011818: From the Museums

Snow and cold outside. Another opportunity to dig back into the archives. The last two posts contained images from museums and they obviously contained fossils that were finished to the finest standards – very different from my usual finds. I like the aesthetics of each for different reasons.

So this week I decided to continue an exploration of my museum shoots and see what I might have missed the first time around. Most of today’s images are newly worked and there is much more there to be mined!

Here are five sets of images – three in each – from five different museum collections. The first three images (above) are from the collection of the Paleontological Research Institution in Trumansburg NY.

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The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven CT

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The New York State Museum, Albany NY

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The Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy, Paris, France

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The Natural History Museum of Florence, Florence, Italy

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Thanks for the visit.

063016: Summer Begins

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I needed to get the blood circulating the other day so I walked down to the nearby creek. It was one of those Summer days when life seemed to slow down to a crawl – temperature and humidity pressing down like a vise – leaving me somewhat listless, hoping for a breeze of any sort to bring respite.

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I’ve come to learn that, on days like that, Kaaterskill Creek, even as it runs low this time of year, can always provide that needed respite. Always a breeze creekside.  Always eight to ten degrees cooler. And this day possessing one of the only patches of day lilies around (the rest all eaten down by the large deer population).

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I also managed to find this nice large (5-6′) slab of ripple rock. The breeze and cooler air served its purpose and so, feeling refreshed, I returned to the studio where I continued to sort through the thousands of fossil rocks piled outside. By now there are so many that I have forgotten about that it was either like seeing old friends again or discovering something anew. Either way. it’s a win – win situation!

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What you see above is a grouping of trilobite parts, all of which are parts of head sections (cephalon). While there are many areas where trilobites are plentiful, this is not one of them. So this is somewhat uncommon for me. The bulging piece in the lower left is that head section. The dotted parts on each side are the eyes. Those other dotted fragments  are eyes also (from other trilobites).

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The tail section, or pygidium, appears a bit more frequently in this area. These are three that I have recently found locally.

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The more commonly found fossil around here is the brachiopod. I have read that there are well over 10,000 different types, thus the variety of looks.

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I’ll close for today with these two images. My recent forays into the woods continue to result in finding beautiful sculptural pieces of wood. This one struck me as some kind of headless recumbent figure. And below, once again, another visitor to my shooting table – ancient looking creatures coming together over millennia!

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Thanks for the visit. Please have a safe and happy 4th!

0305: Ice

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Ice, not snow, has been the bane of my existence this Winter. The thick ice that blanketed my driveway at the beginning of the season will finally leave when Spring gets here. So, like most all of my neighbors, the thought of 40 degree weather gives us hope.

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It was ironic, then, that another encounter with ice should leave me positively elated. Last weekend, friends of ours (Pat and John), who live right on the Hudson River, invited a small group over to experience the ice on the river and share the strange magic of a walk out onto the Hudson. The day was beautiful. No wind. The sun was bright. And two feet thick ice was the “ground.”

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Most of the ice was covered by 4-6 inches of snow. There were areas, though, where the wind cleared off the snow and other areas where irregularities created uneven surfaces that allowed the ice to bubble up, thus providing me with the best surprise of the day.

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Looking into these clear spots was like viewing a cats eye marble – fascinating patterns under the surface. Like the old adage about how every cloud has a silver lining, the thick ice of the Hudson held much beauty and surprise as well as some quiet, solemn moments in nature.

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Last week, I chose to explore outtakes from my visit to the Yale Peabody Museum. And I was surprised that so many fine images went unnoticed through the first round of selections. Since the snow has prevented me from producing fresh, new fossil images I decided to look through the library for other museum experiences. I’m happy to have rediscovered the work I did at the Museum of the Earth (the Paleontological Research Institution). So today I have some fresh outtakes from that experience.

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One last note about the Hudson River experience. I was so excited by my discoveries that I went back out there the following day. Gone was the tranquil warmth and quiet solitude – replaced by winds that blew so hard I could barely stand in place. Sometimes all of life is in the timing!

Thanks for the visit.

A New Year Begins

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I don’t know about you, but I must admit to having a rather sluggish start to the new year. Much to look forward to and be excited about yet the winter “blahs” seem to have settled in. Perhaps it is the result of the polar vortex and all the misery that accompanied it. Or perhaps it’s just that seasonal cabin fever thing that can be remedied with a few warm sunny days.

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Some artist friends of mine had a back-and-forth on Facebook the other day all about that seasonal lack of energy and creativity. So apparently I’m not the only one. But I do always have this blog to post – and that keeps my hand in the process, whether I’m bursting with creativity or wondering if the creativity had permanently departed! And thanks to the wealth of images in my library that I never had time to explore I always have fresh images or, in the example above, fresh new doors to open and work to explore.

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So I present an odd mix – images that may or may not work well but certainly worthy of exploration. Here is a strange, hidden landscape – a heavy fog hides the Umbrian town of Spoleto from an aerie high in the hills to the north.

