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She's a picture of victory

Posted: December 2, 2008 10:29 p.m.
Updated: December 3, 2008 4:59 a.m.

Photographer Sandy Fisher, a two-time cancer survivor, stands next her photos titled "Blushing Peony" and "Peace Like a Flower," which are on display at the Canyon Theatre Guild in downtown Newhall.

Sandy Fisher remembers two years ago when she took the photo she now calls "Tranquil Water Lily."

That day in July, Fisher, 49, had finished chemotherapy and radiation treatment for her spine cancer.

It was the second time she beat cancer. Her first diagnosis of cervical cancer came in 1994.

With her treatment complete, Fisher decided to leave Stanford, where she was treated, and spend the day in San Francisco.

She turned a corner and stumbled upon a water lily that sat peacefully in a pond. The water's reflection caught the purple flower and set the stage for the perfect snapshot.

"For me, it was an omen that I would have peace," said Fisher, a Saugus resident and mother of two.

The portrait now hangs in the hallway at the Canyon Theatre Guild in Newhall as part of Fisher's "With Eyes Wide Open" exhibition.

It's the first private showing for Fisher, who serves as president of the Santa Clarita Artists' Association for the second year.

Fisher, who has a background in marketing and banking, took the 30 color photographs of nature while travelling the world, hoping to capture moments that people can connect to.

"It has a lot to do with trying to get an emotional reaction out of people when they look at an image," she said, framed by the color photographs that hung on the walls.

A photographer since her 20s, Fisher doesn't think there's any "magic" in her equipment.

After all, she uses a basic five-megapixel Sony camera to capture her images.

It's more about understanding the environment.

"I really try to think about it," Fisher said.

She hopes her efforts allow others to experience the beauty, glory and color nature has to offer.

"Really, just slow down and appreciate the beauty of the world," she said. "I just think there's so much that we miss."

It's that positive attitude that Fisher credits in helping her beat cancer.

She recalled when she found out she was diagnosed with a difficult cancer for the second time.

"That was probably a major wake-up call for me," she said.

But she maintained her strong faith and looked to her "fighter" personality.

"You can't change what you have now. You can only change how you deal with it," she said.

It's a drive that Jacqueline Sofen is familiar with.

Sofen met Fisher two years ago after joining the association.

"When I first met her, she was hanging a show on a 12-foot ladder," she said. "And she's still going through chemotherapy."

Sofen, an artist and program director for the association, recognizes Fisher's art and her passion.

"She is generous. She is kind. She is brilliant," Sofen said. "Her art is wonderful. It's inspired. It's poetic.
"She uses every one of those skills to increase visibility of the arts in Santa Clarita."


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