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Nov 24, 2015

Creating space to create

We are really fortunate to have a home that is large enough to give both me and Duquette the space to create our art. Doing your work at home can be really difficult at times, hello resistance!, but if you can be disciplined and passionate about what you do, it's kind of an ideal situation. 

Duquette recently surprised me by turning our never used sunporch into my painting studio, which was simply the most loving gesture EVER. It's my most sacred space in our home. And I really wanted him to feel that same love, encouragement and sacred space for him to record from home. With some very creative rearranging of a junky bedroom, we created a space that has that hidden feeling. You know, a space that seems to transport you somewhere else, outside of the home vibe. And it's just what he needed. 

Duquette is someone who really appreciates having natural elements around him. It may be a rock he found twenty years ago in the Southwest. It could be a wild, curling branch that will bloom over time in a vase. There's palo santo sticks, fresh cut flowers from our garden, a piece of Alabama quartz. Having grown up in the mountains of Wyoming, my husband is part wild. It's in his blood. So it's something he needs to feel around him to create most naturally. 

A big part of transforming a space is, without a doubt, the art you surround yourself with. I get that! I'm an artist after all! As this space is all Duquette, I really wanted to get some art that really captured and captivated him in a meaningful way. So when reached out to see if I would like to order something from them, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to find something special just for my man. 

I selected two large photo prints by designer Lisa Cersovsky, based in Oakland, California. 

The first image, Lake Louise, is above Duquette's desk, pictured above. I love the color tone and the dream-like landscape. If you've ever seen a place like this in person, all it takes is a beautiful image to transport you back to that sensation of being so small compared the vastness of God's nature. 

The second photographic print I ordered is a companion piece, also taken by Lisa Cersovsky. I ordered a HUGE print of it sized 60"x44". It is STUNNING. It's also a pretty penny to get framed, so we will be building a custom frame for it. 

Duquette loves his space so much, and it is evolving and changing as if it's a living thing. You need life in a space to really feel connected to it. These photographs really have helped shape the space, the vibe, the intentions for Duquette to walk into the room, shut the door, be transported and to create. 

We really want to thank Minted for so generously allowing us to bring these prints into our home and for being a part of creating a sacred space. Their web site can be a little overwhelming with all the services and products they offer, so here's my shortcut: if you want a photographic print, click here. And if you want to see the next print I want to purchase myself in a HUGE size, click here. (I'm an ocean girl, through and through!)

While hooked us up with two amazing photographic prints, we did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are totally ours and we are just thankful to have been gifted such beautiful art and opportunities! xo Morgan and Duquette

CommentsCategories art Tags minted large photographs large art duquette johnston recording studio lisa cersovsky

Nov 20, 2014

Wilderness Gifts

I've been back and forth about writing about gifting products to your man or woman this season. There are so many gift guides out there, and that's not really what this season is about. But-- there are some great things on the market right now from great companies and individuals, so I might need to do a few posts to cover everything.Here are a few different items I am digging on during this early winter season. 

I live vicariously through the Juniper Ridge crew on Instagram on so many occasions. Spending the most memorable years of my childhood in the Bighorn Mountain range of Wyoming is why I naturally gravitated toward this company, their beliefs, their process, their packaging and most importantly the small batch products. I grabbed my first bottle of the Big Sur Trail Soap from my friends at Imogene and Willie during a visit last year. The first time I smelled the soap I was instantly transported back to being bathed in a creek as a kid in the mountians and drying off by a fire. These folks live on the trail and make their products on the trail. Plus all the art is done by their own Obi Kauffmann which is an added bonus. Grab a bottle for your loved one today. 


