tuesday marked the last Museum Masters class of this session, and we had tons of fun learning about blind Turkish artist, Esref Armagan…I loved having the opportunity to share the amazing talents of this man, not just because of his beautiful paintings, but for the message of hope and hidden gifts. we spoke a lot about how having an impairment does not limit one’s potential for greatness and many of my students had wonderful stories of their own of friends and relatives who have dealt with a variety of disabilities or hardships but have come through and brought something beautiful into the world…this was one of those wonderful moments when classroom instruction seeps into life lessons and I’m so happy to have been a part of it…For those of you not familiar with Esref, here are a few fun facts about him:
- Esref Armagan is a Turkish artist who was born unsighted. He never received any formal schooling or training, but taught himself to write and paint.
- Mr. Armagan cannot have any noise while he’s working
- The first step in his painting process is to make an outline of the picture he wants to create. To do this, he uses a special kind of pen that acts like Braille on the canvas.
- Mr. Armagan uses his fingers to apply the paint – one color at a time. He sometimes has to wait 2-3 days for the paint layers to dry before adding another color.
- Mr. Armagan has been commissioned to create portraits of the current President and Prime Minister of Turkey.
- Mr. Armagan was quoted as saying, “I can see more with my fingers than most people can see with their eyes.”
At the end of class, I was so excited to receive beautiful thank you notes from two of my students…and despite the fact that, this term, we have studied art at its finest with acrylic paints and marble slabs and towering mobiles, these little notes, written in felt-marker and decorated with tempura paint are, for me, the most beautiful pieces of art I’ve seen in some time…
Thank you to all of my students and I can’t wait for the Spring Session to start!