Making A Difference

May 14, 2013 5:13 PM

Making A Difference: Painting With Purpose

A woman has overcome unimaginable obstacles to share her vision. LEX 18's Nikki Burdine recently spent time with a Mason County woman who's painting with a purpose.

Tammy Ruggles art studio is her kitchen, and her gallery is in her living room. Her methods are unconventional - instead of an easel, she uses stools stacked on top of each other. She doesn't use a paint brush or one of the most basic tools artists use, because she doesn't have it - her sight.

"To me, I'm making a flower, but I'm not sure what it looks like to anyone else," said Ruggles. "It's blurry to me. It really is."

Ruggles is legally blind due to a condition she's had since birth. "RP is what its called," she said. "Rectinitus Pigmentosa. It's a disease that slowly destroys your retina over time."

Ruggles was forced to quit her job as a social worker, and she was left feeling empty. "It was very hard to leave that job," she said. "I didn't know what I was going to do at first."

Then, Ruggles got back to the basics. "I just never thought I would be a person to finger paint," she said. Her desire to create was just something she couldn't keep within. "There's always some way to do what you like to do. That's what I would like people to know."

For Ruggles, that purpose is now sharply in focus. "Never give up," she said. Never, ever give up. Sometimes I wonder how am I going to do it but I usually find a way."

Her pieces are now in art galleries in Mason County, and that's just the beginning. To see more of Ruggles' artwork, you can go to http://tammyruggles.deviantart.com/. To contact Ruggles, you can go to her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mss.tammy or email her at tammyruggles@yahoo.com.

Also, if you know someone who's Making A Difference, nominate them by sending an email to our newsroom at news@lex18.com.

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