My art is all about living in the moment . . . Truly experiencing the world around me and having an attitude of gratitude . . . Something we put a big focus on at Thanksgiving, but it’s something we should be doing everyday.
This is my 100th post and I didn’t know what artwork I wanted to talk about so I thought I’d share a little bit about myself. My name is Morgana. I’m from East Texas. I’m a very private person so answering questions about myself like this is pretty rare.
A Lil’ Questionnaire
If you could thank one person (living or dead) for his or her influence on your life, who would you thank?
~ I’ll go for a dead relative . . . my grandpa. He bought our property and built the house that I live in. Even though he died when I was two, the lessons of love and striving to be the best you can be, influenced my parents (and myself) in a way that I’ll always be grateful for.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned this year?
~ My most valuable lesson has been to be a peace maker. Regardless of how hard it can be at times, I always feel better at the end of the day when I was patient and peaceful with the people in my life.
What are three things that always make you smile?
~ My dog, Sunny. My boyfriend, Jesse. And doing what I can to be good to my parents.
What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving?
~ The memories, for sure. I love the way the weather feels. The smell of the food. And lately, since I’ve been organizing all my photos, I’ve looked at a lot of images from Thanksgiving. And even if there are some bad memories in there, I just love how I feel when I remember all those little moments.
What random acts of kindness have you received this year?
~ Just one. I was cutting some tree branches for my grandma and her neighbor noticed and came over to help.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?
~ It’s so hard to choose a favorite. But I’ll go with the variety of food I’ve tasted. I’ve had Thanksgiving meals with many different people: German, Spanish, Thai, Trailer Trash . . . And my fondest memory would have to be the smell of delicious Thai food.
What made you laugh the hardest this past year?
~ Definitely Jesse. He’s a joker. Everything he says and does makes me laugh.
What is one thing you would like to accomplish in the coming year?
~ I want to learn to sew. I can sew. But I haven’t gotten good at it and really embraced learning to make my own wardrobe.
Who is the most grateful person you know?
~ She’s not a person, but my dog sure does show gratitude.
What book, article, or blog post are you most grateful for this year?
~ ALL of MY blog POSTS! 😂 I’m so grateful to everyone who visits my blog and takes a look at my artwork. I just wanna strive to improve on it and provide stuff that people will enjoy.
What do you appreciate about the change in seasons?
~ I love the cool crisp air and the colors of the changing leaves.
What is one thing you really love to do as a family?
~ Just being with them. Healthy and comfortable and just being in the moment appreciating the life God has given us.
What is the biggest struggle in your life right now?
~ The pressure of having to juggle way too many things. It can get pretty overwhelming at times.
How do you stay focused on gratitude throughout the year?
~ I can’t help but live in a state of gratitude for everything God has provided for me. Even the bad stuff. I’m just hard wired to see the value in what I have. One way I stay focused on it is to be sure I actually show appreciation to the people I’m so grateful for.
Which of your qualities make you a good friend?
~ I’m genuine. I truly want my friends to have the best life they can and I just do my part by being genuine and sincere.
What song or poem sums up your life over the past year?
~ Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas . . . Ok, so there’s a million songs to choose from . . . The only reason I’m choosing this song is because Supernatural just ended and now that song makes me cry 😭
What is the best compliment you’ve been given this last year?
~ From Jesse . . . he actually sees how strong I am and points it out. He thinks I’m a good woman who deserves to be treated with love and kindness.
What is your favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving?
~ The rolls. They’re so warm and delicious and I always make room for them.
What is your favorite pie?
~ Pecan Pie.
What’s your favorite Christmas movie?
~ These two movies I have recorded on VHS. 1. The Christmas List with Mimi Rogers. 2. The Second Day of Christmas with Mark Ruffalo. They’re both really sweet movies.
What is your most embarrassing Thanksgiving moment?
~ When I was 15, I was at my uncle’s and I was playing some game with my cousins (D&D lol) and I kept digging into the leftover Broccoli Rice Casserole. I wasn’t paying any attention and I accidentally got a piece of foil on my fork and choked on it and got food all over my chest. My cousin thought that was the funniest thing, but it was pretty embarrassing that I was scarfing and didn’t notice the foil.
Well that’s it. I used some of the questions from this site.
If you wanna be productive and efficient, you gotta have a designated place to work. At least I gotta! The way I said, “If you wanna . . . you gotta . . . ” makes me think of Heavy Fuel 😂.
