Fort Bragg Client Benefits from Remote Services

Tim Taubold struggled with visual impairment and dyslexia, but he started painting in kindergarten and never stopped. The 70-year-old Fort Bragg resident, born and raised, grew up with a view of the ocean that continues to inspire his impressionist seascape and abstract paintings, some of which adorn the walls at Society for the Blind. They are beautiful tokens of his appreciation for the help he received when his vision declined rapidly due to Retinitis Pigmentosa a few years ago.

Tim was a licensed contractor and was able to continue working for a long time as his vision was declining. He painted as a hobby, finding inspiration from painter Claude Monet who also was visually impaired and helped launch the impressionist style of painting. But with less and less working vision, he decided to try his hand at abstract painting several years ago.

“Every time I tried to do an abstract painting with a paintbrush, I threw it out,” Tim said. “One day my mother came over to my house and said, ‘Tim, you can do abstract paintings’ and she told me she loved me. She was an angel living here on earth.”

With his mother’s encouragement, Tim created a new style to go with his new vision. Inspired by abstract artist Jackson Pollack, Tim started using house paint, masking tape and a wax buffer machine to create his abstract paintings. One of his paintings recently won first place in the Mendocino County Fair, beating all of his fully sighted contestants.

Painting also was a source of inspiration for Tim when he was out of work for a year.

Painting by Tim Taubold, Medium acrylic paint on Glass. Navy, Ultramarine, and Electric blue splashes of paint bloom into larger circles of periwinkle and light gray paint. The layered blooms overlap each other like an arrangement of flowers leaving clear negative space of the glass in the center of the painting.

Painting on Glass, 2020 by Tim Taubold Gift to Society for the Blind from Tim Taubold.

“I was just watching television movies until one day I got mad at myself and gave my TV away,” Tim said. “I turned my upstairs bedroom into a studio and started painting eight hours a day, seven days a week.”

Though Tim could still paint, his vision became so limited he needed to learn new skills so he could continue to stay independent even if he could no longer work as a licensed contractor. That’s when he found Society for the Blind.

“I couldn’t believe Society for the Blind teachers came all the way out to Fort Bragg from Sacramento to teach me how to walk with my white cane and work with my smart phone,” Tim said. “They always came to me.”

When the pandemic hit, and the Senior IMPACT Project began its Coffee & Connect conference calls to keep seniors connected and engaged, Tim found a network of support that he never would have been able to access in Fort Bragg.

“I really like Coffee & Connect,” Tim said. “They didn’t used to do these telephone calls until COVID-19. They used to have people join each other in a room and I could never come that far. On the calls, they just ask these nice questions about what I like about this or what I like about that. It makes you feel good that you’re not all alone in the world. I hope these calls continue after the pandemic is over. I really appreciate everything Society for the Blind has done for me.”