Once in a while you meet or read-up on someone extraordinary that makes an impact in your life and artist James Kessinger is one to be noted. An inspiration to other creative minds that might face struggles and overcome obstacles for the love of their art and passion.
Famed artist, James Kessinger has been making headlines in recent years, not only because of his development of a new artistic painting style called, strata reduction, but because James Kessinger has the use of only 3% of his vision. Kessinger was born and raised in Kentucky having always demonstrated a flare for innovation. In his childhood days, he invented toys and painted pictures using whatever meager supplies he could find around his family’s farm. James grew up and joined the Army, eventually fighting in Viet Nam. After returning home, he owned and operated successful businesses in the areas of science and electronics. But at the age of 32, James Kessinger began to lose his sight due to macular degeneration. Now, in his sixties and only able to see what can be viewed within one inch or less of a special glass monocle, Kessinger has begun his life as a professional artist.
Humble and oh so gifted, James Kessinger has made an indelible mark on the art world. Making the biggest impact are his abstract pieces that have been described as “pure and non-derivative.” In the world of modern art, that is a rare compliment indeed. James describes his abstract pieces as being envisioned through his mind’s eye. Not confined by the limitations on his physical sight, he has stunned art critics around the world with his unique style called, strata reduction. Strata reduction, as Kessinger describes, is the practice of painting layered pictures on top of one another, then sanding away portions of the top layer. The results are truly breathtaking.
James’ process, like any artist’s, is unique to suit his needs. His studio, as he describes, is structured in such a way that all of his colors are placed in a unique order. His memory of color makes it easy for him to be in tune with what he is painting. For James Kessinger, blindness is not a setback, but an opportunity to express what so few sighted people can. His intuitiveness and ability to express color and life should inspire every artist to find and bring to life that which is intangible until it reaches the artist’s hands.
Next time you may feel discouraged, think of James and how love, passions and perseverance such as his can, and will take you to where you need to be.