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Monthly Archives: March 2015

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pizza picture 20150327

Many layers of groundwork – now I can nuance the colour.  I’ve added tiny amounts of translucent lead white to the coloured pigments, to extend the tonal range and mask some of the streakiness of the transparent pigments.  My pallet is lead white, indian yellow, quinacridone, alizarine crimson, ultramarine and phalo turquoise.  All transparent oil paints, except the lead white.  As I add more layers I also add more oil to the mix plus liquin fine detail.  The texture of the pigments changes and becomes more interesting.  I sometimes use a little sansador to thin the mix.

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Pizza painting 20150326

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Pizza picture 20150325

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Monday 23rd March – trip to Herne Bay. Low tide 8.32am GMT, 0.30m according to the Port of London Authority Tide Tables. Sunrise 6.00 am. Very cold morning, temperature 1.5 degrees celcius with a 6mph breeze blowing from WSW, ie. slightly offshore. Air pressure is about 1020 millibars.
Left Redhill at 4.15am and arrived at Herne Bay at 5.30am – much too early.
It’s very cold at Herne Bay so decided to go for a brisk walk towards Reculver to try to warm up.

Had a look at the ‘classic’ section at Bishopstone Glen.

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Went to look at the ‘Artica’ beds (Thanet Sands) close by but this part of the beach is largely obscured by sand and pebbles.

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I then went to the west of the normal sharks teeth hunting area, trying to identify the Beltinge Fish Bed.

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Back to the normal sharks tooth hunting area and I met a man searching for micro sharks teeth fossils in a very specific glauconitic sand zone.

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I happened to pick up a bit of the glauconitic sand, it outcrops on the beach and contains numerous tiny bivalves.

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I’m not sure which bed this monster bivalve came from – it was lying loose on the beach near the glauconitic sands.

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Found the usual trawl of sharks teeth, mostly by sieving. Here’s a ‘Where’s Wally?’ spot the sharks tooth image.

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Managed to find the usual trawl of sharks teeth, though many are damaged, that’s usual here.

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When the tide had come up too far at Herne Bay I left. I decided to go and recce. Seasalter. The London Clay outcrops on this beach producing horrible mud-sucking mud-flats.

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I walked across the mud in someone elses bootprints and was very lucks to find a fossil crab. This fossil is the star of the show – I’m so pleased to have found one after several searches on the Isle of Sheppey.

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Then it was a race back to the pebble part of the beach as the tide was coming up very fast behind me. It was about two and a half hours off high tide.

I’ve spent the morning troubeshooting computer problems – grrrrrrrrrrr.  I hate doing this, it’s so tedious, but i’m happy to say that I’ve resolved the main problem (I think!!).

The solar eclipse that never was:  unfortunately total cloud cover ruined the whole show.  I was outside and the sky was a sort of dingy yellowish-grey, the birds went quieter but they did’nt fall completely silent.

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Morning of the eclipse – no sign of the sun!

Painting continues:

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Pizza-painting 20th March 2015

I have been reading ‘In The Holocene‘.  It’s the catalogue to a group exhibition that was held at MIT in 2012-2013.  The exhibitors ask the question ” As an account of the world, can art expand the potential of speculative or scientific inquiry?”  I need to think about this but my first reaction is that artistic enquiry is too individualistic to be thought of as a speculative science.  Scott Roben reviews the exhibition for Frieze Magazine.

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Pizza Painting 18/03/2015

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pizza painting

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Building the Pizza slowly, layer by layer.

Some kind person has ID’s a couple of the ammonites that I found in Somerset.  As these are both zone fossils it means that the country rock is from the  lower part of the Toarcian Stage, ie. slightly younger than 183.6 Ma + 1.7, –1.1 according to Defra, British Lower Jurassic stratigraphy,

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Hildaites, possibly Hildoceras

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Harpoceras cf. falcifer

I’ve been sorting out my recent fossil finds from Ilminster in Somerset.

“In the Ilminster area of Somerset the sequence is more expanded and mudstones are locally a significant element within a sequence of argillaceous and conglomeratic limestones; this has been termed the ‘Barrington Limestone Member’. A consistent characteristic of this formation is that it is a highly condensed sequence, with several ammonite zones reduced to a succession no more than a few metres in thickness and packed with ammonites.” (British Lower Jurassic Stratigraphy – DEFRA report)

This places the age of the Ilminster, fossil bearing, sedimentary sequence as Upper Pliesbachian – Upper Toarcian. The Pliesbachian-Toarcian boundary has been radiometrically dated as being between 182 and 183.6 million years. The Toarcian-Aalenian boundary is dated at 178 million years.

The fossils therefore must be between 180 and 175 million years old approximately. For more discussions on ages of the sediments and fossils have a look at Ian West’s excellent web resources – thanks Ian! The Pliesbachian-Toarcian and Toarcian-Aalenian boundaries have been re-dated as 183 and 175.6 million years old ie. the Toarcian-Aalenian is 2.4 million years younger than the date cited in the DEFRA report. This is not surprising – the dates of rocks are always being contested in geological circles.

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Ammonites from Lower Jurassic, Ilminster, Somerset.

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Bivalves from the Lower Jurassic, Ilminster, Somerset.

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Brachiopods from the Lower Jurassic, Ilminster, Somerset. (some rhynchonellids)

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Pecten from the Lower Jurassic, Ilminster, Somerset. (nice pecs!)

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Nautiloids from the Lower Jurassic, Ilminster, Somerset.

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Orthocone from the Lower Jurassic, Ilminster, Somerset.

A few, slightly older, ammonites collected, from the toe of a Black Ven mudslide, at Charmouth. (Sinemurian in age, 189.6-196.5 million years old approximately)

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Pyritized ammonites and bivalve from Charmouth.

Echinoid collected from Castle Neroche. The bedrock here is Upper Greensand, sandstone, Albian in age, 98.9 – 111 MYA. As the fossil is flint replacement I suspect that it might have been derived from younger, overlying chalk that has now eroded.

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Rather beaten up micraster from Castle Neroche. The chalk is never very far away!

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Beautiful Somerset