0724: More Color From the Quarry

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The other day, needing to take a break from printing, I visited the neighborhood quarry and once again climbed through the section I was least familiar with. I’ve always avoided that area because so much of the rock was too crumbly, I thought, to find anything of substance there. But then I’m not looking for great scientific discovery. I’m happy to settle for the “visually stimulating.”

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In that sense it doesn’t disappoint. The fragility has its own appeal. And the colors are amazing! Picture 1 at the top of this post shows a brachiopod in rock, all of which has been affected by iron oxidization. Picture 2 (above) shows the result of the slightest disturbance in the rock as it quite literally falls apart. Needless to say, with such fragility, all these images were taken on site.

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Thin layers filled with various small brachiopods cut through this section of the quarry. According to my friend, Dr. Chuck Ver Straeten from the New York State Museum’s Geology Division, these layers appear every six feet or so, suggesting a regularity of geologic activity over a certain period of time. (I hope that is an accurate interpretation of what I was told – most of this stuff is still a mystery to me, I must confess!).

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Whatever the cause I’m delighted to have the open-ended opportunity to explore this area.

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Even when drained of color the fossils here seem to have a unique character.

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And then, of course, there is abundant color – no fossils – just a riot of color. The picture above shows the current quarry floor. Scale top to bottom is approximately six feet.

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This final quarry image – looking like a lightening bolt from a dark and oppressive sky – seems to echo some of the new work I will be showing at my upcoming show in Beacon on August 9. For all my friends in NYC, get out of the city for a day, visit the many galleries in Beacon (including DIA), and join me for the opening that evening from 6-9 pm.

Beacon Artist Union, 506 Main Street, Beacon, NY

And with that I’ll end today’s post with another image from that upcoming show.

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 Thanks for the visit.

0717: Getting Close

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I’ve been working feverishly on my upcoming solo show “Abstract/Concrete” set to open in three weeks –  August 9th at the Beacon Artist Union. Today’s opening image is the latest in that effort. I have found a little time, though, to turn my attention elsewhere.

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My good friend and fellow photographer, Moshe Katvan, called the other day. He needed to find a few locations to shoot for an ad campaign he’s currently working on. Specifically, he needed “…lots of rocks in a wilderness setting.” He certainly knew the right person to call!

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So I took him to some of my favorite fossil locations. It worked out great for him. And for me too – it allowed me to poke around, while he worked, and find fresh subject matter for me to shoot. Here are two from that site – along Kaaterskill Creek.

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We also took a bit of time to drop by my favorite neighborhood quarry.

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We weren’t there more than a half hour.

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This selection, this remainder of images, is the result of that quick stop.

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Thanks for the visit.

0710: Coral Then and Now

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Whenever I hear or see the word “coral” I stop to take notice. Here in this small area of the Hudson Valley I find various types of fossil coral – all from the Devonian Period, roughly 385 million years ago. In fact, one of my finds, a rather large piece of honeycomb coral, now resides in the collection of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. So I am always on the alert for anything coral.

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Yesterday I ran across an article online that led to a wonderful break in the day’s routine (one that I highly recommend). The article told of Google Street taking viewers underwater to visit existing coral reefs (see article here). The article is loaded with great links, including Oceans, where the coral images reside.

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These are compelling, 360 degree views, technically brilliant and breathtaking in their scope and diversity. They are the product of the Catlin Seaview Survey, a group dedicated to recording and preserving the world’s coral reefs. While I dig up remnants of deep time coral I can only imagine the world in which they lived. These Survey images seem to confirm the amazing diversity that probably existed as much then as it does now.

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So today I’ve decided to resurrect some of my Devonian coral images and intersperse them with screen grabs I took from the Oceans site. More Catlin images and videos can be found here.

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Hudson Valley fossil 4

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I’ll finish today with a piece from my upcoming show at the Beacon Artist Union, set to open on August 9. More on that over the next few weeks as I continue printing.

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 As always, thanks for the visit.

0703: Happy Fourth

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With a nod to the Fourth I dug up this shot from the recent past. The flag is set against the grille of an old tractor – where else but standing in line at the Fourth of July Parade a couple of years ago. I hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

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Two things have kept me attached to the computer this past week. The quarry has been oppressively hot, for one. Fortunately I have plenty of images to catch up with ( a fresh selection to follow). But first, I have a few overlooked images from my time in Italy last Autumn.

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And that leads me to the second reason why I was attached to the computer – that seemingly instant crack-like addiction to World Cup soccer!  With the tv next to the computer …well you know the rest.

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It must have been that general aura of internationalism that led me to my Italy library in the first place. These are images of Pliocene Period fossils that we found in the hills of Tuscany, in a vineyard with our friends Elisabetta and Stefano.

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They covered the ground and the hillside - white specks everywhere.

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And now, to the quarry. These first three images have terrific detail – one of those features that always amazes me – 385 million years old and this well defined information exists – right at our feet!

