020217: A Moment of Calm

Devonian Drawer 13

News of the day, just about every day, seems to be so unsettling. Sometimes it’s a real challenge to find an offset.

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I think I found one, thanks to a trip through my photo libraries.

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The images I present today are part of a series I worked on and exhibited 5 – 6 years ago.

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Entitled the “Devonian Drawer” series, it was a quiet, almost meditative series of images in which my locally found fossils were partnered with various other objects and framed in an old metal drawer.

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The relationship of objects within each frame gives much room to interpretation.

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And perhaps that room for interpretation gives way to an inner quiet.

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Nothing grandiose here – just a quiet moment, a pause to catch my breath in the midst of frenzy.

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I hope you enjoy the selection.

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Thanks for the visit.

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0528: The Joys of Technology

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This morning I got up and drove a few miles down a peaceful country road to my studio as I do every day. But somewhere between I seemed to have taken a wrong turn and landed in Technology Hell! Don’t know how it happened. Maybe some retrograde planets. Maybe some form of karmic retribution. Or just maybe it simply happened to be my turn.

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We all have those days, hopefully not too often. But between the phone company, power company and other assorted interests, my “quiet country road” turned into a parking lot for loud, oversized heavy equipment. And all I wanted was to be somewhere else.

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Fortunately, my photo library was there for me and I was able to calm down by revisiting wonderful places I have seen. So here today is my calmative. From the top are three images from the Adirondacks, Umbria, and Spoleto. The result of my “deep exhale” follows.

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Tuscany

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Fisk Quarry, Isle La Motte, Vermont

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Paris

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Chaco Canyon. New Mexico

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Eastern Montana

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 Florence

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Florence

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Notre Dame, Paris

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Eiffel Tower, Paris

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Rome

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Ithaca, New York

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It worked. I am quiet and content now!

Hopefully, you enjoyed it as well.

Thanks for the visit.

 

0327: Endings and Beginnings

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This image has always been a personal favorite of mine, perhaps because it is so personal in its wonderful and accurate description of the owner of that little box. It is entitled “The Buddha Within.” The box itself, a small matchstick box empty of matchsticks, received a second life – tasked to hold and protect a small sandstone Buddha once carried home from Tibet by its owner.

In fact, “The Buddha Within” is really a portrait of its owner – my dear friend, Loren Standlee, who I am very sad to say is no longer with us. He passed away last Thursday, March 20, on the first day of Spring. He was a fine man, witty and profound, kind and funny. His sense of goodness was true and genuine, quite a rarity in this life. He endured a long period of illness with understanding and acceptance, never once complaining, always acknowledging the greater picture of all that is. Though he only entered my life in recent years, the experience of knowing him humbled me and enriched my life.

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This fossil came from one of his early trips to Tibet. Of course, I had to photograph it.

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I should tell you also that Loren was a brilliant artist. His two dimensional work was collage, unlike any I’ve ever seen! Large pieces dense with overlapping imagery come together to produce hair-trigger epiphanies and (if one is lucky) even moments of transcendence. Yes, that’s saying a lot regarding the power of his work. It affected me that way and I am grateful for it.

Rather than continue with images of my own, on this occasion I would like to share with you some of Loren’s work:

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More of Loren’s work can be found at:

http://www.lorenstandlee.com

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Goodbye Loren. I will miss you and I will miss your tales of adventure and wonder. Spring has arrived and I’m sorry you will miss it.

0530 – More from the Peabody

IMG_0021_01_LR_12When I first saw this fossil grouping of crinoids on my recent trip to the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History all I could think about were the bronze reliefs on the doors of the Florence BapistryI have often referred to the “sculptural beauty” of the fossils I photograph. And in this case I saw the trees in the panel landscapes.

IMG_8358_01_LR_10For their beauty to be appreciated these invertebrate fossils need no comparisons. In their own right they have a visual significance that is as important and meaningful as is their age and history.