Speaking of Obi Kauffmann, he recently put out a limited edition book of wilderness poetry and trail paintings available through Cold Splinters. Obi is part of the Juniper Ridge crew, but he very much has his own thing going on with all of his trail paintings and writing.  Just as Juniper Ridge products remind me of my childhood, the way Obi is living out his life reminds me of all the hours I spent on trails and mountainsides and beside streams during my teenage years. There was no social media, no cell phones, we just went out and dissappeared into the wilderness any day we could. Besides him selling the book through Cold Splinters you can also purchase his paintings through his store. I think they are beautiful and are one of a kind presents for the loved ones in your life or a stranger who needs a light to be shined upon their life. 

Go out and explore the wilderness around you and turn off the phone while you are at it. 



CommentsCategories art style Tags juniper ridge obi kaufmann natural soap gift guide 2014 what to buy your man for christmas

Nov 4, 2014

NEED TO KNOW: amy pleasant

Amy Pleasant is probably my favorite artist ever. And she is also a dear friend of ours. We met many, many years ago and I have just really grown to admire her not only as an artist but also as a creative woman and mother. Her paintings, whether on paper, canvas, wall drawings or cutouts are these beautiful things that capture moments in time, relationships, bodies, every day life. The way she uses media, paint and water or ink suggests this happenstance-- the drop of inky water that becomes the figure of a woman bending over a companion. Perhaps it's the media and subject converging in white space that captures me. Or it's the sense of voyeurism, watching the private lives of these inky figures, creating stories around them from some internal place. 

One of my great art acquisition goals is to own a large piece of Amy's, but for now I am really honored to have been given special cards through the years adorned with figures, white houses, wood block print and a very special portrait she painted of Duquette in his grandfather's hat for his birthday several years ago. 

Here are a few pieces that I particularly love.

Reclining Figures II, ink on paper 24" by 22" 2010

Heads II

Two, oil on canvas 60" by 72" 2013

Surround, Candyland Stockholm, Sweden 2012

detail of Surround

Wall Drawing and Kiss II, oil on canvas 48" by 60"

On the Ground Below, ink on paper 45 1/2" by 72" 2011

And here is the portrait of Duquette she gave him for his birthday several years ago...

CommentsCategories art Tags amy pleasant amy pleasant art jeff bailey gallery whitespace gallery birmingham artists contemporary art

Oct 24, 2014

Five Questions: shannon harris/ design week bhm

Today we are asking Shannon Harris five questions. I don't know what to say about this woman because she's one of my best friends and godmother to my boy. She has great vision, really cares about her city, works harder than any woman I know and is just amazing. She's been a big part of Design Week Birmingham from the get go, and you should totally go see her at the Printer's Fair at Trim Tab Brewing Co. this weekend. 

Here are five questions with Shannon Harris...

1/ What Pantone color is Shannon Harris? 805c

2/ What is your favorite period of design? What three characteristics make it your favorite? The New York School pragmatism, informality, symbolism  

3/ If Shannon Harris was a band, what would it sound like or who would it be? The Cars

4/ What are your favorite tools for your trade or otherwise? Adobe pen tool, box cutter, bar spoon

5/ Drinks with any designer dead or alive...who is it and what are you each drinking? Tibor Kalman, founder of M&Co and the creative force behind Colors magazine. He's having a Negroni and I'll have the bourbon version, a Boulevardier.

Shannon Harris is a Senior Art Director living in Birmingham, Alabama. She works at BIG Communications with her husband Matt Harris and dog Booda Harris. She likes bold graphics, simple messages, good office vibes, and connecting the dots. 

CommentsCategories art community five questions Tags shannon harris shannon harris big communication big communications birmingham design week birmingham birmingham printer's fair

Oct 21, 2014

Five Questions: Roy Burns III/ Design Week BHM

This week is the second annual Design Week Birmingham, a really amazing week of exhibits, lectures, film screenings, workshops and more. There are too many great events going on to possibly list here, but my picks would definitely be a flag making workshop with Aaron Draplin, the Printer's Fair at Trim Tab Brewing Co. and a Rapid Fire presentation with 11 local and regional designers. Get your tickets now to these amazing happenings. So today we are talking to Roy Burns III, Creative Director at Lewis Communications and one of the founding board members of Design Week Birmingham. Working with designers David Blumberg and Andrew Thomson, he helped to create the branding for this and last year's DWB (but is very quick to add how collaborative the creative community behind all of this is.) Duquette and I each have had the opportunity to work with Roy and it's always a fun process.

