052517: Details

I want to thank the many friends who came to our Studio Open House last Saturday. We had a fine time on a beautiful Spring day. It took a full year to go from first thoughts about it until completion and it was certainly worth the effort and the wait.

I kept it as clean as possible for the open house. And now that that’s done it’s already looking more like a messy workplace! I did, though, have the good sense to take some pictures for the record before paint and chalk began to fly around. A few of those pics appear at the end of this post (for those who couldn’t make it that day).

Many of the guests got to see my many fossils – something they might not have ever seen in person. And they were delighted to see the many fascinating details when given the opportunity for a close up look.

Showing them and talking about them seemed to reignite in me a desire to look a lot closer. And that became the basis for these images I am sharing today. I hope you enjoy them.

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Steve Dunn, local contractor and master craftsman, built the studio all by himself and built it so sturdy that I do believe it can withstand a nuclear blast!!

Thanks again to Steve and to all our friends who attended.

Thank you for the visit. More to come next week.

051817: Respite

These headboards make for a very nice composition – but, unfortunately, not enough of a distraction for me from the events of the day. In times like these I turn to my fossils for respite. Nearly four hundred million years separate us and yet their mere existence gives me comfort and hope for the future.

Our current crises can overwhelm us as the latest wave of news hits before we have even digested the previous abomination du jour. The venality, the lies, the greed and underhandedness we are witnessing rise to the fore when we all grow too complacent.

What we all need to do is act up. Phone calls don’t cost anything anymore. Call your representatives – daily – it takes only a few minutes to express your concerns.

Be a pain in the ass. Let the politicians know that you are watching and, yes, your vote needs to be earned!

For now, let’s take a break and enjoy the images.

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Break’s over! Listen to Rep. Maxine Waters and get mad. Grab the phone and let your representative or senator know your feelings. If they are fighting the good fight then praise them and thank them. If they are getting in the way or too afraid to act then chastise them.

Better days are ahead. But only if we act now!

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.

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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110316: On Edge

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Restless, edgy, anxious – that sums up my feelings lately. I assume that many of you are feeling it too. Will the ugliness and nastiness of this election season end next week or will it continue unabated? Democracy, decency, and the common good are very much at stake. A carnival barker con man has captured the attention of many who hope and wish for a return to the days of Ozzie and Harriet (and worse!). Please vote and vote wisely.

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Fortunately for me, my restlessness is always eased when I get out and walk the surrounding forest and creeks. Today’s images are the result of one of those strolls along Kaaterskill Creek. There are always new things to discover. And Tuesday’s walk was an exceptional one in that regard. The image above was a puzzler to me – a crinoid stem with a curl to it. My thanks to Dr. George McIntosh, Director of Collections at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, who suggested it to be a crinoid subset called Melocrinites. The little “button” below is a crinoid ossicle, a crosscut of a its stem.

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These next three images show a Zoophycos trace fossil, burrowing made by a marine worm. Four hundred million year old designs in nature! Thanks to my friend Dr. Chuck ver Straeten from the NY State Museum in Albany for that information.

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A gastropod followed by a variety of brachiopod bits rounds things out.

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These two are puzzlers to me – nothing I’ve seen before. Any ideas on these two images would be welcome to hear. Please let me know.

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I even managed to find some old graffiti – hard to read. But I was able to read the date as 1879.

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I’ll end with this image of one of the large rock slabs that make up the creek bed. I was struck by the play between the rippled pattern in the rock and the rippled water passing nearby.

Thanks for the visit. Don’t forget to vote.

101316: Creekside

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Last week I mentioned the “low water” conditions we have been experiencing in the Northeast (nothing compared to the severe drought conditions out west). Close to home, Kaaterskill Creek is at a severe low point, which makes it a fine place to explore. Much that is never accessible now is. What is usually underwater now is either above water or just below, making parts of the creek bed more plainly visible.

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So, above and below the water line, here is some of what I found over several days of exploration.

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There are always fossils to be found down there as well. Above is a mollusk. Below are a couple of brachiopods. All were found in rocks in the creek bed.

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I couldn’t resist adding this one from the side of the creek – tree roots dropping down a rock wall into the ground. This particular portion of root is taller than I am!

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Wrapping up this week’s selection are a pair of images that reflect the transition into Autumn.

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Thanks for the visit.