GUEST DOODLEWASH: Never Say Can’t

Doodlewashes by Christoph Schneider

These wonderful doodlewashes are from Christoph Schneider, in Engadin, Switzerland (you can see more work by Christoph on Google+).  Christoph was born in Germany in 1968 with a functionally blind right eye, no depth perception, and red/green and blue/yellow color blindness. “So I got a good reason not to paint as child,” he says.

As he grew up, Christoph kept telling himself he couldn’t paint and says he got “more and more into the wrong excuses: I can’t do it, for I am half blind.” The worst part of all of this excusing was that he didn’t believe in himself. And the more he would tell himself that he couldn’t paint, the more he would believe it – “I just can’t.”

As a teacher in religion and as reverend of a protestant parish, one day he finally decided to try. On this pivotal day, he took a box of watercolors and two brushes home from the school. This is where his unique art journey begins – as a Reverend in Engadin, Switzerland.

“I had to work out my own way,” he says. “There were a lot of pictures in my head. Loving art, I had a certain idea of what a picture is. How it should look to me.” After years of telling himself this wasn’t possible, he was determined to prove to himself that he could do it.

So, he just started, ignoring his previous excuses. Over the next two years he would paint and sketch regularly, learning all he could and practicing daily. It wasn’t easy, but he kept working at it, and soon something truly remarkable happened. He had ignored his fears about making art and trained so hard, that his “blind” eye was now beginning to make connections with his brain to let him see stereoscopically (in 3D).

“It was amazing,” Christoph says. “So I took up my sketchbook, ink and colors. And more and more I took it with me – at least one sketch each day. Nowadays, I like to sketch people on the streetcar, silly things and landscapes.” His remarkable journey is one of persistence and courage and a testament to what can happen when you choose not to give up. Be sure to visit his Google+ page to see more of his wonderful art.

Thank you so much for sharing your art and story with us Christoph! It’s truly inspiring and we’ll be watching to see what wonderful things you’ll make next. And if you’re out there wondering if you have what it takes to make art, just remember what Christoph says, “Sketching isn’t about technique, color or perspective, but about getting your excuses out of your brain and trusting in the colors you choose.”

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in Featured Artists
25 Comments
  1. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    Just as Beethoven could write music as a deaf person, Christoph can paint/draw as a half-blind person. 🙂 I have no depth perception either since I have one near-sighted eye and one far-sighted eye and therefore lack binocular disparity. I swear that actually helps me draw better. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 🙂 Good for Christoph for shaking off the negative thoughts and tackling art!

    • Author

      Thanks for responding Teresa! 😃😃Glad you like this post! And I had no idea about your eyes, but stick to the story, because it must be true! Your drawing is wonderful!!

  2. stephellaneous 2 years ago

    Gorgeous – the story as well as the art. Truly gorgeous.

  3. Jodi 2 years ago

    What a wonderful, inspiring story. thanks for sharing Charlie O! You are a spreader of love buddy!

  4. Jishnu Bandyopadhyay 2 years ago

    Hey Charlie can you please do a collab blog with me?

    • Author

      Jishnu…it’s all I can do to maintain this one! Hehe…And, btw, if you want to reach out to me on something unrelated to the post, use my Let’s Connect link rather than the comments! 😉👍🏻Thanks!

  5. Kari 2 years ago

    What a wonderful guest and post! It truly is amazing what determination can accomplish. I have a friend who is color blind and is a wonderful artist. Will be following on G+.

    • Author

      Awesome Kari!! 😃So glad you liked it! I met another artist who is as well, but is still afraid of using color, so hopefully this post inspires them. 😊😊And definitely follow Chrisoph on G+, his work is awesome!

  6. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    It just goes to show, if there is a will there is a way! Great uplifting post, Charlie! 🙂

  7. thepaperbaker 2 years ago

    So heartfelt!!! Spectacular courage & impressive works of art 🙂

  8. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    I love the spontaneity of your drawings Christoph, such fun and energy. Thanks Charlie.

  9. Jill Holmes 2 years ago

    What a fabulous story! I love a great story of overcoming difficulties and adversities to achieve a fulfilling life goal. And what wonderful work–it makes me even more certain that I have NO excuse worthy of discussion!! Thank you for bringing Christopher’s story to us. 🙂

    • Author

      You’re so welcome Jill! Happy you liked it! I must admit I started thinking through all of my excuses for things. There’s really no good reason for them, ever! 😉👍🏻

  10. memadtwo 2 years ago

    Wonderful story matched by the art. Thanks, Charlie. (K)

  11. ann christina 2 years ago

    Wow, this story almost brought me to tears… I´m so happy that Christoph started painting. He´s a true artist, because an artist will create art no matter how contrarious circumstances are. Love his pictures, they are full of energy and light! Thanks for sharing, Charlie!!! ❤️😊

    • Author

      You’re so welcome Ann! I was just so inspired by Christoph’s story I had to share it! Happy you liked this one! 😃

  12. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Lovely and inspiring. Great attitude and wonderful sketches filled with movement. Awesome feature. Thanks for sharing.

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