0905: A Flurry of Activity

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I’m happy to say that the above piece, entitled “Buy Now, Pray Later,” just won the Juror’s Choice Award at the Woodstock Artists’ Association and Museum (WAAM) show opening this Saturday afternoon. You’re right – it doesn’t remotely look like fossils. The theme of the show is “In the News” (Art expressing a point of view about current or past events). I thought this image combined the nutty taste of run-amok evangelism with the ominous clouds of imperiled consumerism. I shot it a few years ago in the parking lot of the Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston. 4 – 6 PM Saturday in Woodstock.

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That Renaissance Guy up the road, my good friend Harry Matthews, has work currently up at the Mountaintop Arboretum in Tannersville. His balanced stone sculptures are delightful and mystifying. And set in such a beautiful location, with the Catskill peaks filling out the view, it’s a great reason to take a drive up Kaaterskill Clove and enjoy the last days of Summer or even early Autumn colors (it’s up until October 14).

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You might remember this one. It’s a favorite of mine that’s making the rounds lately. This double crinoid image, taken at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History made it into the PHOTOcentric 2013 show at the Garrison Art Center in Garrison, NY. I’m happy to say that this is the third year in a row my work has been accepted into this national juried show. The opening is Sunday, September 15 and it will run through October 6. Unfortunately, I will miss the opening. I will be in Italy, preparing for my September 20 opening at the Florence Natural History Museum.

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One last show to report on – this piece “Window” – was selected for the 2013 Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region exhibition, being held this year at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY. It will run from October 15 through December 29.

I bring this up now because we had to run the print up there today (85 miles away) and used the trip to view a terrific show at the Hyde that only has ten days left. The show is entitled “Modern Nature. Georgia O’Keefe and Lake George”. It’s a small but very thoughtful exploration of O’Keefe’s days on Lake George and how it shaped much of her future (and more famous) work. And there are more than enough gems to make the trip worthwhile.

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For the first time (thanks to the curator’s choices) I was able to see her influences – from Arthur Dove, to Kandinsky, and even Braque. What a wonderful exercise! And what did I get hooked on? Her trees, of course! A subject that has certainly captured my attention these past few months. I never knew (or remembered) that she specifically painted them. It made for a great day.

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O’Keefe was quoted in 1927 as saying “If only people were trees…I might like them better.” Spending most of my days in my little studio in the woods I must say I’m beginning to understand.

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It’s only fitting that I give you a couple more tree images from our recent trip to Isle La Motte, including these two trees fighting over a rock.

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I’ll end with one last picture from Isle La Motte – our last night there.

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Thanks for visiting.

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0516 – Spring Has Arrived

_MG_2181_01_LR_10Strawberries are on the way. This strawberry field at Story Farms, here in Catskill, will soon be the site of an annual Spring ritual – little kids out with Mom and Dad picking their own – childhood memories that run through generations. Jim and Irene and their operation are local treasures.

Cindy and I took advantage of a beautiful Sunday afternoon and drove up the mountain, with a couple of destinations in mind. First was the Platte Clove cabin I will be spending time in this July, courtesy of the Platte Clove Artists in Residency Program. After a brief tour of the cabin we hiked down to the base of Plattekill Falls, one of twenty or so falls that run the length of the Clove.

_MG_2176_01_LR_12The cabin is situated just above to the right of the top of the falls. Six days and nights – yes, I am excited!

From there a short ride over to the Mountaintop Arboretum, with its sculpted gardens and a grand view of the Catskill peaks. But it was the small pond that caught our attention.

IMG_9733_01_LR_10Floating just under the surface, seemingly everywhere, looking like pearls suspended in diaphanous  sacs, were clusters of salamander eggs. And it continues to amaze me to watch nature do what it does. I marvel at it.

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IMG_0785_01_LR_10More images here from a sandstone I picked up recently, mostly brachiopods. As ordinary as they seem to be, it should be noted that brachiopods first appeared on the scene during the Cambrian Period (540 to 485 million years ago). Even more amazing is that a small number of brachiopod descendants still exist today.

IMG_0729_01_LR_12Various extinctions have occurred throughout time. I read recently that, “…for complex organisms, the average lifespan of a species is only about four million years – roughly about where we are now.” (that from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson)

IMG_0761_01_LR_12I also read the other day in the New York Times a story that got way too little attention given its import. Entitled Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears, it states:

The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years…

…The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.

IMG_0744_01_LR_10I always thought that collective self-awareness was a logical step forward in evolution. Now I sometimes find myself wondering if we aren’t just one of the many species this planet has seen many times before with a limited lifespan.

CONTACT CONGRESS

Global climate change is real. Let your representatives in D.C. know that effective measures can still have a positive effect.Click on the link below for phone numbers:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

_MG_2222_01_LR_12Thank you as always for visiting this site. More images at www.artmurphy.com

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