We couldn’t be more thrilled to kick off this new year by announcing our first artist added to our talented bevy of southern artists – the only and only Melvin G. Morgan’s collages have a cult-like following, that includes us here at Well + Wonder, we are so happy she has joined this team! Morgan Elvington Walker received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Clemson University. While studying abroad in Orvieto, Italy she obtained the nickname Melvin G. which comes from her first initial and part of her maiden name. The name stuck and became her signature on all of her work. She currently lives in Florence, South Carolina with her husband, Michael, daughter, Liza, and son, Ward. We recently stepped inside Melvin G.’s colorful studio where creativity abounds and we were so inspired! She was also gracious enough to let us fire off our Pardon Me rapid fire questionnaire. Get to know Morgan better by reading her responses in our latest blog post Pardon Me, Melvin G.!
What is currently on your nightstand?
A photo of my children, a Diptyque Feuille de Lavande candle, a glass of water, The War of Art (A book my husband gave me for Christmas) and my devotional.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
Oh I have so many. Absolutely everything Jean Michel Basquiat created, the movement and energy in Joan Mitchell’s work, Helen Frankenthaler’s color palettes and Pablo Picasso’s African influenced pieces.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
Surrounded by family all the time, laughing nonstop. I remember always dressing up in my mom’s clothes and makeup. I would make the craziest outfits out of random pieces of her clothing. My family said they knew then I would have a creative career.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
This is hard, but I would have to go with scissors. I absolutely love creating collages. So much, my right index finger has physically changed.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
Our den. It is where we spend the most time, and it is so cozy. The fire is always going if it is the slightest bit chilly. The walls are filled with art, and I have two huge shelves filled with pieces we have collected from our travels.
What is your biggest score online?
Some vintage statues that were practically free, and they bring so much happiness into the house.
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
I love the variety in a collective. You might find it because of one artist, and then you are introduced to so many other wonderful artists.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
In the states, the MOMA and in the world, MACRO (a good excuse to go to Italy.) I appreciate all art, but contemporary art has my heart.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
Speaking of art and Italy, we love the Gallery Hotel Art in Florence, Italy. It is a small little boutique hotel, right across from Ponte Vecchio. They always have a new and wonderful exhibit of art in the lobby.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
Pink, but a very natural pink. To be exact, Chanel number 54, Boy. I wear it every single day. I am pretty boring, I never change it up.
I can never get on a plane without….
Headphones, so I can listen to music.
How did you get into the world of art?
When I had my daughter we moved to my hometown. My husband could tell I missed being creative (I had a jewelry line with my aunt, Melvin Jewelry, and I did the window displays at Capitol in Charlotte, NC) so he bought me an easel for my birthday. It was such an outlet for me, and I was so excited when I would get to paint. My best friend and husband pushed me to make an Instagram account for my art and a website. If it weren’t for those two, I do not think I would have ever had the courage to do any of it.
What do you do to relax?
After a really stressful day, I sit on the bench in a hot, hot shower for like an hour. I always start to draw on the steamy glass. That is when I know it is time to get out.
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
Whenever I do art time with my kids. I always want to imitate the movement, color combinations or compositions they create. Strangely, I also get so many ideas in my head while I am rocking my son to sleep. I usually forget half of them by the time I get out of his room, but I feel like that is when I get my most exciting ideas.
Prediction for the Color of 2019?
Maybe a bubble gum pink. Always hoping for a pea green, my ABSOLUTE favorite color.
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
Well, dinner because my husband and I LOVE food. We also enjoy dancing, but only when we have had a few drinks. Then we forget that we are horrible at dancing.
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
Not just one, but my favorite series so far is my “Es ist mir egal series.” It is still in the beginning stages, and I want to eventually get it on large canvases. It means “I do not care” in German. I love chaos and color and these weird little faces I draw. I was always so self-conscious of these pieces because I had someone tell me they were weird. One day I said you know, I don’t care anymore… If I like it and it makes me happy painting them, I am going to do it.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
If it makes you happy, buy it. It is worth it!