092619: Evolution

Plenty can be said about evolution while viewing these images of 387 million year old Devonian brachiopods. I’ve been digging them up and photographing them for a long time and have been fascinated by them for a variety of reasons.

They first appeared approximately 550 million years ago.

Over that long expanse of time perhaps as many as 15,000 different types have existed, thus the variety of shapes and sizes that these images suggest.

Today, believe it or not, there are some 300 to 500 species that are living descendants.

They are some of the earliest examples of multicellular organisms.

Invertebrate marine animals.

Today, the aforementioned reference to evolution, despite all these brachiopod facts, has more to do with my own personal evolution rather than that of the brachiopod.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am spending much more of my time painting – mostly large (5’x6′) canvasses – hopefully somewhat expressive endeavors. The impression of brachiopods remains so deep in my psyche these days that I keep gravitating toward them often when I pick up a brush.

A friend (yes, that’s you, Ken!) recently suggested that I share a work in progress and show some the various stages of a current piece. So here we go. The image above (a pair of brachiopods) was the start – a dark, scratch filled attempt at capturing a certain foreboding, primeval sensibility. It sat for months before I realized that it was time to make it something more.

So what you see from here are various stages displayed chronologically.

Tentative movements breaking out of that earlier monochrome feeling…


…turning into some bold, somewhat garish color – with the intention of eventually muting those colors down…

…step by step until its current state (below). I’m not sure where this adventure will wind up. But then that’s the point for me – exploring and evolving!

Thanks for the visit. I hope you enjoyed this little peek behind the curtain!

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!


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


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.




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.