Still Life Gallery

  • Tama TG-190 1978 prototype guitar.

  • Betty Boop Christmas ornament.

  • This life-size wood statue of St. Jude was carved by the Artisans of Ferdinand Stuflesser Studio and adorns the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg, Fla.

  • Carved in wood by the Artisans of Ferdinand Stuflesser Studio, this representation of Michaelangelo’s Pieta adorns the renovated Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, St. Petersburg, Fla.

  • This gold-leaf clad, carved wood medallion of the eagle is associated with the evangelist John, author of one of the four Gospels of the Bible. This art was created by Ferdinand Stuflesser Studios in Italy for the renovated Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg, Fla.

  • Illustration for “Justice in the Cup” blog article.

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Portrait Gallery

  • Virginia

  • Meredith

  • Meredith

  • "Dorothy"

  • The Couple

    The Couple

  • The Rev. John-Marie Charles-Roux, I.C. (b. Dec. 12, 1914) served in the French diplomatic corps as a chargé d'affaires  before his calling to the Catholic priesthood at the age of 40. In 2003, Father Charles-Roux traveled daily to the set of Mel Gibson'€™s film, The Passion of the Christ, to celebrate Mass in the Tridentine Rite for Gibson and other members of the film crew. Father Charles Roux remains active and is in residence at the Institute of Charity's headquarters at Porta Latina in Rome.

    The Rev. John-Marie Charles-Roux, I.C. (b. Dec. 12, 1914) served in the French diplomatic corps as a chargé d'affaires before his calling to the Catholic priesthood at the age of 40. In 2003, Father Charles-Roux traveled daily to the set of Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ, to celebrate Mass in the Tridentine Rite for Gibson and other members of the film crew. Father Charles Roux remains active and is in residence at the Institute of Charity's headquarters at Porta Latina in Rome.

  • Humble and deeply spiritual, John Chiari was a life-long educator and mentor to youth.

    Humble and deeply spiritual, John Chiari was a life-long educator and mentor to youth.

  • Rev. Sean O'Sullivan is a beloved Catholic priest who has spent a lifetime of charity sharing the love of God and the good news of Jesus Christ as a missionary priest in East Africa.

    Rev. Sean O'Sullivan is a beloved Catholic priest who has spent a lifetime of charity sharing the love of God and the good news of Jesus Christ as a missionary priest in East Africa.

  • John Michael Talbot is a legendary Catholic-Christian composer and recording artist whose roots extend back to the country rock group Mason Proffit in the early 1970's. After his conversion in the mid-seventies, Talbot adopted the ways of St. Francis and founded the monastic community, The Little Portion Hermitage in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

    John Michael Talbot is a legendary Catholic-Christian composer and recording artist whose roots extend back to the country rock group Mason Proffit in the early 1970's. After his conversion in the mid-seventies, Talbot adopted the ways of St. Francis and founded the monastic community, The Little Portion Hermitage in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

  • Mack with Virginia

    Virginia - 2008

  • Carlos Manuel Soto is a Cuban-born artist who expresses his deep personal struggles and beliefs with paint on canvas.

    Carlos Manuel Soto is a Cuban-born artist who expresses his deep personal struggles and beliefs with paint on canvas.

  • Annie Karto's portrait for her album, Divine Mercy Flood My Soul.

    Annie Karto's portrait for her album, Divine Mercy Flood My Soul.

  • Environmental portrait of Chris, 2012.

    Chris - 2012

  • Chris - 2008

    Chris - 2008

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The Children Carmen Loves

  • These are a few of the children Carmen loves.

    These are a few of the children Carmen loves.

  • Some of them are very young.

    Some of them are very young.

  • Others are teenagers.

    Others are teenagers.

  • Some of them have lost their hair.

    Some have lost their hair.

  • Some have lost limbs.

    Some have lost limbs.

  • They all have something in common: cancer and Carmen's love.

    They all have something in common: cancer and Carmen’s love.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta tilted her blue and white veil-clad head upward and locked onto the eyes of her Cuban interpreter. What she spotted through the hot and fume-laden air rising from the tarmac was not a mirage. It was real; it was despair.

