010418: Bivalves and Barnacles

Several years ago I had the opportunity to photograph parts of the fossil collection belonging to the Paleontological Research Institute in Trumansburg, NY. Among the many and varied fossils I worked with were these barnacle laden bivalves. Since I have long forgotten the technical/historical information on these marine invertebrates I cannot give you any accurate information on them – other than to say that they are uniquely beautiful and intriguing. I hope you think so as well.

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Thanks for the visit. And best wishes to all of you at the start of this new year!

STAY WARM!!!

101217: Revisiting Trilobites

Since I began working on a series of trilobite inspired drawings I decided to revisit my photo library to put this grouping together. I don’t find them around here too often. And when I do they are seldom more that parts – sometimes the eyes, but mostly the hind end or pygidium. These first four images come from other, well established collections.

The first three are from the collection of the Paleontological Research Institute / Museum of the Earth. They are located in Trumansburg NY, just outside Ithaca.

And the fourth one (below) is from Chazy Reef on Isle La Motte in Vermont.

The remainder of images are taken from the surrounding area here in Catskill, all of which I have found while digging.

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These last two trilobite images have a slightly different story. I came across this box full of Moroccan trilobites at the wonderful outdoor market in Florence, Sant Ambrogio, a few years ago. It was the only time I ever purchased a fossil.

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I’ll leave you today with a seasonal note – Autumn is definitely upon us.

Thanks for the visit.

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.

0130: More Design

IMG_7549_01a_LR_10Museum of Comparative Anatomy, Paris

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I continue to pour through my libraries, finding new and interesting ways to group various images. One topic that I simply cannot ignore is the amazing opportunity provided by fossils and rocks – capturing the designs in Nature never cease to amaze me. I have put together this selection of images that, I think, is a good example of this thought.

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IMG_0303_01a_LR_10Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven

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IMG_2306_01c_LR_10Crinoid Ossicles, Chazy Reef, Vermont

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This next group of five images are plant fossils from Schoharie Creek, ranging from one to three feet across.

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These last four are representative of the places I find myself in – fossils or not, these are the wonders I often find myself amongst.

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Schoharie Creek, Gilboa, NY

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Kaaterskill Creek, Catskill, NY

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Trace Fossils, Catskill, NY

IMG_2772_01a_LR_10Ausable Chasm, NY

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Two personal comments on the way out.

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It was exactly fours years ago when I first exhibited my fossil images at the GCCA Gallery in Catskill. Unsure how the work would be regarded, I was ultimately gratified by the response. And I remain especially thankful to my good friend, Fawn Potash, for having faith and giving me that opportunity. Much has happened since that show!

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Much of the upside of being a working photographer, to me, was always the notion that the camera was a ticket (or a pass) that allowed one into a world of experiences that few other occupations could ever match. I have many fine memories of unique and special encounters.

seegerv3_lr_12A number of years ago I had the good fortune of spending a day photographing Pete Seeger at his hilltop home overlooking the Hudson River. I was shooting for Bill Moyers’ production company. Bill was there to conduct an extended interview. As we strolled through the neighboring woods Pete spoke about everything from the Spanish Civil War to the blacklists of the 1950s. But it was talk about the Vietnam protests and their respective individual roles that produced one of the most amazing conversations I have been privy to. While Pete was one of the major figures protesting, Mr. Moyers was President Johnson’s Press Secretary. What each side knew and did not know about the other at that time was fascinating.

Mr. Seeger was a true giant who very few could ever match. You could feel his presence. It was palpable. And it was truly special. Rest in Peace.

Thank you for visiting.

The “New” in New Year

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The start of the new year has me playing, albeit rather tentatively, with some different ideas  – the ones that winter reflection often raise. I’m not talking life-changing issues here (at least not this year). Rather, the various “course-corrections,” the creative explorations that keep one’s life and work fresh.

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A few housekeeping notes first:

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I am pleased to announce that I have accepted an invitation to become a member of the Beacon Artist Union in Beacon, New York. The art world knows about Beacon thanks to DIA:Beacon and a thriving local art scene. BAU has a great reputation, has been around for ten years, and has a roster of great artists! I look forward to this association (effective February 1).

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One feature I particularly like about WordPress is the personal “annual report” they issue at year end – a wide range of stats about one’s blog. And while I don’t work hard (or at all) to explore ways to increase viewership I am humbled and most grateful for the interest readers have shown. Most notable to me are the two following stats – In 2013 this site had a total of 8900 visitors from 83 countries! Thank you very much.

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Six months ago I had the opportunity to purchase an Epson 7900 printer from my dear friend Susan Goldson. Howard and Sue packed up for the warmer climate of Florida ( a wise move, I believe, given temperatures lately) and couldn’t take it with.

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It’s been sitting in my studio since then without any opportunity for me to make use of it (Autumn was a busy time!). It’a a new year and time to get it up and running. So, Sue, I just want you to know that “Baby” is performing as well as ever. I pulled my first serious print the other day (23×46) and it looks great! Enjoy the warm weather.

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Here’s something new I’m exploring – what I am calling a “remote portrait.” Using FaceTime, I can have the “sitter” position their mobile device to my request, strike the pose I want, and “snap” a screen grab! This first attempt (my son Shaun at the workbench – in Nashville) shows great promise, as well as the opportunity to call all my friends and bother them with requests to pose!

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What’s left for today are three small groupings of new:

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“Industrial Cathedral, Paris”

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“PRI Pair”

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New additions to my Devonian Drawer series:

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Traces of snow,pieces of fossils

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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