Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

Home · Articles · News · Art · Inner Vision: Mike Sincic
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Inner Vision: Mike Sincic

Tim Madison - May 3rd, 2007
Mike Sincic’s paintings are remarkably realistic for a blind man’s. He paints...shockingly well. The paintings are idyllic: beaches, sunsets and other nature scenes. After seeing his work, it seems impossible at first that a man who gets around with a cane and the help of a friend’s elbow could have created these works of art. As I watch him -- sweeping his cane in a wide swath at the crosswalk outside the coffee shop where I am meeting him for an interview -- I can’t help but doubt. Are there many naysayers?
Mike laughs knowingly when I ask. “Yeah... my friend always says, ‘He’s fakin’ the blind guy thing!’”
Mike, however, likes to be seen as a painter, not as a blind painter. When the Willamsburg-based artist approaches galleries over the phone or by mail about showing his work, he makes no reference to his blindness. “I’m not saying people are judging, but you know, I don’t want them to be interested in selling my
work because I’m a blind painter. I want them to sell my artwork because it’s good,” he says.
CARTOON DAYS
Sincic lost his sight at the age of 13 due to an operation that removed a tumor. Before he lost his sight he drew cartoons. Afterward, he began painting watercolors.
“I guess I wanted to continue doing art,” he says. “I tried painting my cartoon characters that I’d done before my surgery, and obviously that was tough to do – trying to paint inside the lines of something I had already drawn. The paintings I do now are more from, I guess you’d say, scratch.”
Sincic paints using a variety of techniques to overcome his blindness. He uses rulers, rubber bands and pipe cleaners to mark off areas on the paper. Sometimes he uses Maskoid, a substance similar to rubber cement, to mask an area off.
Once a layer of paint has dried Sincic is able to feel the difference in texture between blank areas and areas already painted.
He organizes his colors in order from left to right on his palette. He relies on input from family and friends on the finished product. He paints scenes he remembers from when he had his sight, scenes described to him by friends. Sometimes he paints from touch.
How is he able to mix colors?
“I can see some colors – it just depends on the angle. Sometimes I have to turn the paper or my head on an angle to get the glimpse of the color coming through.”

WEEKLY SPECIAL
He is tireless in the promotion of his work and is rarely seen without a bag of neatly wrapped 5x7 prints. “I’m doing a special this week: a package of 12 prints for $12,” he says as he empties a bag of prints onto the table.
Images of a lighthouse, trees and a sunset pour out, wrapped with other prints, complete with envelopes. During the summer he was a regular fixture at the coffee shop where we now sit for the interview,
usually sitting at a table next to a stack of envelopes postmarked to different art galleries. His work is now represented in 30 galleries in the United States and one
in Canada.
Does he ever get discouraged?
“At first it was a little tough,” he says, “because sometimes people were real blunt, but you gotta’ keep movin’ in the right direction, and if someone says ‘no,’ cross them off the list and go on to the next.”
After the interview, as we walk into DeYoung’s, an art store that sells
Mike’s work, one of the ladies who works there holds up a check. Mike’s made
another sale.
Little by little, his determination and persistence are paying off.

Readers who’d like to purchase Mike Sincic’s work can reach him on his cell phone at (231) 313-1591.
 
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