When the diminutive nun reached up to grasp Carmen Vallejo’s hands it seemed to be a signal. The tall blonde bent low nearly pressing her ear against the future saint’s lips. “Love the children,” Mother whispered.

Those three words didn’t fully register with Carmen but they kept replaying in her head.

Only the prominence of her family allowed Carmen a return flight to Cuba after her defection in the early days of 1981. A prodigal welcome it was not. She and here husband, Rey, were spit upon, branded worms and only her mother, Maria, would speak with them.

Carmen remained mired in a pit of depression for seven years.

In 1988, weeks after Mother Teresa’s departure, Carmen climbed from the depths of her depression long enough to visit the children’s cancer ward at Instituto Nacional de Oncologia y Radiobiologia in Havana. As she walked past the sterile green beds that seemed to envelope the bald-headed, small people she smiled from deep within for the first time in years.

With moist eyes, the mother of one four-year-old fretted that her son would not survive until his next birthday. At that moment, Carmen recalled Mother Teresa’s three simple words. Carmen was born again. Her pit was sealed.

She volunteered to throw a birthday party for the youngster. It would be an unforgettable celebration with balloons, banners, and cake and ice cream on the following Saturday at the hospital. She announced the party aloud and invited everyone within earshot.

And thus began Carmen and Rey’s simple ministry of loving the children.

Now the couple never misses an opportunity to celebrate. Sometimes they invent reasons. Parents and children gather in the library of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Vedado every Saturday afternoon. There they find love and they rediscover hope. And there they find help, solidarity and consolation.

At times there are tears and sadness when a child departs this world. But there is never despair because Carmen continues to live the words of Mother Teresa.

“Love the children.”

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La Milagrosa (The Miraculous)

Cementerio de Colon is a behemoth and monochromatic city of earthly remains in central Havana. For all of its marble and granite excesses it is typically devoid of color, except for one location.

Cementerio de Colon is a behemoth and monochromatic city of earthly remains in central Havana. For all of its marble and granite excesses it is typically devoid of color, except for one location. And there, at the final resting place of Amelia Goyri de Adot and her husband, Eduardo Adot y Lopez, a colorful moat of flowers tightly surrounds their graves.

There are as many stories as deceased in this 56 hectare cemetery, but perhaps none more widely known, or believed, as that of La Milagrosa – The Miraculous.

According to legend, Senora Goyri was pregnant at the time of her death just after the turn of the 20th century and she, along with the unborn child in her womb, were laid to rest. When her beloved Eduardo died in 1914, the crypt was prepared and for whatever reason her casket was opened. And behold, in her long-still arms she was holding their lifeless child.

Word spread rapidly across the island. And to this day, some parents who cannot conceive and those with sick children come here to pray for intervention. When they receive their “miracle”, they return to say “thank you” with flowers.

CONTACT ME to order a fine art print of this photograph.

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Dr. Rubén Rodriguez Gavaldá: ‘Pride of Cuban Medicine’

Looking over the top of his spectacles when he speaks, Dr. Rubén Rodriguez Gavaldá's eyes broadcast the fact that he finds his greatest fulfillment as a teacher.

There are two subjects that really spark a fire in the eyes of Patricia Rodríguez Alomá. One is Habana Vieja (Old Havana) in Cuba, and the other is her nonagenarian father, Dr. Rubén Rodríguez Gavaldá. They are both a part of her heritage and her awe.

Patricia is the Director of Planning with the Office of the Historian of Old Havana, the Cuban government office responsible for the ongoing social and physical transformation of a once blighted neighborhood into a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She is also her father’s daughter who inherited the doctor’s enthusiasm and tireless work ethic.

During one of my meetings with the forty-something architect to learn about the work of the Historian’s Office, she struck a parallel to the usefulness of some of the aged buildings she helps resurrect with the active and productive life of her 90-year-old father. Patricia is not one to tell her guests about how buildings and lives were transformed in Habana Vieja. Her lessons quickly become long walking tours, and so it was with her father when she proposed an introduction.

The air was quite cool on that January morning in 2005 as I peered through the arched portal of Convento de Brigida in Old Havana waiting for the couple to arrive. Within minutes I spotted Patricia’s red mane in the distance as she and her father briskly strolled arm-in-arm along Calle Brasil.

