101917: What’s Near at Hand

When I moved my studio months ago my biggest task was bringing my fossil rocks along. After all, I had amassed thousands over the years. At first the task seemed insurmountable. But, with much determination, I slogged on. If they were important enough to collect them in the first place, I thought, then they were important enough to bring along.

At some point in the process all I could do was drop many of them into piles all around the new studio – where they have sat ever since. Now that they are rapidly being covered by the falling leaves I decided to poke around to reacquaint myself. And in doing so I came to realize that they very naturally displayed their beauty despite their random placements.

Today’s images reflect that thought. No need for special attention or proper positioning. No need to look far and wide for new locations to explore. Everything I need seems to be right outside my door!

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Even my piles of props seemed to have some fresh appeal. Nothing earthshaking here but rather a creative exercise that made the day make sense for me!

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And when I was done I set my camera down on my desk, noticing how the late afternoon sun streamed through my window. This time the source of inspiration was my plastic water bottle. Inverting the image gave me this.

Thanks for the visit.

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081717: Fresh Fossils

Today’s post is all fossils. I know that some of my viewers are particularly interested in fossils, while others prefer to see other type images. I try to strike something of a balance, especially since my work generally is more dimensional than a single subject.

My time is short today so I’ll just leave you with this new batch of images.

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Since I am finishing with two (partial) trilobites I thought I’d follow up with a few recent drawings of trilobites from a new series I am currently working on.

These are charcoal and chalk. Each is approximately 2×3 feet in size.

They are more “generic trilobites” as opposed to any specific type and they are fun for me to explore!

 

Thanks for the visit. Enjoy the eclipse next week wherever you are. And remember to follow viewing instructions carefully.

080317: Looking Out (and Looking Back)

Today’s opener was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft last year. It has been exploring Saturn and many of its 62 moons since its arrival at Saturn in 2004. Currently the spacecraft is in the middle of its “Grand Finale,” as NASA refers to its ultimate and final stage – plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere next month on September 15. It has treated us to previously unimaginable sights and still has six more weeks of transmissions.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21046

Above are the first three drawings ever of Saturn and made by the observations of Galileo over 400 years ago. July 30,1610 was the first one (top) with slightly better results for the other two as he continually refined his telescopes.

We’ve come a long way – this pic taken from behind Saturn looks back at Earth (the dot center right). The beauty and importance of these and many other images, to me, cannot be understated.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17171

This trio of craters, also shot from Cassini, reside on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20011

NASA’s image libraries are full of these wonderful and fascinating images and are all easily  accessible online.This one above is from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and shows part of Mars’ south pole.

More on this image – https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia21639/erosion-of-the-edge-of-the-south-polar-layered-deposits

And last in this series is a picture of our own Grand Canyon taken from the International Space Station by a student controlled EarthKam camera!

More on this image – https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/space-stations-earthkam-sees-the-grand-canyon

As I said, NASA has endless libraries worth perusing. Also, my favorite non-NASA sight you might want to visit is  Planetary Landscapes – daily posts of images from here on Earth and elsewhere!

One last note: Saturday, August 5, will be the fifth anniversary of the explorations begun by the Mars Rover. It continues to chug along the surface of the planet, sending back wonderful and astounding landscape images of Mars – Images – Mars Science Laboratory

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All this thought about outer space got me to break out my collection of pulp Sci-Fi magazines. The stories age great. The cover images make me dream of being aboard a spaceship exploring the wide universe. I think it’s my way of coping with the depressing news that we witness daily – especially the science related cutbacks, the dissolution of important government functions ranging from climate change to research of all kinds, etc.

The two  “Thrilling Wonder Stories” are from 1951 and 1952.

The three remaining magazines, “Amazing Stories,” are from 1947 and 1948.

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So, from the faraway future to the faraway past – I had to toss in a few new images of the very old – 387 million years ago (give or take a few mil!) – Devonian invertebrate fossils from the neighborhood.

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Science matters.

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.