Bringing Fate to life: He lost his vision, but not his passion for painting – WFAA.com

FATE, Texas — The town of Fate is one of fastest growing areas in Rockwall County. A town that once boasted 600 people in 2000 now has over 15,000 people. The town first incorporated in 1900, but settlers flocked to the region several decades before that following the Civil War.
The place is well known by its rail line that runs through and also for having the first postal mail route in the state. The Town of Fate wanted to incorporate its 120 year history into a mural along side a large building downtown.
“It’s such an opportunity to create a social moment…with different interpretations, different visions, and different ideas.” said Suzy Lawrence, who is the town’s economic and community development specialist.
The town solicited ideas from several artists before settling on the perfect pair: John and Jackie Bramblitt. John has worked outside murals before but this one was special. The town of Fate has also been leveled twice by a tornado and a fire and who better to tell that story of resilience than an artist who is as resilient as they come.
“It tells the story of where we came from. And what he sees is what he feels,” said Justin Wiess, the assistant city manager.
John Bramblitt lost his vision 20 years ago. He tells WFAA he was very sick as a child and battled epilepsy which caused him to lose his vision. 
“I don’t see any images in my eyes but my brain is constantly putting out images,” Bramblitt said.
John uses his fingers to feel the outlines of his work and fills in those outlines by painting the picture that is already in his head. He tells WFAA that he’s already painted the picture a couple of times on a smaller format, so it’s a matter of transferring it to a larger canvas-much easier said than done. Bramblitt truly moves along the canvas with ease touching the colors he paints with and the surfaces he paints on.
“The more I paint the happier I am and the brighter the colors get,” John said.
The mural showcases the cotton that grew in the fields, a cowboy riding a horse carrying a post mail bag in honor of the first mail route, and a row of the earliest houses. It also features a large locomotive to signify the rail line that still runs to this day. It’s not easy encompassing 120 years of rich history into one piece of art, but John made it happen and his story makes it sweeter.
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