092718: Paris Revisited

I recently donated a print of the above image to a charity auction to raise money for the Southern Poverty Law Center (a most worthy cause, to my mind). The image, a favorite of mine, was taken on an upper floor of the d’Orsay Museum in Paris.

Digging up that print got me thinking about my other Paris images and that led to a pleasant afternoon rediscovering that photo library. Here is some of what particularly caught my eye. Above is another from the d’Orsay.

Louvre Window Study

Sortie (Exit)

Windows, Gare d’Austerlitz

Grand Palais

Sainte-Eustache

Pantheon

Staircase, Museum of Comparative Anatomy

Sainte-Chapelle

Graffiti

Louvre Entrance

Montmartre

Book Stalls on the Seine

I’ll finish today with this picture postcard image of the Seine as it passes through the heart of the city.

I hope you enjoyed the visit.

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0317: Walking around Florence

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The visual delights of Florence are legendary – the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, etc. The artwork, both inside the many museums and outside in the many piazzas, are certainly an eyeful. But so too is almost every small side street. Graffiti and street art is often clever and thoughtful (There is also, unfortunately, plenty of awful spray paint graffiti).IMG_9372_01_LR_12

Turning a corner might yield the sight of a Renaissance mural juxtaposed against modern life. Peeking in a window near the Duomo shows a workshop where artisans keep up centuries old traditions.

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A stroll through a graveyard (San Miniato al Monte) showed unique headstones…

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…and a most interesting crypt.

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And then there is a very clever artist (or artists) at work who turns simple traffic signs into amusing and sometimes provocative statements…

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…little visual asides that you catch out of the corner of your eye…

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…but linger in your head…

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…along with a smile lingering on your face!

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I had to include some fossils today, so I thought this little selection would work nicely.

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These are gastropods from the fossil collection of the Paleontology section of the Florence Museum of Natural History.

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They relate to an upcoming exhibition that will open at the museum in May. More on that as the date approaches.

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I did manage to take a break from working all of my Florence files to come up with something new at the studio. Ironically, new shooting began with my Moroccan trilobite (above) which I found in a Florence flea market! And, below, something I brought back from a walk in the woods yesterday.

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Thanks for the visit.

0904: Back to the Creek

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A mid-afternoon spike in the temperature got me out of the studio and down to the creek where a cool breeze relaxed and revived me. As I sat there, luxuriating in Mother Nature’s nearest cooling station, I stared upstream, remembering what it looked like when I first moved here.

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The steps of rock that were (and are) streambed were visually unblemished. This picture was taken during Spring of 2011, months before Hurricane Irene.

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This is what followed (and remains today). Not better or worse, to my way of thinking, just the reality of ever changing landscape. In this case, loose rock was transported from upstream by the force of the water. And now, with the water level low, I could step across the loose rock and get a close look at what had been deposited. Surely I could find a fossil or two, I thought.

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Actually, many more than two…

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These come from rocks I found during the first few minutes of looking.

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And so I have more reason now to hang out at the creek. This is going to the office for me!

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I have a new series I’d like to share with you. Now that my “Abstract/Concrete” show is about to come down (this is its last weekend) it’s time to further explore this world of color and design.

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I’m calling this series The Swarm. It’s at a very early stage right now. Some images may seem redundant or duplicative. But for now I’m exploring the many different ways these subjects can frame.

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So, with that in mind, I hope you enjoy them.IMG_4432_01_LR_10

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I can’t resist good graffiti. Something to ponder until next week. Thanks for the visit.

0508: Choices

IMG_1372_01_LR_12Another trip to the quarry produced some interesting results. These first two images are typical of the choices to make – take some or all of the color away, as in the image above with its simplicity and its focus on form and shape, or strengthen the existing color with boldness, as in the image below. Two different takes on the same small brachiopod.

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This local quarry seems to have almost all fossils appearing just below the capstone creating a layer I think to be a few feet deep. Below that is stone that breaks often just from attempting to pick it up. That seems to be what is dug the most – more easily crushed for gravel.

IMG_1214_01_LR_12Thanks to an age old process of mineral rich water leeching down through the rocks, the mineral stains can be breathtaking. Almost like blowing bubbles, any attempt at handling these rocks is totally fruitless. So these rocks, now a new subject for investigation, can only really be photographed on site.

IMG_1211_01_LR_10How can you ignore or minimize colors like this. Seems they should be relished and emphasized.

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IMG_1407_01_LR_10Thirty feet above those splashes of color sits the capstone which that day provided me with this next set of images – the gastropod above followed by four individual brachiopods, easily the most abundant fossil type found there. Today they called for a completely different treatment.

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10330421_10202919648730502_5523160945801604763_nMy good friend (and brilliant artist) Allen Bryan had an opening in NYC a few days ago. Work from his Comforts of Home series is currently on display through May 31 at:

Soho Photo Gallery
15 White St.
New York, NY
(212) 226-8571
www.sohophoto.com/exhibitions/upcoming/

The work on display is really quite compelling. I would recommend to all my city friends to find the time to pay a visit to this show.

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So I began this post musing over color versus colorless. I’ll finish with city versus country. Down the street from the gallery I spotted this wonderful graffiti:

IMG_2927_01_LR_10The following morning, at an intersection down the road from my studio, this is what I found:

IMG_1311_01_LR_10It’s a different life up here!

Thanks for the visit.

 

1017: Back from Italy

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Just got home the night before last after spending four wonderful weeks in Italy. I’ll have much to show and discuss about the trip in coming weeks – especially all the events surrounding my show at the Museum of Natural History in Florence. For now, though, I chose to put together an eclectic mix from a partial first edit – ones that jumped out at me for whatever reason.

The image above was actually done here yesterday. I came back with some Pliocene fossils we found on a trip in the country with my friends Elisabetta and Stefano. Here one sits on a rusted old pot that I found in the same field.

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In no particular order, here are some images from the trip:

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Street Lamp, Florence

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IMG_4052_01_LR_12Country Church, Tuscany

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Fish, La Specola, Florence

Most people equate La Specola with their anatomical waxworks but there is so much more. These are a couple from their Fish Collection.

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Near Spoleto

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Tuscany

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Two views of the same little castle town in Umbria – one from above, the other from below.

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Empty Studio, Florence

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Public Garage, Spoleto

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Siena

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St. Sebastian, Florence

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Graffiti, Rome

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Much more to come.

Thanks for visiting.

More images at www.artmurphy.com

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