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In case of emergency Break Glass! This from a private park in Florence.

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Florence graffiti.

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Two back alley outdoor workplaces in Rome.

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Close up of Rome basilica.

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A new entry to my Street Shrine series. In this case graffiti that has the same effect as the larger, more lavish shrines found on many street corners.

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And now something I have wanted to revisit. This fossil series was made on my last visit to the Museum of the Earth and PRI, located in Trumansburg, New York.

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Thanks for visiting.

More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage artandfossils.wordpress.com

Winter’s Bounty

_MG_1923_01_LR_15For me, “Winter’s bounty” translates into a rich backlog of unprocessed images left over from a very busy Summer. And now, finally, with snow on the ground and outdoor temperatures uncomfortable, I can revisit images that I simply didn’t have the opportunity or time to process.

IMG_4828_01_LR_12One fine example is my last visit (back in August) to the Museum of the Earth and the collection of the Paleontological Research Institution. At the time I had managed to post nine or ten images from that trip – just the ones that jumped out at me. But, as you can see from today’s selection of images, there was so much more – and there are more still to come in future posts.

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IMG_5307_01_LR_12Should you ever find yourself in the Ithaca area drop by the Museum of the Earth. There is much to see – fine fossils, great exhibits, and events for the entire family.

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

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

Final Thoughts – 2012

IMG_8154_02_LR_10Back in time from holiday travels to wrap up this blog for 2012. Two recent snowfalls have covered much of the Northeast with a blanket of snow (a return to a more normal winter perhaps?). It is a reminder that indoor projects will be more likely for me into the near future – there’s no upside that I can imagine to hike for fossils in snow!

img_2938_01_lr_12Fourth of July Parade, Saugerties, NY

But, before I get to them, on this last day of the year I would like to offer you my very best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year! According to my WordPress “annual report” (a great little statistics feature), this past year viewers came from seventy one countries around the world. So, whatever the time zone, have a safe and happy holiday.

img_8107_01_lr_wpDevonian Drawer: The Fool

I took some time earlier to scroll through this past year’s postings. There were 46 in all with a total number of images approaching 600! For me, so many of them fall down the “memory hole” once I’m on to the next week’s subject that it’s important to step back and review. You know – see where you’ve been – see where you’re heading. A nod to yesterday and an embrace of tomorrow.

So, here are some images from the past year that jumped out at me for a second view – not the best, not the worst, just some that hit a personal chord that I’d like to share one more time.

img_8015_02_lr_wpDevonian Drawer: Buddha with Crinoids

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img_1064_01e_lr_12Gilboa Tree: Espermatopteris

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img_5543_01_lr_10Trilobite Pygidium, Ithaca, NY

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img_8967_01a_lr_10Brachiopod, Florence Museum of Natural History

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img_9439_01a_lr_wpDevonian Drawer: Brachiopod

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img_5250_01_lr_12Crinoid, Paleontological Research Institution

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img_0097_01_lr_wpRock, Kaaterskill Creek

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img_6372dark_01_lr_10Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, NY

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mg_0969_01_lr_12Eiffel Tower, Paris

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

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

October Surprise

Good news to report on a rainy Autumn day here in Catskill. I received notification the other day (my Facebook friends have already heard) that my image entitled “Devonian Drawer: Gastropod” was accepted as a finalist in an international competition, the Grand Prix de Découverte: International Fine-Art Photography Award, to be exhibited in Paris on November 16.

Seems like a real good reason to see Paris. So we are making plans to attend the event and spend ten days in a place I’ve never visited. And not just any place! I am excited at the possibilities. If any of you have or know of favorite views or interesting places (on or off the beaten path) that we should check out please let me know. My camera will be put to use!

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Closer to home, I have a suite of four drawings in a group show opening on Saturday (Oct. 6, 5-7 PM) at the GCCA Gallery in Catskill, NY. Entitled TYPO, this show has allowed me to break out an earlier series that emanated from my interest in early astronomy and the diagrammatic interpretations of the universe at that time. Please drop by if you are in the area.

Ptolemaic Variations

This series was inspired by the Almagest, a Second Century mathematical and astronomical treatise on the motion of the stars and planets written by Claudius Ptolemy, a Roman era scholar of Egypt. Its models were accepted for more than twelve hundred years as the definitive representation of the universe. His diagrams of planetary motion led me to create these variations drawn on turn of the century science catalog pages.

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Last weekend I found myself at an outdoor concert at the Altamont Fairgrounds, just outside Albany. My son was performing and it was the closest tour date he’s had to this area in a long time. So heavy outbreaks of rain and mud everywhere couldn’t dampen my spirits!

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With serious storm clouds moving in I noticed this wonderful building (garage, storage, ??) on the far side of the fairgrounds and saw a fine shooting opportunity. The geometry set against a forbidding sky did all the work for me. I just recorded it!

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I’ll end this week’s post with a few more images from the collection of the Paleontological Research Institution and the Museum of the Earth.

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

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