A Dark Day in November ©2016 - When I use texture in my work, the deterioration in old daguerreotypes is one of my favorites. Normally, I remove any figures in them digitally leaving only the texture for layering into my montages. When I came across this one, however, I was drawn to how the decay of the image had left the woman with such a desolate, haunting look and decided to leave it intact. In the aftermath of the presidential election, I pulled it from my files as the base image for a piece to express the swirling thoughts and feelings consuming me. I purposely left the darkness and long, horizontal slashes across her face and head giving the feel of an icy, blowing wind. I photographed and added the American flag and lilies along with bare trees and circling crows in the background. The book the woman is holding was a gift from my sister a number of years ago by the 19th century English poet, Emma Tatham titled "On the Ocean of Time: The Children of the Year". It's an illustrated calendar book with a poem for each month of the year and is open to the following page:
Ah, I am come! and ye greet me not.
Fear and aversion are ever my lot;
Ye shrink from the sound of my voice of storm,
And dread the approach of my shadowy form;
Ye know that my brow is heavy and dull,
And scarcely a blossom have I to cull;
Ye know that my forehead with mist is veiled,
And the blast, at my coming, hath moaned and wailed;
I have torn from the branches the leaves that stayed,
And bid the shivering chrysanthemum fade;
I have strewn the foam o'er the ocean wide,
And the bee hath gone to her nest to hide.
I fear for our deeply divided country but I have to believe we will get through this.