“If that’s her dad,” I thought, “he certainly doesn’t appear to have been around for nine decades.”

After introductions were made, two of the hospitable Sisters of St. Bridgid served coffee and cookies in the cozy dining room of the convent. Whether or not it was the presence of the nuns or my colleagues, Dr. Rodríguez Gavaldá must have felt compelled to share his religious beliefs.

“I am agnostic and really don’t identify with any religion. I respect religious people very much and I respect you”, he told my companions, “because it comes from the integrity of your heart. I try to live a moral life and believe in charity for all and malice to none,” he said as he repeated his creed in English as well as Spanish.

With that behind him, he stressed the need for allergy specialists in Cuba and then began using medical terms thay I didn’t fully understand. Some of my companions who are medical professionals seemed to lean on every word as if they were in a classroom. I surmised from his gusto and their attentiveness, the aged pediatrician was right at home.

His impromptu lecture continued for nearly one hour and no question went unanswered.

Dr. Rodríguez Gavaldá reluctantly spoke about himself and his place in the history of research, education and the treatment of immunological diseases in a country where hypersensitivities are prevalent.

As a 12-year-old youngster in the hospital for surgery he set his sights on becoming a physician. He accomplished that goal when he graduated with his doctorate in medicine from the University of Havana in 1941. Soon after he began residency training at a children’s tuberculosis hospital and acquired research skills in the lab of an allergy clinic, but was disheartened that so many who could not afford specialized treatment went without care.

After his wife died in 1955, Dr. Rodríguez Gavaldá applied for and was accepted into the pediatric residency program at The Brooklyn Hospital in New York. It was there he began to believe in the possibility of opening a hospital in Cuba where he could provide medical care for all children – poor or rich.

The political climate at home was shifting dramatically as he worked and studied in New York. Others in his position might have forsaken the uncertainty of life in Cuba, or even delayed their return, but not this ambitious physician. He had a goal.

“I never thought of not returning (to Cuba),” he later wrote, “stripped of all things social and professional, I am Cuban.”

Perhaps it was the revolution or just his determination and humanitarian sprit, but the hospital of his dreams became a reality in 1960 when he helped found the William Solar University Pediatric Hospital. Soon afterward he established the Allergy and Immunology Laboratory at the hospital where he trained other physicians to help in his quest to treat young allergy patients.

In 1967 Dr. Rodríguez Gavaldá was off to Paris supported by a French Government scholarship to further his education in immunology and brush up on the French language he learned in elementary school. That was a good thing too, because a number of years later he would travel to the French capital after returning from Viet Nam where he served on an international tribunal.

As the years passed the doctor and teacher pressed on with his research and discovered new ways of treating juvenile patients despite the scarcity of many modern pharmaceuticals. And every time he made progress he would present his findings at international medical conferences and introduce them into the curriculum at the University of Havana. It seemed to be a constant cycle of learning, treating, teaching and sharing.

He believes deeply in sharing what he has learned. “Knowledge is world heritage. It would immoral to gain knowledge and prevent the flow of history.”

When we met in 2005, Dr. Rodríguez Gavaldá was the current president of the Cuban Society of Medicine and still treating nearly 200 patients each week. Despite a schedule that would seem grueling for a man half his age, he still finds time to stroll the Malecón, dance and visit with his only daughter at least twice each week.

At the conclusion of our three-hour meeting, Patricia and her father left to return to their separate professions – arm-in-arm physically and mentally.

CONTACT ME to order a fine art print of this photograph.

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One Wedding

  • COVER: I rarely photograph weddings. Not because I don't immensely enjoy weddings, but because the union of two people in God is so special I would never want the images I present to be less than fresh and new.

    COVER:
    I rarely photograph weddings. I am a romantic and really enjoy weddings, but I want to assure that my images and the presentation are new, fresh and truly unique.

  • This wedding story of Laura and Kevin was completed as a 52-page fine art book that is twelve inches square. Each page was printed on archival fine art paper using pigment inks and the book was hand bound with a dust jacket, all of which is personally completed by the photographer. Most of the backgrounds and some of the full-spread images are created in the style of Impasto paintings with overlaid images.

