Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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