060718: Remembering Italy


My son called a few days ago, telling me about the wonderful first visit he and his family are currently experiencing in Italy. And I couldn’t be happier to hear all about their adventure. So, with all that going through my mind, and with a serious desire to be there myself, I have opted for the next best thing – my photo libraries! Today’s post scratched that itch (for the time being!).

I started off with some trees – the opener is from an olive grove near Assisi. The image immediately above is a very old tree in the garden surrounding Leonardo‘s home and birthplace in Vinci.

Doorway, Florence

Spello, Umbria

Street Shrine, Florence

St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice

Entryway, Trastevere

Vegetable Stand/Barge, Venice

Flowerpots, Trastevere

Private Driveway, Tuscany

Gondolas, Venice


Souveniers, Assisi

Dress Shop, Venice

Santa Croce Basilica, Florence

Thanks for visiting Italy with me today!

0528: The Joys of Technology


This morning I got up and drove a few miles down a peaceful country road to my studio as I do every day. But somewhere between I seemed to have taken a wrong turn and landed in Technology Hell! Don’t know how it happened. Maybe some retrograde planets. Maybe some form of karmic retribution. Or just maybe it simply happened to be my turn.


We all have those days, hopefully not too often. But between the phone company, power company and other assorted interests, my “quiet country road” turned into a parking lot for loud, oversized heavy equipment. And all I wanted was to be somewhere else.


Fortunately, my photo library was there for me and I was able to calm down by revisiting wonderful places I have seen. So here today is my calmative. From the top are three images from the Adirondacks, Umbria, and Spoleto. The result of my “deep exhale” follows.






Fisk Quarry, Isle La Motte, Vermont






Chaco Canyon. New Mexico



Eastern Montana









Notre Dame, Paris



Eiffel Tower, Paris






Ithaca, New York



It worked. I am quiet and content now!

Hopefully, you enjoyed it as well.

Thanks for the visit.


0129: Winter Work


I know, I know – it’s winter and it’s supposed to be cold! I know too that every moment of one’s life is to be cherished. Make the most of every day, etc., etc. But 20 degrees warmer certainly would help!! Thankfully, the studio is warm and there is plenty to keep me comfortably busy.



Two groups of images today, all from browsing my libraries this past week. The first  is a selection of various fossils I dug up within a mile or two of my studio. It’s a bit more diverse than usual. I hope I have identified them properly. Please let me know if I am in error.






Brachiopod and Trilobite Eye






Shard from Rugose Coral



Brachiopod and Gastropod



Rostroconch (?)


Next, an odd mix of images from Rome – not your typical vacation pics – a handful of faces, (an erotic Madonna followed by three dead guys), and a couple of puzzlers that seem to hold my attention. (The first is a store window and the other a fountain in the Trastavere section of the city.)













One last one from Rome – I can’t believe I’m actually posting a “cat” picture. What the hell – if he can ride that moped he’s ok with me!


Thanks for the visit.

1218: Year End 2014


With Christmas and New Years Day falling on Thursdays this year ( I usually post on Thursdays) this will be my last blog of the year. And, as it has become custom for me, I’d like to use this opportunity to post images that proved to be personal favorites of mine over the past year.


Some of these images will be appearing in upcoming shows next year – the abstract/concrete above and my geological “thunderbolt” below.




Seems that a series of circles and arcs caught my attention, thanks in part to some well-positioned gastropods.






Last in this series of arcs is this image entitled “The Navigator” – a multiple exposure image of an astrolabe at the Vatican Museum in Rome.




There is a pattern developing here – a pattern of patterns – from the Abstract/Concrete series…


…to my Swarm series…


… to the patterns in Nature – in this case rocks in the middle of Kaaterskill Creek.



Local brachiopods




A wonderful saxophone-shaped cephalopod


Last, a quiet setting atop Platte Clove.

Best Wishes to all of you this Holiday Season.

And, as always, thank you for the visit.

0220: Acceptance

_MG_4696_01_LR_10My thanks to a few of my friends (you know who you are) who have, at various times over the past month, suggested that I may be a tad too cranky (downright surly, even) in my reactions to the winter we are currently experiencing! The fact that I hear the same crankiness in choruses at large is no excuse. Complaining about the weather may just be the silliest and most futile of efforts, unless, of course, one is referring to the climate changes that are affecting the entire globe. For today, though, it’s more about the mundane realities like shoveling, drying wet socks, etc.

_MG_4709_01_LR_10So, instead of complaining, I decided to “live in the moment” a bit more (never a bad tack) and appreciate the surroundings – just a minor shift in perspective. And that brought the camera out and that led to a walk down to Kaaterskill Creek. And that led to these two different views of the creek and the traces of a passing animal.

IMG_6064_01_LR_12And a drive to get my morning coffee led to this hill of moguls? erratic golf ball dimples? Rather, it’s a pile of tires covered in snow.

IMG_6146_01_LR_12Last, but not least, a stop down the road for these two views of a neighbor’s shed.



Late in the afternoon a few days ago, on one of those “too cold to be outside” days, hard sunlight raked across part of the studio. It gave me a wonderful opportunity for some creative play – simple fun with shadows.

IMG_6085_01_LR_12The first two – plastic water bottles against a bowed background. And the third – parts from an old film projector.

IMG_6071_01_LR_12  _______________

Hopefully, if the snow melts this week, I’ll be back with some fossil images. I have bags full of crinoid pieces begging for their moment in the spotlight! Until then, I’ll leave you with some snowless images from Rome.

IMG_4899_01_LR_12Borghese Gardens


IMG_4811_01_LR_10Gardener’s Shed


IMG_4782_01_LR_10Roman Bath House Ruins


IMG_4779_01_LR_10Courtyard with Early Artifacts


IMG_4761_01_LR_10Ancient Roman Wall


IMG_4758_01_LR_12Street Shrine


IMG_4771_01_LR_10Flower Vendor


Thank you for the visit.

0123: Plodding Along


Winter sunrise through my bedroom window this morning. It’s during those early morning hours, with temperatures as low as they have been, that I find it particularly challenging to break free from my warm and cozy bed to face the day! That’s more a simple observation than it is a complaint (or even an irritant, for that matter). During the worst that Winter offers, I live in a warm home. Unfortunately, that is not the case for far too many.


I’ve been busy lately with applications and proposals for the upcoming year – a task that has me sitting at the computer (right next to my indispensable portable heater) – trolling through my photo libraries and previous posts, looking at fresh combinations of images to piece together.


Early results are promising. These two images sprung from a series of scientific devices I photographed at the Vatican Museum.




This trolling managed to also take me through my recent Italian images, giving a second look at some of the more offbeat images I had already passed on. Here are a couple that require a closer look:


In keeping with my Street Shrine series I couldn’t pass up this version of the Madonna – a childlike pencil scribble – the simplified version, if you will.


And then there was this street sign – I’m not exactly sure what it represents. But I’m sure it means something to someone.


This next group of four images are the result of nervous energy, I am sure. While waiting to give a talk at the Natural History Museum, my back-and-forth pacing in the back rooms led to these:









I’ll finish off today’s post with a few more images from my sessions at the Museum of the Earth and PRI‘s immense collection:







Thanks as always for the visit.

A New Year Begins


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.


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.



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.



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



Florence graffiti.



Two back alley outdoor workplaces in Rome.




Close up of Rome basilica.



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.


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.







IMG_4966_01 _LR_10





Thanks for visiting.

More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage artandfossils.wordpress.com