We at The Artist’s Magazine love to hear from our readers.
Samantha Bennett recently wrote a letter to us to share her story of continuing to paint
—despite physical limitations—with you, and so it’s with my pleasure to introduce Ms. Bennett, in her own words.
Dear Artist’s Magazine,
I’m an artist who paints with amputated fingers. Until recent national media attention, it didn’t occur to me that my life was different than anyone else’s life. People constantly ask me “what happened.” Or when people see my paintings, they ask how I’m able to create them. But I’ve been this way as long as I can remember—to me, it’s just who I am. Something I’ve accepted and learned to make the best of. And why wouldn’t I accept life?
I have lots of friends, an awesome family, I’m a wife to a super husband and I have two small boys. I consider myself lucky, but hey, if people want to call me “inspirational,” “encouraging” and interesting, I’ll take it! Ha, who wouldn’t!
In short, at nine months old I survived a deadly form of meningitis. As a
result of the disease my skin was scarred, my nose damaged, I had amputated
fingers and toes and half of my right foot was removed. I had surgeries
throughout my entire life; most of them when I was little. It was in the
hospital where I learned how to create art. My earliest memories of drawing
were from a hospital room. My surgeries and my art have progressed together
during my life. I continued to undergo plastic reconstructive surgeries and
study art through college.
Now at 34 years old, I’m an established artist and have created artwork for
many corporate companies, nonprofit groups and am frequently hired to create
art by commission for everyday people. Most importantly I love to create
artwork for good causes like the American Heart Association, March of Dimes,
the National Meningitis Association and more. I also have a series of artwork
called Butterfly Portraits: Artwork Dedicated to Loss. This series was started
after the loss of our premature son. It’s been used with the March of Dimes,
the National Association for Women in the Arts, Neonatal Loss Support groups
Make the most of every chance you have, especially if you have a chance to
encourage change someone’s life for the better.
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