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.

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092817: The New Season

It’s a cool breezy day here in Catskill today. The recent heat has given way to what appears to be a perfect early Autumn day. And a brief trip to the farm stand at Story Farms confirms the seasonal changes that we are in the midst of. Gourds, pumpkins, apples and late corn fill the bins. It all seems to move quickly so enjoy this season while its here. “Tempus fugit” as my old Latin teacher would exhort!

I finally managed to get out the other day and explore a new fossil site (new to me, that is). It was a small limestone quarry just outside of town. Not much to find, it turns out, but just good to be out in the field again. These are a few of my discoveries: Above is a trilobite pygidium (always fun to find around here).

Next is a type of brachiopod named Leptaena. I generally don’t find to many of these so any time I find one I think it’s a pretty good day!

Here are a few brachiopods. Upon closer view, in the center of the image, there are small circular objects – crinoid ossicles, small segments of the stem of a crinoid.

These next three images show different views of a coral, Syringopora, that snake through the limestone. It’s pretty common around here. In this case, though, the definition and delineation is particularly noteworthy.

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And here are a few more fossils (not from that quarry trip) that caught my eye starting with this impression of another coral type in sandstone.

Two brachiopods with what I believe to be the impression of a another trilobite pygidium.

And last, a group of various brachiopods sharing a very small space together

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I’ll close out today with more Sci Fi art – covers from 1950s pulp magazines. All the recent events surrounding the Cassini Mission and its descent into the Saturn atmosphere has had me mesmerized! And seeing Saturn in the sky in the above image reminded me of it all the more. Enjoy!

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Thanks for the visit!

072017: In The Beginning

Today’s opener is one of my very first fossil images, shot way before I ever considered any possibilities of obsession! I had just finished my previous project, the black and white urban landscapes that appeared here a few weeks ago. That one was shot with a 4×5 view camera. So I thought it only made sense that the fossils would be dealt with similarly.

Was I ever wrong! It was such a painstakingly slow, deliberate, and cumbersome process. Had I continued that way, I can assure you, my fossil obsession would never had occurred.

And that would have been a shame. These fascinating, ancient objects have become vehicles for many wonderful experiences. It’s been more that ten years since I took that first picture.

During that time, the images have been shown in galleries and museums here and abroad. Cindy and I have met some of the nicest and most interesting people imaginable. And our opportunities to learn and grow have been deeply enhanced.

All thanks to these remnants of life from hundreds of millions of years ago!

The rest of today’s images are some of my earliest work, all shot digitally and reworked this past week.

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Thanks for the visit.

062917: Back to Fossils

A surprise, last minute trip to Cape Cod pulled me away from the blog last week. Between that and my last two bw posts of NYC I found myself missing my fossils! So I decided to return today with a full body of fossil images. They seem to be gaining more drama lately.

For those of you unfamiliar with these 387 million year old former denizens of my neighborhood I’ll attempt to provide identification (as best I can). Above are several types of coral accompanied by an impression of a trilobite pygidium (center left).

Not exactly sure what this is. The pattern suggests to me some form of coral.

Coral.

Cephalopods. I count at least four in this cluster.

One lone cephalopod.

An interesting mix – resting atop a brachiopod is part of the head (cephalon) and eye of a trilobite. That long dark cylinder I believe might be a small crinoid stem.

I can only think this is a slice of a brachiopod.

Sitting atop a bed of coral is a small rock loaded with crinoid ossicles (the round things). They essentially stacked to form the stem of the crinoid.

Brachiopods

Another brachiopod with some coral in the upper left.

Yet another brachiopod! Actually, there were some 12,000 or more various types.

And these (yes, brachiopods also) are different – they are the only fossils in this post not from the Catskill area. I dug them up several years ago while on a trip to Nashville.

A mess of fossils sitting out on an old table.

And, last but certainly not least, are a group of tentaculites, something I seldom find around here. I came across these along Kaaterskill Creek. I particularly love this one as it reminds me of an old retro sci-fi rocket ship! Fossils and rocket ships put a smile on my face!!

Thanks for the visit.

060117: My Antidote

The crazier current events become the more I find ways to dig further into my fossils. They don’t endanger the world order. They don’t infuriate with their madness. At the very least they do nothing more than allow for a pleasant diversion from all that “other” stuff.

More than that though, they remind me that, in the long stretch of time that they represent, our current moment of political madness will eventually pass (as all things do). The obvious follow-up question then becomes “At what cost?”

We’ll save that question for another day. In the meantime, these 387 million year old objects wish to speak! A lot of coral today with a sprinkle of brachiopods and a few trilobites for good measure!

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This strange little self-portrait of mine was accepted into the upcoming Small Works Show at the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum (WAAM). And the piece below entitled “Requiem” from my ongoing Galileo series was selected for the show in the main gallery. WAAM is in the heart of Woodstock (NY) and the opening is set for Saturday 4-6pm. If you are in the neighborhood please drop by.

I’ll close today with another orb – a recent full moon.

Thanks for the visit.

052517: Details

I want to thank the many friends who came to our Studio Open House last Saturday. We had a fine time on a beautiful Spring day. It took a full year to go from first thoughts about it until completion and it was certainly worth the effort and the wait.

I kept it as clean as possible for the open house. And now that that’s done it’s already looking more like a messy workplace! I did, though, have the good sense to take some pictures for the record before paint and chalk began to fly around. A few of those pics appear at the end of this post (for those who couldn’t make it that day).

Many of the guests got to see my many fossils – something they might not have ever seen in person. And they were delighted to see the many fascinating details when given the opportunity for a close up look.

Showing them and talking about them seemed to reignite in me a desire to look a lot closer. And that became the basis for these images I am sharing today. I hope you enjoy them.

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Steve Dunn, local contractor and master craftsman, built the studio all by himself and built it so sturdy that I do believe it can withstand a nuclear blast!!

Thanks again to Steve and to all our friends who attended.

Thank you for the visit. More to come next week.

051817: Respite

These headboards make for a very nice composition – but, unfortunately, not enough of a distraction for me from the events of the day. In times like these I turn to my fossils for respite. Nearly four hundred million years separate us and yet their mere existence gives me comfort and hope for the future.

Our current crises can overwhelm us as the latest wave of news hits before we have even digested the previous abomination du jour. The venality, the lies, the greed and underhandedness we are witnessing rise to the fore when we all grow too complacent.

What we all need to do is act up. Phone calls don’t cost anything anymore. Call your representatives – daily – it takes only a few minutes to express your concerns.

Be a pain in the ass. Let the politicians know that you are watching and, yes, your vote needs to be earned!

For now, let’s take a break and enjoy the images.

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Break’s over! Listen to Rep. Maxine Waters and get mad. Grab the phone and let your representative or senator know your feelings. If they are fighting the good fight then praise them and thank them. If they are getting in the way or too afraid to act then chastise them.

Better days are ahead. But only if we act now!