Friday, January 27, 2006

The artist and the photographer

One day the phone rang and it was a woman named Wilma wanting to know if I was still in touch with any of the Flower Children that I'd known and photographed back in the 60's. A mutual friend had given her my number. It turns out that Wilma is Wilma B. Seigel, M.D.,a long time artist as well as a recently retired physician. Medical school and practice had put her art career on hold for a whole bunch of years, but it was like she wanted to pick up the pieces where she'd left them nearly 4 decades ago. I had a good feeling for what that had been like because my first wife had been a late start into becoming a doctor also, and the world was much less receptive of women physicians back then when the two of them were in med school.

We chatted a bit. I came up with a name or two that I could still attach to a current phone number. After telling her of some of my adventures photographing various rock groups and counter-culture types she suggested that I might fit in nicely with the project myself. We set up a day and a time and I took the drive up to her Fort Lauderdale studio. I sat for her as she made several charcoal sketches, and I got off a few 15mm shots while she was doing it. I was very impressed with some of her finished works on display! I was also amazed at her ability to sketch in charcoal and felt she was really capturing something deeper inside of me, not just a likeness of somebody sitting in a chair. After a late lunch with Wilma and her secretary I headed back to North Miami. We exchanged emails a few days ago and she told me that a finished painting was nicely in progress.

I found the experience of working with an artist, working surrounded by all that art, very stimulating on several levels. It was more than just something interesting to photograph. There was an electricity in the air! It brought out an emotional feeling that I'd not had before while working on this project. I need to figure out if there's a way to capture that feeling within me, save it, savor it, and make it work for me in the future. It was a fantastic experience


Blogger taffer said...

Al, great to see the post you told me in that email a while ago, great story and great pics !

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh jeeze! You're one of those whiny neighbors that complain about every little thing that happens in their neighborhood.

12:01 AM  

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