Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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.
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.”

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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