We're starting the year by continuing to highlight the inspiring words and images of artists who have adapted to vision loss. Today, we'd like to bring attention to Robert Hamilton (1917-2004).
In Hamilton's own words: “Generally speaking, macular degeneration is an old age disease—the eyes are wearing out. I can see all around, but I can’t see in the middle. It’s a blur in the middle. If you fall off a cliff, you may as well try to fly. That’s my new motto.”
Hamilton’s improvisational approach to painting served him well in the last years of his life, when he had no vision in one eye and blurred central vision in the other. He abandoned large canvases and worked instead on 16 x 16 and 24 x 24 inch squares, creating paintings that were more mysterious and chromatic than ever.
The painting below, “Same Old Dream (Self Portrait)” is one of Hamilton's last works. As a young man, he'd served as a fighter pilot in WWII, and in this painting he returned to the P-47 imagery that haunts many drawings and paintings he did throughout his life.