0528: The Joys of Technology


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.


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.


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.






Fisk Quarry, Isle La Motte, Vermont






Chaco Canyon. New Mexico



Eastern Montana









Notre Dame, Paris



Eiffel Tower, Paris






Ithaca, New York



It worked. I am quiet and content now!

Hopefully, you enjoyed it as well.

Thanks for the visit.


032013 – Reviewing the Past


My usual schedule was interrupted last week – more on that at the end of this post. This is a bit different from my usual posts. I was asked to give a lecture in a few weeks, one that would reflect on the arc of my career. So I’ve been spending time looking over images that I haven’t given thought to for a long, long time. I’ve decided to present a random handful, the results of my first round of digging and exploring (hey – isn’t that the way I describe my fossil finds – “digging and exploring”!).

For those who might think I’m a bit “obsessed” with the world of fossils let me share some of these earlier (non-fossil) works. Starting with the opening image, this was a Brooklyn street scene, a festival in fact, viewed from atop the monument in Grand Army Plaza. (kids and chalk!)


This next handful deal with old sites, each with their own character.


Two from Ellis Island before restoration. The haunting imprint of the millions who passed through these rooms was palpable.



A long abandoned farmhouse on the high plains of Montana.



Even longer ago (1250 A.D.), the abandoned community of Chaco Canyon, one of the oldest known sites in North America.



An altar at the Metropolitan Museum’s Cloisters, an incorporation of five medieval European cloisters.



And, lastly, more recent ruins – an abandoned and cannibalized rocket gantry from Cape Canaveral.


I also photographed many people, some famous, some not, all very interesting, nonetheless.

A New Mexico rancher during a wind elk roundup.



A few American treasures:

Pete Seeger


Bill Cosby


Al Hirschfeld


Martin Sheen



And finally, one more American treasure, a deeply personal one.




In the predawn hour of March 10, my Dad passed away, quietly and peacefully in his sleep after a period of debilitating illness. He was eighty-five years old. All he ever wanted in his lifetime was to be a good husband and father. He cared for us selflessly and, happily, he achieved his goal. He was a fine and decent man and I will miss him greatly.

Spring Cleaning

I’d like to think it was the spring cleaning bug that got me to organize the piles of fossil rocks all around my studio, both inside and out, last week. Truth be told, I had achieved a level of clutter that was grinding things to a near halt. And my inability to find anything in a timely manner was taking the fun out of what is otherwise joyful activity – creative exploration in the studio. It could have happened in any other season. It just happened now.

So piles of rocks were moved to other piles of rocks, sorted by type and “photographic possibilities.” There was some kind of order to it all, at least I found it so. And as long as I could get back to focusing on my work that was all that really mattered in the end. Funny how things pile up and what it takes to get your attention. In this locale it is all too easy to accumulate piles of fossils. And no matter how many I have lined up to photograph, there is always a need to be out exploring for more. It’s as important to me as snapping the shutter (or whatever is the correspondingly appropriate digital term). The “Decisive Moment” has been supplanted by a process that is extended sometimes over a long period of time.

All this leads to an embarrassment of fossil riches, so to speak. And many fossils get lost and forgotten under piles of new ones. So my “spring cleaning” effort ended up providing me with many fresh new possibilities.

Sometimes I think that they are unique messages sent out millions of years ago. Other times I think I am looking at aerial images of ancient worlds. Perhaps Mesa Verde or Chaco Canyon .

Sometimes I see a world too alien to comprehend.

And other times I see simplicity.

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

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