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Portrait of Ana

When I asked Anna if I could make her portrait, she immediately consented. I found a nice wall by which I wanted her to position herself, and she immediately posed. I got this portrait in one shot. It was TOO easy to take her portrait. That’s because Anna was a retired model.

After her modeling career, Ana had worked at Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster, California, USA, specifically in retail materials management: she ordered supplies. Ana was a mother, and a grandmother of three.

At 74 years old, Ana was a cancer survivor, and it was a year since her remission when we met. “I’ve been blessed and he’s been my savior and a lot of us have to go through this and we don’t realize it till we’re there. But I’m here. So God has blessed me.”

Ana was Catholic but also went to other churches. Her daughter was a Christian and Ana often went with her daughter to her daughter’s church. Ana also attended a Greek Orthodox church. “That’s because I believe that God is everywhere.  It’s just a building,” she said, referring going to any church.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Netty

Netty and I met at  Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster, California, USA. Netty started talking to me about my shorts, of all things; she liked the pockets in my cargo shorts.

I realized right away, by how colorfully she appeared and spoke, she was an artist. Then I perused a fashion magazine and I saw someone wearing an outfit that I thought she might want to wear, so, I showed it to her. This prompted a conversation about photography and art. I showed her some of my portrait work which she admired.

I requested to include her in my portrait project. She didn’t want me to make her picture because she didn’t like how she looked in pictures, but she consented after I promised her I would make a wonderful picture of her.

We were outside, in front of the hospital’s volunteer office, by the memorial garden for the pet therapy program dogs that passed away. My dog, Hector, had participated in the pet therapy program until four years prior to this posting, when he died. Netty mentioned that she herself had two therapy dogs at some time in her life, so it meant a lot to both of us to be there.

I brought out a little stool and a Netty sat among the Roses. She felt very spiritual and suddenly put her hands in Namaste position. I asked her to keep her hands in that position and to look up.  I snapped a few shots like that and ended up with what we both agreed was a perfect portrait of her spirituality, colorfulness and hopefulness.

Netty was originally from Dillonvale, Jefferson County, Ohio, USA, which was very close to West Virginia, “in the sticks.” Netty said she was a Coal Miner’s granddaughter. Her family was the first and only black family in the town. She learned how to love everybody for just who they were and “I’m never going to change that.”

Artist Netty was a spiritual being who was, “trying to spread hope and love to everyone I touch. That’s what I’m doing here.” Netty’s art often had a message to it. “I don’t name my pieces because I want the pieces to bring out their own power.” Most of her work was recycled art, that is, things that “already passed” and needed to be “re-purposed.”

Netty said she did show her art “way up North,” but didn’t show anywhere in the Antelope Valley area. She was not sure if it was simply not important to show her work or she just didn’t have courage.

It was an honor and a pleasure to meet someone with as wonderful a spirit and heart as Netty.

Posted on:

21-N is for No

Also posted on:

Wordless Wednesday
My favorite thing about fall!!


Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Hillary

Hillary was on the board of the Antelope Valley Breastfeeding Coalition (AVBC). AVBC helped sponsor La Leche League and all the groups in the area that were involved with encouraging breastfeeding. AVBC provided all the breastfeeding resources in the area a coalition that could provide one “place so if there were any kind of issues that came up, they can help people get together to make decisions as to how to disseminate information on breastfeeding.”

Hillary was originally from Newton, Massachusetts, USA. She studied nursing at Baton Rouge, Louisiana   Our Lady of the Lake  Nursing School. Wendy also worked at  Antelope Valley Hospital  at the  Women and Infants Pavilion. She was the childbirth educator at the hospital and as a child.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.