My Freshly Stained Desk
I’ve heard so many people say that it doesn’t matter, you can work anywhere. I tried to do that with both drawing and photography, basically trying to save money. But after getting my new drawing desk, I realized I gotta have a good desk for my photo work as well. Any ol’ table just wont do if I wanna be productive.
I didn’t want to spend too much which meant that I wasn’t finding good quality, but I lucked out and found a simple wooden desk for free that just needed to be sanded and stained. The paint was caked on so it took a little while but…
I finally finished this desk. I left a few specs of paint because I was damaging the wood trying to remove them. I also completely missed one spot at the bottom of the desk, but it’s no biggie.
Staining the wood made it look a lot better. I still need to finish the drawers and I gotta figure out a way to make the middle drawer work to hold my Wacom tablet . . . it might be too big though.
Organizing my photos is a task I’ve put off for the longest time because I didn’t have a good computer or any good software, so I just took billions of photos and stored them on hard drives to deal with later.
Even after I got a good computer, I got into such a habit of just shooting now and asking questions later, that I put this job off for way too long. I basically have to go through my whole life . . . at least since about the mid 90’s.
I love how I have over 800 just of Sunny. I had to narrow down my folders so that I don’t get too confused, so these particular folders have just under 800.
Now that Inktober is over, I feel like I can put my attention on all the art I wanna do. I’m juggling so much in my life and in my art. So, I’m struggling a bit deciding what I wanna draw and what I wanna post on Instagram.
Really, you just gotta pick something and draw it.
I collect cool weapons, knives being one of my favorites, so I decided to draw my newest one. I picked a random piece of scratch paper that has ugly scribblings on one side and is blank on the other side. I used to be really into drawing these suns and ghosts. (I should try drawing them again cuz I think they’re kinda cool.)
I drew that blade more curvy than it actually is. My measuring was a bit off too which explains why I couldn’t fit all the details😒. Still looks cool though.
After I get my photos more organized I’ll be able to make sense of all the series’ I’m developing and I’ll be putting them up on my blog as soon as I’m able. It’ll take some time, but that’s my current photo goal.
Thanks for checkin’ out my art, and next week, I’ll try to share some figure drawings of athletes.
The sky in this photo is overexposed (too bright) but I was ok with that. One thing I am allowing in my photos right now is little imperfections like that.
For this image, I prefer the landscape orientation, but I also really wanted to include the portrait orientation. I’ve also allowed the shadows to be underexposed (too dark) and the sky to be overexposed.
This photo reminds me of a photo taken with a pinhole camera.
The roots looked interesting but the sun wasn’t casting a captivating shadow, so I included my shadow. Occasionally, I like to include the photographer in the image.
And make sure you look at these photos on the browser because they look good against my black background.
“It quickly came to be that I grew interested in photographing whatever was there wherever I happened to be. For any reason.” – William Eggelston
That’s pretty much how I feel. No matter where I’m at or what I’m doing, a photograph will present itself to me. In today’s post, I’d like to share three of my photos that are similar to the three William Eggleston photos I talked about in last week’s post.
Food on a Grill
Just hanging out with my dad grillin’ a bunch of meat.
An Electric Scooter Bike
A girl in my neighborhood would ride this little electric scooter all over the place. In this picture, it’s parked directly behind my car. She’s lucky I looked before I left.
A Friend’s Ceiling Fan
In my last post, there’s a quote from Eggleston about his Red Ceiling photo. He shares his memory of the moment he took that photo, which is very similar to my memory of the moment I took my photo.
This is the ceiling fan at my friend’s house in his room. (He’s Speedy.) We went to high school together and we were pretty close for a long time, until the last couple of years when we drifted away. We were just chillin’, watching something on tv, talking about whatever and I looked up and thought, “That’d be a good picture.”
You can see the pink trim on the walls and window. I would always make fun of his pink paint job that he claims he just didn’t feel like painting over after he took the room from his sister. He’s never fooled me though. I think he just likes it. (Nothin’ wrong with likin’ pink.)
Beauty in the Banal
Those are just three of my banal photos. I have 1,000’s. All the little moments of my life are so precious to me and I just love photographing as much as I can. My goal is to post my banal photography on the first Thursday of each month. I might shake things up a bit and share other type’s of my photos too.
Next week I’ll post some more sketchbook work. I haven’t decided what yet . . . maybe some figure drawing. And if you have a favorite photographer who shoots the banal, let me know in the comments.
That’s the answer William Eggleston has been able to come up with when people ask him what he’s photographing. I’ve also been asked that same question many times because I take the same kind of pictures he does. Sounds like a pretty good answer to me.
