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 To contact Ruggles, you can go to her Facebook page at or email her at

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


»Topics in this article

Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4