011917: The Fog


Several days of fog allowed for these opening images. There is a deepening and long lasting fog setting in that will require a sharpening of the senses. It starts tomorrow. All I can say is “Eyes wide open.” Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors.




I continue to move my seemingly endless piles of fossil rocks to the location of my new studio. And, in doing so, the only thing that slows me down is rediscovering so many worthy subjects for exploration.


I set these pieces aside to provide some fresh fossil images for this week’s post.














My thanks to the folks at the GCCA Gallery in Catskill for putting on a wonderful show last Saturday. It looked great and was well attended. For those who were unable to attend I include here the remaining three pieces that I contributed.




Thanks for the visit.

011217: Thin Ice


Before I get to the ice let me remind you of the opening of “Fresh,” an interesting show that I will be a part of. It opens this Saturday (the 14th) at the GCCA Gallery on Main Street in Catskill (5-7pm).Today’s opening image is one of four prints, all part of my “Galileo” series, that will be displayed in the show. All the work shown by all the artists involved has been created since October, thus the name “Fresh.” Please join us if you are in the area. The show will run through February 25.



And now Thin Ice


Last week, on one of the colder days of the year so far, I accompanied my friend, the enormously talented photographer Moshe Katvan on a hunt for rocks – not just any rocks, mind you, but just the right ones necessary for an upcoming shoot of his.


So I took him to a few of my favorite spots to find some variety, one of which is a small dry creek bed that has interesting rocks and some extraordinary fossils.


This particular day it also had pockets of ice where water pooled following the last rain.


In many cases, the ice was paper thin…


…with great details…


…and some wonderful shapes.


Just another example of the wonders of nature…


…and the beauty of it all!




I decided to round out this post with four images from last year’s work I did at La Specola, the Natural History Museum of Florence. I was thinking of delicacy, following the “ice” images, and was drawn to these particular images taken in the Entomology, Enichoderms, and Ornithology Sections.


These proved to be fun to work on and they allowed for experimenting with some new techniques. What a joy it was to have been given such an opportunity.


For those interested, from top to bottom – moth, heliaster, bird eggs, butterflies.


Come say hello on Saturday at GCCA Gallery.

Thanks for the visit.

010517: A New Year (and a New Show)


I’ve been looking through old libraries lately and running across files that I had long ago forgotten about. My studio is in a state of upheaval, having just finished printing for an upcoming show – that and boxes everywhere in preparation for my upcoming move.


So these images (no fossils today) simply caught my eye for whatever reason and I thought I’d share them with you today.
















These four are from the site of the new studio.








As I periodically pack a box or two something jumps out as if I’d never seen it before. Such was the case with Humpty Dumpty. Sitting there on the shelf next to a globe I bought a couple of years ago.


And, finally, here’s a heads up about a show I’m looking forward to being a part of – Saturday the 14th in Catskill at the GCCA Gallery. I’ll have more on the show next week. This link to an article in the Windham Journal has more information.

Thanks for the visit. And Happy New Year!

0108: A New Year Begins


I needed to start this first post of the New Year (Happy New Year, by the way) with a blur of summer color – something to help me cope with the deep freeze that is currently plaguing much of the country. A small thing – especially given what others have to endure.


Three hundred seventy two years ago today, in 1642, the brilliant Italian scientist Galileo Galilei died in his home in Florence, Italy. He had been sentenced to house arrest in 1633 by the Catholic Church for the crime of “vehement suspicion of heresy.” His “heresy” was the scientific conclusion that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not vice versa. Thirteen years, the last thirteen years of his life, were spent under house arrest – all because his thoughts and ideas were different than others.


I have to wonder, as we start a new year, how much we have evolved.



I’m trying to get back into the swing of things after a couple of weeks away. And I started with a return to my Devonian Drawer. It seemed to be time to revisit this project after a long hiatus. More to come hopefully.




These seven images are all brachiopod fossils, or rather parts of brachiopods in some cases. Over 12,000 fossil species are recognized, thus the visual variety. And these are all roughly 385 million years old. I wonder what the Roman Inquisition would have done with that information.













09. IMG_0552

A couple of final notes – These two pieces, from my “Abstract/Concrete” series, have been chosen for an upcoming show at the GCCA Gallery in Catskill, NY. The show, entitled “EXTREME SURFACES,” is opening this Saturday. The reception will be held next Saturday January 17, 5pm – 7pm.

10. IMG_0557

The image below, entitled “The Navigator” has been chosen for the annual show at the Hudson Opera House in Hudson NY. The reception is scheduled for the same time as the GCCA show – 5pm – 7pm on the 17th as well. If you are in the area please drop by one or both venues.


Thanks for the visit. Here’s one last image from warmer days.


0130: More Design

IMG_7549_01a_LR_10Museum of Comparative Anatomy, Paris


I continue to pour through my libraries, finding new and interesting ways to group various images. One topic that I simply cannot ignore is the amazing opportunity provided by fossils and rocks – capturing the designs in Nature never cease to amaze me. I have put together this selection of images that, I think, is a good example of this thought.