Eggleston – Oven
Morgana – Pizza in Oven
The oven photo on the left is Eggleston’s, and my oven photo is on the right. I took that picture in my very first photo class in college. I wasn’t even aware of him yet.
His photos are all of the banal everyday ordinary subjects that most people look at as boring. He can point his camera at some trash in the road and come out with something interesting.
As a Southern aristocrat from Memphis Tennessee, many of his photos were taken in the South, in and around Memphis, and they serve as an authentic documentation of his time. I just love that and I also do that with my photography.
The image on the left is Eggleston’s, and the one on the right is mine. I took that in a small town called, Looneyville in my area. It’s down the road from Loco Valley 😂.
It may have taken a long time for people to appreciate his unique view of such “boring and ugly” subjects but eventually he became one of the best and most influential modern photographers. He was a pioneer in elevating both color photography and banal photography in the world of photographic art, and he has a giant collection of compelling images worth looking at.
Let’s take a look at three of my favorites: The Grill, The Tricycle, and The Red Ceiling.
From the first time I saw this photo I liked it and I was reminded of so many times when I was standing around a grill with family and friends.
“You must not take anything for granted when you’re looking at a picture. Every single little tiny space on that page works and counts.” – his wife Rosa Eggleston
Every single part of this image works and counts. The lighting, the composition, the fire in the grill, the car, and the bike seem like a boring scene, but it’s full of so many interesting parts of humanity and everyday life. This is a great example of how he elevates the banal to fine art.
William Eggleston rarely names his photos. Most of them are untitled as far as I’m aware. However, his photos have sparked so much conversation and interest that people have just made names for them.
It can be hard to capture a bike in an interesting way but that wasn’t a problem for Eggleston. He positioned the camera at a low angle so that it makes the bike fill the frame, which makes it bigger and more important than you might originally think. To the kid who rode that bike, I’m sure it was very important.
The Red Ceiling
William Eggleston, Untitled, c. 1973
I found an interesting article called Perfectly Boring, written by Will Stephenson, that’s worth the read. The section below is directly from the article and it’s from William Eggleston about The Red Ceiling.
“Brenda and T.C. and I were the three people who were lying in bed when I took that picture,” he said. So he did remember that day? “Of course,” he said. “Yes. We were just having a nice time, talking about this and that, talking about nonsense. The three of us lying there in bed—it was a big bed. And I remember one split second I looked up. I thought, that’s a great picture. And then I took the picture. After that, I don’t know what happened.” He closed the book and gave it back to me. “I don’t think anything much happened.”
That’s exactly what happens to me. I’m just hanging out doing normal, “boring” things, and then I see something and think, “That’s a great picture.”
The quotes from Eggleston and his wife were from a five part documentary I watched that you might also enjoy. It showed his large collection of photos as well as a very interesting look at the photographer. William Eggleston – Imagine Documentary Part 1.
William Eggleston – Now
In my next post I’ll share some banal photos I took of a grill, a bike, and a ceiling.
These are just a few pics I took around town and at the park. Pictures 1, 2, and 4 are the main ones I want to share, but I went ahead and added the others too.
I saw this on the way to the park. I like stuff like this that looks kinda junky or cluttered. I wasn’t planning to stop but then I noticed the No Mattresses sign next to the mattresses, so I decided to pull over and snap a few pictures. I didn’t even notice the security camera when I was there.
Here it is again using the cross process filter and at a slightly different angle.
I took this at Pecan Park. This bridge just got added a few years ago and I always want to get a good picture of it, but I never do.
I liked the colors and the shadow though so I went ahead and snapped a few pics.
I was trying to get an interesting shadow picture and I used cross process again.
In my last post I shared the black and white photos from my walk around Downtown Nacogdoches, and in this post I’ll be sharing the color photos I took.
Before I Get Started with the Photos – A lil’ Artist Statement:
Lately, I’ve really enjoyed playing around with my in camera filters. The cross process, the toy camera, the low quality and high quality.
I’m also trying to just focus on things like shadow and light, sometimes overexposing and underexposing. Sometimes I’m focusing on the colors and the angles. I also shoot vertical just with the intention of shooting vertical instead of horizontal.
I’m just enjoying breaking rules and trying to capture something interesting. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a perfectly exposed or perfectly composed, I just want to grab something cool and hopefully different.
