Jason Morgan

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Jason Morgan

United States

Growing up in rural, southeast Texas, there wasn’t much support for exploring the arts. While I knew I always wanted to be an artist, I was also “good with my hands” so the expectation was that I would become a mechanic. I joined the Marines soon after high school in the hopes of seeing a bit of life outside my hometown first. There I was surprised to learn I could eventually get training as a graphic artist but an injury cut short my time in the service and I had to seek out other avenues. 

In the various entry-level graphic design jobs I held in the following years, I was fortunate to have a couple of mentors who encouraged me to try painting. My real training came during a period of painting old master reproductions for an interior designer. This experience gave me the confidence to finally pursue painting full time.

About ten years ago in the midst of a tanking economy and demand evaporating for the traditional commissioned portraits I had been painting for the prior decade, I was challenged by a local gallery owner to attempt a still life for a change. She was kind to suggest it, not wanting to see me starve, but I couldn’t imagine anyone dying to see my version of Sliced-Apple-With-Teacup, either. Faces were always so intriguing to me and I loved the long buildup to that ultimate satisfaction of capturing a likeness. I knew if I was going to paint something inanimate, I had to try to give it life somehow so I would stay interested and see it through to completion.

When I started assembling random objects, I found an unexpected delight in the staging process. Getting the pieces to relate to each other and somehow tell a story became the new challenge. In recent years, this has come full circle in what I refer to as “treasure portraits” where I strive to capture the essence of the individual represented by the painting.


* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 14th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.