About artandfossils

I am a fine art photographer living in upstate New York. After a career of image making in NYC I happily transitioned from the city to a quiet country road tucked away in the woods between the Hudson River and the eastern edge of the Catskills. My interest in photographing industrial archaeology ( a look into the recent past) gave way to new project that has captured my energies. I live atop a vast trove of 350 year million year old fossils - primarily Devonian Period marine invertebrates. As I continued to trip over them I became entranced with their beauty and excited by the photographic possibilities inherent. Five years into the project and I continue to see open ended opportunities to explore visually, learn more about early life on this planet, and spend lots of time hiking the woods with hammer, chisel, and camera.

090519: Low Tide, Maine

This is what it must have looked like 400 or 500 million years ago, I think – maybe around the time when some little creatures began to check out the other side of the shoreline and moved onto land. The geology of the area hits at about that same time. Even seaweed goes back that far and perhaps longer.

No surprise then that the experience of being there should resonate with me. After all, most of the fossils I have dug up and photographed over the years are from roughly that same deep time period (give or take a hundred million yers or so!).

My camera has pretty much been sitting on the shelf since my last post 9 or 10 months ago. No surprise again that Maine would shake something loose for me. The coastal rocks are a joy to behold, far more colorful than one might suspect. Even though I walk this same stretch of shoreline every year I am always happily rewarded with new discoveries.

It’s for these reasons (and many others) that Cindy and I always look forward to our annual visit. And arriving home last week has us already talking about the next one!

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It might just be seaweed, but even seaweed has its own beauty.

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I brought a few of my favorite “home grown” fossils with me. I figured the fossils and rocks might be “chronological” cousins and might provide me a fresh approach to two long favorite subjects.

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My time away from the blog has not been idle. All of my studio time has been spent painting. The two had become too difficult for me to work simultaneously and required more singular devotion. During that time, as  my excess acrylic paints would dry in their respective bowls, I would find ways to peel that dried paint out and toss the leftovers into a pile. Random colors and fragments seemed to meld together to create something new.

So I brought some of them with me to Maine also, wondering how my own colors might blend with the rocks. Two examples here are part of a larger project , more of which might show up here again in the future.

And here are two of my latest paintings in progress. Both are roughly 5′- 5.5′

I hope this new post will beget more. If that happens I imagine that the visual focus might widen as my initial fascination with fossils has led me to so many other aspects of nature –  from deepest time to the present. If any of this is not “your cup of tea” please let me know and I will remove you from my mailing list. For the rest of you, thank you for your time. I hope to post again soon.

I’ll leave you with an image of an arriving storm a few weeks ago in Maine.                  (Even storms are gorgeous up there!)

Thanks for the visit.

111518: Late Autumn Color

First hint of snow appeared this morning. Out came the flannel jeans. Long sleeve t-shirts replaced the short sleeve tees. Life can be pretty simple!

This year I have been much more interested in the faded colors of late autumn.

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I’ll leave you with some rather playful, altered images that I have been working on. I hope you enjoy them.

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Thanks for the visit.

101118: Maine Rocks Again!

I didn’t expect to get this week’s selection out on my usual schedule. More on that later. I got caught up in my library of images from my last trip to Maine. Seems there were more images to explore and those were what caught my eye. So, once again, here is yet another new group of images of Maine’s coastal rocks.

Obviously, it is a subject that draws me to it. And that’s what makes our annual visits something to always look forward to.

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For more than seven years I have been posting this blog weekly. Most times it has been a joy. Sometimes it has been more of a challenge. Lately my attention is being pulled in too many directions, making it increasingly difficult to maintain my established schedule. So, just to let you know, I will continue to post but not as frequently.

Thank you for your continued interest. So, for today, I’ll leave you with one last image from Maine – a late afternoon shot on the last late afternoon of our visit!

092718: Paris Revisited

I recently donated a print of the above image to a charity auction to raise money for the Southern Poverty Law Center (a most worthy cause, to my mind). The image, a favorite of mine, was taken on an upper floor of the d’Orsay Museum in Paris.

Digging up that print got me thinking about my other Paris images and that led to a pleasant afternoon rediscovering that photo library. Here is some of what particularly caught my eye. Above is another from the d’Orsay.

Louvre Window Study

Sortie (Exit)

Windows, Gare d’Austerlitz

Grand Palais

Sainte-Eustache

Pantheon

Staircase, Museum of Comparative Anatomy

Sainte-Chapelle

Graffiti

Louvre Entrance

Montmartre

Book Stalls on the Seine

I’ll finish today with this picture postcard image of the Seine as it passes through the heart of the city.

