121417: Year End 2017

Ever since I first began posting this blog six years ago I have closed out each year with a selection of images from the year gone by. With an annual production of 600 to 700 fresh images posted yearly I like to take this time to look back and choose one last grouping from the year gone by.

So today I present a mix of images, not necessarily the best, not necessarily my favorites, but rather images that struck a particular chord when I reviewed the year past – ones that I thought deserved another look. Of course, then, it would be a wide mix – some fossils, some drawings and mixed media works, and other assorted subjects.

Hopefully these disparate images flow smoothly and are pleasing to the eye!

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Best wishes to you and yours this holiday season. Here’s hoping for a safe and happy new year to all.

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120717: Remnants of Industry

One of my last projects shot on film focused on various industrial ruins found in and around the Albany/Troy area. Chief among them was the Burden Iron Works, whose history includes the massive production of horseshoes for the Union Army during the Civil War. While there is a museum on the site, much of what I photographed has since been demolished.

Most of today’s images are from the Iron Works. There are a handful of other images from the broader project as well. In all cases, though, they speak of a time long gone by, when factories produced immense amounts of quality products that changed the lives of many. Examples such as these depicted today can be found across this country – modern ruins that tell an ultimately sad story about jobs lost, communities decimated, and a middle class way of life diminished.

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Thank you for the visit.

111617: Moss

This little sprig of moss snaking its way across a fossil cephalopod gave me the idea for this week’s post. I’ve been leaf blowing lately here in the woods, hoping to keep my fossils from disappearing from view. And, in doing so, I noticed how so much moss has already covered the surfaces of many rocks. The vibrant greens draw the eye.

The more I looked the more I appreciated the juxtaposition between the moss and the fossils themselves. Exploring that became my focus this week.

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Thanks for the visit.

110217: A Good Autumn Day

I managed to spend some time this week back at my favorite quarry. I hadn’t been there in quite a while, so it was fun to dig around on familiar ground. Even though it might be familiar ground, that’s not to say that there are no surprises to be had. No new earth-shattering specimens perhaps but always a few that reach out of the rocks to create a little story of their own.

These two images of cephalopods were enough to already call it a good day. But there was more.

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The other reason for calling it a good day – the view from up top looking across at the eastern escarpment of the Catskills on a beautiful autumn day.

The remaining images are fossils from this quarry trip mixed in with the many piled up outside my studio (many of which came out of that same quarry).

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Thanks for the visit.

 

 

 

 

 

102617: The Season Changes

Today’s post seems to be an extension of last week’s subject – What’s near at hand. I hadn’t consciously intended it to be. So, perhaps that’s what my new mantra should be for now. No fossils today. Instead here are some Autumn related images of plant life past their expiration date.

A trip to the farm stand (Story Farms on Route 32 – the best in the world!) got me thinking about gourds – strange ornamental plants that make me smile every Autumn when they appear, And then I remembered that I had saved a number of them from ten years ago, never knowing when I might revisit them.

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I also saved a Summer’s worth of weekly bouquets to see how they would degrade over time. At first I saw dried up plant life drained of color – as these three images seem to show.

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But, as I looked closer, I could see color buried inside the bouquets – more than I had expected.

I had assumed that the images would deal with typical Autumn notions of decay, of “withering” and “dying.” That assumption was quickly and solidly dashed when I realized that a joyful riot of color was waiting to be exposed!

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Thanks for the visit!

101917: What’s Near at Hand

When I moved my studio months ago my biggest task was bringing my fossil rocks along. After all, I had amassed thousands over the years. At first the task seemed insurmountable. But, with much determination, I slogged on. If they were important enough to collect them in the first place, I thought, then they were important enough to bring along.

At some point in the process all I could do was drop many of them into piles all around the new studio – where they have sat ever since. Now that they are rapidly being covered by the falling leaves I decided to poke around to reacquaint myself. And in doing so I came to realize that they very naturally displayed their beauty despite their random placements.

Today’s images reflect that thought. No need for special attention or proper positioning. No need to look far and wide for new locations to explore. Everything I need seems to be right outside my door!

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Even my piles of props seemed to have some fresh appeal. Nothing earthshaking here but rather a creative exercise that made the day make sense for me!

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And when I was done I set my camera down on my desk, noticing how the late afternoon sun streamed through my window. This time the source of inspiration was my plastic water bottle. Inverting the image gave me this.

Thanks for the visit.

101217: Revisiting Trilobites

Since I began working on a series of trilobite inspired drawings I decided to revisit my photo library to put this grouping together. I don’t find them around here too often. And when I do they are seldom more that parts – sometimes the eyes, but mostly the hind end or pygidium. These first four images come from other, well established collections.

The first three are from the collection of the Paleontological Research Institute / Museum of the Earth. They are located in Trumansburg NY, just outside Ithaca.

And the fourth one (below) is from Chazy Reef on Isle La Motte in Vermont.

The remainder of images are taken from the surrounding area here in Catskill, all of which I have found while digging.

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These last two trilobite images have a slightly different story. I came across this box full of Moroccan trilobites at the wonderful outdoor market in Florence, Sant Ambrogio, a few years ago. It was the only time I ever purchased a fossil.

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I’ll leave you today with a seasonal note – Autumn is definitely upon us.

Thanks for the visit.