021617: Overlooked

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Today’s images come from shooting I did at the Museum of Natural History in Florence. These particular images were originally passed over when I chose my “selects” from this project. This month’s snow and cold allowed me to revisit my photo libraries and “discover” these previously untouched images.

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I normally try to avoid the cliche of “pretty flower” images, but these are very different. They are wax botanical models – wax sculptures, if you will – made during the 18th and 19th Centuries at the waxworks of the Imperial & Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History.

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They currently reside in the collection of the Florence Museum of Natural History in the Botany Section and overseen by the section head, Dr. Chiara Nepi.

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Regular viewers might recall the images I posted this time last year of the collection of fantastical fungi (0310: A Curious Cabinet). Those mushroom sculptures came from that same Botany Section.

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Also, within that section resides an amazing collection of seeds and plant specimens, each of which is more visually stimulating than the other. Below are more samples.

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My deepest thanks to Dr. Nepi for allowing me the opportunity to explore the objects under her care. She has always been so kind and gracious with her time in allowing me to enter her world.  I am always most grateful.

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I’ll finish today with a handful of images from La Specola, another section of the Florence Museum – this time from their Mineralogy collection. I know a bit about fossils and their rock matrices but almost nothing about gems and minerals. I do know, though, that they can be pretty mind blowing and quite something to see!

I hope you agree,

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My thanks again to all those kind, thoughtful, and wonderful folks at the Museum whose kindness I could never repay!

And thanks to you for the visit today.

020217: A Moment of Calm

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News of the day, just about every day, seems to be so unsettling. Sometimes it’s a real challenge to find an offset.

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I think I found one, thanks to a trip through my photo libraries.

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The images I present today are part of a series I worked on and exhibited 5 – 6 years ago.

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Entitled the “Devonian Drawer” series, it was a quiet, almost meditative series of images in which my locally found fossils were partnered with various other objects and framed in an old metal drawer.

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The relationship of objects within each frame gives much room to interpretation.

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And perhaps that room for interpretation gives way to an inner quiet.

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Nothing grandiose here – just a quiet moment, a pause to catch my breath in the midst of frenzy.

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I hope you enjoy the selection.

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Thanks for the visit.

012617: Changes Taking Place

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As I was packing up some of my fossil rocks for their journey to the new studio I ran across this colorful rock with its vibrant sprig of moss. Of course, I had to stop everything until I could photograph it.

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And, as usual, one shot led to another. Before I knew it packing up changed into more shooting. Lichen, uncovered from the recent snow, offered a few more interesting opportunities.

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I finally got back to the fossils, threw a few more into the bag, and was thwarted once more. So again, more pics and less packing.

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Seems like this move is going to be a long drawn out affair!

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Cindy and I made it down to the NYC Womens March last Saturday. It was a powerful event – with many more to come. In a sea of posters this one seemed particularly poignant to me.

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I close today with a new piece – seemingly drawn from the new state we currently find ourselves in.

Thanks for the visit.

011917: The Fog

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Several days of fog allowed for these opening images. There is a deepening and long lasting fog setting in that will require a sharpening of the senses. It starts tomorrow. All I can say is “Eyes wide open.” Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors.

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I continue to move my seemingly endless piles of fossil rocks to the location of my new studio. And, in doing so, the only thing that slows me down is rediscovering so many worthy subjects for exploration.

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I set these pieces aside to provide some fresh fossil images for this week’s post.

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My thanks to the folks at the GCCA Gallery in Catskill for putting on a wonderful show last Saturday. It looked great and was well attended. For those who were unable to attend I include here the remaining three pieces that I contributed.

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Thanks for the visit.

011217: Thin Ice

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Before I get to the ice let me remind you of the opening of “Fresh,” an interesting show that I will be a part of. It opens this Saturday (the 14th) at the GCCA Gallery on Main Street in Catskill (5-7pm).Today’s opening image is one of four prints, all part of my “Galileo” series, that will be displayed in the show. All the work shown by all the artists involved has been created since October, thus the name “Fresh.” Please join us if you are in the area. The show will run through February 25.