    This wedding story of Laura and Kevin was completed as a 52-page fine art book that is twelve inches square. Each page was printed on archival fine art paper using pigment inks and the book was hand bound with a dust jacket, all of which is personally completed by the photographer. Most of the backgrounds and some of the full-spread images are created in the style of Impasto paintings with overlaid images.

  • I've been a photojournalist for decades because I like to tell stories with few if any words. Integral to the story is the art; the art of the photograph and the art of presentation. Outstanding images are those where each element has specific meaning that supports and helps to develop the story.

    I've been a photojournalist for decades because I like to tell stories with few if any words. Integral to the story is the art; the art of the photograph and the art of presentation. Outstanding images are those where each element has specific meaning that supports and helps to develop the story.

  • The wide images presented here are two pages side-by-side. Unfortunately, a web presentation does not convey the true beauty of the printing and lacks the tactile feel of the finished product.

    The wide images presented here are two pages side-by-side. Unfortunately, a web presentation does not convey the true beauty of the printing and lacks the tactile feel of the finished product.

  • Interior

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • Laura & Kevin

    Laura & Kevin

  • For every bride and groom I want the very best and something very unique, just like the two people who come together bound in the spirit and committed to one another on their very special day.  The style of this presentation will not be repeated as the next will be something fresh and totally unique.

    For every bride and groom I want the very best and something very unique, just like the two people who come together bound in the spirit and committed to one another on their very special day. The style of this presentation will not be repeated as the next will be something fresh and totally unique.

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Music CD Design

  • Compact Disc Case cover for Divine Mercy Flood My Soul by Catholic Singer and Songwriter, Annie Karto.

    Compact Disc Case cover for Divine Mercy Flood My Soul by Catholic Singer and Songwriter, Annie Karto.

  • Compact Disk design for Divine Mercy Flood My Soul by Catholic singer and songwriter, Annie Karto.

    Compact Disk design for Divine Mercy Flood My Soul by Catholic singer and songwriter, Annie Karto.

  • Compact Disk case liner cover for Overshadow Me by Catholic singer and songwriter, Annie Karto. This work received a Unity Award for Album Packaging of the Year by United Catholic Music & Video Artists (UCMVA), as well as a Unity Award for Album of the Year for Annie Karto.

    Compact Disk case liner cover for Overshadow Me by Catholic singer and songwriter, Annie Karto. This work received a Unity Award for Album Packaging of the Year by United Catholic Music & Video Artists (UCMVA), as well as a Unity Award for Album of the Year for Annie Karto.

  • Compact Disk design for Overshadow Me by Catholic singer and songwriter, Annie Karto. This work received a Unity Award for Album Packaging of the Year by United Catholic Music & Video Artists (UCMVA), as well as a Unity Award for Album of the Year for Annie Karto.

    Compact Disk design for Overshadow Me by Catholic singer and songwriter, Annie Karto. This work received a Unity Award for Album Packaging of the Year by United Catholic Music & Video Artists (UCMVA), as well as a Unity Award for Album of the Year for Annie Karto.

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An arm for Raysa

  • Raysa Fernandez was a normal 16–year–old schoolgirl in Jaguey Gran, when her life was turned upside–down when she was diagnosed with cancer. Cuban doctors amputated her right shoulder and arm in order to stem the disease and save her life.

    Raysa Fernandez was a normal 16–year–old schoolgirl in Jaguey Gran, when her life was turned upside–down when she was diagnosed with cancer. Cuban doctors amputated her right shoulder and arm in order to stem the disease and save her life.

  • At their first meeting on the day after her arrival from Havana, Tampa prosthetist Waldo Esparza, at right, tells Raysa, center, that they have much in common: he too is from Cuba and lost his left leg in an accident when he was a teenager. Raysa is the second young cancer survivor from Cuba that a small group of humanitarians, including Arnold Andrews, at left, has helped to acquire prostheses and physical therapy.

    At their first meeting on the day after her arrival from Havana, Tampa prosthetist Waldo Esparza, at right, tells Raysa, center, that they have much in common: he too is from Cuba and lost his left leg in an accident when he was a teenager. Raysa is the second young cancer survivor from Cuba that a small group of humanitarians, including Arnold Andrews, at left, has helped to acquire prostheses and physical therapy.

