Left: Jeff Hanson's "Afternoon in Provence." Acrylic on heavily-textured canvas.
Jeff Hanson is known for paintings of vibrant colors and deep textures. But in addition to his artistic vision, he's also known for creating vivid works while being legally blind.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
As a child, Jeff Hanson (now 21) was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis, which caused a brain tumor that was stunting his growth, and slowly robbing him of his sight.
As doctors fought to shrink his tumor and save what little vision he had left, Jeff's mom gave him some watercolors, to distract him during his chemotherapy. And as he painted, something inside him clicked.
His mother, Julie Hanson, started using Jeff's painted note cards for thank-you notes during his radiation treatments.
"But as I started to do that, my friends would say, 'Do you have any extras? I would love some of those,'" Hanson told CBS News' Tracy Smith. "So, we started selling the watercolor note cards, six per pack."
"Arriving in Pella"
"Arriving in Pella." Acrylic on heavily-textured canvas.
"Arriving in Sorrento"
"Arriving in Sorrento"
Jeff's parents, Julie and Hal, turned the basement of their Kansas City home into a rainbow-splattered assembly line.
Jeff's dad, a full-time ER doctor, sometimes helps load up the putty knife … and Jeff does the rest.
Because Jeff can barely see what he's working on, his process is unique, and very hands-on.
First, he slathers a kind of plastic goop on canvas, front and sides.
After it hardens, and gets a coat of flat black, Jeff uses those ridges to feel his way around his painting as he works.
A detail from "Amalfi Breeze."
First Art Show
Jeff Hanson at his first art exhibition, in February 2009.
Jeff can’t keep up with demand: He has at least a six-month backlog of orders - and some pretty prominent fans. Warren Buffett has a painting; Elton John has two.
"Breakfast With the Queen"
Left: "Breakfast With the Queen."
A Jeff Hanson original typically goes for around $4,000. And for every painting Jeff sells, it seems that he donates another one.
For Jeff, the real goal isn't making a fortune: it's raising a fortune, and giving it away. By his 19th birthday he made a vow to give away a million dollars by age 20. With his paintings selling at charity auctions for as much as $20,000 a piece, he made his goal -- with two days to spare.
"Brunch in Capri"
"Brunch in Capri."
"Brunch in Old Windsor"
"Brunch in Old Windsor."
"Leaving Old Windsor"
"Leaving Old Windsor." Acrylic on heavily-textured canvas.
"Nightfall at Peterhof"
"Nightfall at Peterhof."
"Posies in Paris"
"Posies in Paris."
"View From Stirling Castle"
"View From Stirling Castle." Acrylic on heavily-textured canvas.
"Yachting Turks and Caicos"
"Yachting Turks and Caicos."
Jeff's paintings have also been used as fashion templates for red carpet gowns.
A Jeff Hanson Collection dress, from Omaha Fashion Week, August 2013.
Jeff Hanson with CBS News correspondent Tracy Smith at Hanson's Kansas City studio.
A "Sunday Morning" Sun created by Jeff Hanson for CBS. Acrylic on heavily-textured canvas.
For more info:
"Lessonsfrom CLOD: An Inspiring Story of Art, Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship" by Hal Hanson, M.D. (Amazon); Also available in Artist's Premium Edition and Kindle formats