Bennie O. Morrison
Bennie Morrison would paint on anything, large or small. He spent his life in the countryside of Oglethorpe County near the farm where he was born and raised. For a while, after finishing his military service, Bennie could be found painting flowers on baskets over and over again in what can best be described as a crafts factory. Bennie always loved to paint, and when that employer went out of business he continued to paint for his own pleasure. He was surprised when people started to purchase his work. Best known for his intricately detailed farm and battle scenes painted on well-worn bricks, he put the same amount of detail onto a thimble as he did onto a satellite dish. Every painting tells a story. Bennie would say that his dream of being an artist had come true: “A smile comes to my face to know that people enjoy my art.”
Bennie Morrison passed away on December 27, 2013 at his home near Crawford, GA. He was 72 years old. Bennie was a sweet cheerful man who led a quiet life and enjoyed nothing more than painting. We will miss him.
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FROM THE LIST
Oglethorpe County, GA
COTTON PICKING TIME
satellite dish
19" x 21"
acrylic on metal
SOLD
HOUSE & BARN
cinder shovel
5" x 17.5" x 1.5"
acrylic on metal
$135
BLUE WAGON
magnolia leaf
14.5" x 7.5"
acrylic on leaf
SOLD
An early painting by Bennie, dated 9/25/94
WILD RIVER COVERED BRIDGE
25" x 18"
acrylic on board
$260
Bennie pressed leaves under stacks of old phonebooks. After painting them he covered them with polyurethane. Bennies said one of his painted leaves will last forever, "as long as you don't let some kid play with it."
COTTON & CORN
11.5" x 6"
acrylic on resin
$220
COTTON CROP & CORN
10" diameter
acrylic on pot lid
$230
HOUSE & POND
7" x 6" x 2"
acrylic on broken clay pot
(hangs on wall)
SOLD
B.J. HENRY'S GRIST MILL
24" x 12"
acrylic on cabinet door
$575
OKEFENOKEE SWAMP BRICK
8"x 4" x 3"
acrylic on brick
$240
This brick is what Bennie called an "all-around brick" - because the scene and the story continue on all sides of the brick. The flaws and worn places in the old bricks become features in Bennie's landscapes. The many indentations in this one suggested to Bennie that the landscape must be a swamp. Bricks like these are why the artist is often called "Bennie the Brick Man". Click on the images for a closer look.
You can read Karen's article about Bennie Morrison here.
Thanks to the Folk Art Society of America for publishing it in Folk Art Messenger.
COTTON FARM BRICK
7.5"x 2.25" x 3.5"
acrylic on brick
$250
This brick is dated on the bottom 5/22/98. The scene and the story cover four sides of the brick, but the top and bottom are left unpainted. "New bricks," as Bennie called them, were made with the innovation of holes for more efficient mortaring.
Click on the images for a closer look.