I hope you enjoyed the visit.

092018: A Devonian Sampler

For today’s post I have gathered together a selection of images of fossils found in the vicinity of my studio in Catskill, NY. Those viewers familiar with the subject will, I hope, enjoy these images, some new, some reworked.

For those new to this blog, perhaps a brief explanation of the subject matter is in order. The Devonian is a period in geological time that ran from app. 420 to 359 million years ago. In my “neighborhood” one can find fossils from the Middle Devonian (app. 387 mya). And this  mix here is all marine invertebrates, mostly coral and brachiopods. One more note – at the time these animals existed this land resided well south of the equator. Thank the enormity of the time frame and land movement due to plate tectonics for that.

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Thanks for the visit.

091318: Nature!

A few years ago, our neighbors, Dorian and Jim, gave to me two rather large hornet nests. They had been hanging in their barn for years and thought they might be good subjects for me – a very kind gesture that I much appreciated.

Over time I photographed them enough (on the outside) and finally decided to take a look inside. These first five images were taken as I slowly broke the nests down to the honeycomb.

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Fascinating structures they are! The hexagonal pattern that defines the honeycomb is a pattern found throughout nature (See “Why Nature Prefers Hexagons.”). And it has been around for a long time.

The image above is not an old or even fossilized honeycomb. It is, rather, a favosite, more commonly known as honeycomb coral. This fossil coral is approximately 387 million years old (during the Devonian Period) and was something I dug up locally.

Brachiopod and Mollusc

“Geometry in nature” seems to be a good segue into more of nature’s designs – an image sampler of fossils, all locally founded and all as old as the honeycomb coral.

Brachiopod

Cephalopods and Brachiopods

Gastropod

Brachiopods

Tabulate Coral

I’m closing today with three mixed media drawings. I had trilobites on my mind so I created some generic versions  – each one app. 36″ x 48″.

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Thanks for the visit.

090618: More from Maine

Today’s post delves once more into our recent trip to Maine. The first half are images of the broken shells I brought back to the studio (along with a rock from Jasper Beach). The shells came from a small, narrow strip of coastline that also provided me with the second half – more images of the coastal rock walls.

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Thanks for the visit.

And thank you to our wonderful hosts, Eric and Betty. We look forward to seeing you again next summer

083018: Away and Home

From our recent trip – images from our hosts’ garden followed by a few finds from the shore.

Sweet Pea vines (Above)

Asparagus

Asparagus

Dill

Squash

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Found on the shore – a couple of sponges and, i think and have been told, some kind of fish egg case or sac. (I must admit to being a bit wobbly on all these names).

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Our return home followed torrential downpours that turned the forest floor into into a seeming carpet of mushrooms. I couldn’t resist snapping a few shots and would have done much more were it not for what also came with the rainfall – mosquitos! Here are a few of those images.

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Thanks for the visit. Have a safe holiday weekend.

082318: Back from Maine

Just back from a week on the Maine coast. This year the trip was primarily recuperative, less exploring and more staring at the ocean. That said, I couldn’t totally ignore the rocks along the shore (some of my favorite anywhere). Here are a handful of images from my first edit.

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This trip I found myself paying attention to the seaweed, something I had always looked past or sought to keep out of the frame.

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On the drive home we decided to stop for the night in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. An after dinner walk led me to a nearby bridge – an old truss bridge long closed. And I couldn’t resist the opportunity to snap off a few frames.

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More from Maine to come. Thanks for the visit.

080918: Stuff

I found a rusty old box at a yard sale last Saturday. I never know when something like that might make a good prop. The deal came to one dollar but I had to take its contents. I am now the proud owner of a rusty box full of rusty nuts and bolts. And that is how artists’ studios fill up with all kinds of stuff. Some might even call it junk.

As I looked at the contents of the box I soon realized that I have shelves and boxes full of stuff, work surfaces filled with multiple items, etc. And that’s today’s subject – all from my studio inside and out. Nuts and bolts followed by a near infinity of paint brushes to…

Chalks

Box of Props

Reams of Scribbled Paper

Wiry Branches

Dead and Dying Flowers

Gourds

Fossils

Shells

A Garden of Props

Rocks from Jasper Beach

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On a completely different note, I ran across these two images in an old folder and had to bring them out – both from about ten years ago.

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One final note – we’ll be away for a couple of weeks, eating lots of ice cream!

Thanks for the visit.