072717: A Walk in the Woods

The past few days have seen an explosion of mushrooms. A brief walk in the woods  turned into a fine shooting opportunity for me. I’ve learned from past experiences that mushrooms grow fast when the conditions are right. Fortunately my ever so flexible schedule allowed me to take time to explore.

I know little about mushrooms. I do know that they are fascinating to look at.

To show how quickly they grow please note the image above. Then take a look at the image below. these images were taken 24 hours apart.

That fly was not the only flying insect around. The fresh rains and heavy humidity helped to create whole armies of mosquitos that made thoughtful and deliberate camera adjustments luxuries I could not afford!

I was particularly struck by what I think was such a wide variety of mushroom types in a relatively small area.

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I also happened to run across a plant whose leaves (or fronds) were the size of a baby elephant’s ears! I couldn’t resist bring them back to the studio. These are a few of the studies that resulted.

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Who knows what the surrounding forest might yield next?!

Thanks for the visit.

072017: In The Beginning

Today’s opener is one of my very first fossil images, shot way before I ever considered any possibilities of obsession! I had just finished my previous project, the black and white urban landscapes that appeared here a few weeks ago. That one was shot with a 4×5 view camera. So I thought it only made sense that the fossils would be dealt with similarly.

Was I ever wrong! It was such a painstakingly slow, deliberate, and cumbersome process. Had I continued that way, I can assure you, my fossil obsession would never had occurred.

And that would have been a shame. These fascinating, ancient objects have become vehicles for many wonderful experiences. It’s been more that ten years since I took that first picture.

During that time, the images have been shown in galleries and museums here and abroad. Cindy and I have met some of the nicest and most interesting people imaginable. And our opportunities to learn and grow have been deeply enhanced.

All thanks to these remnants of life from hundreds of millions of years ago!

The rest of today’s images are some of my earliest work, all shot digitally and reworked this past week.

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Thanks for the visit.

071317: An Unusual Time

Another day, another bombshell report. I turn on the news each day and think to myself that this political nightmare we find ourselves in will soon come to resolution. And each day I scold myself for my naivete. This is going to take a long time to get clear of.

So I immerse myself in my work, finding my photo libraries to serve as useful and important distractions from the news of the day. Today’s opening image started me off on the right path. This very lyrical (and even poetic) image of a partial gastropod, found at one of my most favorite places, Isle La Motte, Vermont, led me to piece together this somewhat disparate selection of images.

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This final image is a playful variation on the opening one. A partial mirroring seemed to provide an intriguing alternate image.

That’s it for today. Thanks for the visit. Enjoy this beautiful summer (it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye!).

070617: Mixing It Up

A while back I used some of my mixed media drawings as backdrop for my fossil images. It was fun to experiment with and seemed to infuse a bit more “life” into these ancient objects.

Now that I am in my new studio (with lots more room to move around in) I’m busy working with more drawings and once again returning to that intermixing of “art and fossils!”

Here are four new ones (in order from the top) – crinoid ossicles, coral, tree roots (or branches) from Gilboa, and a single brachiopod (below).

I didn’t stop there with the drawings. The garden provided me with more opportunity to play with these new backgrounds as this next group of images shows.

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The garden also provided me with another subject and three different ways to play with this sprig.

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I’ll close for today with a few of the aforementioned drawings – all mixed media pieces – charcoal, chalks, wash, etc.

Trying to find fresh new ways to explore!

Thanks for the visit.

062917: Back to Fossils

A surprise, last minute trip to Cape Cod pulled me away from the blog last week. Between that and my last two bw posts of NYC I found myself missing my fossils! So I decided to return today with a full body of fossil images. They seem to be gaining more drama lately.

For those of you unfamiliar with these 387 million year old former denizens of my neighborhood I’ll attempt to provide identification (as best I can). Above are several types of coral accompanied by an impression of a trilobite pygidium (center left).

Not exactly sure what this is. The pattern suggests to me some form of coral.

Coral.

Cephalopods. I count at least four in this cluster.

One lone cephalopod.

An interesting mix – resting atop a brachiopod is part of the head (cephalon) and eye of a trilobite. That long dark cylinder I believe might be a small crinoid stem.

I can only think this is a slice of a brachiopod.

Sitting atop a bed of coral is a small rock loaded with crinoid ossicles (the round things). They essentially stacked to form the stem of the crinoid.

Brachiopods

Another brachiopod with some coral in the upper left.

Yet another brachiopod! Actually, there were some 12,000 or more various types.

And these (yes, brachiopods also) are different – they are the only fossils in this post not from the Catskill area. I dug them up several years ago while on a trip to Nashville.

A mess of fossils sitting out on an old table.

And, last but certainly not least, are a group of tentaculites, something I seldom find around here. I came across these along Kaaterskill Creek. I particularly love this one as it reminds me of an old retro sci-fi rocket ship! Fossils and rocket ships put a smile on my face!!

Thanks for the visit.

060117: My Antidote

The crazier current events become the more I find ways to dig further into my fossils. They don’t endanger the world order. They don’t infuriate with their madness. At the very least they do nothing more than allow for a pleasant diversion from all that “other” stuff.

More than that though, they remind me that, in the long stretch of time that they represent, our current moment of political madness will eventually pass (as all things do). The obvious follow-up question then becomes “At what cost?”

We’ll save that question for another day. In the meantime, these 387 million year old objects wish to speak! A lot of coral today with a sprinkle of brachiopods and a few trilobites for good measure!

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This strange little self-portrait of mine was accepted into the upcoming Small Works Show at the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum (WAAM). And the piece below entitled “Requiem” from my ongoing Galileo series was selected for the show in the main gallery. WAAM is in the heart of Woodstock (NY) and the opening is set for Saturday 4-6pm. If you are in the neighborhood please drop by.

I’ll close today with another orb – a recent full moon.

Thanks for the visit.

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.