While the artwork may come from the heart, this is a masterpiece from the mouth.
When Mariam Pare was 20 years old, a stray bullet hit the car she was driving. It struck her in the back between her shoulder blades and neck, which left her instantly paralyzed, Pare told Atlanta NBC News affiliate WXIA.
At the time, she was a promising painter. But her life-changing event did not stop her from pursuing her dreams. In spite of all that was lost that day on a road in Virginia, Pare refused to lose her art.
In rehab, she tried to sign her name with a pen clenched in her mouth.
"I had the same signature with my mouth that I had had with my hand and I think that's something with the way you think, the motion the built in memory," Pare told the source.
The artist used that motion memory with a paint brush, and and now she paints portraits, still lifes and even Santa. Pare said she loves Santa because he's such a jolly figure. One of her paintings was featured as a Christmas card for the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, an international organization in which artists support themselves by selling reproductions of their work.
"You get pigeon holed as a disabled artist not an artist that happens to be disabled," she explained to WXIA. "I want somebody to look at my art and say it's a good painting even if they didn't know it was painted by mouth."
In the face of the numerous stolen dreams, Pare has moved forward, believing she is a better artist than she was with her hands.
With a brush held between her teeth for hours, one wonders whether dry mouth ever factors in, or if her artwork has become impervious to setbacks, small or large.