Here's five questions with Roy...

1/ What typeface is Roy Burns III?  Craw Clarendon. Freeman Craw's version of the classic English slab-serif.

2/ Dinner with a dead designer-- who is it and what do you eat? Tough! Maybe Alvin Lustig, Barney Bubbles or Tibor Kalman. No… Alexander Steinweiss. He invented the album cover. Steak-frites with Campari and soda… or Guinness Export.

3/ Favorite album artwork and why?  Lonely Is An Eyesore—a 1987 compilation on the 4AD label by Vaughan Oliver (then, working with Nigel Grierson under the name 23 Envelope). Difficult to remember which came first—my love for this astounding album, or its wonderfully enigmatic sleeve. Can't really separate them. Together, they form a singular artistic statement. Typographically speaking, it's nowhere near Oliver's most adventurous work. But the textures? I'm a complete sucker for textures. This record made me want to become a designer.

4/ Favorite Pantone color? Pantone 8001 (shiny!)

5/ Top three inventions ever? Printing. Recording. Ventolin.

Roy Burns III is Creative Director at Lewis Communications in Birmingham. Prior to that, he was Senior Art Director at the New York office of global interactive agency Razorfish, and Design Director at Stoltze Design in Boston. During his 20+ years in design, he’s worked for a broad range of clients including HBO, ZDF, BMG/Sony, Capitol Records, Caldo Verde Records, Communicating Vessels, Houghton Mifflin, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Virginia, Tiffin Motorhomes, Fidelity Investments, and Harvard Business School. His work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, Graphis, HOW, Print, Communication Arts, AAF ADDY Awards, AIGA and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. When he's not designing or hoarding records, he's not spending nearly enough time with his wonderful wife Liane, his son Walt, and his dog Zee.

CommentsCategories art five questions Tags roy burns iii lewis communications design week birmingham design week bhm birmingham creative directors

Oct 23, 2014

Picasso in Vallauris

I mentioned last week that I have been going through old travel photos, and I came across these images of Picasso captured by Andre Villers. There was an entire exhibit in this little gallery in the South of France a few years ago, and it was one of my favorite photo exhibits I've ever seen. I am endlessly obsessed with Pablo Picasso and jump at any chance I get to see more perspective to his life. 

CommentsCategories art travel Tags pablo picasso picasso vallauris andre villers andre villers picasso photos of picasso

Oct 22, 2014

Inspiration: landsat earth imaging

Landsat was kind of the grandaddy of Earth imaging, recording images of our planet to give scientists a way to track changes to landscapes... and giving the average person some great inspiration and perspective. I really am loving the color combinations and textures. 

Lake Eyre Filling Peaks, Australia, 2009.

Yellow River Delta, 1989.

Yukon Delta, Alaska 2011

Sivash, Ukraine 2010

PHOTOS: 1/ 2/ 3/ 4

CommentsCategories art Tags landsat nasa landsat satellite imaging inspiration color and texture

Jul 31, 2014

Sonic Visuals

Right now my mind is compeltely consumed with my upcoming show in Birmingham, Alabama at the Alys Stephens Center in the Sirote Theatre on September 12th. This will be the largest canvas I have had the pleasure of playing on live as a solo artist. When preparing for the show everything runs through my mind from how stripped down to get during parts of the set to how large can I make my band for the night and pull it off to my approval and what can I actually afford to do. While the music is the forefront of my thoughts so is the entire experience of the evening sonically and visually. Morgan and I have been sketching out my stage for the last several days and I think we are headed in the right direction. Through this process I have spent a lot of time watching concerts of other artist looking for inspiration for my stage plot, lighting and more. So I thought I would share a couple of those videos while we prepare for this event.



