An Evolving Life. Seduction.
Before leaving for a trip to Paris and Amsterdam, I pre-visualized the column I might write upon my return. The seduction of French style would be its topic accompanied by a street photo of an alluring Parisian woman wrapped in a flowing white cape matched by the Pomeranian prancing beside her.
However, fashion has nothing to do with the image posted here. The only prophesy that materialized is that I would indeed be seduced. Not by French food, French wine, French art, or even French men.
What seduced me was a group of children playing in a fountain with a big yellow ball outside the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. After spending hours with our French friends gazing upon the Dutch Masters—-Rembrandt, Vermeer, Ruysdael, Hals, Steen—mostly painted in dim light, we emerged from the museum to glorious late afternoon sunlight and 80-degree temperature.
Exhausted, we retreated to the nearby garden where four empty chairs awaited us facing a fountain. As jets of water shot upwards in an undulating pattern, the enchantment ensued. Girls and boys of all ages, some in bathing suits, some fully clothed, darted in and out of the spray tossing a bright yellow ball; the only patch of color in the scene.
Despite my fatigue, I crept toward them with my Nikon. Mesmerized by the sight, waiting for the ball to appear in just the right spot, I took a series of photographs that one could not choreograph nor even imagine, except perhaps in a dream.
I have had the good fortune of knowing Meryl Spiegel for many years. We met during my BNB days when she was referred to me as a resource for a specific type of photography I was searching for. I also knew her as a writer. Over the years, I have been impressed with Meryl’s talent and creativity, and the honesty of her work. When Meryl began to sketch, paint, work with pastels, she truly overlaid one talent on top of another. The layers were intriguing. I reached out to Meryl recently because I thought that the Hummingbird audience would appreciate her work, and value her process. They say that timing is everything, and in this case it was, because Meryl was thinking about not only “showing” her work, but writing about it too. In our new series, An Evolving Life, Meryl will share the stages, challenges, and meaning of her art, and the journey that coincides with the pieces she highlights. Sandra Novick
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