I often get stuck in one of those never-ending vortexes of watching videos online (mainly when I'm procrastinating - like now). My "vice" is generally either crochet and knitting tutorials (oh yes - I can watch hours of them) or discovering various different people's painting processes; this video is one of the most interesting of the latter that I have ever come across.
Sargy Mann has been a painter all of his life, painting impressionist-realist paintings in vivid colours and bold shapes as well as tutoring art to those who wanted to learn about how to see and apply light and colour. His most recent exhibition, entitled "New Paintings" was in 2010, which might surprise you if I were to tell you that Sargy Mann actually went completely blind in 2005 after having been diagnosed with cataracts over thirty years previously. Since then, Sargy has had to develop a whole range of new techniques for ensuring that he is painting, well, what he envisions painting. He has had to learn to see and use colour differently and often enlists the help of his family for posing and placing paint on the canvas.
I can't really comment on his art in great detail (mainly because I only studied Fine Art until A-Level so I'm rusty and I can't remember how), but I think what I appreciate the most is his actual process. I generally find watching other people make, draw or paint things fascinating anyway, I could watch them all day, but this is absolute gold for me because Sargy's process begins before he even starts painting. He literally has to feel his way around the scene that he wants to paint and retain it in his memory to then reproduce it as accurately as possible on canvas. I enjoy the way he seems to build his paintings up in layers, changing them as he goes, and how he is never quite sure if they're finished are not (a trait that I am very familiar with from when I used to paint. Nothing was ever finished). I also enjoy the fact that he has to be very tactile with his work and workspace due to his blindness, as it gives the sense that he is really getting to know his paintings inside and out.
This video, made by his own son Peter, shows the process of his first fully-blind painting that he created in 2006 and I would highly recommend it if you're looking for some quiet, relaxing art viewing whilst you crochet in bed (no? just me then...). It's only 38 minutes long and Sargy himself has the most relaxing voice I've ever heard which manages to lull you into this sort of sleepy trance: that is until he says something along the lines of "oh fucking/bloody/buggering hell." He seems like a really wonderful man and his family seem to be nothing short of supportive of his recent blindly-produced work, as are many others.
If you would like to read more about Sargy Mann, click here.