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'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger': Stroke survivor showcases art in public for the first time

Pamela Hedden, an architect, retrained her left side to draw after a massive stroke
Credit: NCM

AUGUSTA, Maine — Earlier this year, we told you about Pamela Hedden, an architect, who retrained the left side of her body following a debilitating stroke and started drawing again. Now the Monroe woman, who doesn't consider herself disabled but "differently-abled," is showcasing her paintings in public for the first time.

Thirty-two pieces of Hedden's art are on are display throughout the Cloud 9 restaurant and in the gift shop at the Senator Inn & Spa. But behind every picture for sale, customers also discover her incredible story.   

"Customers are like, 'Oh my god, she has so many difficulties to overcome,'" Hedden said. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." 

Hedden, who is a mother and a grandmother, was a highly successful architect before suffering a debilitating stroke at 36. But over time, she trained the left side of her body to do what the right side did all her life. Hedden began designing again, bringing her drawings to life with color and the working side of her left eye.

"Even though I only have half my vision, I am able to look and scan over things to be able to draw it well," Hedden said.

From working waterfronts and lighthouses to historic buildings, it's not hard to appreciate the detail Pamela Hedden puts into her art. Her inspiration is often just a photograph.

Hedden is starting to get commissions from people across the state. Margie Williams wants a painting of her former home, built by her husband, which will be an anniversary present.  

"They are impressionist type, and it's simple ... I think and the coloring is beautiful," Williams said.

Hedden is constantly striving to improve her technique and the landscape of her life, one brushstroke at a time.

"I have not done my best work yet and I still think it's in me to do bigger paintings, better paintings," Hedden said. Hedden's artwork will be on display at the Cloud 9 restaurant at the Senator Inn through the end of August. 

Click here for more information about Hedden's designs and artwork.

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