IMG_1183_01_LR_10Before I get started on the latest fossil images (including the one above), a couple of quick notes:

1. A great weekend of art and natural beauty awaits this Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23 (12 to 6 PM) in the nearby hamlet of Palenville, NY., historically considered the “First Art Colony in America.” Following in that tradition are a fine group of artists who have come together to produce The Hidden Gallery Walk, two afternoons of great art in many locations, music, fine food and events too numerous to list here. Click on the poster below. It will lead you to lists of artists, events, etc.

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2. Cicada madness throughout this wide area. I couldn’t ignore this one as it crawled across this Devonian landscape.


I’ve been trying to find room in my little cabin studio to accommodate a new floor standing printer. Truth is there is no room. But this printer is no ordinary printer. I’ve seen it produce prints of transcendent magic! The current owner, a good friend and brilliant photographer, is packing to move and is divesting. She was careful in choosing the next owner.

Now I know that it’s a fine printer and all that. But I also know that the magic springs from the mind and eyes of the one controlling the machine. That remains with Sue.


So, as I was in triage mode, hoping to clear out enough to make room, I came across a couple of boxes of smaller fossils that I hadn’t seen in a few years.

IMG_1226_01a_LR_12Combined with some newfound objects and backgrounds, these fossils, all local to the area, seemed to breathe in new life!

IMG_1238_01_LR_10Interesting to me to match them up with an object that seems to have such versatility visually.


Since they were small fossils I thought it appropriate to match them up with backgrounds scaled appropriately.


Crinoids, corals, and brachiopods in a conduit box salvaged from a burned down factory

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And the old Kodak film box came out again in support of a brachiopod and a couple of pieces of coral.

IMG_1220_01_LR_12 IMG_1199_01_LR_10_______________

Finally, I’d like to leave you with this image, taken while visiting a friend. Something peaceful and quiet amidst all the noise.


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

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Circle W to Crinoid Circles

My latest adventure began at the Circle W General Store up the road from me in Palenville, N.Y. It has been a wonderful addition to the area (Skiers on their way to Hunter Mountain take note – it’s a great place to stop for food, coffee, etc. along Route 23A). The other day, while paying the bill, I reached into my pocket for change. As is often the case little fossils managed to find refuge amongst the coins.

It’s fair to say that the average person might pause and wonder about people with “rocks” in their pockets. But fortunately, around here, people are a bit more accepting and understanding! I jokingly offered my fossils as payment. And to my pleasant surprise Shannon (sandwichmaker extraordinaire) happened to be well versed in fossils and earth sciences in general. Within a minute or two, like music to my ears, I hear the words, “Have you ever been to…?” followed by directions to some obscure local roadcut where I was told it rains fossils daily!

All of which led to this:

Yes, that the back of my car. Cindy and I took advantage of a beautiful autumn afternoon to explore the site. Turns out it didn’t really require much exploring. Almost every rock we stepped on seemed full of fossils. Crinoids – crinoid ossicles to be specific. Crinoids are marine animals sometimes referred to as sea lilies.

example from Wikipedia

The stems are composed of “ossicles”, round crosscuts that, fortunately for me, appear in abundance in the nearby Becraft Formation. I have seen photos of crinoid-filled rocks. And I have often run across crinoid stems before as well. But until this trip I had never found any rocks with such density. And while these rocks have little to no scientific significance whatsoever they are sights to behold!

These random fields of geometric shapes, coupled with chemically induced color shifts, remind me of the designs in art. Whether it be the lines and circles of Kandinsky or the patterns of Klimt, art and nature once again come together.

These new fossil finds also seem to fit nicely into my newest project – one that I am calling my “Devonian Drawer” series. More on this in time.

One final note on crinoids – The New York State Museum in Albany has a huge slab of fully formed crinoids on view in the lobby. It’s breathtaking!

As always, you can subscribe to this blog at my homepage  http://artandfossils.wordpress.com

Thank you for the visit. More images at www.artmurphy.com