0724: More Color From the Quarry

IMG_3352_01_LR_10

The other day, needing to take a break from printing, I visited the neighborhood quarry and once again climbed through the section I was least familiar with. I’ve always avoided that area because so much of the rock was too crumbly, I thought, to find anything of substance there. But then I’m not looking for great scientific discovery. I’m happy to settle for the “visually stimulating.”

IMG_3353_01_LR_10

In that sense it doesn’t disappoint. The fragility has its own appeal. And the colors are amazing! Picture 1 at the top of this post shows a brachiopod in rock, all of which has been affected by iron oxidization. Picture 2 (above) shows the result of the slightest disturbance in the rock as it quite literally falls apart. Needless to say, with such fragility, all these images were taken on site.

IMG_3343_01_LR_10

Thin layers filled with various small brachiopods cut through this section of the quarry. According to my friend, Dr. Chuck Ver Straeten from the New York State Museum’s Geology Division, these layers appear every six feet or so, suggesting a regularity of geologic activity over a certain period of time. (I hope that is an accurate interpretation of what I was told – most of this stuff is still a mystery to me, I must confess!).

IMG_3378_01_LR_10

Whatever the cause I’m delighted to have the open-ended opportunity to explore this area.

IMG_3384_01_LR_10

*****

IMG_3362_01_LR_10

*****

IMG_3434_01_LR_10

Even when drained of color the fossils here seem to have a unique character.

IMG_3484_01_LR_10

_______________

IMG_3416_01_LR_12

And then, of course, there is abundant color – no fossils – just a riot of color. The picture above shows the current quarry floor. Scale top to bottom is approximately six feet.

IMG_3392_01_LR_10

*****

IMG_3462_01_LR_10

*****

IMG_3464_01_LR_10*****

IMG_3463_01_LR_10

 *****

IMG_3439_01_LR_12

This final quarry image – looking like a lightening bolt from a dark and oppressive sky – seems to echo some of the new work I will be showing at my upcoming show in Beacon on August 9. For all my friends in NYC, get out of the city for a day, visit the many galleries in Beacon (including DIA), and join me for the opening that evening from 6-9 pm.

Beacon Artist Union, 506 Main Street, Beacon, NY

And with that I’ll end today’s post with another image from that upcoming show.

IMG_0744_01_LR_12

 Thanks for the visit.

0410: Springing

IMG_0209_01_LR_10

What a lovely sight – the Catskills and a snow-free field. Signs of Spring abound. The peepers are peeping. The crocuses are crocussing…

_MG_4942_LR_10

…the honkers are honking (during a brief stopover on their journey north)…

IMG_0219_01_LR_10

…and the gobblers are strutting for the hens!

_______________

Once again, with the snow gone, I’ve been taking a fresh look at the newly uncovered fossil-laden rocks that surround my studio. What caught my eye this time were the large pieces of coarse sandstone. Often they are, layer upon layer, filled with wide varieties of marine invertebrates.

IMG_0245_01_LR_12

These images result from a few pieces that I cracked open with my hammer and chisel. A good rock can yield seemingly endless compositional possibilities. It takes persistence – but the results are worth the effort.

IMG_0253_01_LR_10

Here, two cephalopods crisscross, with a piece of coral breaking through one of them. Imagine this sea floor 385 million years ago – with this density of life forms.

*****

IMG_0250_01_LR_10

*****

IMG_0225_01_LR_10

*****

IMG_0234_01_LR_10

*****

IMG_0235_01_LR_12

_______________

A few days ago, I arrived early for the monthly meeting of the Beacon Artist Union. And, as I sat in the car in a steady rain, I realized I had a fine unexpected shooting opportunity…

IMG_2774_01_LR_10

This was exactly what it all looked like through the windshield.

IMG_2773_01_LR_12

No tricks. No filters. Just a steady rain.

_______________

During that meeting we dismantled the last show (Thanks to all my friends who visited). And we prepared for the upcoming show set to open this Saturday, April 12, 6-9 PM. The group show, entitled “Tasteless,” should be interesting! Who knows just where it will lead, but rest assured, this is a terrific group of artists and they are full of surprises. I’m glad to be a part of the group.

Here is one of my contributions, entitled “All American Dessert.”

IMG_9461_02_LR_10

Saturday will be busy starting with openings (upstairs and down) at WAAM in Woodstock. 4-6 PM. This work, from last week’s blog, was accepted into the juried Small Works show.

_MG_4907_01_LR_12

Then we go across the street to Oriole 9 for the opening of my Devonian Drawer show, 5-7 PM. If you are in the area please join us.

