0313: Those Creative Juices

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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:

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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Thanks for the visit.

0227: An Odd Mix

IMG_6934_01_LR_10I’ve been so busy printing for two upcoming shows that I have no new fossil images once again (I do hope the snow goes away soon). So, in the meantime, I have an odd mix for you.

On Saturday, March 8, as a new member of the Beacon Artist Union (BAU Gallery), I will be sharing Gallery 2 with the other new member, David Link. I will be showing pieces from my Devonian Drawer series, printed large for the first time. Gallery 1 will hold a group show of the members (there are ten of us) entitled “Tasty.” That’s 6-9 PM, Saturday, March 8.

IMG_7198_02_LR_12For all you Woodstockers (and WAAM members), Carl van Brunt has an opening of his work on the other end of Beacon’s Main Street at Theo Ganz Gallery, same date, same time. So make the drive down to Beacon and check out both shows.

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IMG_4329_01_LR_12Also on March 8 – I am excited to say that my recent Florence exhibition has found a new home in the Tuscan town of Fucecchio. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Andrea Vanni Desideri, scientific director of the Fucecchio Civic Museum, the show will run from the 8th of March thru the 23rd. The Museum building dates back to the 13th and 14th Centuries and is filled with delights ranging from paintings by Renaissance masters, to local archaeological and paleontological treasures to a truly mind blowing ornithological collection from the 19th Century. It is an honor and privilege to have my work displayed there and I am most grateful for the opportunity.

Here are a few pics from our last visit when we begin to plan for the show:

IMG_4333_01_LR_12Scene in the Town Square

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One last note about shows – I’m happy to say that these two images have been selected into this year’s 36th Annual Photo Regional Exhibition at Albany Center Gallery, which takes place from March 11th to April 18th. (Awards and artists reception is April 4, 2014 5-9 p.m.)

Murphy_Art_Devonian_CrinoidsDevonian Crinoids

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Rio_Grande_Zephyr_in_1983-615x345This picture is not one of mine, but rather ran with a story in today’s news about Amtrak setting up some writers’ residency program. It sounds like an interesting idea. But it was the image that captured me. You see, during much of my 20s, before I picked up a camera, I was a locomotive engineer with the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. Quite an amazing job, I must say as I reflect back on it. We ran on some of the most beautiful (and sometimes scary) track in the world, up and down the Rockies. I had the opportunity to run the 5771 many times! So it was a treat to be reminded of it this morning!

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IMG_2576_LR_10I’ll finish with one more piece of nostalgia. Late last night, flipping through the channels right before going to bed, what should I run across but an episode of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger! This was perhaps my favorite and perhaps most impressionable show I ever watched as a very young boy. Look closely at the insignia pin on Rocky’s hat.

IMG_7074_01_LR_10Yeah, here’s mine! I bought it on ebay quite a few years ago. And I swear it was that show that fed my early desire to explore. The show ran before the first astronauts – and here were these characters traveling the universe…

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…and doing it in style!

 IMG_2555_LR_10I still want to go into space.

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Thanks for the visit.