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A few days ago, while driving through central New York, I came across a very large antique/junk shop. Acres surrounding the main building were filled with objects everywhere, some placed deliberately, others strewn haphazardly about.

IMG_0917_01_LR_10The more I looked about the more I could see random still lives.

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The old and the very old.

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Thank you very much for the visit.

Final Thoughts – 2012

IMG_8154_02_LR_10Back in time from holiday travels to wrap up this blog for 2012. Two recent snowfalls have covered much of the Northeast with a blanket of snow (a return to a more normal winter perhaps?). It is a reminder that indoor projects will be more likely for me into the near future – there’s no upside that I can imagine to hike for fossils in snow!

img_2938_01_lr_12Fourth of July Parade, Saugerties, NY

But, before I get to them, on this last day of the year I would like to offer you my very best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year! According to my WordPress “annual report” (a great little statistics feature), this past year viewers came from seventy one countries around the world. So, whatever the time zone, have a safe and happy holiday.

img_8107_01_lr_wpDevonian Drawer: The Fool

I took some time earlier to scroll through this past year’s postings. There were 46 in all with a total number of images approaching 600! For me, so many of them fall down the “memory hole” once I’m on to the next week’s subject that it’s important to step back and review. You know – see where you’ve been – see where you’re heading. A nod to yesterday and an embrace of tomorrow.

So, here are some images from the past year that jumped out at me for a second view – not the best, not the worst, just some that hit a personal chord that I’d like to share one more time.

img_8015_02_lr_wpDevonian Drawer: Buddha with Crinoids

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img_1064_01e_lr_12Gilboa Tree: Espermatopteris

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img_5543_01_lr_10Trilobite Pygidium, Ithaca, NY

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img_8967_01a_lr_10Brachiopod, Florence Museum of Natural History

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img_5250_01_lr_12Crinoid, Paleontological Research Institution

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img_0097_01_lr_wpRock, Kaaterskill Creek

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img_6372dark_01_lr_10Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, NY

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Thank you as always for visiting. More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage  https://artandfossils.wordpress.com

November

Many overcast days this time of year. Thanksgiving right around the corner. My thoughts are with all my friends down in NYC, and the many others throughout the East, who continue to suffer the ravages of the recent storm. I hope that aid and comfort come soon to all those affected.

I’ll be away for the next few weeks and will not be posting again until the end of the month. Thank you to each of you for taking the time to read, view and comment on these posts. Until next time I will leave you with selections from my ongoing Devonian Drawer series, now assembled in full on my website.

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Thank you as always for visiting. More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage  https://artandfossils.wordpress.com

A Little Calm

I just needed a little “calm.” It was on Wednesday, two days ago. I had one of those days where anything that could go wrong did. No, not earth-shattering wrong – not famine, pestilence, “Old Testament” wrong. Rather just a pile of small irritations that grew bigger as the day progressed. Certainly the type of day we all have from time to time. I found myself unconsciously humming my favorite angst-ridden song  – “Twentieth Century Man” by The Kinks.

“My mama says she can’t understand
She can’t see my motivation
Ain’t got no security
I’m a twentieth century man
but I don’t wanna be here.
This is the twentieth century
But too much aggravation
This is the edge of insanity
I’m a twentieth century man
but I don’t wanna be here.”

When I heard Ray Davies in the back of my brain I knew I had to change the day’s direction. It was a sunny February day in the 50s – perfect conditions to visit my favorite dry stream bed down the road.

Aah! The anti-frantic antidote to modernity. I sat with an old friend (actually a large sandstone rock that I’ve written about in earlier posts), one that is chock full of Devonian delights. I have photographed its fossils a number of times. But different light and different perspective seems to often yield fresh results.

Thus began the recovery of the day. Here are a handful of images that are the product of my efforts.

Yes, in the above image there are four nice sized cephalopods in a group several feet across.

And finally here is a new image from one of my ongoing series – this one a brachiopod.

Thank you for the visit. More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe to this blog at my homepage  https://artandfossils.wordpress.com