0313: Those Creative Juices


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.


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!



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.







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:









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.



Screen Shot

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


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.


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.



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


Thanks for the visit.

0912: Off to Florence

8968After more that two years of conversation and planning, Cindy and I leave tomorrow for my opening at the Florence Museum of Natural History (Friday, Sept. 20). There’s really little I can say about it right now. I’m deeply honored that they would display my work and allow me to speak while there about Art & Science. I also look forward to seeing once again my good friends, Dr. Elisabetta Cioppi and Dr. Stefano Dominici.




I have just about enough time to pack. We will be away for a month and it is doubtful that I’ll be able to post while gone. I am sure I’ll have much to share upon my return. So I would like to devote this post to the show coming up. The images shown today partially comprise the Florence show. And the accompanying text was written for the show by Drs. Cioppi and Dominici.




by Art Murphy

 21 September – 13 October 2013

 To the eyes of a paleontologist a fossil may suggest many things: from an ancient environment, the evolution of living forms, deep time and so forth, right up to the research associated with the most advanced scientific technology. But for the non-expert, the same amazement and desire for information can come from photographs of fossils taken by an artist. The exhibition “Inspired Fossils”, in this manner, achieves the union of art and science. If we add that the images exhibited are related to invertebrate fossils – much less well known than the famous dinosaurs – we have all the best ingredients for an unusual and fascinating exhibition.




Art Murphy is not a scientist, but an artist, a pioneer in a new type of photography. He knows how to capture the aesthetic quality of fossils, and we, with our eyes free from preconceptions, willingly allow ourselves to be enraptured in a kind of rebirth of fossils. Unusual forms and colours, shadows and textures come alive in his shots. From a meeting of the fantastic fossils of our collections are born the images exhibited, together with others which Art has selected from his evocative American series of New York’s Hudson Valley, where his passion for fossils was born.




On this occasion, the Museum is pleased to open specially collections normally closed to the public. Apart from the Sala Strozzi on the ground floor, where the historic collection of the Marquis Carlo Strozzi is housed, on certain days it will also be possible to visit the rich holdings on the second floor of the building, those which Art has called the “Sistine Chapel of Paleontology”. These rooms, full of treasures “never seen”, will become the ideal receptacle for the exhibition, one where the history of science and art are mixed together in an unusual journey.




Through art we have rediscovered how the mind travels new paths, allowing us to be fascinated by the miracle of nature and of life on our planet.

The show is organized with the support of the Italian Society of Paleontology (SPI) and of the National Association of Scientific Museums (ANMS).

       Elisabetta Cioppi and Stefano Dominici, exhibition curators




Thanks for visiting.

More images at www.artmurphy.com

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