1107: Design

IMG_3756_02_LR_12The little mountain town of Volterra, Italy, known for its early Etruscan settlements, sits on a plateau surrounded by volcanic hills. The image above, which just won an honorable mention award in this Saturday’s opening Small Works Show at The Woodstock Artists Assn. & Museum (WAAM), shows one of those many hills. Like so much of the Italian landscape, the designs that nature provides can sometimes overwhelm (in a most favorable way) one’s own design sensibilities.

IMG_1698_01_LR_12No surprise, then, that great design can be found everywhere. And it’s been everywhere over there for a long, long time. I have a group of images today that reflect that sense of design. And, rather than look all around, I chose to look down at the ground. The triangles are floor tiles at the Cathedral of St. John the Lateran in Rome. As are these:





This particular favorite, which covers wide areas of the Cathedral floor, reminded me of the mosaic tiled flooring (below) that was abundant in sections of the Third century Baths of Caracalla.



Even the lowly sewer grates have a certain sense of good design:










The Cypress trees, ever present throughout the countryside, create designs and patterns  much like some of the existing architecture – in this case the ancient aqueduct in Spoleto.






After a while, even the crumbling walls of Rome begin to …


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1031: The Best Autumn

IMG_5452_01_LR_10“This was the best Autumn ever!” That’s what I have heard from all my friends.We missed the best part of it while away. That said, it’s still a beautiful place to return to – this Hudson Valley. Each time of year has its special moments. And this special moment (above), during a hike last weekend, captured it for me, in all its natural randomness.


IMG_1933_01_LR_12The weather has been great for a visit to the neighborhood quarry. Since my last visit some major new areas have been exposed and, while I am pretty familiar with the fossils to be found here, it is still and always a treat to find so much in one small place.

IMG_5386_01_LR_12Brachiopods looking like gold nuggets pouring out of the rock




IMG_5510_01_LR_10All of the fossil images above (and many more) came from one rather large rock that I carried back to my studio. Originally it was roughly 2’x1’x8″ . The larger rock (that this was once part of) sits on a large pile awaiting my next visit.


IMG_1932_01_LR_10Last week’s trip to Isle La Motte to pick up my recent show provided me with another view of Autumn, 2013.

IMG_5373_01_LR_12Fisk Quarry – Those two white,chalky spots on the wall (high center) are massive Ordovician stromatoporoids. And below are one of the many gastropods to be found there. All with the crisp scent of crushed apples underfoot!


As I continue to edit my Italian images let me share these with you. The first three are from the Roman Baths of Caracalla. Massive structures and facilities that boggle the mind – especially when considering the date of origin – app. 212 A.D.


_MG_4255_01_LR_12Mosaic tile flooring (from the upper floors)


IMG_5209_01_LR_10And finally, a few random street scenes.



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More images at www.artmurphy.com

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