If you’re nearsighted, this scene will look familiar. You may not think about it much, but I’d bet it’s a fairly intimate part of your life. It’s how you see the world without your contacts or glasses on, when you’re just waking up or just going to bed or shivering out in the street at 2AM because your apartment building’s fire alarm jolted you awake and you forgot to grab your glasses on your way out the door. In other words, at your most vulnerable.
This occurred to me a while back in the hot tub (tough life, I know) when I didn’t have my glasses on. I’m considering getting LASIK surgery, and while I’m excited about it, I also realized I’d lose this quirky, comfortable little uncorrected blur of shapes and light halos that’s shadowed my whole life.
I immediately wondered if I could save it somehow. We hopped on the internet and found shallow focus, bokeh, and gaussian blur photography, along with a wide range of blurry paintings, but none of them were quite right.
Then we found Philip Barlow, and immediately fell in love. His stuff is perfect. The halos, the curved edges, the color banding and artifacting are all exactly right. We were heartbroken when he said all of his current work was spoken for, so we poked around a bit more, put it on the back burner, and moved on.
Fast forward to our wedding anniversary, and Gina outdid herself with her gift. She managed to reserve the very next painting Philip had in the works. It arrived yesterday, and we hung it up today. It’s awesome. I’m still planning to get LASIK, but I now have a great reminder of how the unfiltered world looked to me up until now.