Hope to see you all in September.




CommentsCategories New Category art music style Tags Neil Young The Band Bob Dylan The Last Waltz Turkish Souk

Jul 8, 2014

Pinspiration: holographics

There's something really entrancing about holographic prints/patterns/colors. And it's totally nostalgic for me, too. I was in grade school in the early nineties and it was ALL about those holographic folders (silver and fuchsia please). Oh, and in my mind the worlds of Jem and Lady Lovelilocks were totally hologramtastic. 

PHOTOS: 1/2/3/4

CommentsCategories art Tags holograms holographic pinspiration top pins top pinners

May 30, 2014

Lost and Found

Well it has been a while since I have contributed to our lovely blog. That will be changing and I will be posting more in the coming weeks and months. The time is flying past since Tennessee Wolf was born and I have not even wanted to be online. All I truly want to do is hang out with my son and write songs, which is actually mostly what I have been doing so I have zero complaints. But I did want to take a minute and mention a few items and videos to check out. 

1. First up are my friends and family from The Green Seed. They have a new album coming out this summer on July 15th from Communicating Vessels. The gentlemen from The Green Seed inspire me on so many levels and I am lucky to be on the same label as them. They premiered a new video this week for the track "Jude Law" off the upcoming album Drapetomania. The video was shot by Kris Daw and is a glimpse into the psyche of The Green Seed. 

 2. Summer is upon us and with the heat I seem to simplify what I am wearing even more than normal, especially adding the little cub to the mix. We have made a new no shoe rule in the house so getting in and out of a pair of shoes quickly is great, same for when you are traveling through airports. So my favorite is a pair of classic slip on Vans. I have worn vans since I was a child and I feel my son will be doing the same. 

3. I am not good at entering stuff into my phone. Occasionally I will use the note app and I am getting better at using my calendar. I do however always carry a notepad in my back pocket. I still prefer pen and paper, not sure why I just do. Sometimes I am using it for sketches, or lyrics or just a list for the store. A couple of years ago I started using the Doane Paper Products because I loved their graph/line combo notepads. Plus Chad Doane is just a cool man that loves him some vans and good music, how can you go wrong. My favorite are the garage series utility notebooks. Check out his whole collection. 

4. Summer in the south means you better be ready to sweat it all out. I actually love that about the south and believe it adds to the soul and the mystical presence of the south. That being said you have to choose your soaps and deodorants wisely. Since I was a kid in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming I have used Dr. Bronner's soaps, well my parents did back then and now I do for my entire family. Taking a shower after being out in the heat with some of their Peppermint soap is both cooling and invigorating. I will highly recommend to the gentlemen to use the Tea Tree Soap as it works as a natural antiseptic to cleanse your stank ass arm pits and other areas of bacteria which causes oder no one loves. Your wife will thank you as will your friends. 

5. To wrap it up for today I want to share an inspiring video from the fine folks over at Leica. They have a web series called "Let Us Roam" which is an ongoing short film series that shows stories about photographers, artists, filmmakers and musicians inside of the skateboarding culture. I wanted to share the short film on Ray Barbee. I always loved watching Ray skate so when I came across this short film where he discusses his life with his family and how they inspire him creatively was just perfect for the transition point I am at in life. I hope this inspires you to go out and be a positive force in this crazy world and to love your family even more. 



CommentsCategories art family five things music Tags The Green Seed Vans Doane Paper Products Dr. Bronner's Leica Cameras Leica Ray Barbee Galaxia Records Skateboarding Summer Communicating Vessels

Apr 14, 2014

Psychedelic Apps

So I am currently obsessed with taking photos of something cool or a cool pattern or capturing good light and then running them through a bunch of apps to make cool stuff.

First, I take all of my photos in the VSCO app. And I usually put a filter on it and adjust exposure, contrast and fade in the app, too. I save the image to my camera roll and then run it through a combination of apps: Afterlight for light leaks and film effects, Fragment for the trippy tessellated type stuff (the geometric shapes and fragmenting), sometimes Tangent and PicFrame too. 

