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Artist’s Statement: The Look

Ludwig, Connie

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31829010f3
Cover Art

Ms. Ludwig is an artist living and painting on a small farm outside of Goodhue, Minnesota;

When I painted “The Look,” Dr. Loo was a resident in internal medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and I was fortunate to be one of her patients. The expression on Dr. Loo’s face is one I got to see at least once whenever I was in her care. My background is in art education, and I am very visually oriented, so “the look” has stayed in mymind.

Creating portraits is my attempt to capture and communicate what I see. During my time as her patient, I learned that Dr. Loo radiates a calming mixture of intelligence, intuition, and empathy. She took the time to educate me in understanding and managing the myriad changes in this aging body of mine. Not many of the doctors I have had compare to her. Her compassion and inquisitive nature were always apparent. She was easy to trust, believe, and understand.

So, when I heard she was leaving Mayo to further her demanding and hopefully rewarding career, I panicked. Not only would I miss her, but I had not yet done this painting that had been forming in my mind. I was not certain whether I could get a photo of “the look” of hers to use as the basis for my painting. Lucky for me, she was willing to try, and she successfully recreated “the look” after I reminded her about one of my clinic visits where she was initiating cholesterol-lowering medication. In this portrait, she was telling me that I should not proceed like her mother and think that I could eat as much butter as I like just because I was on this new medication. (Butter is my downfall.)

This woman chose her profession well. She belongs in the healing arts. Can you see it?

The Look

The Look

© 2013 Association of American Medical Colleges