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But then I’m one of those people who is still awed by the notion that scientists have developed ways to help figure so much of this out – life on the planet, that is.

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 (By the way, clicking on any image will bring it up in a fresh window. Just hit back arrow to return.)

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I’ll close today with a shot from Cooper Lake, just outside of Woodstock.

Thanks for the visit.

0626: Color From the Quarry

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I found this the other day in the quarry – in the section whose rocks crumble easily (as I have described in the past). It is also the place where mineralized water leaches through the rocks producing these vivid colors.

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I found the other half so I couldn’t resist this shot – is there a geological term for          “fried eggs?”

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I couldn’t resist these other two.

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This rock, a little less crumbly than the others, is smaller than a loaf of bread. And unlike most of the rock of this type, this one contains brachiopods from a thin fossil layer.

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The image above was what I wanted first. And, happy with the results, I decided to break this fragile rock down, shooting all that I might find within.

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Often, all that can be found is on the surface. Luckily this one had far more to offer. These remaining images all come from that one rock.

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All the way down to here.

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And, finally, we were graced the other day with the annual appearance of luna moths.

Thanks to you (and the luna moths) for the visit.

0619: As Summer Begins

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The local quarry, which has been a focus of mine lately, has spoiled me. Thanks to the current owner, a large section of the most fossil-laden layer (a few feet deep, I believe) has been dug up and piled very high in several places. I simply show up and load the back of my car with rocks of all shapes and sizes.

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To be sure, I do employ some discrimination. And, while I’ve become more and more particular, I can still load the car in very short order.

IMG_2691_01_LR_10That main layer has little variation in what can be found – brachiopods mostly. (That’s why you usually see an abundance of them on this blog). Since I am more interested in the aesthetic possibilities than scientific discovery I am usually more than busy and happy with that situation.

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But there is something to the broader notion of exploration. And I was feeling that the other day as I pulled up to the same place and started to load my bag like usual. Other parts of this quarry contain some other types of fossils – different layers from different times – but far less abundant.

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 So I set out to find them that day. And here is some of what I found.

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I even took a minute to explore the woods that form the outer boundary of the quarry  - good timing for this one!

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Before I close, let me tell you about a wonderful event taking place this Sunday (June 22) on Lake Champlain – Isle La Motte, Vermont, to be precise. There you will find, at the Goodsell Ridge Preserve, the most ancient Chazy Reef (480 million years old). You’ll also find the dedicated group of local volunteers responsible for its preservation. And on Sunday, they invite you to the following:

YOU ARE INVITED TO THE GRAND OPENING OF THE WALK THROUGH TIME EXHIBIT. JUNE 22 1:00-5:00. FROM 1:00 TO 2:45 WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO WALK THE 4,600 FOOT TRAIL WHERE PANELS ARE SET UP DEPICTING THE 4.6 BILLION YEAR HISTORY OF EARTH. BAGPIPES WILL SUMMON YOU AT 2:45 (I hope) to A RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY. MUSIC & REFRESHMENTS FROM 3:30 to 5:00.

If you are anywhere in the vicinity please drop by. If not, then plan a trip sometime this summer. It’s a wonderful place to visit – a place to learn about and view amazing things.

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Thanks for the visit.

 

0612: Not Enough Time

IMG_2597_01_LR_12Last week I wrote about a “wealth of subjects” but this week the operative phrase is “not enough time.” I’m a little light on images so today I have strung together a recent assortment of pics from here and there.

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This “not enough time” thing has to do with my upcoming solo show in August at the bau Gallery in Beacon. While it is still two months away – it’s only two months away!!

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Normally for me that’s a pretty manageable time frame. But this time there are other factors at work. This time I’m working on an entirely new body of work – one that is something of a departure for me. And there’s a lot to do.

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All my time is being devoted to this new series – prepping and eventually printing the images. And it’s all great fun. One minute I’m delighted and exhilarated with the work. The next minute I’m questioning its value on all sorts of levels. This roller coaster ride is very often part of the creative process – at least for me. And I’ve had a laugh about it with a number of artist friends with similar experiences.

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I’m sure I’ll be rambling on about this topic for a while since it does seem to be in my head constantly. And hopefully the end result will be work that I will enjoy making and work that I will enjoy sharing with you.

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So, with all that as a preface, here are two pieces that will make it into the show.

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They will most likely combine with four other images I posted previously on May 15 in a post entitled 0515: New Projects. Please feel free to comment.

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I’d like to wrap up with two pics from Facebook that I wanted to share. The first is one from my old friend, Donna Quante. We worked together years ago on The Cosby Show where Donna was a member of the one of the finest camera crews ever to work a tv studio set! That’s Donna in the white skirt, with fellow camera person Helene Haviland next to her. And that’s me (off to the left with the beard). We worked together for years and it was one of the best experiences of my career!

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And one final sad note.

The other day, this country experienced its 74th school shooting since Sandy Hook.

Tom Waits

 

WTF?