Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-06-19 23:52:40 –
Every time you draw a paintbrush, eastern Kentucky comes back to life in front of Mike Adams. Using vibrant greens and subdued blues, the former Moahead police chief captures Appalachian life, as he sees.
“When things were a little stressful, I was able to go to it,” he said. “Soon I got into a fuss somewhere, whether it was a tree, a wild animal, or whatever I wanted to draw at the time. I was there.”
Adams didn’t take these scenes for granted because he noticed some color blindness as a kid.
“I’ve always wanted to draw, but I thought I might stick to drawing because of color blindness,” Adams said.
He had to stick to painting for years.
It changed in 2009. While building a flowerbed for his wife Barbara in the garden, Adams discovered another problem with his eyesight.
“My mother had a retinal problem, and I was afraid of what it was,” he said.
His instinct was right. He went to the optometrist because the eyesight in one eye remained blurred. Optometrists confirmed their premonition with a diagnosis of retinal tear.
“I was the police chief for about a year,” he said. “I said,’Man, I could lose my job. I lost my eyesight.”
That didn’t happen, thanks to the work of the doctor who performed the surgery to fix his eyes. A year later, even if he had the same problem with his other eye, he didn’t discourage Adams from pursuing his dream in the end.
“I went to Hobby Lobby and Michaels and bought some paint,” he said during a doctor’s consultation in Lexington. “I said,’Once this is done, I’ll paint.'”
More than a decade later, Adams’ art gained fans throughout the region, including his own optometrist, Dr. Anthony Mayo.
“Our talent doesn’t always like our hands and retina,” said Dr. Mayo. “They are in our hearts, and Mike had a much more positive attitude through it. He’s like I can do this.”
Adams says he has lost his peripheral vision, but he feels lucky. With glasses, his eyesight is 20/20.
“I wake up every morning and thank the Lord who sees me,” he said. “I can hear, walk and talk.”
The self-taught painter can’t forget Barbara, someone special who has been stuck on his side for years. She now acts as his “color checker”, helping him choose the right colors and provide feedback on his work.
“That’s something special to me,” Barbara said. “I knew he couldn’t see anything, so now he can see, paint, do something. I’m blessed. We are I am blessed. “
Adams feels the same way.
“I’m really blessed to be able to go there, draw a little and see.”
A visual gift captured on canvas.
You can see Adams’ art on his Facebook page: Mike Adams Art | Facebook