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Near-Blind Inmate Has a Talent That Even the Local Sheriff Wants to Take Advantage Of


"...we’re utilizing his talents..."

Image source: Screen grab via WTHI-TV

Inmate Tommy Earl might be nearly blind, but he has a talent for producing beautiful art.

“I’m over half blind, one eye I can’t see out of, and the other one is going. I’ve got acute narrow angle glaucoma, eventually, I’ll be completely blind,” he explained to WTHI-TV.

Yet, his ability to paint is so strong that Knox County Sheriff Mike Morris has called him into duty.

Earl — in prison for methamphetamine-related charges — has been enlisted by Morris to paint murals and add coats of paint to the sheriff department's administrative offices and jail.

“He’s done art work for the Indiana Department of Corrections, and now that he’s here in our facility, we’re utilizing his talents to refurbish our admin side and touching up the jail side,” the sheriff told WTHI.

Image source: Screen grab via WTHI-TV Image source: Screen grab via WTHI-TV

Yet, despite Earl's knack for painting, the inmate isn't sure how he does it.

“I don’t know I’ve never, I’ve never been able to answer that question. I’m 43 years old and I don’t know how I do it,” he said. “I draw on anything I can get my hands on. I was drawing on the corner of this desk, this weekend."

“I turn on the music, and it doesn’t matter if I’m painting a star, it could be a big black circle, if that’s what I feel like painting at the time, it really doesn’t matter. I’m not no where when I’m painting. I’m just painting,” Earl added. “It’s fine because they told me a year ago, I’d be blind.”

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter


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