Ms. Ulmer is a 97 year old bohemian artist who has been making a piece of art everyday for the last 90 years. She worked as an illustrator at The Philadelphia Free Library for over 35 years and helped establish its Art Department. Although she has worked in many mediums, I became smitten with her self portraits.

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Marie is not a vain person, she is a practical person. She wanted to learn how to draw so she continually looked at herself in the mirror. The bi product is an elaborate collection of her “selfie” over decades. The opportunity to take pictures of someone who has virtually no ego but also has (I’m guessing) hundreds of self portraits was something that I could not resist.

The Ms.Ulmer book project began a couple years ago. Our collaboration seemed natural. The pages will include my images of her alongside her illustrated self portraits. She trusts me and we have a great friendship that has lead to her discovering her alter ego, or the personality she never explored, in front of my camera to become my muse.

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Fake tattoo. Real fruit.

Marie always wanted to visit someplace tropical.

Marie’s hairdryer is almost a third her weight.

On any given day it’s 85 degrees in Maries house. Her bathroom is like a sauna.

I asked Marie “Who is your “ideal” man?”. We went upstairs to her childhood bedroom and she pulls out her college yearbook and points to Bruce Adams. She could not stop smiling.

A few years ago Marie told me that if she was not an artist she would have devoted herself to god. Today she completely denied it.

We talk about everything but death.

“A man and a family would have interfered with my art”. Her response to my question about having any regrets.