Monthly Archives: August 2017


I have in the past harbored reservations about composite photographs, thinking them somehow impure. That stance began to weaken when I really looked at Jerry Uelsmann’s work, and in recent years has fallen away almost completely. A visit (last weekend) to John Paul Caponigro’s annual Open Studio was especially heartening (see his Revelation series), though John Paul’s mastery of technique is daunting.

My own composite images have mostly been symmetrical mirrorings, which I’m pleased to think of as tessellations, though most of them are 2x and 4x and don’t really amount to multi-unit tiling, though some of the work with Betsy’s images realizes that potential:

First banner

My own process is sketched in the series of images below. Here’s the original photograph:


The wavy bits in the water (lower left center) seemed especially interesting, so I cropped and mirrored them:


…and then mirrored again:


…then cropped that image


and mirrored again:


The result seemed a bit heavy, so I started again with a mirroring that moved the darker parts to the outside:


…and then cropped that to reveal a mustachio’d djinn:


or anyhow that’s one of the things I see.

when in Barre VT


A visit to Hope Cemetery in Barre VT is pretty much a necessity for anybody interested in the artistic side of gravestones. All of the stones come from the various granite sheds in town, and showcase about 130 years of the carvers’ evolving styles and techniques. Quite a few are memorials to carvers (mostly of Italian origin) who died at young ages, of the silicosis that was epidemic in the trade until ventilation was greatly improved in the sheds in the 1930s.

Hope Cemetery has been thoroughly documented (there’s a list of more than 6,000 interments at, a nice introduction via, another feature story from The Boston Globe, and many excellent photographs by Christine Anne Piesyk). Several of the memorials are regularly cited in articles on the cemetery, particularly Louis Brusa’s own:


The Bored Angel and the Tribute to a Stone Carver

I was especially impressed by examples of portraiture in granite:




(the lattermost is Elia Corti, an especially gifted sculptor who was gunned down in 1904 in a struggle between socialist and anarchist workers).

Also of great interest is the remarkable design and the refined calligraphy and decoration:




There are some especially opulent excesses:



and my favorite, for the appropriateness of the surname Vanetti: