New paintings

' alley bottle with egg shells, silver cup and Spring onions' oil on panel, 40x50cms.
'Onion bottle with walnuts in Chinese bowl' 30x40cm oil on panel. It has now been 9 weeks since my Vitrectomy and I am very pleased with the improvement to my sight. The above painting is now complete.

Over the last two or three years I have experienced eyesight problems resulting in cataract replacement operations. Although partially successful, one eye had an excessive amount of floaters, making it difficult to focus on fine detail.It affected my work adversely to the extent that I was unable to paint any fine detail. I seriously considered giving up painting.On a routine NHS appointment at the Royal Berkshire Hospital my affected eye was seen by Mr Ahmed EL-Amir, a Harley Street eye surgeon, who is a specialist in macular and other degenerative eye conditions. He advised me that he could improve my sight by at least 90% which was wonderful news. I waited for nearly 5 months to get on his list but it was well worth the wait. He had recommended an operation called a Vitrectomy ( this meant removing the floaters and emptying the vitreous humour, and replacing the gel-like substance with a saline solution. This allows the eye to maintain it's pressure which keeps the eye ball in it's firm round shape) The result was vey successful except for a slight blurring I happened to notice during my subsequent follow up visit. On further eye tests, including scans, the diagnosis was confirmed as a hole in the macular. The chances of a hole in the macular are roughly 3 in 1000, so a very rare event. This happens when the macular pulls away from the retina and no one yet knows why. I was devastated at this news because this could lead to blindness in some cases If left untreated.I was fortunate enough to have one of the world's leading eye surgeons, Mr Ahmed EL- Amir, attending me and although he had never come across this situation before after similar Vitrectomys, he immediately performed a second operation. This time he decided to use keyhole surgery using tiny instruments to scrape the membrane from the macular ( this is the part that sits on the retina at the back of the eye and is the size of a grain of rice. The macular gives us the fine focus detail and colour that enables us to read and of course in my case, paint fine detail in colour). Normally the above operation takes up to three months to be successful, sometimes longer depending on the patient's natural healing powers. In my case, I was fortunate that after only five weeks from the operation I had 80% vision with a potential 98% maximum. The above painting was started only five weeks after the operation and each day the sight in my right eye improves slightly. I'm unsure if I will ever be able to paint miniatures again but time will tell. In this second operation, the eye had to be drained again and after the membrane had been scraped back, a gas bubble was inserted to inflate the eye once more, keeping the pressure at just the right amount to press against the exposed surface. This bubble dissipates over time and is gradually replaced by the natural gelatinous substance until the full pressure is back to normal. Together with my left eye, which is behaving very well, I am now able to resume painting almost to my previous standards and I fully expect this to improve further in the coming weeks. My grateful thanks to Mr Ahmed EL-Amir and his team. To anyone experiencing macular or other eye problems, I have no hesitation in fully recommending Mr Ahmed EL-Amir. He is caring, gentle, reassuring and is devoted to making life easier for those with poor sight. You can find further details on his website.

'Pomegranates in Chinese bowl with green glass and walnuts' Oil on panel 40x50cms
'Silver cup with belermine bottle and Spring onions, oil on panel, 30x40 cms.
'Belermine bottle with glass, tangerine, plum and walnuts'
Pewter goblet with old glazed earthenware pot with fruit and nuts. Work in progress.
'Pewter goblet, old glazed earthenware pot with bottle and fruit with nuts'.........Work in progress, 40 X 40cms oil on panel
Stage 2 refining and intensifying colour values....ongoing
Pewter goblet with old earthenware glazed pot with peach, plums and nuts.......work in progress

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