Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11.16.09 Old Man River

I just edited this picture for a for Donna to give to Jeff for Christmas. This picture was taken on the Toccoa River this summer, the weekend of Jeff's 50th birthday, and the weekend we almost died.

They had released the water at the dam in the Toccoa that day, and albeit, I was comfortable in a canoe on swiftly moving waters, I didn't think about the others. Jay, Donna and Jeff's son, had never been in a canoe, and pretty sure that Donna and Jeff hadn't either. Our outfitter didn't even warn us about the danger. We were later called "crazy" by neighbors who had canoes spilt in half my the racing dam waters.

Long story short, I took this picture before I flipped the canoe Jules and I were in. Luckily, in my paddling experiences, I knew not to let go of the boat. Jules floated down river and I swam down the river with the canoe until I caught up with Jules, we swam to an opening on shore into a guys yard where he helped up flip the canoe over and get us going again.

We finally caught up with Jeff and Donna as the continued to paddle the canoe in a 360 and become very concerned for their safety... as did I!

It was a great weekend and we had great stories to tell! Most importantly, nobody drowned!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

11.15.09 Dishwasher Safe

11.14.09 Favorite Pencil

I am not real big on "setting up" a photo, I love photos that present themselves. This is the perfect example of that.

I had been painting this morning, I went to the fridge to get something, and while I was bent over... searching... my pencil fell out of my shirt pocket. I loved the shadow and the texture of the floor as well. I hand sharpen all my pencils, makes them last longer.

11.13.09 HeritageFund 2009

I took this picture this morning for use in our new HeritageFund brochure, our annual capital campaign at The Heritage School.

11.12.09 Mason Jars

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11.11.09 Beaver Lake Hunt Shack

I drive past this old farm shack everyday, twice a day. It is on a piece of property people hunt on, which is the rule not the exception down here in Merowether county. Tons of hunters buy a few acres just to put up a shack or a mobile home, or an old bus so that they can come down here and hunt. This shack happens to share a lot with an old school bus used as a hunt lodge. Look for those pictures and paintings soon. This isn't really a hunt shack, could have been a large smoke house or more than likely the kitchen to the house that used to be on this piece of land.

I downloaded a trial version of Aperture I have been playing with as well as NEK Silver FX. I love black and white photography but even Photoshop has limitations to what you can do with black and white. Silver FX is pretty interesting. The Barefoot Photographer turned me on to it.

11.10.09 Massengale's Mill Reflections

This awesome Mill is located here in Gay. It is one of my favorite places to photograph, I have yet to paint there. It is surrounded by water with only a road going through. I would have to paint it in the van on the road. Beautiful location especially in the fall.

11.09.09 The Truck that Peterbuilt

My computer crashed on Sunday, so I have officially lost all the photos from this blog. Sad, but that happens when you only back up once a week. Lesson learned. Coming back from AIS I passed this truck, which I have passed many times. It is great, it faces the road and just begs to be photographed. I got out of the car and noticed the guy had a sign on his gate that said, "Day Sleeper, No Solicitation." Love it.

11.08.09 Sink Shadows

Caught this one this morning. We have a great old sink, but it would probably photograph a bit better with some cleaning and moving things aground, but that just isn't my style.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

11.07.09 Bathtub Contrasts

Saturday mornings in Gay are cleaning mornings. Usually, during the week I am so anxious to get home and paint that I intentionally don't let things like deep cleaning and cooking a complex meal slow me down, especially since Jules is in Athens most of the week. I just want to work.

However, in order for me to work, the house must be straight. We usually get up and do a clean sweep before I start drawing cartoons or painting. The thing I love about mornings tis that I am not usually here in the mornings and this little farmhouse casts great shadows, inside and out.

11.06.09 Autumn Morning Grays

This is a great example of a reference picture for my paintings. This early morning snap shot off my front porch can really give you some insight to my plein air work, especially the use of gray. Every where you look in nature you see gray, especially in the landscape. It is most evident in the fall when the leaves begin to turn and you thing that are so vibrant and colorful until you paint them like that and the look dead. John Carlson used to reference the term "painting elegant grays," and I am pretty sure this is what he was talking about.

I love the mauves and violets in this image especially, due to the atmospheric perspective, which is why i took this shot. These values in trees farther away are illusive to me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

11.05.09 Pink House

There is this great house in the a cow pasture off of Luthersville Road, I have passed it almost everyday for a year and I have yet to pull over and get a picture, guess I will be doing a lot of that for the blog! The house is pink, of course you can't see that in the image. It is so strange to me that, first of all, the farmer must have lost the "color vote" and that at one time I am sure it was very cute and well kept. In the spring daffodils sprout up every where. Beautiful.

