Experimenting On Location

11:47 AM

I have a problem.

Okay, I have more than one problem, but this post is going to be about just one of them....

I can't see.

I've worn contacts and glasses for years. Up until a few years ago, that was fine.

Now, I can't see with them and I can't see without them.

If I have on my contacts, I need readers to see close up.

If I have on my glasses, I have to look under them, rather than through them, to see close up.

And if I hold an object too close to my naked eye, it becomes fuzzy. Argh!

Recently, in passing this restaurant in the early morning hours, I noticed the light playing on the umbrellas, especially the yellow one. I decided to try and capture the effect in my sketchbook(s).

In these 3 images, I also decided to play around with "my eyes"....sketching with just my contacts, then just my glasses and without either. Can you guess which is which?!

The Oaks Restaurant
Watercolor and Carbon Black Ink
Strathmore Aquarius II Watercolor Paper
Second Attempt
Watercolor and Carbon Black Ink
Strathmore Aquarius II Watercolor Paper
Third Attempt
Watercolor and Lexington Gray Ink
Cachet Watercolor Journal

Just to keep the challenge level high, I've also swapped out my usual paper for two different ones, Strathmore Aquarius II and Cachet. BTW, you can enlarge any of the three images by clicking on them. There will be one more attempt and that's with contacts and readers, much to my wounded pride....

Has anyone else been experiencing the joys of changing eyesight?!! How are you handling it?!

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27 Creative Thought(s)

  1. LOL! I've been looking under my glasses for years. I didn't realize how bad it had gotten until I bought big frame prescription sunglasses and now can't easily read under them at things in the interior of the car like directions! I gave up on contacts years ago. Justine

  2. You poor dear. Welcome to middle age. I too wore contact for years. I came to this age and played hide and seek with readers for a few years then decided to say to heck with it and I just wear my glasses now. It is so much easier. My vanity took a shot but I recovered and so will you. I have always thought that Monet was near sighted which is why he painted like he did. Beautiful Iknow but if I took off my glasses and looked at his lily pond I would see exactly what he painted. Getting older is not for sissies.

  3. It looks like the last one is the one you had the most help seeing..... Have you ever tried graduated lenses in glasses? They have the full range of seeing. It does mean you have to wear specs but I see so well with them far, near, computer etc.

    My vision got poorer for about 5 years in my late 40's and then tapered off to very gradual decline. So don't get too discouraged... the rapid loss of clear vision does slow down as we age.

  4. One word.. Trifocals ...I started out with reading glasses and now have to have all three ranges. But they have simmered down now and seem to stay pretty constant. I can see far away ok..just needed a bit of tweaking... but the mid range and close up are bad. I need to go check out your paintings now. Is this a quiz??? LOL

  5. Well the middle one is with out anything I bet. the last one with contacts. but not sure ..it seems to have more detail. You wrote on the top one which would seem like you needed your reading glasses to do that. How far off am I? lol

  6. Oh my, Laure! You are describing my life!!! I have the EXACT same issue... I need readers with my contacts, and tend to look over or under my glasses. Without either I can see just fine (as long as I'm not looking more than 2 ft. away!) Ha ha ha... This spring I finally went to the Optometrist to discuss options and bought an HORRIBLY expensive pair of 'progressives', which are 'okay'... but because the style I got are rather 'short', I still can see under them too easily and so I am sabotaging myself. (my friend bought a style that is 'deeper' and I tried them on and think they would work better for me. My son gets prescription lenses/glasses for super cheap at an online place, so I'm going to try and get some 'bigger' ones to see if that helps. I tend to yank out the contacs and glasses to sketch. Sigh. (my optometrist actually had me try some 'progressive' type contacs, but that was confusing) So, yeah.. I relate!

  7. I've noticed that my close vision is rapidly deteriorating--I'm now in the market for some reading glasses. My solution so far has been to avoid wearing my contacts as much as possible (I have a fairly weak prescription). But when that doesn't work...

    I agree that the last one looks like you had the most "help"--because it's sharpest. I particularly like the second version, though. Pretty awesome that you did three versions, all while using new materials--you're a brave girl!