I wouldn't say there's any secret to it. You just have to see a good photo and its possibilities and you have to know when to stop. There's good and bad design. Figure out the good when you're making it. As hog wild as you can go, you have to exercise restraint. And there's nothing wrong with starting over from scratch.

Do you have any amazing apps to recommend? And if you want to see more of these, check out my Instagram



CommentsCategories art Tags best photo apps psychedelic apps trippy photo apps

Apr 1, 2014

Picasso Baby: Jay-Z's performance piece

PICASSO BABY. I happened upon this video of Jay-Z's performance piece "Picasso Baby" and I think it is just amazing. The music is great, the energy is insane and you observe this intense commentary of celebrity, on boundaries, on looking and seeing into the soul of a person. It's a more popular culture spin on the pieces of Marina Abramovic (she sits or stands in a gallery and anyone can just walk up to her, sit, stand, stare, yell, whatever). And in a cool twist, Abramovic is IN the Picasso Baby piece, along with a whole lot of other cool movers and shakers in the world. 

Watch it. Dig it. 

Love y'all.


CommentsCategories art Tags jay-z picasso baby jay-z and marina abramovic marina abramovic performance art

Jan 2, 2014

2014: The Year of Creating More and Getting Weird

2014 is going to bring a lot of really exciting developments in the Johnston/ Rugged and Fancy world. We are just kind of waiting to see when our son is going to make his grand appearance, which is surprisingly not dictating our day to day right now. Yeah, my bones hurt really badly but I keep trucking along...and making plans for this year. 

Last year was huge for us, without us really even realizing it until having come through the end of it. Rugged and Fancy really took shape and we figured out what it is, Duquette released this amazing record that took us to this whole new level of work and creativity...and just days later we found out we are having a baby. THAT was a shock. And sharing this may comfort or encourage someone... Duquette and I have been together 12 years and really thought that we just couldn't have a baby. It goes to show that it's in God's timing and that miracles can happen any day.

So this year, 2014 is about GETTING WEIRD. And creating a lot more. Eliminating the things in our lives that distract or cause bad noise. Especially TV, seriously. So what do I mean by getting weird? It's this phrase that Duq and I use to talk about getting to a creative and productive place where you let go of inhibitions and insecurities, take a chance, try something OUT THERE. It's the greatest place of creativity, I think. 

I don't like resolutions, but I do like challenges. So every day I will be drawing something, and every day I will be taking a photo with the theme of "family." I will be sharing each of the images daily over on my Instagram (@ruggedandfancy) and posting images once or twice a week here on the blog. (Cool note: I make videos of the drawing process that will be posted only on Instagram, so check it out!)

Here's what came out of yesterday:


I actually did two yesterday just because it was so fun. 


I am really excited about both of these series/challenges, but maybe extra excited about this one because we are having our first child in just weeks and I will have a year's worth of images, one a day, for his arrival and early months and the family of such cherished friends around us. 

Here is the first image of the year:

This is Tennessee Wolf's room, a corner of it anyway. We still have SO much to do to prepare that space, BUT I have the reading corner set up. This chair belonged to Tennessee's great, great grandparents and the flag was his great grandfather's. Reading is so special and so important to me that I wanted this to be the first spot we set up. I go in there and rock and read to this dude in my belly. I love it. I think he loves it.

Anyway, I took this photo at 2am on Jan 1st. We had just gotten home from the best new year's eve ever, spent with our best friends and baby's godparents. We cooked a ridiculous amazing meal and exchanged gifts (a cool tradition for NYE that stemmed from 3/4s of the group having the flu over Christmas). I was so touched and surprised that everyone got our baby Christmas presents, a few of which are the awesome grey Wolf stuffed animal and Golden Books on the shelf. 