  • After wrapping Raysa's torso and right shoulder with plastic wrap, Esparza makes a cast that will be used for a preliminary mould for the base of the shoulder support.

    After wrapping Raysa's torso and right shoulder with plastic wrap, Esparza makes a cast that will be used for a preliminary mould for the base of the shoulder support.

  • Two days after creating the initial shoulder casting, Esparza fits the polymer base that will help support Raysa's shoulder and prosthetic arm.

    Two days after creating the initial shoulder casting, Esparza fits the polymer base that will help support Raysa's shoulder and prosthetic arm.

  • After trimming, smoothing and completing the fit of the base, Esparza aligns and marks the locations for hardware that will be embedded to secure the harness and metal arm structure.

    After trimming, smoothing and completing the fit of the base, Esparza aligns and marks the locations for hardware that will be embedded to secure the harness and metal arm structure.

  • At the beginning of the second week, intern prosthetist, Art Gagne, and Esparza make a second plaster cast over the base support. This cast will be used to cover the base and will help to fill out the shoulder area.

    At the beginning of the second week, intern prosthetist, Art Gagne, and Esparza make a second plaster cast over the base support. This cast will be used to cover the base and will help to fill out the shoulder area.

  • Raysa contemplates the skeleton of her new arm as she waits in the examination room for Esparza to return after making adjustments to the fit of the shoulder covering. Esparza takes great care to insure her comfort. "When you return to Cuba, I won’t have the opportunity for follow-up visits," he tells the teenager, "so it must be right, it must be perfect."

    Raysa contemplates the skeleton of her new arm as she waits in the examination room for Esparza to return after making adjustments to the fit of the shoulder covering. Esparza takes great care to insure her comfort. "When you return to Cuba, I won’t have the opportunity for follow-up visits," he tells the teenager, "so it must be right, it must be perfect."

  • At her final appointment with Waldo, two days before she is scheduled to return to Cuba, Raysa looks over her new arm. "Unfortunately," Esparza laments, "the arm is more cosmetic than functional, because she lost her shoulder too."

    At her final appointment with Waldo, two days before she is scheduled to return to Cuba, Raysa looks over her new arm. "Unfortunately," Esparza laments, "the arm is more cosmetic than functional, because she lost her shoulder too."

  • After one month away from home for the first time, Raysa is greeted at Jose Marti Airport in Havana on her arrival in Cuba by her parents, Pedro and Marisol. Two days later, her father commented about how his daughter is beginning to regain her confidence. "My daughter is no longer fearful to leave her room and is beginning to go into public again."

    After one month away from home for the first time, Raysa is greeted at Jose Marti Airport in Havana on her arrival in Cuba by her parents, Pedro and Marisol. Two days later, her father commented about how his daughter is beginning to regain her confidence. "My daughter is no longer fearful to leave her room and is beginning to go into public again."

For nearly all of her ninth grade school year, Raysa Fernandez kept her secret.

It wasn’t until she couldn’t brush her curly blonde locks without pain that she knew she had to tell someone. So, the Cuban teenager confided in her mother about the large lump that was growing in her armpit and the pain she was experiencing.

Raysa’s mother took her to the medical clinic in their hometown of Jagüey Grande, about 100 miles southeast of Havana. The doctors there decided not to remove the mass when they observed its deep roots, but took a sample for biopsy purposes. Three months later, with a detour through the hospital in Mantanzas City, the 16–year–old was admitted to Instituto Nacional de Oncologia y Radiobiologia in Havana.

When she was discharged ten months later, she left without her right shoulder and arm. But, before leaving she made many new friends including Carmen Vallejo who operates a support group for youngsters with cancer in Havana. She also gained an inner strength and a solid determination to learn to do everything she did before with her right arm with her left.

Two years later, in April of 2005, Raysa traveled to Tampa, where Arnold Andrews, executive director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of St. Petersburg made arrangements for the teenager to receive a prosthetic arm. For the second time in one year, Andrews begged and cajoled old friends to raise the necessary funds so that a Cuban child could receive a prosthetic limb.

On May 28, 2005, Raysa returned to Cuba with a new arm and renewed hope.

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