  8. haha.. I forgot to say I'm guessing the 3rd one is the one without either contacs or glasses, it appears the 'crispest' to me. But they are all very nice and so I couldn't really tell. ;)

  9. Ahhhhh, I'm not alone! I have company! Thank you all for sharing on this....it's good to know I'm not the only one!

    Justine, I may have to give up the contacts, but it's going to be a fight.....

    Thanks, Lisa, LOL! You could not be more right....it ain't for sissies. Or wimps. Of the faint of heart. But I do not want to where glasses. I do not.

    No, Elizabeth, the doc said not yet. He seemed to think I didn't "need them enough—yet" and it would be a waste of money. He suggested I continue with the readers and looking under my glasses until I really needed the progressives.

    Cris, I'm sure I'll wind up there, but I'm hoping it's going to be a while.

    Katie, you and I are in the SAME boat. The expense of the progressives was one of the reasons the doctor discouraged me from purchasing them. The progressive contacts are a JOKE. Tried those too. Ick.

    Thanks, KJ, not so awesome, just trying to figure out what works and what doesn't.

    Thanks all for guessing...the top was done with the glasses. The bottom one was done with contacts and no readers. The middle one I had my glasses, on, but set them aside after I got some of the main landmark lines in.

    I'm going to set the pride aside and try the glasses and readers. I just hate the look of them when you peer over them at somebody....oh, well, this too shall pass!

    Thanks again, everyone!

  10. ...I was going to post on this too. I'm really struggling with not being able to see up close anymore. I can see in the distance with my contacts, but up close I'm next to blind. I wear the little "cheater" glasses, but they give me eye strain after a while and things seem distorted (and I have problems refocusing). If I wear my old glasses...I can sort of see up close...but not in the distance. Sigh...I was moaning to Rick about it this morning as I tried to finish a painting! (I love all three paintings, btw...)

  11. I've looked over, under and sideways through my glasses (can't wear contacts) and now I have the ultimate of age issue's - Cataracts - UGH! No wonder we all can see the same thing differently! :)

  12. Hi Laure... I too have worn contacts for years and I did the reader thing for a while and that really irritated me... after all that's why I wear contacts... so I don't have to wear glasses. Well, my wonderful optometrist told me about an unusual solution: wear a contact for distance in your dominant eye and a contact for reading in the other. Yes, it sounds weird but it works for me and a lot of other people. The brain is a fabulous thing. It sorts out the visual signals and when I look up my brain takes the signals from my right eye and when I look at my paper I'm using my left eye. I now only use my bifocals when I'm reading in bed.

    Now I've heard this is hard for some but it seems to be easier for people who already wear contacts. I loved it immediately and I have friends who have gone this route too. I've had the different prescription contacts for about 7 years... I'm 57 now.

    Talk to your guy and see what he/she thinks. Good Luck!

  13. Kelly, I seem to get eye strain as well. Didn't use to...

    DG, I thought your sight was suppose to (temporarily) get better when you had cataracts??? I've never understood that, but I've always heard that.

    THANK YOU, Dana, for the suggestion! That might just work! I've tried going with just one contact and that's a bit too much of a change between eyes. Maybe with one for reading, I can pull it off! Yay! A solution!

  14. Actually I like all 3 images. They each have different characteristics. As for favorite - I'd have to say that the 3rd one is my favorite.

    As for eyesight issues.... I can totally relate to your frustrations with changing eyesight! I was fine until I hit my 40th birthday. In fact ... I had an eye exam about 6 months before that and the Dr. said my eyes were fine, no noticeable changes .... but he predicted that I would start having changes in about 6 months... around my 40th. I didn't believe him at the time, but it all rolled out as he thought. I guess it is somewhat predictable. I've been frustrated ever since. I go around with my reading glasses on top of my head most of the time and then put them on to read or work on the computer. I feel silly, but that works so far. Without the glasses I can't see up close at all or even at an arms distance (for small text on the desk).