Do any of you want to join me on this 365 photo challenge? Let me know what subject you choose and I would love to follow along! Just comment below! 

Here's to getting weird, creating more and loving big in 2014.

Morgan, Duquette and Tennessee Wolf

CommentsCategories art community Tags 365 photo challenge photo challenge 2014 art and illustration wolfs and indians

Dec 20, 2013

Pipe and Gun

Right now I am sitting in the recording studio waiting to rehearse for an event tomorrow, wondering when my son will be born, planning for his arrival and more. So my writing might be rather scatter brained, just being honest here.

I am very fortunate to be a part of Pipe and Gun and get to record and write in an such an inspiring and incredible space. From my vantage point Pipe and Gun is an art house. I will not try to go into what all Pipe and Gun is doing. This about an experience, it is about art, the art of music, the art of clothing design, the art of food, the art of painting and beyond. A Pipe and Gun event is a living thing. 

So tomorrow in the neighborhood of Woodlawn, at a new venue Sound and Page, will be the first Pipe and Gun open shop.  There will be clothing from LyonState out of Fairhope, Alabama, Bushsmarts camping gear, grooming products from Baxter of California, food from the kind gentlemen of Knife Party, libations from Joseph Yancey and music by Armand Margjeka, Noel, and myself. I hope you can all make it out. 



CommentsCategories art community food music style Tags pipe and gun lyonstate clothing baxter of california knife party bushsmarts food music art film

Dec 12, 2013

Duquette Johnston's Holiday Gift Guide: Men's Grooming

I'm back, two days in a row.  Who knew it was possible? We are making progress getting our home ready for the arrival of the little man, well the doctor says "big baby." I am so curious to meet him, but I do pray he waits until his due date to join us here in this world. The whole thing is straight alien... but aren't we all?

I know Morgan and I are not the only ones with too many tasks scribbled on paper, typed on apps and calendars, for ourselves and loved ones to help us remember them all. I know I never do. Hell, if it were not for my wife I would probably be a complete mess, just being honest. One thing I am very down with is getting rid of clutter, simplifying and being able to focus on the important things in life instead of running in circles. With that, I believe in using quality and buying less. Sometimes this means spending a little more money up front. It's just worth it, and we discuss and think through all purchases together, usually. 

We believe in quality skincare products 100%. I've given my rambling speech about why I use what products I use on one than more occasion. Right now, here on planet earth in the year 2013, we are so fortunate to have access to so many incredible small businesses,independent businesses, people making a difference in their community and creating quality goods and services. I wanted to share just a few with you today and encourage you to support them as you're considering what to buy for gifts this season.

I started using the Ursa Major Skincare line earlier this year and I see no reason why I should ever quit. Based in Vermont, they have incredible ethics and run the company with the utmost integrity. I wrote a post last year about a different skincare line and it did not last. Morgan usually laughs about the number of times I have changed products. Those days are DONE, my friends. I started using it in Spring, through the heat of late summer, and now it's just as good in 20 degree weather. Ursa Major, it lasts a long time. This gift set comes with a dopp kit from Topo Designs another phenomenal American made company, but more on them later.  


I am not sure how may times we have posted about Malin and Goetz and if you know me then you know how obsessed I am with one of their oils (that I try to keep close to my sleeve). They are based out of New York and have the best customer service around. I have been ordering from them for a few years and have never had a single problem. For me, the deodorant is well worth the price. It does an incredible job and is NOT full of aluminum or other crap. Trust me, the life you will get out of one stick of deodorant will shock you, and your friends and loved ones will be glad you don't stink like a monkey cage. 

I have followed Juniper Ridge for a bit, but just recently picked some up while visiting Imogene and Willie in Nashville. I was originally drawn to the soap because the packaging reminded me of my childhood in Wyoming. I spent a better part of my early childhood getting bathed in creeks in the Big Horn Mountains and the soap was all natural and packaged very similar to the Juniper Ridge. So I dug into the company and how they are making their incredible soaps and colognes and you can not help but want to support them. They are artists in my eyes. Much like the time and effort I put into making albums, these folks spend many hours harvesting and making these products. I'm currently hooked on the Big Sur trail crew soap. You can nab it online or at some stores across the country like Imogene and Willie. 

