Colourful art brings light to blind Edmonton artist’s life ‘There’s always a way’

Kim Hammond was 30 years old when Type 1 Diabetes stole her eyesight almost overnight.

“It was back when insulin was very hard on the eyes,” she explained.

“It was like gray and black rain came down. I said, ‘Oh no, you have to take me to the hospital.’ It was the retinas bleeding.”

Despite more than 100 laser surgeries and numerous other physical operations, Hammond was left with no vision in her left eye, and just two per cent in her right. She also went colourblind.

“It was challenging — I didn’t want to leave the house.”

But even though her world looks dark, Hammond chose to fill her home, and her heart, with colour — using her creativity to make vibrant art.

The vivid colours and delicate brush strokes of her paintings depict beautiful scenes she tucked away in her mind, before she lost her sight.

Hammond nodded in the direction of a painting of a green and yellow farmers field, barns and a bright blue sky.

Other art, like her custom pet portraits, are done painstakingly over hours — when the conditions are just right.

“You have to wait until it’s light enough in the room. You can’t start until 10 to 10:30 a.m., and you’re good until about 1 p.m. Hopefully you can get it done before then,” Hammond smiled.

She has to get very close to the images and her work, using powerful magnifying glasses to bring the pets to life using chalk.

“I’ll end up with paint on my nose, chalk on my face,” Hammond said.

There are some details she needs to have described to her.

“I’ll send them a message: ‘What colour are the eyes?’ I can never tell what colour the eyes are.”

“It’s fun for me, and when someone appreciates it, that’s an even bigger bonus.”

Her apartment is like a miniature art gallery, where her work lines every wall.

Farmers fields are depicted over and over again.

She never used to tell customers about her vision loss.

“Up until a year ago I’d say, I wouldn’t promote it like that. And then I thought, ‘Why not?’ It’s something most people wouldn’t even try.”

Now, she’s embracing it.

“Find what’s important to you and go for it. Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do it, and don’t believe you can’t do it.

Hammond’s art is all for sale, she can be reached at

Source: Global News

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