Friday, April 29, 2016

The Messengers

The Messengers 2016 - The background of this montage is a combination of two images of Green Sergeant's Covered Bridge located across Wickecheoke Creek in Delaware Township NJ. Constructed in 1872 and named for local mill operator Richard Green Sergeant, it is the last historic covered bridge in New Jersey. After being damaged in 1960, it was dismantled and replaced with a modern bridge; but, oddly enough, due to public outcry, the bridge was rebuilt from the original materials in 1961. The gulls are from a rather large flock I came across hanging out, not by the sea, but in the parking lot of Wegmans supermarket in Bridgewater, NJ. Many species have learned to coexist successfully with humans and are resourceful, inquisitive and intelligent birds. In Native American spirituality, gulls are regarded as spiritual messengers that indicate a higher communication with spirit guides is taking place. The "spirit guide" in my piece is a composite of three different women to achieve the look I envisioned. The body is one of my models, the face and hair are from two different vintage photos from my collection. The pentagram she wears at her throat symbolizes the five elements with the top point, the spirit, ruling over the other four; earth, air, fire and water. The circle encasing them all represents infinity and the cycles of life and nature. With the composition in place, I added color, selected filters and texture to complete "The Messengers".

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen ©2016 -  On a recent trip through the historic town of Princeton, NJ, I came across a beautiful old building (no surprise as Princeton has an abundance of them) but what most attracted me to this one was a magical, amber glow emanating from the iron gated doorway at dusk. Upon later research, it turned out to be Stuart Hall, part of the theological seminary of Princeton University. Built in 1876, it was named for the brothers Robert and Alexander Stuart, wealthy sugar refiners from New York City who donated funds for the building. After downloading the files, the color in the doorway reminded me of an idea in the back of my mind using an image of a cicada I photographed in my backyard during the seventeen year brood emergence of 2013. Several cultures, such as the ancient Chinese, regarded these insects as powerful symbols of rebirth. Looking down at the cicada, the top of it's body resembled the intricate bodice of a Victorian lady's dress with the same coloring as the doorway. The wide set eyes seemed to form shoulder pads while the wings formed flowing sleeves and a billowing skirt. I immediately searched my vintage photo collection and found a lovely lady that fit perfectly into the "cicada gown". I placed her in the composition, just emerging from the doorway, along with a crow flying overhead and a crescent moon reflected in the window. Selected filters,  color and texture completed "The Edge of Seventeen".