I hope this helps with some Holiday Gifts for men. Or women. Or yettis. You will be supporting small businesses and American owned and made companies. There are so many incredible, passionate people creating quality goods right in your hometown. Go meet them, support them and shop with them this holiday season. 




CommentsCategories art community music style travel Tags Mens Grooming Products Holiday Gift Guide 2013 Ursa Major Topo Designs Malin and Goetz Juniper Ridge

Dec 11, 2013


Well I have been off the radar for a minute or two and wanted to jump in and say hello. While I want to write daily the only thing on my mind is the birth of my son Tennessee Wolf Johnston. With the thoughts of his pending arrival comes the overwhelming desire to get our home as prepeared as we can in this time of waiting. Are we 100% prepared? No. Are we 100% ready for our son? YES! Our desire is to raise our son and future children in a home filled with love, that is encouraging, creative, safe and that dreams can be achieved. 

One thing I've been doing is cleaning out rooms, decluttering, rearranging furniture, simplifying, and painting rooms. I have several paintings to finish for my pledge music campaign, but I am focused on our home. In the late hours, after long days I still try to create small pieces of art even if it is all done through some digital technology right now, or a combination of mediums. I hope I can be a source of inspiration for my son and for any of you as well. 



CommentsCategories art style Tags art photography vsco vsco cam

Nov 4, 2013

Mother Monday: Stella Maria Baer and Charley Harper

We are finally getting around to starting house projects in anticipation of our Tennessee's arrival early next year. There's so much planning and researching surrounding the baby products that I have just chosen not to think about those things right now. Rather, I am going crazy looking at art and books and finding the cutest, tiniest little clothing pieces. 

So today, I want to share with you two illustrators, one who you may not know yet and the other, who you may have grown up with yourself.

First, Stella Maria Baer. She's an illustrator and painter, photographer, sculptor. Some of the pieces remind me of illustrations from Wes Anderson movies, but more than anything there's this wild imagination to them and a sense of nostalgia that makes me just get lost in there. 

Secondly, there's Charley Harper. You can't miss a Charley Harper drawing or painting, and you probably haven't missed it as he illustrated most of the Golden Books we had as kids! Those illustrations played a huge part of my early reading/storytelling/imagination experiences.

Holy cow, a barber shop!! I wish we owned this. So badly!!!!

And this is "Lookout Mountain, TN"-- my husband spent his teenage years here.

And I am so excited to learn you can buy original works and there's a new book, a monograph of Charley Harper's life, assembled by designer Todd Oldham! 

You can get it on Amazon, or order it from my favorite people in the world, Church Street Coffee and Books.

What art do you want your kid to be exposed to in these early years? Let me know!

Have a great day, y'all.


Morgan and Tennessee

CommentsCategories art mother monday Tags stella maria baer wes anderson illustrations charley harper art for nursery

Nov 1, 2013

Halloween in Woodlawn

Duquette and I haven't really celebrated Halloween in 10+ years we have been together. It's just not the Halloween that we go all out for...well, except that year I totally dressed up as Amy Winehouse will a full sleeve of fake tattoos and giant beehive, and I convinced him to go as Lou Reed with a wig and leather jacket... I digress. We are more Thanksgiving and Christmas people, but as we get closer to bringing a little baby into the world I grow more and more excited about Halloween and the imagination and surprise it will entail for our son.

We hung out in Woodlawn last night, handing out candy with Communicating Vessels to neighborhood kids who braved the pending storm to get decked out and come down. I haven't been in a Trick or Treating situation since I was a kid, so I was so happy to watch all these candy crazed little kids running around. Ninjas and princesses were big themes, but I was really amazed at the sheer use of color, random items and attitude behind it all.

