If you know me, then you know I'm a huge art buff! The walls of my home are filled with paintings, prints, and everything in between from various places around the world. I've purchased pieces from vendors on the streets of Florence, Italy...talented locals in Central Park...Parisian artisans in France...and German creatives in the heart of Munich. One thing I've loved collecting more than anything, though, is local art from those right here in Charleston, SC. If you didn't know, let me be the first to tell you that this coastal town is packed with extremely talented artists!
I've been seeking a way to link my blog with my love for local art, and so I've decided to highlight some of my favorites here on Tori Talks though my new 'Local Love' series to give you some insight into their artistic background, creative processes, and what inspires their work! First up is one of my favorite painters in Charleston: Morgan Cole.
When did you first begin your painting journey?
I first began at Clemson University where I studied Visual Arts with a concentration in painting. My very first class at Clemson was Painting 101 with Sarah West (@sarahvvest), who is actually cousins with Lulie Wallace who I later painted alongside at Redux Contemporary Art Center downtown. Small world, right? Anywho, I took her class and became obsessed with both oil and mixed media painting!
What was the first painting you ever sold?
The very first one was at my senior show at Clemson!
How many years have you been running Morgan Cole Art?
After graduating from Clemson University in the spring of 2014 I moved to Charleston and worked at a bank for a short time. Once I was off the waitlist for a studio at Redux, I jumped into doing that full-time. At first I shared a studio with the amazingly talented Alex Waggoner (@alexwaggoner), and then later graduated to the main part of Redux where Teil Duncan, Lulie Wallace, Raven Roxanne, Kate Long Stevenson, Whitney Kreb, Dorothy Shain, Blakely Little and other talented ladies had spaces.
Has moving to Charleston changed your creative process?
I am constantly inspired by the water! I think its from growing up in Southern California (Carlsbad!) and always being at the beach. Then, when I moved to Charleston I became obsessed with boat days, beach days, and any other time I was around the water. It’s just so pretty! Boat days in Charleston are the best.
What inspires your work?
My art explores the formal quality of paint - essentially the texture (think smooth and glossy or rough and sandy), patterns (repeated shapes), colors, lines, etc. In my current body of work you could see sea foam, or gently rolling waves, or relive that sensation right before you come up out of the water - like jumping off a boat or coming out of a swimming pool! I like my artwork to be glossy or have metallic sparkle because I love seeing the light reflected on water and like to capture that in my paintings.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Everyday is different! But typically I wake up, drink coffee, have some quiet time and then hop on my computer to go through emails, check Instagram, and review my calendar for the day. I like to do my plotting/planning during the day as well as browse Instagram to see what’s trending and check out other artists. There’s so much cool, local talent here in town! Then, I’ll get everything ready to paint in the evenings. Sometimes I paint during the day, but I’m more of a night owl.
Is there a particular time of day you like to paint?
I do my best work at night when I can crank up the music on my headphones, fully immerse myself into the music and paint (Ellie Goulding, Drake, and Coldplay are always on repeat).
Where can I find your art to purchase around town? Any upcoming exhibitions?
I just wrapped up a Trunk Show the other week, but there’s a few coming up this summer! Follow along on my Instagram (@morgancoleart) to stay updated on pop-up shops and new painting releases! Paintings are also available for purchase on my website!
What do you like to do when you're not creating?
When I’m not painting I can be found on a boat, running around Colonial Lake, indulging in Jeni’s Ice Cream, chatting with my sister on the phone, or having a cocktail at The Dewberry!
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