020818: Stranger Things (Rock Version)

While putting images together for an upcoming project I ran across the opening image of plant fossils that seems to have an almost calligraphic feel to it – a sort of written signage from Nature itself! All of today’s images come from days of shooting several years ago during the summer following Hurricane Irene. The tumult from the flooding tore apart Schoharie Creek and uncovered many amazing things. Some of the images are plant fossils (with a few marine invertebrates if you look closely), some are very strange looking rocks and markings, and some are a total mystery to me.

Funny how so many of these images seem more alien than all of last week’s post – seemingly earthlike landscapes of Mars!

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Thanks for the visit.

 

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.

042717: Settled In

Chimes

Some ten or twelve sets of wind chimes lay in a pile. Hanging them is one of my last tasks related to my move into the new studio. And today I’m happy to be back, working away in a wonderful new space. Everything has found its proper place, including the many, many fossils and rocks that I couldn’t bear to leave behind.

Brachiopods, Cora, Lichen

It’s been refreshing to re-view the fossils I have accumulated over time. And, in their new location, I thought they deserved some attention.

Cephalopods

Cephalopod, Brachiopods

Trace Fossil, Crinoids, Lichen

Coral

Gilboa Tree Stump (base)

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Generally speaking, our home (and studio), while only six miles away from my previous studio, sit in a fossil bare area. Yet these two rocks (that sit on an 18’x24″ surface) were found by Cindy and me in the woods out back. Full of fossils, I believe they are known as “erratics,” delivered from further north by the last receding glacier.

And below are images of fossils found on or in this pair.

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Hopefully, I’m back on schedule now.

Thanks for the visit.

063016: Summer Begins

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I needed to get the blood circulating the other day so I walked down to the nearby creek. It was one of those Summer days when life seemed to slow down to a crawl – temperature and humidity pressing down like a vise – leaving me somewhat listless, hoping for a breeze of any sort to bring respite.

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I’ve come to learn that, on days like that, Kaaterskill Creek, even as it runs low this time of year, can always provide that needed respite. Always a breeze creekside.  Always eight to ten degrees cooler. And this day possessing one of the only patches of day lilies around (the rest all eaten down by the large deer population).

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I also managed to find this nice large (5-6′) slab of ripple rock. The breeze and cooler air served its purpose and so, feeling refreshed, I returned to the studio where I continued to sort through the thousands of fossil rocks piled outside. By now there are so many that I have forgotten about that it was either like seeing old friends again or discovering something anew. Either way. it’s a win – win situation!

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What you see above is a grouping of trilobite parts, all of which are parts of head sections (cephalon). While there are many areas where trilobites are plentiful, this is not one of them. So this is somewhat uncommon for me. The bulging piece in the lower left is that head section. The dotted parts on each side are the eyes. Those other dotted fragments  are eyes also (from other trilobites).

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The tail section, or pygidium, appears a bit more frequently in this area. These are three that I have recently found locally.

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The more commonly found fossil around here is the brachiopod. I have read that there are well over 10,000 different types, thus the variety of looks.

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I’ll close for today with these two images. My recent forays into the woods continue to result in finding beautiful sculptural pieces of wood. This one struck me as some kind of headless recumbent figure. And below, once again, another visitor to my shooting table – ancient looking creatures coming together over millennia!

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Thanks for the visit. Please have a safe and happy 4th!

0326: Marist Show_continued

Gilboa Tree Fossil 3768

For those unable to attend I thought I’d share more of the upcoming show today.

The opening image is titled “Gilboa Tree Fossil 3768.”

Here is the information, including directions, for anyone interested in attending:

Wednesday April 1st – Saturday April 25th

Gallery Hours: Monday thru Saturday – Noon ’til 5pm

Opening Reception: Wednesday April 1st – 5pm -7pm

Marist College Art Gallery

3399 North Road

Poughkeepsie NY 12601

Directions – From Route 9, turn onto Fulton Street and make the first right onto Beck Place. The studio and gallery are at the end of the street, on the right.

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Kaaterskill 6065

Kaaterskill 6065

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Maine 5312

Maine 5312

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Maine 5420

Maine 5420

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Maine 5430_

Maine 5430

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Maine 5717

Maine 5717

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Gilboa Tree Fossil 3656

Gilboa Tree Fossil 3656

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Gilboa Tree Fossil 4640

Gilboa Tree Fossil 4640

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Swarm 4432

Swarm 4432

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Swarm 4462

Swarm 4462

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Swarm 4453

Swarm 4453

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Quarry 7368

Quarry 7368

Thank you for the visit.

0319: All Packed Up

Quarry 3439

Just finished packing up all my prints for my upcoming show at Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY – Opening on April 1st (Wednesday) 5-7 PM. For all my NYC friends it’s a fine opportunity to drive an hour north and take a midweek break. For anyone and everyone else interested please come out and join us. Marist has a wonderful large gallery that I will be sharing with painter Fran O’Neill. 

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For those who can’t make it I thought I’d share the images with you this week and possibly next week. Not much else to add, so please enjoy this mix of images.

