Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Beguiled

The Beguiled ©2018 - The inspiration for this piece came from a favorite illustration by Gustave Dore for Fables of La Fontaine in 1868 titled “The Rabbits” as well as the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.  The background is a montage of two images taken two years apart in very different locations but blended together perfectly for the effect I wanted. Oddly enough, the rabbits (actually consisting of three rabbits in multiple poses) were captured in Pottersville, NJ, two of them on 7-28-18 and one on 7-28-17, same day, same town one year apart!  In Dore’s illustration, the rabbits are startled by a gun shot from a man hidden in the bushes with a rifle and scurry into the forest for protection. In my piece, the rabbits (and perhaps several crows) are being drawn slowly into the forest by the beguiling melody coming from the violin of the lady in white.  As the legend goes, in the year 1284, the people of Hamelin (a town in Lower Saxony, Germany) hired a piper (or flutist) dressed in multicolored (pied) clothing to lure away an infestation of rats with his magical pipe.  When they refused to pay for his service, he used his powers on their children, leading them away as he had the rats. While I’m not convinced my violinist has anything quite so sinister in mind, I’ll leave it up to the viewer as to the fate of “The Beguiled”.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Wizard's Apprentice

The Wizard’s Apprentice ©2018 - I began this piece with an image of the Raritan River I captured from under a bridge on Old York Rd just outside of Readington Township, NJ. There were some interesting bare trees along the bank that were leaning precariously toward the water in almost a domino effect. Between two of them, looming in the distance, I placed a graceful, white house from Belvidere, NJ. The tall, elegant heron standing calmly in the water as well as the two turtles basking in the moonlight on a piece of floating wood, are from the area of Princeton, NJ. My little wizard mouse is in reality one of my Halloween decorations who normally carries a small skull in his hands. For this adventure however, I fashioned a magic wand for him by photographing the handle of an antique, silver hand mirror and a crystal charm from a necklace. The wolf, faithful guide, protector and familiar to the wizard, was photographed at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ and the young “apprentice” is from my vintage photo collection. A crescent moon, crows, and a dragonfly were added to complete the composition. Texture, color and filters were used to blend the final image and create the atmosphere I envisioned for my traveling trio as they discover what is unveiled at the end of their journey.

 “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”  - Roald Dahl, novelist, poet and screenwriter

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Tender Trap

A Tender Trap ©2018 - When I found the vintage photo of the girl with the hypnotic eyes in an antique store, I couldn’t wait to use her in a new piece. Even so, I did wait, several months in fact, before the right elements and composition came together for this montage. The background image, with it’s quirky little bent over tree and rolling hills, was taken in northwestern New Jersey just before crossing into Pennsylvania.The Jaguars are residents of The Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ. These beautiful and powerful beasts were prominent in ancient Native American cultures. In some traditions, the Jaguar God of the Night was the formidable lord of the underworld. The name jaguar is derived from the Native American word “yaguar”, which means “he who kills with one leap”. The Mayans, Aztecs and Inca all worshiped the jaguar in some form. Unfortunately, today they have been eliminated from most of the United States due to habitat loss, over hunting and killings to protect livestock and are endangered in Central and South America. I finished the composition with some crows, clouds, and a large black feather (considered to be a sign of protection by angels). Texture, color and select filters completed the piece. The title was inspired by the 1955 movie, “The Tender Trap” which referred to love. In this case, it seems a trap of some sort is definitely being set; however, I leave it to the viewer as to who is doing the trapping, beauty or the beasts?