090916: A Strange Landscape

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I walked into a strange landscape the other day. Adjoining my local quarry is a secondary one I seldom visit, mainly because it has so few fossils. It is also a place where some of the locals go to play with their deadly toys. Shell casings of every various size litter the ground along with their obliterated targets – like the one above, the tabletop of a child’s highchair.

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How anything can grow here is a wonder to me.

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There is, though, one large rock, rapidly disintegrating thanks to the elements, that contains some surprises.

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Closeups of the rock’s surface shows the emergence of brachiopods from within.

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I brought this one to the studio where it seemed to sit comfortably on a bed of colonial coral.

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I returned from the quarry to my studio via a path through the woods. And it seems that the timing was fortuitous. Fungi popping up everywhere!

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And, on that same walk, I couldn’t resist this detail on a large tree trunk.

Thanks for the visit.

0407: An Odd Mix

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This time last week I was hurrying to get the blog posted. It was 72 degrees out with a bright sun – easily the best day of this early Spring. The rest of the day was spent at my favorite quarry where I eventually filled the trunk of my car with fossil laden rocks.

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Fresh material to explore and photograph. Material enough, I was sure, to fill several of these posts. Most particularly today’s.

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But two days later, my plans changed when a Spring surprise arrived in the form of six inches of snow. And that pile of rocks sits waiting for me.

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So, in search of a  new topic for today, I decided to browse one of my photo libraries from a few years ago. Often, I can find many images that I had originally passed over (for whatever reason). And, with fresh eyes and a different perspective, they all becomes new material to explore.

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What you see today is this rather odd mix of images that seemed to beckon to me – no criteria other than that.

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This next set of images is from the Florence Museum of Natural History – this time the subject is bones.

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And, finally, a nice piece of news – The image above, which I had shared with you a few weeks ago, has been selected for “Far & Wide”, the 8th Annual Woodstock Regional Exhibition. Entitled “Natural History – Mushrooms,” it was taken at the Botanical Division of the aforementioned museum. Opening and reception is set for May 7 from 4-6 pm.

Thanks for the visit.

January Ends

IMG_1891_Pano_01_LR_12aCrazy changes in the weather lately have given us some intense fog (along with coughs, colds, and sniffles). Forty degree temperature shifts also provide for wonderful shooting opportunities. These two, taken after snow had melted, are examples from nearby Story Farms.

_MG_1896_01_LR_10But rather than yearn for snow and cold, like this image from last winter…

IMG_6871_01_LR_10…I’d rather give thought to the eventual warmth of Spring and Summer. As the windchill plummets tonight I’ll take comfort in this image of the Vly, a flat, boggy area named by the Dutch centuries ago, and always a wonderful site for late afternoon drama in the good weather!

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The other day, while attempting to organize some of my image libraries, I came across an overlooked series from a visit to an old city building in Albany. Like so many other municipal buildings in urban settings, this one’s glory days are long past. Yet, still, there remains echoes of those days – the luncheonette counter that hasn’t served BLTs or malteds in years…

IMG_2211_01_LR_10  The snowy mural, seemingly an afterthought at the base of a stairwell…

IMG_2232_01_LR_12…and entrances that arch, more like classical alcoves than framed-out doorways.

IMG_2228_01_LR_12IMG_2227_01_LR_12…all of which reminded me of this image from Venice – Tintoretto’s neighborhood, to be precise – where these architectural features were standard.

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The trip through my libraries also led me to more images from my Devonian Drawer series and an opportunity to address that which had initially been set aside. I’ll leave you with this handful of new drawers.

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2012 Catskill Artists Tour

My humble little studio in late afternoon. It’s an old cabin that sits tucked in the woods off a quiet country road. Kaaterskill Creek, familiar to the Hudson River Painters as well as Rip Van Winkle, turns into stunning waterfalls just through the trees. I tend to refer to this area as “dying and going to heaven.”

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In one week, on September 8 and 9, I will be participating in the Fifth Annual Catskill Artist and Gallery Tour. A wonderful and diverse group of artists and galleries will be opening their studios from 11 AM until 5 PM on those two days. Any and all of you readers are most welcome to drop by, see some of my work as well as the many fossils I photograph. It’s a fine time of the year to visit, especially for all of my friends down in NYC. Take a day trip, breathe in some fresh country air and stretch out in a place adopted by artists almost two hundred years ago.

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This long tradition – this relationship between artist and the Catskill Area – continues to flower today. The list of artists participating this year is a testament to that. To many of us, the relationship with the local landscape, that experience of nature, seems to take over and direct our work. At the very least, the locale informs and affects out creative processes.

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All the images in this post, in fact, both landscape and fossil, were taken within just a few miles of my studio.

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From the tour website:

From monster teddy bears made out of barbed wire to space-age yurts with amazing views, from Hudson River villas to restored gallery buildings and renovated churches, our past tours have celebrated some of the most significant talent and amazing locations, private and public, in the region and the state.

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Visit the Tour Website for more information, including artists’ profiles and tour map. Maps will also be available at the Thomas Cole House and the GCCA Gallery, both in Catskill.

Also, visit on Facebook.

A Pre-Tour Preview Party will take place at the M Gallery, 350 Main Street in Catskill on Friday evening, Sept. 7.

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Next week I’ll be filling you in on some shows I’ll be in that same weekend. Also coming up, I’m getting busy working on fresh images from the Museum of the Earth. The good folks at PRI allowed me back to photograph from their amazing collection. Much to look forward to.

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

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