IMG_0303_01a_LR_10Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven


IMG_2306_01c_LR_10Crinoid Ossicles, Chazy Reef, Vermont


This next group of five images are plant fossils from Schoharie Creek, ranging from one to three feet across.








These last four are representative of the places I find myself in – fossils or not, these are the wonders I often find myself amongst.


Schoharie Creek, Gilboa, NY


Kaaterskill Creek, Catskill, NY


Trace Fossils, Catskill, NY

IMG_2772_01a_LR_10Ausable Chasm, NY


Two personal comments on the way out.


It was exactly fours years ago when I first exhibited my fossil images at the GCCA Gallery in Catskill. Unsure how the work would be regarded, I was ultimately gratified by the response. And I remain especially thankful to my good friend, Fawn Potash, for having faith and giving me that opportunity. Much has happened since that show!


Much of the upside of being a working photographer, to me, was always the notion that the camera was a ticket (or a pass) that allowed one into a world of experiences that few other occupations could ever match. I have many fine memories of unique and special encounters.

seegerv3_lr_12A number of years ago I had the good fortune of spending a day photographing Pete Seeger at his hilltop home overlooking the Hudson River. I was shooting for Bill Moyers’ production company. Bill was there to conduct an extended interview. As we strolled through the neighboring woods Pete spoke about everything from the Spanish Civil War to the blacklists of the 1950s. But it was talk about the Vietnam protests and their respective individual roles that produced one of the most amazing conversations I have been privy to. While Pete was one of the major figures protesting, Mr. Moyers was President Johnson’s Press Secretary. What each side knew and did not know about the other at that time was fascinating.

Mr. Seeger was a true giant who very few could ever match. You could feel his presence. It was palpable. And it was truly special. Rest in Peace.

Thank you for visiting.

Colorless Again

_MG_1857_01_LR_BW_12Before we dropped off into this latest deep freeze I managed to take some pictures of my favorite cephalopods in what is ordinarily a dry stream bed. The brief thaw exposed them and the melting snow had the creek running. Seems like I’m staying in that colorless world that I wrote about last week.


But before I explore that I’d like to tell you about an opening set for Saturday the 26th (tomorrow) at the GCCA Gallery on Main Street in Catskill. Entitled Visitors, Visitations, Visions, the show will display the works of 21 Hudson Valley artists including the following three of my own.

IMG_5502_01b_LR_10The Lost Boys


IMG_4068_01c_LR_10Enlightenment 1


IMG_4069_01e_LR_10Enlightenment 2


And in the upstairs gallery my good friend friend and wonderful painter Elin Menzies will have her work hanging as part of a two person show entitled Animal, Myth, Magic. the opening for both shows will be an early one – 2PM until 5 PM.

ElinElin Menzies, Crow and Crowboy Admire the Giant Poppy


So here I am stuck in that colorless world again. What I have assembled this week is a mix of images from my library that I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to play with. As you will see, they cover a range of subjects. Their obvious commonality is the lack of color. Are details and patterns more recognizable? Is there a greater purity to gray scale – no distractions? I don’t really have a position on that old argument about color versus black and white. A strong image is about content, composition, contrasting tonality, and a host of other considerations with color only being one. In this digital age, the image may suggest its fate.


IMG_7688_01_LR_12Eiffel Tower from the Trocodero


_MG_1128_01_LR_12The Louvre


_MG_0681_01BW_LR_10The Pantheon


_MG_0640_01_LR_12Jardin des Plantes


_MG_0115_01_LR_10Place des Vosges, Paris


IMG_7348_01BW_LR_10Saint-Eustache Organ, Paris


_MG_0639_01_LR_10Paris Alley


IMG_8934_01a_LR_10Route 32, Saugerties, NY


IMG_8224_02_LR_12Snowy Landscape





IMG_5698_01BW_LR_10Jack & Jill

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

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Drained of Color

darkskyWinter has set in. And with that comes the temporary loss of color.


Sometimes it’s like someone is messing with the local saturation slider.


Sometimes it’s a small splash of color amidst the dreary.


And other times it’s just a delicate hint of color.



I’ve been on something of a “desaturation” kick lately. More specifically, black & white has really captured my attention ever since my trip to Paris. While the contemporary art scene was dreadful, the photo galleries had great work. And much of it was black & white. I don’t know if that’s what got me to rethink things or if Paris just particularly looks great in black & white. Whatever it was seems to have stayed with me.

IMG_5544_01a_LR_10Here are a group of fossil images from a recent trip to Ithaca that suggested black and white.






I’ve been spending time printing for an upcoming show. The print below is one of three that will be in the show, entitled “Visitors, Visitations, Visions,” opening on January 26 at the GCCA Gallery on Main Street in Catskill. I’ll have more about it next week.

_MG_1829_02_LR_10Thank you as always for visiting. More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage  https://artandfossils.wordpress.com