How One Woman Uses Her Intuition to Create Art, In Spite of the Odds

Each day we receive letters from readers all over the world, and today I’d like to share a recent story that an artist has shared with us via our sister site, WetCanvas. I hope you find her story as inspiring as I do. ~Cherie

Dear Editor,

I’m a legally blind finger painter based in the small town of Tollesboro, Kentucky.  Because of a blinding disease known as Retinitis Pigmentosa, that gradually robs a person of sight, I thought I would have to give art up for good until April of this year, when a Facebook friend suggested I try finger painting, because I could do it intuitively. It has opened up a new world for me. Since then, I’ve created more than 350 finger paintings, which I do mainly relying on my imagination and memory.

People Exercising (finger painting) by Tammy Ruggles

People Exercising (finger painting) by Tammy Ruggles

I’ve had some of my paintings included in a few local gallery exhibits, and response to my work has been positive and encouraging. Last month I finger painted with disadvantaged children in a community outreach program called Camp Discovery, and in August of this year I’m going to speak to art teachers at a local school about how they can offer art to their blind or visually impaired students. I’d like to show the world that the blind and visually impaired can create art too; just in a different way. And become professional artists, if given a chance. I want to create images no one has ever seen before.

Red Flower Blue Vase (finger painting) by Tammy Ruggles

Red Flower Blue Vase (finger painting) by Tammy Ruggles

I paint landscapes, seascapes, flowers, red buildings, abstract, surreal, and more. What I try to capture is the life, heart, and energy that is all around us, even in things that are supposed to be still, like a potted plant. Or forgotten, like an abandoned house a family once called home.

Sincerely,
Tammy Ruggles

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