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And now Thin Ice

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Last week, on one of the colder days of the year so far, I accompanied my friend, the enormously talented photographer Moshe Katvan on a hunt for rocks – not just any rocks, mind you, but just the right ones necessary for an upcoming shoot of his.

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So I took him to a few of my favorite spots to find some variety, one of which is a small dry creek bed that has interesting rocks and some extraordinary fossils.

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This particular day it also had pockets of ice where water pooled following the last rain.

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In many cases, the ice was paper thin…

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…with great details…

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…and some wonderful shapes.

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Just another example of the wonders of nature…

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…and the beauty of it all!

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I decided to round out this post with four images from last year’s work I did at La Specola, the Natural History Museum of Florence. I was thinking of delicacy, following the “ice” images, and was drawn to these particular images taken in the Entomology, Enichoderms, and Ornithology Sections.

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These proved to be fun to work on and they allowed for experimenting with some new techniques. What a joy it was to have been given such an opportunity.

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For those interested, from top to bottom – moth, heliaster, bird eggs, butterflies.

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Come say hello on Saturday at GCCA Gallery.

Thanks for the visit.

010517: A New Year (and a New Show)

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I’ve been looking through old libraries lately and running across files that I had long ago forgotten about. My studio is in a state of upheaval, having just finished printing for an upcoming show – that and boxes everywhere in preparation for my upcoming move.

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So these images (no fossils today) simply caught my eye for whatever reason and I thought I’d share them with you today.

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These four are from the site of the new studio.

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As I periodically pack a box or two something jumps out as if I’d never seen it before. Such was the case with Humpty Dumpty. Sitting there on the shelf next to a globe I bought a couple of years ago.

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And, finally, here’s a heads up about a show I’m looking forward to being a part of – Saturday the 14th in Catskill at the GCCA Gallery. I’ll have more on the show next week. This link to an article in the Windham Journal has more information.

Thanks for the visit. And Happy New Year!

121516: Year End 2016

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The heat is cranked high in my studio right now. Snow is coming down so thick that it obliterates any view out the windows. And, like a substantial portion of the country, we are bracing for a “deep freeze.” Not unusual, given that its the final days of the year.

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As I normally do at this time, my post includes a selection of images from the entire year past – a sort of review, if you will. In this case they are a variety that reflect on experiences encountered and hints at directions to come.

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The first three images are products of the Maine coast. The shells (above), washed ashore last Summer, made me think of all the many fossils (seen below and 6 to 20 million years old) I encountered earlier at the Museum of Natural History in Florence, Italy.

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Perhaps one of the most exciting experiences of my career was the interaction with that museum and its staff. I could never fully or properly express my gratitude for the opportunity to access many of their vast collections and to meet such an amazing group of dedicated professionals.

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“Captured” is the title of the above image, shot in the storage rooms of the Mammals Section. It is also currently on display for the remainder of the month at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY as part of the 80th Annual Mohawk-Hudson Regional Exhibition.

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From the Ornithology Collection

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Florence street scene (with shrine)

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In the rear of the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence sits this funerary monument of Galileo Galilei. Directly across, on the opposite wall, sits the burial monument of Michelangelo, who died the day that Galileo was born. dsc01037_01print15_lr_12

I have always been fascinated with Galileo and the role he played in both world history and the history of science. This fascination has led to the image above, part of my ongoing  “Galileo” series.

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Fossils and lichen share the spotlight in this image where these deeply grounded objects combine to suggest the astronomical.

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Some fossils.

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Some lichen.                                                                                                                   (currently on view through December at the Woodstock Artist Assocciation and Museum)

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And a trifecta – fossils, lichen, and moss all rolled into one.

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These last two favorites – tree remains.

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With the holidays upon us, I’ll be taking a break and will be back in January. Best wishes to all of you for the upcoming year.

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