111617: Moss

This little sprig of moss snaking its way across a fossil cephalopod gave me the idea for this week’s post. I’ve been leaf blowing lately here in the woods, hoping to keep my fossils from disappearing from view. And, in doing so, I noticed how so much moss has already covered the surfaces of many rocks. The vibrant greens draw the eye.

The more I looked the more I appreciated the juxtaposition between the moss and the fossils themselves. Exploring that became my focus this week.

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Thanks for the visit.

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101917: What’s Near at Hand

When I moved my studio months ago my biggest task was bringing my fossil rocks along. After all, I had amassed thousands over the years. At first the task seemed insurmountable. But, with much determination, I slogged on. If they were important enough to collect them in the first place, I thought, then they were important enough to bring along.

At some point in the process all I could do was drop many of them into piles all around the new studio – where they have sat ever since. Now that they are rapidly being covered by the falling leaves I decided to poke around to reacquaint myself. And in doing so I came to realize that they very naturally displayed their beauty despite their random placements.

Today’s images reflect that thought. No need for special attention or proper positioning. No need to look far and wide for new locations to explore. Everything I need seems to be right outside my door!

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Even my piles of props seemed to have some fresh appeal. Nothing earthshaking here but rather a creative exercise that made the day make sense for me!

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And when I was done I set my camera down on my desk, noticing how the late afternoon sun streamed through my window. This time the source of inspiration was my plastic water bottle. Inverting the image gave me this.

Thanks for the visit.

101217: Revisiting Trilobites

Since I began working on a series of trilobite inspired drawings I decided to revisit my photo library to put this grouping together. I don’t find them around here too often. And when I do they are seldom more that parts – sometimes the eyes, but mostly the hind end or pygidium. These first four images come from other, well established collections.

The first three are from the collection of the Paleontological Research Institute / Museum of the Earth. They are located in Trumansburg NY, just outside Ithaca.

And the fourth one (below) is from Chazy Reef on Isle La Motte in Vermont.

The remainder of images are taken from the surrounding area here in Catskill, all of which I have found while digging.

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These last two trilobite images have a slightly different story. I came across this box full of Moroccan trilobites at the wonderful outdoor market in Florence, Sant Ambrogio, a few years ago. It was the only time I ever purchased a fossil.

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I’ll leave you today with a seasonal note – Autumn is definitely upon us.

Thanks for the visit.

072017: In The Beginning

Today’s opener is one of my very first fossil images, shot way before I ever considered any possibilities of obsession! I had just finished my previous project, the black and white urban landscapes that appeared here a few weeks ago. That one was shot with a 4×5 view camera. So I thought it only made sense that the fossils would be dealt with similarly.

Was I ever wrong! It was such a painstakingly slow, deliberate, and cumbersome process. Had I continued that way, I can assure you, my fossil obsession would never had occurred.

And that would have been a shame. These fascinating, ancient objects have become vehicles for many wonderful experiences. It’s been more that ten years since I took that first picture.

During that time, the images have been shown in galleries and museums here and abroad. Cindy and I have met some of the nicest and most interesting people imaginable. And our opportunities to learn and grow have been deeply enhanced.

All thanks to these remnants of life from hundreds of millions of years ago!

The rest of today’s images are some of my earliest work, all shot digitally and reworked this past week.

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Thanks for the visit.

071317: An Unusual Time

Another day, another bombshell report. I turn on the news each day and think to myself that this political nightmare we find ourselves in will soon come to resolution. And each day I scold myself for my naivete. This is going to take a long time to get clear of.

So I immerse myself in my work, finding my photo libraries to serve as useful and important distractions from the news of the day. Today’s opening image started me off on the right path. This very lyrical (and even poetic) image of a partial gastropod, found at one of my most favorite places, Isle La Motte, Vermont, led me to piece together this somewhat disparate selection of images.

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This final image is a playful variation on the opening one. A partial mirroring seemed to provide an intriguing alternate image.

That’s it for today. Thanks for the visit. Enjoy this beautiful summer (it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye!).

062917: Back to Fossils

A surprise, last minute trip to Cape Cod pulled me away from the blog last week. Between that and my last two bw posts of NYC I found myself missing my fossils! So I decided to return today with a full body of fossil images. They seem to be gaining more drama lately.

For those of you unfamiliar with these 387 million year old former denizens of my neighborhood I’ll attempt to provide identification (as best I can). Above are several types of coral accompanied by an impression of a trilobite pygidium (center left).

Not exactly sure what this is. The pattern suggests to me some form of coral.

Coral.

Cephalopods. I count at least four in this cluster.

One lone cephalopod.

An interesting mix – resting atop a brachiopod is part of the head (cephalon) and eye of a trilobite. That long dark cylinder I believe might be a small crinoid stem.

I can only think this is a slice of a brachiopod.

Sitting atop a bed of coral is a small rock loaded with crinoid ossicles (the round things). They essentially stacked to form the stem of the crinoid.

Brachiopods

Another brachiopod with some coral in the upper left.

Yet another brachiopod! Actually, there were some 12,000 or more various types.

And these (yes, brachiopods also) are different – they are the only fossils in this post not from the Catskill area. I dug them up several years ago while on a trip to Nashville.

A mess of fossils sitting out on an old table.

And, last but certainly not least, are a group of tentaculites, something I seldom find around here. I came across these along Kaaterskill Creek. I particularly love this one as it reminds me of an old retro sci-fi rocket ship! Fossils and rocket ships put a smile on my face!!

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.