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".

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