If you need a reminder that spring is just around the corner, check out Susan Morgan’s paintings at the Chanhassen Recreation Center through March.
Morgan, of Chanhassen, is a lifelong gardener and floral designer, and paints in watercolors and oils. Morgan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and her professional career was in printing sales at various printing companies in Minneapolis, and corporate managerial positions with Musicland, