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Swanton artist doesn’t let blindness cloud his vision

A Swanton man who is legally blind is using his artistic ability to capture the sights all around him.
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 6:42 PM EDT
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SWANTON, Ohio (WTVG) - With a brush, a canvas, and a whole lot of heart, one local artist is using his painting ability to reflect the world around him.

“I can’t imagine my life without having a brush in my hand," says 30-year-old Rick Fravor. He has a gift. In his Swanton childhood home, Rick’s every brushstroke creates images of beauty.

Rick Fravor hard at work painting inside his studio.
Rick Fravor hard at work painting inside his studio.(Jack Bassett)

“I really want to paint the scene of like God’s hand reaching down and touching the mountain tops," says Fravor.

Rick’s artwork captures the details of sunsets, mountain tops, and the images he sees in his head. Fravor is legally blind and turns to art to detail the world around him.

“My mind’s eye picks up where my physical eyes lack," he says.

Fravor's painting entitled "Waves," capturing a reflection of love and nature.
Fravor's painting entitled "Waves," capturing a reflection of love and nature.(Jack Bassett)

When Rick was in kindergarten, neurologists discovered a brain tumor on the optic nerve of his left eye. He was left with no peripheral vision and restrictions to his overall sight.

“We found he had a brain tumor and they said his eyes were messed up and I just couldn’t believe it," says Rick’s mother Deb Fravor. “How can he paint? What does he see?”

Rick’s vision is rated at 20/200, so he is limited but not completely restricted from doing the things he loves, like using acrylic paints to capture what he sees and feels. He says sis biggest inspirations are his faith and his love for Bob Ross.

“I just do what I can with what I have and that’s all you can be asked of," said Rick Fravor.

Rick hopes to one day paint full time for a living as an illustrator for children’s books, using his gift to inspire others and capture the beauty of the world one painting at a time.

Rick Fravor's completed close up look at, "Window to Creation."
Rick Fravor's completed close up look at, "Window to Creation."(Jack Bassett)

“He’s very godly," says his mother. “I think he captures the beauty of God from his mind first and then he puts it on palettes.”

“When people ask me how, I just say thank God," said Rick Fravor.

Fravor’s work is available to purchase and observe on Facebook and Instagram.

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.

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