In October 2014, Jeanne Marie Blongiewicz suffered a significant stroke that resulted in aphasia.
Aphasia is a language communication disorder that makes Blongiewicz unable to convert her thoughts into words. She is able to read and write, but has to re-learn her vocabulary and ability to speak.
Blongiewicz, 72, who lives in Andover, suffered her stroke while visiting her daughter in Boulder, Colorado. Her daughter was expecting a child at the time.
Blongiewicz was in the hospital at the same time as her daughter, who gave birth a week after Blongiewicz suffered her stroke.
“It was a life-changing event,” said Blongiewicz’s husband, Gary, 73. He has been a strong support system for Blongiewicz and helps speak for her and express her thoughts.
Blongiewicz is a long-time artist whose passion for art came from her mother, who was an accomplished oil painter, said Gary.
“All through high school Jeanne Marie was sketching and drawing,” he said.
She is a student of Andover resident Cory Staid, who has won numerous awards for her work in watercolor.
Blongiewicz mainly focuses on watercolors as well. Gary said she loves to paint flowers, landscapes and buildings with a lot of character. Her love of nature and its beauty is shown in her artwork.
Her artwork has become a form of expression.