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'Blind Painter' goes with the flow for his latest piece - The Courier

Derek O’Rourke, who is originally from Dundee but now lives in Dunfermline, calls himself the Blind Painter because of his condition, angioid streaks.

He can only see “through a keyhole” and paints using a small magnifying glass and a small brush.

His vision is blurred if he is more than a few inches away so he relies on others to give their impression of the overall work.

A former marine, his eyes started to degenerate about eight years ago. He took up painting five years ago after going on a course organised by Blind Veterans UK.

He said: “It was a week-long course in Brighton and the course teacher remarked that I had natural talent. I’ve been painting ever since.”

His work has previously caught the attention of Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench after Derek met her in London and was asked to paint her portrait.

Derek, who worked for the fire service for 15 years in Rosyth after he left the marines, subsequently contacted her to ask for a photograph so he could paint her portrait.

She sent Derek a letter praising his “amazing work” and said she was stunned by its quality.

Derek’s latest work was inspired by a photograph of Arbirlot waterfall by Arbroath landscape photographer and Carnoustie Camera Group member Phil Petrie.

Derek said: “I saw Phil’s image on Facebook and was immediately taken with it. It took me a few attempts to get right — doing the water itself was very difficult.

“I liked the composition of Phil’s photograph with the bridge and the greenery and the way it doesn’t show the sky, which these type of photos usually do. I hope I’ve done it justice.”

Derek often donates his work to charities, with the finished painting of Dame Judi auctioned for Blind Veterans UK, and he is now deciding what to do with his latest work.

Source: www.thecourier.co.uk


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