Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interview With Artist Musette Morgan

Musette Morgan's impressionist style oil paintings are not only beautiful but also have a serene quality.  Originally from Memphis, Musette is studying with acclaimed artist Samuel Adoquei at the National Academy of Fine Art in New York.  Some of Musette's most recent work is featured in the "Five Artists" show, going on now through January 2011 at Sankofa Gallery in New York. I had the opportunity to chat with Musette about her artwork and inspiration.  Here is what the striking young talent had to say:

MannerOfStyle: When did you know you wanted to become an artist?

Musette Morgan: I have loved art since I was very young. I have dreamed about being an artist all my life and am thrilled that I’m finding a way to make it work on a professional level. I have been so lucky to have had such wonderful teachers along the way that have kept moving me forward and directing me to the next step. 

Turnips, oil on panel
 MOS: How did you find and begin working with Samuel Adoquei?

MM: I had an incredible painting teacher during college. Senior year, I was in the midst of preparing for life post graduation and she suggested I look up Sam in New York, as she had studied with him and had a wonderful experience. At the time I was longing for an apprenticeship type study in order to be able to learn from an artist I respect and who had figured out how to be a professional. I did not think that that sort of experience existed any more so I was thrilled to find Sam.

Black Radish and Shallots, oil on panel

MOS: What mediums do you enjoy working with?

MM: I have decided to focus primarily on oil. It takes a long time to understand how oil works and the way it behaves like layers of glass on a canvas. I love the various techniques oil offers in order to achieve different levels of depth and richness. I also love working with pencil and charcoal.

Quinces, oil on panel

MOS: Are you primarily studying portraiture?

MM: I am currently focusing on portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. I have found that understanding the differences in each have helped me to improve my skills in the others. For example, the skills I have learned in painting still life have helped me understand the intricacies in portraiture--when I have to zoom in on the details of an eye, I break down every little form as I would when studying a still life. Likewise, when I want to capture the character of a tree I pretend I am painting its portrait. So I really enjoy alternating between portraits, still lifes, and landscapes.

Rutabaga, oil on panel

MOS: Which artists most influence your work?

MM: My all time favorites are Cezanne, Monet, Joaquin Sorolla, John Singer Sargeant, Frans Hals, Vuillard, Henry Casselli.

MOS: Is there a significant painting that inspires you?

MM: One painting I love is Joaquin Sorolla’s “Beached Boats, Valencia, 1915.” He captured light and color better than anyone. I love this painting not only for the light and color but for the feeling that the contrast between the airy sails and the glimmering shine on the water below bring. He captures such a joy through his light and color. I could look at his paintings forever.

Beached Boats, Valencia, 1915 by Joaquin Sorolla
MOS: Where is your favorite place to paint in NYC?

MM: The pond with the little sail boats in Central Park near 72nd Street.

For more information on Musette Morgan, email her at or visit her website,  Musette's work is currently on exhibition at Sankofa Gallery.

Sankofa Gallery
32 Union Square East, Suite 200
New York, NY
(212) 253-9925

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