Walking the Warf

It's hard
to believe

but the
who created

can't see
a thing. . .

P EOPLE are paying thou- sands for her paintings, many of which are hang- ing in respected galleries. But Lisa Fittipaldi can't be sure her work is worth it. 
            Why? Because she's blind.
                  She lost her sight as a businesswoman in San Antonio, Texas, in 1993.  One morning on the way to work she suddenly realized she couldn't see the road signs and other cars around her and within about six months she was completely blind.
   "All I see now is snow - like a TV with bad reception," she says.
   She can barely distinguish various shades of darkness.   When she had to stop working she became depressed.  To make matters worse her husband Albert had to have a heart bypass.       He also had a stroke and couldn'
speak for a year.
   Two years later Lisa registered for sculpture classes  but had to give up and became even more depressed.
One morning while she lay in bed, too emotionally drained to get up, Albert threw her a child's watercolour paint set and snapped:  "There!  Do  some- thing!"
    Driven by rage and helped by memory, she set to work and created her first piece - four coloured glasses.
Albert took one look, pronounced she had talent and went out to buy her more paint.
    Today her works (mostly still lifes and street scenes) are being exhibited and sold worldwide on the internet.
    "I would never have become a painter if I could see," says Lisa, who's never had a painting lesson and had to teach herself history of art and brush technique.
    "Every one knows the blind can
Art of darkness  
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        6 September 2001