Let's Play a Game ©2015 - The base image for this piece was captured in the area of Stockton and Sargentsville, NJ. This gnarled and weather beaten old tree had such a magical feel about it, like something you would see in an illustration for Grimm's Fairytales. It provided just the right setting for the composition I had in mind. The vintage gentleman was part of a group photo but I decided he worked best alone for my purposes. He was in just the right position for holding a photo of my Ouija board that I've owned since the early 1970's. Ouija boards have their roots in a spiritualist movement in the 1840's led by mediums who claimed to be intermediaries between the living and the dead. In 1886, newspapers reported on a new "talking board" marked with letters of the alphabet, number 0-9, the words "yes", "no", "hello" and "goodbye" along with other symbols. Participants place their fingers on a small, heart-shaped piece of wood or plastic called a planchette. It then moves around the board to indicate a spirit's message. It was patented in 1891 by Elijah Bond and in1901, an employee, William Fuld, took over the production under the name "Ouija", a combination of the French and German worlds for "yes". It was popularized as a parlor game and remains so until today. However you feel about Ouija boards, they are always fascinating. Just ask the little girl who seems to have been summoned to play the game.