Tahmoor resident wins place on national calendar

10 July 2019

For Gordon Gray, being legally blind isn’t something that’s going to keep him from his passion for art.

The 83-year old painter from Tahmoor has been legally blind for around two and a half years as a result of macular degeneration. The degenerative condition has impacted Gordon’s central vision, leaving him with just a small amount of usable peripheral vision.

Despite the challenges of living with such vision loss, Gordon still takes time to pick up his brushes.

“I started about 26 years ago with oils, but in general I’ve been painting all my life. I just taught art, and I loved teaching art and doing art with the kids,” Gordon said.

“When I became legally blind I just continued on and thought, ‘well, I’m going to have a go.’ It’s much more challenging of course, I can’t mix the paints together or do fine work, but it’s just a matter of working out if things are in the right place,” he said.

Gordon has adapted to losing his vision in a couple of ways to allow him to continue to paint. He uses a magnifier to decide which colours to use and when painting he is still able to use some of his peripheral vision not affected by the vision loss.

That commitment has resulted in Gordon’s artwork being selected for a place in the 2020 Vision Australia Calendar. His painting and the work of 11 other artists, all who are blind or have low vision, will be showcased in the calendar.

“It’s just a matter of giving it a go, at worst I thought it would come out as some colour on the canvas, but I’m surprised about how well it came out.

“I’ll paint for a little at a time and then give it a rest. A piece like this I might do over a month, but that’s me sitting down to paint two or three times for an hour here or there.

“It’s just fantastic to be selected for the calendar, though."

This unique calendar will be available to order by calling 1300 847 466, visiting www.visionaustralia.org/shop or at Vision Australia centres around Australia. All proceeds go towards supporting thousands of children and adults who are blind or have low vision.