Kaaterskill 6324

Kaaterskill 6324

Quarry 7348

Quarry 7348

Ausable 2786

Ausable 2786

Maine 5310

Maine 5310

Ausable 2781

Ausable 2781

Quarry 1820

Quarry 1820

Maine 5568

Maine 5568

Devonian Trace Fossil 5568

Devonian Trace Fossil 5568

Kaaterskill 6334

Kaaterskill 6334

Maine 5404

Maine 5404

Thanks for the visit.

0122: Back to Gilboa

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Early mornings have been cold up here lately. The cold wakes you up in a hurry. The air is clear and crisp. If you dress properly for it, it can be a joy to behold. It can also reward with sights like the opening image – dawn light touching the eastern edge of the Catskills.

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Too cold to be out digging in the quarry! So, as I usually do this time of year, I dive into my photo libraries, viewing old images anew, particularly those I skipped over originally. The image above is a brachiopod sitting atop a few junkyard props.

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This next group was the result of several trips to Gilboa in the year following Hurricane Irene. The flooding churned up creek beds, yielding all kinds of wonders – not least of which was my very own encounter with a Gilboa tree stump!

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What follows are rocks containing tree root and branch fossils, as well as various trace fossils and other patterning and colors. In size, they range from one to four feet across. I hope you enjoy them.

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Last – a pic from a trip the other day to the town of Narrowsburg NY, dropping off for a show next month.

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Thanks for the visit. Stay warm!

 

 

 

 

 

0130: More Design

IMG_7549_01a_LR_10Museum of Comparative Anatomy, Paris

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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.

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IMG_0303_01a_LR_10Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven

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IMG_2306_01c_LR_10Crinoid Ossicles, Chazy Reef, Vermont

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

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

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Schoharie Creek, Gilboa, NY

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Kaaterskill Creek, Catskill, NY

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Trace Fossils, Catskill, NY

IMG_2772_01a_LR_10Ausable Chasm, NY

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Two personal comments on the way out.

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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!

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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.

Final Thoughts – 2012

IMG_8154_02_LR_10Back in time from holiday travels to wrap up this blog for 2012. Two recent snowfalls have covered much of the Northeast with a blanket of snow (a return to a more normal winter perhaps?). It is a reminder that indoor projects will be more likely for me into the near future – there’s no upside that I can imagine to hike for fossils in snow!

img_2938_01_lr_12Fourth of July Parade, Saugerties, NY

But, before I get to them, on this last day of the year I would like to offer you my very best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year! According to my WordPress “annual report” (a great little statistics feature), this past year viewers came from seventy one countries around the world. So, whatever the time zone, have a safe and happy holiday.

img_8107_01_lr_wpDevonian Drawer: The Fool

I took some time earlier to scroll through this past year’s postings. There were 46 in all with a total number of images approaching 600! For me, so many of them fall down the “memory hole” once I’m on to the next week’s subject that it’s important to step back and review. You know – see where you’ve been – see where you’re heading. A nod to yesterday and an embrace of tomorrow.

So, here are some images from the past year that jumped out at me for a second view – not the best, not the worst, just some that hit a personal chord that I’d like to share one more time.

img_8015_02_lr_wpDevonian Drawer: Buddha with Crinoids

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img_1064_01e_lr_12Gilboa Tree: Espermatopteris

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img_5543_01_lr_10Trilobite Pygidium, Ithaca, NY

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img_8967_01a_lr_10Brachiopod, Florence Museum of Natural History

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img_9439_01a_lr_wpDevonian Drawer: Brachiopod

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img_5250_01_lr_12Crinoid, Paleontological Research Institution

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img_0097_01_lr_wpRock, Kaaterskill Creek

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img_6372dark_01_lr_10Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, NY

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mg_0969_01_lr_12Eiffel Tower, Paris

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

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

The Gilboa Museum

Last month I visited the Gilboa Museum for its annual open house. I had been to the previous event and thoroughly enjoyed it – a wonderful celebration of small town America and local pride. The Museum itself, while originated and run by local volunteers, is not simply of local importance. Despite its limited hours of operation (mostly on weekends in the Summer), a quick look at the guestbook shows the many visitors and the surprising distances traveled. Gilboa in fact is known internationally.

In 1870, quarry workers discovered fossilized remains of tree stumps nearby. The geology community has long been aware of those findings. But it was very recently that discoveries have led to the charting of the oldest known forest floor anywhere. People come from all over to see the fossils and gain an understanding of the significance of the area. And were it not for the local volunteers, all the visitors would find is a quiet country road. The locals have much to be proud of and the Museum is a fine representation of that.

To me, the best part of the visit is always the fossil exhibit. Many more fossils have been added since last year. Hurricane Irene stirred the ground and has uncovered many new and interesting fossils. In fact, the fossils on display (most from the immediate area) are donations from friends and neighbors. Put all together, they form a unique and excellent collection that would make any major museum jealous!

So, let’s just look at some of the gems of the collection.

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Although the Museum is small, it is packed with fossils and artifacts of local life from the past. The final image shows the wonderful centerpiece of the displays. It is a painting that illustrates what is believed to be the area during the Devonian Period when the local forest thrived. Based on the most recent discoveries, this stunning painting was produced by the multitalented Ms Kristen Wycoff, who runs herd over this operation.

Ms Wycoff, it turns out, is as much a local treasure as the fossils themselves. If you visit, you will probably run into her. She is a most genial and well informed ambassador for all the good folks of Gilboa.

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

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