11.04.09 Morning Light

We have this great field across the dirt road form the house. The sunrises on the far side and you get these great backlit branches, it is so beautiful with the mist in the mornings.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

11.03.09 Full Moon Field

This morning, with coffee and briefcase in hand, I grabbed the point and shoot out of my jacket pocket and got this little gem of the full moon setting over the field in the front yard.

11.02.09 Victim

Ever been this close to an armadillo?? Be carful, they play opossum and the jump straight up. These little buggers roam my yard in the wee hours of the morning rooting and digging for grubs and turning my yard into a mine field. The best time to hunt them is after rain and in a full moon, you don't even need a flashlight. In the moonlight, the look like moving ant hills. I am a live and let live kinda guy, but these guys ruin my life. I have nick-named myself the Armadillo Slayer, sometimes, late at night, I can be found in my yard, in my boxers and boots with a flashlight and my pistol searching these guys out. I am amazed at these creatures... their armor, furry bellies, sharp claws, anteater snout, blind eyes, and amazing jumping abilities. Just stay out of my yard....

The sun was out and we were given an extra hour. Julie and I usually go to Pine Mountain and eat breakfast at the Calloway Country store and explore that area, great trees this time of year. This year we explored Pine Mountain Valley and the surrounding area and I came home with over 200 photos for reference. What an incredible area. This shot was my favorite, a small International Harvester that reminded me of WALL-E. Perfect for a painting, except for the fact that it was white.

10.30.09 Lights and Figure

I took this shot as Jules and I were walking into the woods and away from The Great Pumpkin for some photos. I love these jumpy, walking, slow exposure shots

10.29.09 Sprewell Bluff Bluff

Today, Jules and took The Great Pumpkin, our adventure van and my painting vehicle (a 1975 orange, VW Campmobile) and we cruised to Zebulon to pick my photos from SlowExposures and eat some lunch and them we cruised to Sprewell Bluff on the Flint River. It wasn't as sunny as I had hoped because I wanted some fall color reference photos for some paintings, but it was beautiful in a different way. I should have brought my painting gear and painted in the van, but we had to get home to prep for All Hallows Eve, which is my Dad's birthday.

10.28.09 Big Oak Sunrise

After the shoot in rain last night, there was still some lingering fog burning of in the morning, which is much better than the evening! You have the sun coming in and it really makes things dramatic. The beauty of this image is it really buts you in a calm space, but when I took it, I was standing 3 feet of Hwy 29 at 8:00am in between The Heritage School and a new hospice care center, anything but calming!

10.27.09 Feed Bin and Pin

Tonight I went out with the point and shoot on manual and played with some atmospheric perspective. I love the way things layer up when you can see for miles, or in the case down here, field after field. Almost like different cardboard cut outs painted different values of gray and placed in front of my eyes. It really helps me remember how important value selections are in painting to achieve the depth you need in a landscape painting. I love a mist, foggy night... and morning... and day, especially if i can be at home!

After the shoot in rain last night, there was still some lingering fog burning of in the morning, which is much better than the evening! You have the sun coming in and it really makes things dramatic. The beauty of this image is it really buts you in a calm space, but when I took it, I was standing 3 feet of Hwy 29 at 8:00am in between The Heritage School and a new hospice care center, anything but calming!


I have my ap photography students starting a daily photo blog, and what better way to show them what to do than to do it myself.

I am an amature photographer, mostly I photograph to record and for reference for my paintings. I take thousands of pictures a year, mostly around where I am currently living... Gay, GA in Meriwether county which in in midwest georgia. I moved here 2 years ago to get away from the urban sprawl of Atlanta. I love it here, cows, hills, barns, tractor and peace and quiet although I commute into Newnan to teach high school art.

I have an old VW Westphalia bus that my girlfriend, Julie, and i get in and drive all over the area looking for things for me to paint and photograph. We used to go out in my old Landcruiser with Mo the dog (short for Modigliani, one of my favorite artists. Mo resembles a Modigliani, with his long and graceful neck), but it was great in spring and fall but to hot and cold in the other seasons. We have yet to add mo to the vw bus. i am also equipped with the bare bone minimum photgraphy equipment. I have a Nikon d40 with a 18-55mm VR nikkor lens and a 200mm zoom, a Cannon 10mp point and shoot A1000 and a Blackberry Curve with a decent camera.

You can also follow my daily painting efforts at compelledtopaint.blogspot.com and my editorial cartoons at markmorganinc.blogspot.com. Links to me website are also available. Thanks for watching and following and I hope to hear from some of you if not all of you!