Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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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