091219: Respite

Last week I showed a few images where I mixed my local fossils in with rocks along the Maine shore. This week I decided to flip the script, so to speak, and mix a few Maine rocks in with fossils here in my studio.

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A few more images of seaweed (I have so many !)

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The remainder of today’s images – also continued from last week – are the results of a game/experiment/amusement(?) I engaged in while exploring the rocky shore.

With a bag full of dried scraps of acrylic paint, a shoreline full of wonder, my camera, and a sense of curiosity, I found respite from a maddening world.

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Thanks for the visit.

090519: Low Tide, Maine

This is what it must have looked like 400 or 500 million years ago, I think – maybe around the time when some little creatures began to check out the other side of the shoreline and moved onto land. The geology of the area hits at about that same time. Even seaweed goes back that far and perhaps longer.

No surprise then that the experience of being there should resonate with me. After all, most of the fossils I have dug up and photographed over the years are from roughly that same deep time period (give or take a hundred million yers or so!).

My camera has pretty much been sitting on the shelf since my last post 9 or 10 months ago. No surprise again that Maine would shake something loose for me. The coastal rocks are a joy to behold, far more colorful than one might suspect. Even though I walk this same stretch of shoreline every year I am always happily rewarded with new discoveries.

It’s for these reasons (and many others) that Cindy and I always look forward to our annual visit. And arriving home last week has us already talking about the next one!

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It might just be seaweed, but even seaweed has its own beauty.

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I brought a few of my favorite “home grown” fossils with me. I figured the fossils and rocks might be “chronological” cousins and might provide me a fresh approach to two long favorite subjects.

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My time away from the blog has not been idle. All of my studio time has been spent painting. The two had become too difficult for me to work simultaneously and required more singular devotion. During that time, as  my excess acrylic paints would dry in their respective bowls, I would find ways to peel that dried paint out and toss the leftovers into a pile. Random colors and fragments seemed to meld together to create something new.

So I brought some of them with me to Maine also, wondering how my own colors might blend with the rocks. Two examples here are part of a larger project , more of which might show up here again in the future.

And here are two of my latest paintings in progress. Both are roughly 5′- 5.5′

I hope this new post will beget more. If that happens I imagine that the visual focus might widen as my initial fascination with fossils has led me to so many other aspects of nature –  from deepest time to the present. If any of this is not “your cup of tea” please let me know and I will remove you from my mailing list. For the rest of you, thank you for your time. I hope to post again soon.

I’ll leave you with an image of an arriving storm a few weeks ago in Maine.                  (Even storms are gorgeous up there!)

Thanks for the visit.

091318: Nature!

A few years ago, our neighbors, Dorian and Jim, gave to me two rather large hornet nests. They had been hanging in their barn for years and thought they might be good subjects for me – a very kind gesture that I much appreciated.

Over time I photographed them enough (on the outside) and finally decided to take a look inside. These first five images were taken as I slowly broke the nests down to the honeycomb.

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Fascinating structures they are! The hexagonal pattern that defines the honeycomb is a pattern found throughout nature (See “Why Nature Prefers Hexagons.”). And it has been around for a long time.

The image above is not an old or even fossilized honeycomb. It is, rather, a favosite, more commonly known as honeycomb coral. This fossil coral is approximately 387 million years old (during the Devonian Period) and was something I dug up locally.

Brachiopod and Mollusc

“Geometry in nature” seems to be a good segue into more of nature’s designs – an image sampler of fossils, all locally founded and all as old as the honeycomb coral.

Brachiopod

Cephalopods and Brachiopods

Gastropod

Brachiopods

Tabulate Coral

I’m closing today with three mixed media drawings. I had trilobites on my mind so I created some generic versions  – each one app. 36″ x 48″.

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Thanks for the visit.

080218: August

Seems like summer has barely begun and all of a sudden it is August, to me at least. I’ve been so busy in my studio that I’ve barely been outdoors. I thought of that as I was putting this post together. I started off with some fresh fossil images but soon veered away toward images from past forays in the car and on foot – simply put, I needed to remind myself that there is a world beyond the studio!

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So here we go outdoors – from an old locomotive to a hummingbird et al.

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Thanks for the visit.

062818: Afternoon Light

Like everything else outside my studio, my deck (where I often photograph) and its railing is always covered with fossil rocks. I try to keep new finds and old favorites close and in view. Different times of day, different weather conditions, even different seasons seem to imbue each fossil with “different personalities!”

Late afternoon sun was the trigger for this week’s images. A hard, warm light catches the deck and rakes across the rocks, providing definition and a little drama.

Once again, these are all Devonian Period marine invertebrates (app. 387 million years old), all found within a few miles from my studio! As if just living here in the upper Hudson Valley isn’t enough!

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I’ve been busy in several directions lately. So I thought I’d include a couple of mixed media pieces from the week past.

Thanks for the visit.

062118: Continued

I couldn’t resist using last week’s backdrop again for this week’s images. Today’s fossils include gastropods, brachiopods, crinoid ossicles, coral, and various trilobite parts (including the one below – a Moroccan trilobite I bought in a Florence flea market). All the rest make up a nice little Devonian sampler.

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Thanks for the visit.

053118: A Rediscovered Folder

A year ago, as we prepared a party for the opening of my new studio, I threw a few hundred image into a slide show that looped on my computer screen throughout the afternoon.

Yesterday I ran across that folder – hadn’t seen it since then. I took some time to look through it and took a liking to this seemingly unlikely mix. I guess it’s an indication of the things I found interesting at the time – all things natural, I suppose.

Some things local and some things from far away, including “natural” objects from the Natural History Museum in Florence, Italy.

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Thanks for the visit.

052418: A Visit to the Quarry

I had an opportunity a few days ago to drop by my favorite local quarry. In earlier days I would dig there weekly. But lately my visits are few and far between. On these recent  returns I often feel like I’m visiting a fresh, new site.

The owner cuts into the side of the hill, taking ground fill and crushed rock away for his construction sites. Seldom are there any fossils in that part of the quarry. Instead, though, there are fine shooting opportunities as these first five images indicate. (By the way, the hill off in the distance is part of the eastern escarpment of the Catskills).

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Eventually, I made my way to the shelf that contains the fossils. There are always plenty to find. So today’s post is the result of that one trip – a nice selection of mostly ordinary 387 million year old marine invertebrate fossils, all dirty and broken but fascinating nonetheless.

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One surprise for me this trip were these gastropods I found – not particularly special but not often found at this site.

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Thanks for the visit.

051018: #300

I just discovered the other day that today’s post is my 300th. I hadn’t been counting so it caught me somewhat by surprise. It seems obvious that I like creating this (mostly) weekly exercise. And I do. It has served me well – helping to keep a creative flow through all of the seemingly endless distractions we all experience. Let me take a moment to thank you for your many kind responses over years.

New images and reconfigured images are mixed together in this post. I hope you enjoy them.

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Just recently, LeScienze, the Italian edition of Scientific American, ran an article on their website that was taken from a recent post of mine. Six images of museum crinoids, some of my favorites. All done with fully proper request and reply – not something that always happens in the “free” world of the internet! So, my great thanks to Ms Priscilla Di Thiene for the interest. It is always an honor to have my work displayed on your site.

http://www.lescienze.it/news/2018/04/27/foto/crinoidi_art_murphy-3932586/1/#1

Thanks for the visit.

041218: Nature in Abstract

Today’s mix of images reflect, to me at least, a simple beauty in the world that surrounds us. Sometimes it takes a moment to stop and look a bit closer. These images speak to a series of those moments that I wish to share.

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A fine endnote for today – our first flower of the spring!

Thanks for the visit.