Why painting left-handed makes everything in this Henrico teacher's life right

Posted at 9:21 AM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 23:51:33-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Some artists push boundaries to create outside their comfort zone.

For Sara Anderson, a revolutionary new way to paint was switching sides.

“I used to paint with my right hand. A long time ago. I am a right-handed person,” Sara said. “I can’t imagine in my life not painting now.”

She started painting with her opposite hand last Spring and it’s paying off.

“I really feel that my left-handed paintings are better than my right-handed paintings. I really feel that way,” she said.

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She paints landscapes, hearts, and abstract.

Even before the paint dries, Sara’s canvases sell.

A surprise for Sara who just paints as a hobby.

“I want things to be happy and light and joyful,” she said.

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One year ago, Sara suffered a massive stroke following lung surgery.

“It came out of the blue. It came out of nowhere,” she said. “The prognosis wasn’t good at all.”

Sara’s husband Pat said he wasn’t sure Sara was going to make it through.

“You just don’t know what to do. It was horrible,” he said. “That hour and a half was one of the most horrible things in my life.”

The 50-year-old kindergarten teacher underwent a second operation in as many days at VCU Medical Center and then faced months of rehab.

“Everything is not going to be the same,” she said. “I know that and have accepted that. What can I do to make it better?”

To challenge herself, she picked up a brush left-handed and hasn’t stopped.

“It is helping me process things and definitely helping me with control of my hand,” Sara said.

Sara said her early works were forgettable.

But her husband saw masterpieces and recommended she market them. Sara initially scoffed at the idea, but soon requests for her creations poured in.

She has sold dozens of originals with every penny of proceeds donated to the Stroke Center at VCU.

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“We have encountered angels everywhere we have come,” Sara said.

Each colorful canvas a ‘thank you’ for her lifesavers.

“You start to realize what is most important is your health, your family, and your friends,” Sara said.

For Sara Anderson pushing boundaries while painting left-handed makes everything in her life - right.

“I feel good. There are still some things I need to work on but we’re getting there," she said.

If you’re interested in Sara’s paintings you can reach her here.

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