Monroe woman overcomes challenges to become artist 2 decades after stroke

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:45 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A Monroe woman who suffered a serious stroke over two decades ago has overcome many challenges to become an artist.

”I was at the prime of my life and it all got taken away basically,” said Pamela Heddens.

When you look at the watercolor art of Heddens, what you can’t see is the long hard journey that started in 1999.

“Brought me down to the hospital immediately because I flatlined. I woke up eight days later. Didn’t have much of a voice, or memory, or anything,” Heddens said.

Heddens barely survived a serious stroke, which left her paralyzed on her right side, among other complications.

“Lost the vision out of the right side of each eye,” Heddens said.

Hedden says she’s lost a lot, but after years of therapy and working to adapt to her body’s changes, she’s found a way forward.

“I can only see half the world. Which of course now it’s the better half,” Heddens said.

She took up watercolor about a decade ago. Her career as an architect led her to focus on buildings.

“I did a lot of buildings right in my town I lived in Wayne, Maine. There were a lot of pretty houses,” Heddens said. “I have an incredibly tight knit family so that’s been great to have that kind of support.”

With her work on display, she hopes to find people interested in commissioning her to paint their favorite places.

“I love to paint. I love the colors. I love the feeling. I love everything about it,” she said. “My dad said this to me growing up, ‘Honey, you only get one chance to live, you might as well make the best of every single day.’”

The exhibit of her work at the Cloud 9 restaurant in Augusta is from 10 to noon this Thursday, but the art will remain up all summer.

If you’d like to contact Hedden for a commission you can reach her at or call 242-9901.

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