Y'all, I'm pretty excited about this piece. It's a work in progress, but an explainable feeling tells me it's close to completion. It's gone through quite the transformation, more colors than one could imagine. Last night I was on the verge of painting a big red X across it - one of those artist moments where nothing seems to be working and clearly the piece of canvas is the root of all problems. But somehow I managed to walk away, painting unscathed, and magically this morning I have an all new appreciation for it.
Wade's aunt and uncle recently bought and restored a historical building in Nacogdoches. Brick walls, lofted ceilings with exposed piping - pretty much my dream home. Along the way they found a photo of the street, including their building, from 1927 (the one in red to the far right). When their plans to enlarge the photo didn't work, they reached out to me to recreate the photo on canvas. I'm happy to say the painting has not only been delivered, but professionally framed and hung. Seeing and reading her excitement and love for my work warms my heart. And seriously, how amazing are those brick walls? #DreamHome
I have found Instagram to be one of the greatest customer surveying tools out there. And bonus - it's free. This little abstract received more likes in a matter of a day than any other piece I've completed. What's humorous, I never paint abstract. I'm too restricting and often find it difficult to let go. I've read many abstract artists took time to get to a free way of painting, one I relate to a contemporary style of dance. The idea of painting without control is often a learned mechanism. While I prefer the much simpler abstract, I turn into a hoarder of paint, slathering every which way possible. Wade constantly tells me to leave it alone, but there's always that little spot that needs a pickin' or paint lovin'.
Last weekend I was photographed by my wonderful friend, and insanely talented artist, Melissa Glynn. I'm so very excited to see the photos and update my site soon. She photographed my first piece on wallpaper, displaying a lovely lady and her black-eyed anemones. They're one of my favorite flowers. So much so that I insisted they be included in my bridal bouquet. I've always found that indigo eye to be intriguing and mischievous.
My grandparents have one of the most luscious yards I know, rich in flowers and plants most would kill within days. And not just your typical backyard greenery - I'm talking staghorns, trees that mystically grow without roots, and everything tropical in between. As a toddler my grandfather would carry me around, pointing to the various species. As we approached his plumeria tree the fumes must have hit my nose instantly because the "dont touch, just smell, isn't it a pretty flower?" buzzed around my head and I quickly swatted it away just as fast as I ripped the Hawaiian petals from it's life source.
And that was the day I became a botanist kleptomaniac, or in laymen's terms: I began to steal flowers.
We moved homes at age ten, a step up in the world. Mom carefully crafted her gardens, mostly busheled perennials and Pop continued to win the award for thickest, greenest grass on the block. It was also when my flower-stealing capabilities were at their strongest, as just two-doors down lived a woman, who each season took great care in planting the expensive, short-lived flowers illustrated straight out of Alice and Wonderland. Zinnias, Dandelions, Roses, oh my! I set my eyes on them faster than any Barbie doll, scooter, or LipSmacker balm. The tingles grew each time I peddled past her grove, nestled only feet from the sidewalk, protected by just a slim piece of metal edging.
To keep those tingles from turning to shakes, I began to pluck a few each month, sometimes weeks, and brought them home to my mother, face beaming with pride. Lisa would shake her head and the anticipated "Morgan Elizabeth!" would follow. It wasn't that she didn't have perfectly nice flowers herself, she did. I just knew better. I knew better than to bite the hand that fed me. And ironically enough, I took great satisfaction in helping my mother create her beds each season, watching our garden grow.
My thievery carried on a few years, dwindling as teen years came round and priorities shifted. But still, at nearly 30 years of age, I get the tingles to pluck flowers in botanical gardens, markets, and yards. And I'm still equally as obsessed with the beauty flowers hold to this day. I suppose that's why flowers constantly find their way back into my paintings. There are some things you just can't shake from your bones. And because I've gotten the tingles, and my neighbor has decided to be fuddle-dud and leave her patio bare, I suppose the only flowers I'll be staring at are ones on a canvas. So I'll embark on a new journey - meshing my love for flowers, with my love of old paper and portraits, with a bohemian flare - we all know this girl loves color. Send that good karma my way, y'all -Lord knows I need it after all the petals I've plucked. The idea isn't completely original - plenty of artist focus on bohemian bundles these days, but I hope to find it a way to make it my own. A stolen bunch of flowers from myself to you.
The Flower Thief.
My lapse in posts isn't purely because I "fell off the wagon". I've been tackling two commissioned pieces over the last two months and finished both last week - a joyous moment adding your signature and sealing off a piece that contains a snippet of your heart. Yesterday I was finally able to deliver one of the pieces, a bright-colored pink sports car, to a friend who is expecting her first baby this coming Thursday. Her little one, Shelby, is named after the Shelby Cobra, a passion both momma and daddy share. It totally reminds me of a Barbie car. I'm pretty sure my Barbie drove this across furry brown carpet, in the latest of 90's fashions. I can't wait to see it on the little one's nursery wall!
I've recently become a bit obsessed with Ziegfeld girls, or "follies" as they've been called, during my daily pinterest conquests. That is how women should look - luminous, curvy, confident. Ziegfeld and Erte. My art mimics nothing of Erte, but still, I have an immense appreciation for his work. My grandparents have actually collected his work for years. Their living room has monstrosities of walls; walls that are decorated with beautifully framed prints. One day, one fine day, I hope to create something as timeless and beautiful as Erte. Till then, I'll keep up with my quick sketching.
A week ago as Wade and I snuggled up in bed, unwinding from the day, he began to read aloud an internet article citing random facts we as humans rarely give a second thought to. The one he found most intriguing (and in his words, ridiculous and stupid), as any man whose body inhabits a smiggen of estrogen compared to my own, was perfume ads/commercials. The idea that we (ones with compelling amounts of estrogen) are drawn to particular perfumes simply by extravagant television ads that make absolutely no lick of sense. An ad selling the idea of a smell. Case in point ~ Natalie Portman escaping her wedding, only to be lifted midair into a helicopter by a rope ladder. Oh, Miss Dior, I'm baffled, yet totally drawn into this 30-sec soap opera. I suppose wearing a spritz would make me cheeky and a heroine all at once. You managed to portray the craziest of acts with fervor and well, yes, I'll take one bottle, please. Dont even get me started on Charlize Theron glamorously ripping gorgeous ocean pearls from her neck while hoisting herself up amber-colored silk. I wonder what Khaleesi's ad would look like?
One of my favorite female figure painters is TIna Berning. I love the mix of messy and random bits of paper, all compiled on centuries old emphemera. This purple Twiggy-esque girl was my attempt in recreating my favorite of her works. In no way does it parallel, but regardless, it's enchanting.
I just can't help but sing it when I see this photo.
I've made a promise to myself. This promise, unlike proper eating patterns, weekly fitness routines, or vacuous new year resolutions, I intend to keep. A drawing, painting, illustration or artwork a day. So here, my dearest friends, is today's.