    Contacts? Well that is another funny story for me. In short, I tried them but they didnn't work out.

    Good luck!!

  15. I'm adding to the list of 'You're not alone' :) I have a cataract in my right eye and I see better without my glasses on that side but then that leaves my left eye in blurry land.

    Great study. Guess you can put on or leave off glasses to match your painting mood! A whole new creative tool :)

  16. This could be considered a "series". What a great progression!

  17. Lovely sketches.... all of them! I tried to wear contacts for about two years. Tried almost a dozen brands and finally decided I just couldn't wear them. They made my left eye (but not the right... go figure) red and itchy after a few hours. I was using eye drops every hour. Too much hassle. End of my vanity! Back to glasses I go. I have one pair of prescription no-line glasses for most things (including painting) and one pair of reader glasses with just one strength that works well for the computer.

  18. I have really poor vision. Never could see the "big E" even as a child. I finally got cataract surgery so I could have prescription lenses put in but they didn't get me quite where I should be. Should I mention that's because I had a detached retina years ago so my left eye sees things as if you cut a piece of paper in strips and didn't realign them quite right? So I can't do the one eye for distance and one eye for close up. Add all those horrible haloes around lights at night (I really try not to drive at night) and yep, you guessed it - I am having trouble seeing even after that expensive surgery. It heartens me to hear others here say the changes slow down some! Try making a beaded reading glasses chain so your glasses are at the ready. I haven't used mine yet but I've made it and since I use readers now for just about everything I should keep them at chain's length! Trouble is, I need 2 or 3 different readers. It is not fun. I do feel your plight.

  19. I like them all, in different ways. The last one seems more clear and detailed, which is the way I usually paint, but the first and second look more like "watercolors".
    So far, my eyes have stayed pretty much the same over the years. My tests are usually similar each time, but I do have allergies which keep my eyes blurry a lot.

  20. HI Laurie, I enjoy your blog so much! You are amazing. my eyes too aren't what they used to be. I'm in bifocals for the 2nd year. My glasses have become a part of me,without them I am seeing blurring and so I'm stuck with them. My sight is so very important to me and who I am. Just hang in there and keep the glasses on. love,Diana

  21. I think computers are the culprit, too, Laure! I even made myself an organ donor years ago on my license because I always had such good eyes, but not so much any more. At 56 I definitely need readers, but actually, I think need even more than that, now--I'm realizing one eye sees things close up and the other sees things at a distance. I'm a mess. Love your paintings!

  22. Laure, Laure, Laure!!! I am so glad you posted this. I can't believe how many variations there are on the theme (problem)!! I am "legally blind" without correction, so my issues are yet another variation . . . several months ago, I started having serious trouble with my contacts (hurting constantly), and the ophthalmologist blamed it on my eyes. After months of antibiotics and drops and no improvement, I just decided to stop wearing contacts altogether and got my glasses with progressive lenses. I still don't see great at all distances, but it is an improvement. And my close vision isn't as bad as it would be if my myopia weren't so extreme, if THAT makes any sense! I can read at a reasonable distance with no correction.

    In your situation, three different levels of correction have created three different and very charming versions of the same subject . . . how cool is THAT?!? Your sketches are just beautiful!!

  23. I love the middle image. There is a lightness of touch with the colours and the yellow sings out.

    Love that the red umbrella is up and down and up again in these.

  24. Oh ouch! Brace yourself for trifocals. You'll love them and you'll hate them. At least I can see!
    My Ophthalmologist knows I'm an artist and thinks I won't like gradiated lenses.

    But the good news is I hear good glasses are better than contacts. Since I have astigmatism I never tried contacts.

    I like all three ... but don't know which 'eyes' you used with each one.

  25. Hi Laurie,
    Great sketches and great discussions on the saga of the eyesight challenges. Always enjoy your insights (pun?).

    For years, I've one contact for closeup and one for distance. Most of the time, it works for me.

  26. Nice painting, good vision or not. Is this in Brandon?

  27. Thanks, Judie, and welcome! Yes, this is in Brandon, just off Hwy 60.


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