I’ll start off with the WoW building. If you read my last post, you got to see this bad boy in black and white. Nacogdoches has some great architecture. It’s one of the biggest tourist draws and very much worth it. I was standing further away and again, you can see the little black spots on my lens. It’s actually not too bad of a photo. I like that tree over on the right, and that fence at the bottom is apart of the Best Water Store. I purposely included both in the frame.
Here’s the Fredonia Hotel, which I shot from a different angle in the b&w post. I purposely included the power lines at those angles, and the trees at the top and bottom. I shot it with the cross process filter. And my dog was pulling and yelling at the dog across the street who was pulling his human and yelling back at my dog. I’ve gotten pretty good at shooting while she’s doing that. I like how it turned out.
Just shooting up at weird angles, vertical, including sky and shooting in cross process again. Not my most interesting, but I still wanted to include it because I like it.
I like this one a lot. I just love the pastel colors and I thought it worked well in vertical orientation. It’s just a banal photo with some pretty colors and textures. The window was actually busted and you could easily crawl inside the abandoned, gutted, historical building. I didn’t though.
I included this one in the b&w post. I took different angles for these so that I could include the white building, the green overgrown plants, the blue sky, and the red building. I liked how all the colors looked together.
I didn’t care for these two photos but I included them so that you could see the colorful setting. Usually this place is so packed with people, that I can’t just go shoot in peace. People are always questioning me and taking me out of the photographic process. So, thanks to the lockdown, I grabbed my chance. I liked the pretty blue on the right, at some yoga studio, but the photo wasn’t very interesting. I just love the blue.
And here we have a green door. I took it both in vertical and horizontal. (Portrait and landscape.) I liked the lamp because it was made from an old bucket. And I thought it was casting a good shadow on that bold green. I just love how old and worn everything looks too.
And here we have a bright red wall and door. Another banal subject, just a bench with some flowers. I really liked that big ole’ shadow that I put smack dab in the middle of the image. One of those rules I was breaking, where you really shouldn’t put something in the middle like that. You need to obey the rule of thirds and all that. But, I like it.
I found this fancy gold doorknob on the back door of a hair salon. I thought it looked neat shining in the light, and I used a high quality filter. I don’t use this filter a lot but I think it works well for this one. Not one of my favorite photos, but I still like it. I struggled to get an angle I was really happy with.
Well, that’s all the color photos I want to include from that day. I hope you enjoyed them and I think for my next post I’ll share some more pictures I took around Nacogdoches.
Usually downtown Nacogdoches has so much traffic zooming by that I don’t really like walking around taking pictures. It’s just so loud and stressful. But during this coronavirus lockdown, the town has become so much quieter and I was able to take some peaceful walks with my dog and my camera.
I call it the WoW building, which stands for Woodmen of the World. Built in 1923, it’s one of the popular historical buildings in our area. It’s been photographed so much so I think it’s good to try to think of a creative way to capture it. I like that the building is too dark and I also like that I have three black specs on my lens that showed up in the image. It can be fun to shoot weird angles and let so much of the sky take up the image.
I like how this one turned out. I like the angles and the way the light and shadow, and black and white alternate. Another popular photo subject, the Historic Fredonia Hotel. I had some school events there, one in 8th grade for an etiquette class and again for some band competitions in high school. It’s been used for many things. I think it actually closed down for a while and was remodeled and reopened and is doing well again. It was built in 1952 and was called Hotel Fredonia. I think I like how that sounds better than it’s current name.
Just a door in the back of one of the closed small businesses. I love how doors look. And I really like how the light and shadow turned out. I like how dark the shadows are and how bright the light is.
Another door at The Best Water Store. I was playing around with the lens flare. Also, I’ve been trying to take more vertical orientation photos.
There’s nothing particularly exciting about this one. I just like how it turned out. I like banal subjects like this and the shadow caught my eye. There were some construction workers to the left shakin their booties to some upbeat Mexican music.
I was walking along this old historic building and I saw this through the window. I just thought it looked neat.
Another vertical picture. And I love playing around with overexposing my light and underexposing my shadows. I was also careful to include those power lines in the corner. I really like how it turned out, it’s one of my favorites from that day.
The last photo I’ll be sharing from that day, and one of my favorites. It’s just a chair with the light casting an interesting shadow. Right after I took this photo an old truck slowly pulled up next to me and stopped. They took their time rolling down their window, and I have to admit I was feeling a little nervous. It was an old man, probably 80 something. He didn’t speak so I said, “Hello…”
Then he pointed at the business behind me and said in a slow East Texas drawl, “They’re closed…” I giggled and responded that I knew that, then he drove away.