41ºF

Artist with no hands, legs creates beautiful paintings


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – An inspiring story out of Missouri -- a woman without hands and legs creating beautiful paintings.

“Art has the ability to speak when I can’t put words down. When words fail me, it can be a way to express myself," said artist Minda Cox.

Cox is a 31-year-old artist in Bolivar, Missouri.

“I have loved art. I love painting and drawing. I always have, but it wasn’t until my late teens when I started to study it more professionally, more seriously," said Cox.

But her method is a little unorthodox.

“I was born without arms or legs," said Cox.

Cox was born in India but was put up for adoption soon after.

“My mother adopted me. my mother is an episcopal priest. She is a single mom of five adopted girls. in my mother’s house, we all had various disabilities, my sisters. We were just never allowed to use our disabilities as an excuse as to not do, interact, and do things for ourselves. We were encouraged to be very independent," said Cox.

Which led her to believe she could do anything.

“When I was little, I loved doing art but I also loved, you know, ice skating and I want to be a cook and a dancer and a doctor and all of that but a lot of that stuff wasn’t really practical," said Cox.

So she decided to seriously pursue art.

“People are always curious about how I eat, how I draw, how I brush my hair, how I put on my own makeup or how I dress myself but when they’re looking at my art, they’re looking at my art. They’re not just looking at, ‘oh this disabled person with no arms and no legs,' said Cox. "I work a lot with pencil and pen. I learned to really control watercolor and I really fell in love with it. I put the paintbrush between my arm and my chin. the color and the paint, just watching it flow and watching it blend can be a really beautiful thing.”

Though Cox goes through life having to do things a little differently than most, she says most of the time she still has a positive outlook.

“Of course I have struggles, but my life isn’t full of just pain and sorrow and I like to reflect that. It’s very important that people understand that I don’t want to be set apart from the rest of the world. I want them to see people with disabilities, and not be afraid of them," said Cox.

Now, Cox is painting cards for valentine’s day.

She says because there are so many bad things in the world, she wants to remind people that’s not all there is.

“People need to be reminded that there is love in the world. That’s what I would like people to do is approach people with disabilities and know that, hey, we are people. We want to be accepted like every other person. we want to be seen for our abilities as well as our disabilities,” said Cox.