Jessie Morgan’s artwork captivates and lures the viewer into her dappled, flickering surfaces of paint. These meditative paintings on aluminum are notexplicit in imagery, but evoke the energy and rhythm of the natural environment. Water, wind, seeds and sky are some of the Elements considered, as are broader themes of the Seasons and cellular life.
Morgan creates the textured surface through a lengthy process of layering paint, medium and glazes. She applies, blends and removes layers of paint utilizing brushes, squeegees, syringes and other unconventional tools to achieve her unique surfaces. She doesn’t begin with a preconceived idea, but allows the experimental process and interaction with the materials to shape and guide her work.
Jessie Morgan is from New England and lives and works on the coast of Massachusetts. She earned her BFA from Tufts University and is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her works are exhibited in notable Galleries throughout the United Sates, and are held in private and corporate collections in the United States and Asia.
Inspired by the patterns and rhythms of the natural world, I strive to make my paintings feel as if they evolved organically in the environment. I work with acrylic paint, mediums and glazes on aluminum as I am drawn to the smooth surface and the dichotomy of creating an organic looking object out of rough industrial materials. Each painting develops and takes shape as I work to build layer upon layer of paint and glaze, always revealing bits of what came before. The multiple layers reference elements of nature on, above and below the surface. The repetitive marks rhythmically evoke natural systems, and simultaneously reveal a macroscopic and microscopic view. This is an experimental process of give and take, adding and removing, seeing and editing and finding the balance between chance and intention.
REVIEWS + INTERVIEWS
“In Jessie Morgan’s incandescent abstract paintings on aluminum and plexiglas, layers of pigment streak, disperse, and gather. The works evoke water or sky; sometimes, deep shadows chase across them. Always, they shimmer and pulse.”The Boston Globe, June 2017, Cate McQuaid
“Morgan builds lush, painterly surfaces over plexiglas and aluminum in tones that recall the ocean at night.”The Boston Globe, ARTS 2010, Cate McQuaid
“Morgan’s work is strong, elemental and captivating.”Artscope Magazine, October 2009, Taylor M. Polites
“Lush clouds of color sift across the dimpled surfaces of Jessie Morgan’s paintings on canvas, all titled ‘Waking Up’. These, too, luxuriate in tone and texture, in layers emerging from organic depths.The Boston Herald, January 2005, Joanne Silver
For Morgan, this layer is not an opaque shield, but a flickering veil of luminous color. Multiple coats of paint have been built up and scraped off until the final abstraction attains the misty shimmer of light on water. Dots of color pool and break up to expose previous tones just below the undulating surface. Pale blue dances over reds and yellows. Ochre meanders over shallow ridges. Snowy clouds drift like fog on a ground of golden veins.
All the paintings in ‘Waking Up’ tantalize with textures that remain almost invisible from certain angles and then pop out from others. ‘Skin’ in these works has a more universal meaning than simply human flesh. As rendered in paint, it is the appearance of any aspect of nature – from a misty breeze to a rippling pond. ‘Waking Up’ evokes a process of coursing through many levels before reaching the last one, and Morgan echoes this journey with her laborious technique.”
“The surface of her paintings (all titled ‘Waking Up’) is dense and alluring, like stratified waterfalls of color. Each is a rippled veil through which we glimpse other colors, other worlds. Morgan is a colorist. Her tones, and the way they interact, set off particular reactions: vulnerability or energy.”The Boston Globe, December 2004, Cate McQuaid
“Morgan’s surfaces are like seaweed, whole walls of it. Reticulated and striated, they seem to breathe in organic cellular life. Her colors are varied (off-shades of primaries, deep red, pale blues, hints of gold), and her titles suggest deeper, specific meanings.”Art New England, April/May 2005, Shawn Hill
“Jessie Morgan builds gesso ridges over the surface of her pieces, paints, then traces those ridges with pencil. The washes of tone feel ethereal, but the texture is like furrowed land.”The Boston Globe, July 2005, Cate McQuaid
|1998||School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA|
|1991||Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA|
Bachelor of Fine Arts