And from there we head down to Beacon for the Tasteless show, 6-9 PM, 506 Main Street. Also at bau, in Gallery 2, we will have a selection of works from our represented artists.

I hope to see you there.

0403: Finally Spring!

IMG_0062_01_LR_12Seems as if Winter lasted forever. It really didn’t, of course. But, here in the Catskill area, the last few years of mild winters had left many of us a bit spoiled. That’s the past. Right now sun and mild temperatures have changed attitudes dramatically!

IMG_0134_01_LR_12Like seeing friendly faces after a long separation, my fossil garden has resurfaced after a winter of snow cover, much to my own delight. And the cephalopods are beginning to look more like exclamation points greeting the good weather.

IMG_0136_10_LR_10_______________

IMG_2718_01_LR_12For me, the good weather has meant my first trip of the season to the neighboring quarry. That’s the eastern escarpment of the Catskills in the distance – always a great view from up here. Directly behind me (from where I took the picture) sits a thirty foot tall pile of rocks – most of which come from a bulldozed layer thick with fossils. Nothing earth-shattering about these fossils from any scientific standpoint – but shooting possibilities abound.

IMG_0181_01_LR_10Plenty of brachiopods…

IMG_0130_01_LR_10…of all shapes …

IMG_0129_01_LR_10…and sizes.

IMG_0190_01_LR_10You never know what will appear in the next overturned rock…

IMG_0138_01_LR_10…and that’s the fun of it all. That and the joy of being out and about on a beautiful day in beautiful surroundings!

_______________

IMG_0195_01_LR_10I also made a quick trip to a nearby road cut full of crinoid stems and ossicles (the little round things). I have shown crinoids many times in the past – they look like flowers on long stems. When the stems break down, what are left, essentially, are circular crosscuts of the stem. It’s a bit more involved than that but, for me, the random circles present endless creative opportunities.

That same trip led to this discovery:

_MG_4907_01_LR_12_______________

A couple of final notes – I’ll be gallery sitting at the bau Gallery this Sunday from noon until 6 PM. It’s the last day of my show (and our group show). So, if you are in the Beacon area please drop by.

Also, I just got back from hanging a show of my Devonian Drawer series at Oriole 9 in Woodstock. The opening is set for Saturday, April 12 at 5 PM. It will be up this weekend (hours are 8:30 ’til 4:30) for any of you who might be traveling to Woodstock for the Photo Now opening at the Center for Photography

I’ll leave you with Tuesday’s sunset from down the road. It was a special one.

IMG_0111_01_LR_10Thanks for the visit.

0313: Those Creative Juices

IMG_7712crop_01_LR_10

This time of year, as we slowly work our way out of winter’s hibernation, I often see a rise in those self-help articles – you know – “15 Tips for Creativity,” “Daily Habits of Artists That Unlock Creativity,” “Nine of the Best Ways to Boost Creativity,” etc. Perhaps they work for some. I will often scan them – one never knows where or when inspiration will rear its head. But over the years I’ve come up with some tricks of my own to help jumpstart the process.

IMG_7717_01_LR_10

The other day I dug into some architectural images from my library and attempted a fresh and different approach to the subject – in the above case two views of a walkway from a recent visit to Empire Plaza in Albany. Next was a visit to my New York images. This last one, below, had always seemed unresolved to me, seemed to lack something. But now, after a few severe changes, it holds some new found appeal, maybe a new direction to explore. But it got the wheels turning, however creakily!

Exhaustv3 _01_LR_10

These exercises must have had some effect because, after leaving my camera sitting dormant through the last few storms, I pulled it out yesterday. And on that very gray day I found this odd bit of color. Almost felt like Easter lilies – color brightening my day and my outlook!

_MG_4813crop_01_LR_10

_______________

I have a few other tricks that fire up those creative juices. And, no surprise, they mostly have to do with visual stimuli. Chief among them is my longstanding love affair with the work of the late great American artist Richard Diebenkorn. His Ocean Park series, much of which I was fortunate to see at the Corcoran a couple of years ago, is an endless source of inspiration.

Diebenkorn_1

*****

Diebenkorn_2

*****

Diebenkorn_3

*****

NASA always has spectacular images available for perusal. At the moment, in honor of the new “Cosmos” series currently airing, they have posted a stunning new gallery of space photos on Flickr. Here are a few:

slide_340767_3508164_free

*****

slide_340767_3508174_free

*****

slide_340767_3508189_free

*****

slide_340767_3508166_free

_______________

And then there is the issue of Google Earth and its vast visual possibilities. I’ll delve into that in a coming post. For now, though, here are two images I captured while exploring the Gobi Desert.

