“magnolia, you sweet thing…

…you’re driving me mad

i gotta get back to you, babe…

you’re the best i ever had,

you’re the best i ever had”

| jj cale |

magnolia, you sweet thing |  tennessee | june-july 2012-13 | canon digital images

these words have inspired me beyond rhyme or reason…

bringing passion into my being; for love, truth and being genuinely understood.

i feel that’s what a wonderful artist does with their work,

discovers unknown truths and desires within the observer.

on july 25th 2013, the man who wrote this beautiful song passed away…

and i was crushed.

i was in an extremely emotionally vulnerable state, right in the middle of creating a whole conceptual art exhibit because of this person and their music.

i couldn’t stop crying.

i know it seems silly to cry for someone whom

i had never met;

but i felt as though we knew each other because of the creative exchange taking place.

one week later was my solo photography installation, fully inspired by the song


magnolia, you sweet thing |  tennessee | june-july 2012-13 | canon digital images

which appears on JJ Cale’s first album Naturally.

this record has changed my perspective on everything, i don’t think my life now would make as much sense without it.

just like the record,

the beauty and essence of a magnolia strong and easy to get lost in.

the smell is enchanting and sweet, a heavy aroma picked up and carried smoothly by the humid southern breezes

i’m convinced the magnolia is full of magical powers.

I see these trees and their blooms as a symbol of motherly nurturing, beauty and wisdom.

there are two of these wonderful creations in my backyard, and they have been my main source of creative inspiration for the past 3 years of my life.

the song came first

 filling my heart with longing nostalgia for a lover, and igniting intrigue and appreciation for the magnolia and what it represents

i had just moved back home to my mother’s house and found myself completely mystified with this flower and its song

for two months i used multiple photographic processes to document the flowers

| 35mm digital & 120 film |

I also had taken many frames of the same trees the previous year, to try and reinforce the cyclical concept.

everyday i would collect fallen leaves, pedals and later their seeds.

i printed images on their leaves, made emulsion with their pedals

| a photographic process developed by Sir John Herschel called anthrotype |

observing its sensitive and seductive nature taught me so much about the cycle of people’s behavior and the direct coalition to that of nature

| visual & behavioral patterns |

 | creation, love, nurture, change, death, creation |

time does not change this fact : change is the constant

time is an illusion created by our perception of things seemingly passing us by;

 carefully documenting these lovely creatures showed me this

the sepals become petals, flowering with aromas and pure white newness

the shapes and shadows cast emulate the most lovely of feminine shapes and features

24 hours after blooming, the sunlight freckles the delicate white surface with sepia spots

 and they soon begin to wilt

barring fruit and seed

so intoxicatingly red

it resonates with ideas of feminine strength, seduction, sexuality and creation

| rebirth – rebuild – react  |

always is the possibility to start a new

i gathered all of this knowledge, understanding and and beauty and channeled it into an exhibit called

{  {{ alternating tones and perspective }}  }

the images for the show were all printed using the cyanotype method, some of them were altered using chemicals to achieve different tones than just the traditional blueprint.

i tried a few perfume extraction methods to capture the scent of the flower for my installation process. i wanted the viewers to create new sensory memories through my interpretation of the magnolia and its cycle. this part of the process was important to me, i wanted a physical manifestation of the actual flower to be sensually present but it was a bust.

magnolia, you sweet thing |  tennessee | june-july 2012-13 | canon digital images

but it did add another conceptual layer, even if only to my own acknowledgment.

I have been meaning to post these images and story ever since having my show last august.

a draft of this post has been saved now for about 5 months.

that’s ridiculous.

these trees beginning to bud again have prompted me to finally follow through.

i have fallen directly into the pattern of predictability that i have observed,

i realize that i must change this.


i will be posting something at least once a week now, if not more often.

whether it be a just small statement and photograph or a body of work,

i can no longer just watch other flowers bloom.

my vine of creation is trying desperately with intent to spread it’s inspiration

and so i will not let my fruitful ideas to rot and decompose, fertilizing other’s creative soil any longer.

cause that’s what happens, whether spoken aloud or not. if you don’t act on your ideas, someone else will.

i have seen this materialize.  it can be discouraging when others are dancing around in a field of similar dreams.

be driven by it

just create, follow through and stay motivated and inspired by others. because there is no one else who can do exactly what you do, why you do, the way you do.

never forget that

you are the only human who can leave your legacy.

i believe that’s grounds enough to have confidence in yourself and your capabilities no matter how outrageous your ideas may seem.

i won’t be holding myself back anymore, i feel the most beautiful things are yet to come.

whenever i see, smell or think about magnolias,  Cale’s words and chords subliminally lend themselves to my awareness

sly and soft, the melody of the song plays in my head.

i would like to thank JJ Cale for unearthing in me a genuine understanding for what it truly means to be an artist and posses the passion of wanting to share this feeling with everyone

i want to share his music with everyone

if you haven’t already, listen.

it will change you too.

i hope 🙂

| click here or any image for the 35mm digital magnolia gallery |

i create in loving memory of my Dad

Daniel Bryon Morris

Oct 26th 1951- June 4th 2008

magnolia, you sweet thing |  tennessee | june-july 2012-13 | canon digital images



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