Here are some of my favorite photos from last night. And, y'all I am having such a blast carrying around an actual camera again! 

CommentsCategories art community Tags woodlawn birmingham street style revive woodlawn

Sep 12, 2013

Goodbye Summer: A Photo Post

While I spent all of this Alabama summer bed-ridden in the first trimester of pregnancy, I do have some photos I never published from last Summer in the South of France.

CommentsCategories art Tags end of summer goodbye summer south of france nice france cannes france france photos unpublished unpublished photos petanque boule picnic pique-nique

Aug 23, 2013


Well I had all these great things to write and show y'all about the Sidewalk Film Festival going on in Birmingham, Alabama this weekend, but my computer or this website is not letting me add links so I will just tell you to get off your ass this weekend and go explore your city. Shut off the computer, turn off the phone and go do stuff with friends and family, hell make some new friends. If you are in Birmingham Alabama or nearby go check out the Film Festival, or one of the many incredible shows or music shows going on. Like tonight the album launch party of my friends and label mates Shaheed and DJ Supreme at Parkside Cafe, or War Jacket at Workplay, or tomorrow night my friends Joey and Kelly from Glossary are playing a house show in Birmingham. The list of this weekends events are pretty endless, there is something for everyone.




I'll be heading up to Florence, Alabama for the Billy Reid Shindig. I love Billy and his entire team and the events they put together. Billy understands community and supports it like few people do. First I might have to hit up my barber for a quick tune up. Gentleman don't forget to see your local barber and if you do not have one email me and I can connect you with the right person.

Have a beautiful Blessed weekend.




CommentsCategories art community music style travel Tags Sidewalk Film Festival Film Music Billy Reid War Jacket Workplay Parkside Cafe Birmingham Alabama Florence Alabama The Shoals

Aug 22, 2013

Basement Fox

A year or so ago I met a man who goes by the name Basement Fox. I began following him online and was blown away by his creativity. Not only how creative he was, but the different outlets in which he used his gifts, music, photography, and film. The work ethic which he puts into his craft, very purposeful, very provocative is so inspiring. On a recent trip to Nashville I went to hang out at my friend Eric Masse's studio the Casino. There is always incredible music coming out of this spot in the middle of a neighborhood, Rayland Baxter, Caitlin Rose, Escondido and much more. Add to that list the work Basement Fox has been doing with his music.

The day I went by Basement Fox was working on a music short film. The story for the film came from a song he had written, then he deconstructed it to make the soundtrack for the film. I was just blown away by his entire process. When you get around people who do not waste their days on this planet it is infectious. I love to be around people who might wait tables or bar tend or something, but when they get off work they are honing their craft, working on personal projects and sometimes paying projects, but either way they always creating, not being complacent or content with where they are.

So with less rambling from me I will let the music short film presented by Basement Fox showcase just a peek into the mind and creativity of this great man.We will have more from Basement Fox in the future.


Part II The Fool from BASEMENT FOX on Vimeo.

Love Duq,

CommentsCategories art community style Tags basement fox eric masse vimeo video music music short film short film

May 15, 2013

Junko Oki, Woky Shoten

I will admit that I have never been one for embroidery art. There, I said it. It has always felt a little too craftsy for me. UNTIL I saw the work of Japanese artist, Junko Oki. It is really difficult to find information on her and her work, as all the sites are in Japanese. BUT I have gathered that she calls her work, WOKY SHOTEN, referring to the free movement of the line to make a simple repetition of work. And the forms and patterns and repetitions touch on her grandfather's memories.

It's beautiful and chaotic and peaceful all at the same time. 

I just want to keep looking at it.

Via Tabiota.

March 2012, via Woky Shoten.

February 2012, via Woky Shoten.

February 2012, via Woky Shoten.

CommentsCategories art decor style Tags junko oki junko oki woky shoten woky shoten japan japanese artist artist embroidery fabric arts sewing