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Amanda Bissette Batchelor started painting as part of her occupational therapy. Now she is painting to raise money for her care.
Batchelor, 32, is selling 2020 wall calendars. Each month features one of her paintings, including her very first one: a colorful seahorse.
The Wilson woman can’t hold a paintbrush the same way most of us can. Batchelor was in a life-changing car wreck on Christmas Day in 2011 that left her a quadriplegic.
In occupational therapy at Wake Med, Batchelor learned how to paint with a brush placed in the pocket of a splint on her left arm. She uses shoulder movements to dip the brush in paint and to create her paintings. It’s the same basic process she uses to operate a laptop and cellphone and to drive her wheelchair.
Batchelor’s mother, Ila Ruth Bissette, had the idea of making a calendar. Batchelor worked with a template from Key Printing in Nashville to create 200 calendars she is selling for $16 each at Gracie’s Village Shops, 4833 Nash St.
The money raised will go in a trust fund for her care.
The calendar features an inspirational quote for each month and a seasonal painting. For instance, there’s a bunny in April for Easter and a patriotic design in July for Independence Day.
Batchelor said she’s sold quite a few calendars already and can have more printed if she needs them.
Painting gives Batchelor joy and satisfaction. It’s something she can do herself — with help from someone to set up her paints, brushes and paper.
“It just gives me a feeling of accomplishment,” she said.
Batchelor isn’t in therapy right now. The cost and the logistics of getting her to an out-of-town therapist make it too restrictive.
A recent fundraiser through her church, Stoney Hill Baptist, did help her secure a new van. She said the van makes life so much easier.