Gobi2a

*****

Screen Shot

Whether on Earth or in deep space, natural design abounds. Inspiration soon follows!

_______________

Finally, a quick roundup of my current shows. The opening at BAU Gallery in Beacon was a wonderful success. I’m very happy with my move to BAU – the members are terrific and the town is a positive hotbed for art. Show runs through April 6, Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 6 PM. I’ll be sitting the gallery this Saturday, March 15 and also on the closing day, April 6. Please drop by if you are in the area.

*****

The 38th Annual Photo Regional opened the other day at the Albany Center Gallery and will run thru April 18. Two of my pieces were accepted into this juried show. An Artists Reception is set for April 5, 5-9PM.

*****

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I just received these pics from the opening of my exhibition “Inspired Fossils” in  the Tuscan town of Fucecchio last weekend. That’s my friend, Dr. Stefano Dominici, giving (I’m sure) his always interesting take on the work. I’m told that the Mayor gave some opening remarks as well. Reviews are good and there is real interest in the topic. My deep thanks to my friends in Italy who have worked hard to move the show to this new venue, the fourteenth century Civic Museum. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

_______________

Thanks for the visit.

0306: Looking Forward to Spring

img_1252comp_02_LR_12Just got back from hanging my new show – opening this Saturday, March 8, 6 – 9 PM at the BAU Gallery, 506 Main Street in Beacon, NY. Entitled The Devonian Drawer, it’s the first time I am exhibiting these images at a much larger size – 24″x34″. And the effect is striking. So, if you have the opportunity, please stop by for the opening. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays noon ’til 6 PM. In Gallery One we will be having a members’ group show – Tasty is its name. So, this being my first outing with my new gallery, I’ll be curious to see what is conjured up. We have a great group of artists at BAU so I’m excited at the possibilities.

img_9357_01_lr_12*****

IMG_7208_01_LR_12

*****

img_9480_01b2_lr_10*****

IMG_0536_MurphyArt12

*****

IMG_8107_01a_LR_WP

*****

IMG_8015_Drawer

_______________

IMG_3052_01 copy2LR

This piece was selected for the latest Small Works Show at WAAM – also opening this Saturday. Perhaps Elisabetta or Stefano might recognize the subjects?

_______________

IMG_1840_01_LR_10

And finally, some images I rediscovered from my stay last summer at the Platte Clove cabin – something to help awaken thoughts of warm weather and rebirth yet again.

IMG_1794_01a_LR_12

*****

IMG_1699_01_LR_10

*****

IMG_1849_01_LR_12Thanks for the visit.

1212: Beacon This Weekend

Murphy_Art_StreetShrine_3036

I’m happy to report that these two images from my Street Shrines series was accepted into a juried show opening this Saturday, December 14 (6-9 PM) at the BAU Gallery in Beacon, NY. It is my first opportunity to show work there and I look forward to the event. The title of the show is Saints & Sinners – seemed like a good fit!

Murphy_Art_StreetShrine_4775

I dropped the work off last weekend – my first visit to Beacon in a long time – and was I ever impressed. A lot of fine galleries with terrific art. It is also their monthly Second Saturday gallery walk. So if you are in the area please drop by.

_______________

Like the rest of the eastern states, we here in the Hudson Valley felt the shiver of early winter the past few days. The snow and ice provided opportunity, as it almost always does, for fresh shooting prospects. I’m not quite ready for the cold just yet so I ventured only as far as my various piles of fossils and props that surround my studio.

IMG_5760_01_LR_10

These slabs are all full of fossils and, when reduced to simple shapes, now look more like some cemetery in a dream…while metal springs, like the bare tree branches, pick up a nice coat.

IMG_5762_01_LR_12

_______________

IMG_5772_01_LR_12

I also took the opportunity to throw a few prints from my “rejects” stack out into the snow and rain – don’t know where this might lead – but it has possibility. The fossil, by the way, is a rugose coral – one that I have used a number of times.

IMG_5788_01_LR_12

_______________

The cold weather is also helpful in keeping me in the studio – and that is allowing me to chip away at all of my recent images from Italy. Not much in common with these new ones. They just caught my eye:

IMG_1377_01_LR_12

Stairs, Spoleto

_______________

IMG_2766_01_LR_12

Street Stall Stitching, Florence

_______________

IMG_0997_01_LR_12

Construction, Uffizi

_______________

IMG_4408_01_LR_12

Orrery, Vatican Museum

_______________

And one last image from a recent stroll through the town of Hudson – sculpture from industry!

IMG_5752_01a_LR_12

Thanks for visiting.

More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage artandfossils.wordpress.com