092619: Evolution

Plenty can be said about evolution while viewing these images of 387 million year old Devonian brachiopods. I’ve been digging them up and photographing them for a long time and have been fascinated by them for a variety of reasons.

They first appeared approximately 550 million years ago.

Over that long expanse of time perhaps as many as 15,000 different types have existed, thus the variety of shapes and sizes that these images suggest.

Today, believe it or not, there are some 300 to 500 species that are living descendants.

They are some of the earliest examples of multicellular organisms.

Invertebrate marine animals.

Today, the aforementioned reference to evolution, despite all these brachiopod facts, has more to do with my own personal evolution rather than that of the brachiopod.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am spending much more of my time painting – mostly large (5’x6′) canvasses – hopefully somewhat expressive endeavors. The impression of brachiopods remains so deep in my psyche these days that I keep gravitating toward them often when I pick up a brush.

A friend (yes, that’s you, Ken!) recently suggested that I share a work in progress and show some the various stages of a current piece. So here we go. The image above (a pair of brachiopods) was the start – a dark, scratch filled attempt at capturing a certain foreboding, primeval sensibility. It sat for months before I realized that it was time to make it something more.

So what you see from here are various stages displayed chronologically.

Tentative movements breaking out of that earlier monochrome feeling…

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…turning into some bold, somewhat garish color – with the intention of eventually muting those colors down…

…step by step until its current state (below). I’m not sure where this adventure will wind up. But then that’s the point for me – exploring and evolving!

Thanks for the visit. I hope you enjoyed this little peek behind the curtain!

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091919: Looking Down

Seems I’m always looking down when I’m out walking through the woods or climbing through the local quarry. Much to view down there – lichen, moss, fossils, rocks, etc. Kind of mundane sort of stuff!

But a closer look can often dispel that notion.

The images above triggered the next few – moss creeping over and around some Devonian fossils (a brachiopod followed by a couple of cephalopods).

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A visit to the quarry gave me further good reason to keep looking down.

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Along with finding all kinds of shapes and colors, I was able to find a very nice gastropod.

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I’ll end today with these recent attempts at exploring more of this whole “fossil” thing..

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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.

060117: My Antidote

The crazier current events become the more I find ways to dig further into my fossils. They don’t endanger the world order. They don’t infuriate with their madness. At the very least they do nothing more than allow for a pleasant diversion from all that “other” stuff.

More than that though, they remind me that, in the long stretch of time that they represent, our current moment of political madness will eventually pass (as all things do). The obvious follow-up question then becomes “At what cost?”

We’ll save that question for another day. In the meantime, these 387 million year old objects wish to speak! A lot of coral today with a sprinkle of brachiopods and a few trilobites for good measure!

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This strange little self-portrait of mine was accepted into the upcoming Small Works Show at the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum (WAAM). And the piece below entitled “Requiem” from my ongoing Galileo series was selected for the show in the main gallery. WAAM is in the heart of Woodstock (NY) and the opening is set for Saturday 4-6pm. If you are in the neighborhood please drop by.

I’ll close today with another orb – a recent full moon.

Thanks for the visit.

0618: Convergence

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Since I took my last show down a number of weeks ago I have been able to explore some ideas that have been sitting on the back burner, so to speak. My long dormant desire to draw has once again been reignited.

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It seems quite logical to have occurred at this point in time. My new photographic work (for the past year or two) has focused on creating lush, textural prints – often looking like the results of some non-photographic processes.

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The drawing, at this point, is quite exhilarating and I try to split my days between shooting and drawing. Needless to say, with the two efforts happening side by side, there are opportunities for  points of confluence to begin appearing.

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One such intersection point fits nicely with my recent efforts to find different backgrounds for my fossil images. Today’s images are some early results.

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Thanks for the visit.