Are you a fellow art lover?
I’ve always been drawn to art. I am pretty sure I take after my Dad who has managed to unleash the artist in him by learning how to paint and since exhibiting at several local art fairs when he retired at the age of 65 from his steady government job.
Art can take so many different forms. From photography, oil painting, water coloring to sculpting, there is countless ways to express the talent behind each artist. But what I find to be the most magical is the behind the scenes creation journey.
With The Artist Project, one of Toronto’s favourite contemporary art fairs taking place February 22nd to 25th at the Better Living Centre, I had the privilege of visiting Morgan Jones, an exhibitor at the Artist Project specializing in mixed media, for an exclusive behind the scenes look at his creation process and also had the opportunity to work on a couple of art pieces with him!
Morgan is a self taught mixed-media artist inspired by observing the casual encounters between the people and life surrounding him. He combines photography with other mediums such as paint, foils, collage lettering, and physically integrating objects such as masks, gnomes, and balloons in his photography to tell a story about his subjects. When I first came across his work browsing the Artist Project’s directory of over 250 top contemporary artists from Canada and abroad, I was intrigued by the combination of fantasy and reality that each of his pieces portrayed and couldn’t wait to learn more.
His studio displayed many of his artwork, some of which were commissioned by couples and families, and others were created from a number of photographs he shot as part of various collections, including this captivating one displayed below taken in Ontario.
Prior to my visit, Morgan had asked me to share a few photos that I’d be interested in transforming and with his keen eye, he expertly selected two for us to work on together. As DIY-fanatic, I’m sure you can only imagine how thrilled I was to get my hands dirty (in a magical kind of way of course!).
We then proceeded to choosing materials to apply directly onto the piece. I picked this copper/rose gold foil and learned to apply it directly onto the surface, creating this perfectly imperfect band of “bling”. We completed the piece with a few paint splatters which I thought acted as a bit of a unique signature.
As you can see, the art piece is nicely set into a custom frame, which Morgan also build, assemble, and paints, in the privacy of his studio. Let’s just say, I may have also operated a saw during my visit!
I can’t stress enough how much work and patience goes into bringing an art piece to life and my time with Morgan reinforced the appreciation I have in the journey for idea to masterpiece.
Advice to First Time Art Buyers
I asked Morgan what advice he would give to art lovers when it comes to investing and purchasing their first piece of art. He often encourages his buyers to take a photo of the space they’re hoping to outfit, bring it to him and he’d be able to make some recommendations and even photoshop a few pieces onto the image to provide visual examples for the buyer.
Alternatively, he also finds it extremely helpful lend the piece out, so that they can actually take it home and ‘try’ it out for a short period of time before making the investment.
Taking Morgan’s advice, I wasn’t quite sure where to hang my beautiful finished pieces, therefore, I did some photoshop magic to see where they fit best before I start drilling holes into my wall. Which space do you prefer?!
If you’re a fellow art lover and in the market to discover, explore, and purchase one of a kind pieces directly from local and international artists (the artists themselves, not a gallery owner!), visit Artist Project and join them in celebrating their 11th year!
Be sure to purchase tickets swing by to say hello to Morgan, and bring a few photos of your place in case you find that special piece to bring home!
I captured the #BehindtheArt of Morgan’s studio visit on Instagram, check out my stories for the full experience!
Disclaimer: This post was published in partnership with Artist Project but all opinions are my own.