0808: As Summer Races Along

IMG_2128_01_LR_10Corn every night from Story’s and an occasional ice cream from Circle W are two of the many things that make this time of year so special around here.

IMG_1257_01_LR_10It has been a very busy time for me in the studio lately. And I am happy to say that it’s getting even busier. So I’ll keep this pretty brief.

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IMG_1372_01_LR_10Last chance to see the Small Town Parade Show at the Saugerties Performing Arts Factory  (SPAF). The show has been extended through this weekend, August 10-11. All of us involved are most grateful for the response we received from the community at large. It was a great project for the eleven of us. Drop by if you can. Several of us should be around. including Rivka Katvan, seen below at the opening with her work.

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My main focus at the moment is my (rapidly approaching) show in Vermont. We hang the show next Thursday on Isle La Motte, as lovely a site for a show as any I have ever found. On this island sits the Chazy Fossil Reef, formed 480 million years ago. It’s a fascinating place, much of which has been saved thanks to the hard work of Linda Fitch and her associates. Their efforts led to the establishment of the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust, the organization that looks after things up there.

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The show is a collection of images I made from our visit over a year ago. The gastropod above is one of twenty five pieces that will be exhibited. I’ll try to have more on the show before we leave on Wednesday. In the meantime, I have a stack of prints and frames to attend to!

The opening will be held on Sunday afternoon, August 18 from 1-5 PM at Fisk Farm.

Fisk Farm is located directly north of the Fisk Quarry Preserve

3849 West Shore Road
Isle La Motte, VT 05463

I’ve been working on a number of gastropod images, so wouldn’t I start seeing them wherever I go – the other day in Woodstock, the wet sidewalk seemed to be weighing in!

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On another note, a stroll in Hudson the other day yielded this pair of color pieces.

IMG_2162_01_LR_10I moved to the left for this next one.

IMG_2161_01_LR_12It was the “ow” that caught my attention. It was speaking to me. The stroll was catching up with me – a herniated disc introduced itself while on my recent artists’ residency at Platte Clove – and it seems to want to hang around for a while. Despite it, that time spent up there was magical. And two of the images from that stay will be part of a show at the end of the month at the Catskill Center in Arkville. I’ll have more on that upon my return from Vermont. Here are the two that were chosen:

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IMG_1796a_01_LR_10Back to the framing for me. Thanks for your time today.

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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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0502 – Old Business and New

IMG_9756_01_LR_12 I was finally able to gather together links to two recent events I have referenced recently. The first is a link to the terrific profile that Mik Horowitz did for the Hudson Valley Almanac. Peering into Deep Time is the title of the article. The full version (PDF with original layout) can be found by clicking on Deep Time in the Nav Bar above. The web version can be found here.

Also, the recent radio interview I did with Ann Cooper is currently archived at WGXC Radio. The full 45 minute interview can be found HERE.

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More good news arrived late yesterday. I was informed that I was chosen for the Platte Clove Artists in Residency Program. This is a program sponsored by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. Since 1969, The Catskill Center  has worked to protect the natural resources of the Catskills and promote the economy for communities throughout the Catskill Park, Catskill Mountains and the entire Catskill Region.

Regarding the program, their website states:

The Catskill Center also offers the Platte Clove Artists-in-Residence program – the only one in the country situated in the historic area where the first American school of landscape was initiated in 1825 (The Hudson River School of Painting) by Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, Thomas Doughty, Frederic Edwin Church and others who searched the Frederic Church,Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain Region for untainted wilderness.The Platte Clove cabin sits where mountain and valley meet, providing a tranquil and rustic workplace and retreat for artists working in a variety of disciplines in the living landscape where American art began.

With this in mind, I’ve decided to post some images from a project I did a couple of years ago tying the artists of the Hudson River School to the early geologists who together hiked Platte Clove.

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The above images are from the Thomas Cole House and are part of a collection that belonged to Cole himself. While Platte Clove, as far as I know, has no fossils it does have rock formations and landscape that those early explorers captured in their drawings and paintings. More from my project (with respect to those painters):

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IMG_3802_01b Seven days in the cabin atop the Clove. I can’t wait. My great thanks to the Conservancy.

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One last note – The Hungry for Music silent auction is scheduled for 4 PM – 7PM on Saturday at Opus 40 in Saugerties. Come out to bid on this print of mine and work by 30 artists – all for a great cause.

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

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