel the gritty texture?" Just as Ms. Fittipaldi can tell the colors by their texture, she can feel how much paint she is using by the weight of her paintbrush.
"Iím really getting much better," she mused. "I used to paint pans and squares at first, then animals, then abstracts. Now," she said proudly, "Iím trying to do people. Iíve only been painting them since October."
Ms. Fittipaldi does not use photographs when she paints people simply because she cannot see them. She paints her subjects by Ďfeelingí their features which she stores in her mind like a videotape.
There are the first abstracts, the first flat paintings, the first people. And then there is the painting of Maleficent, Sleeping Beautyís Witch, richly detailed and spectacular in color. Even the early paintings show a talent and evoke emotions from deep within, which is a goal she aims to achieve with each of her paintings, she said.
"I donít want to be considered a visually impaired painter who is good, I want to be a good painter who happens to be visually impaired," Ms Fittipaldi said.
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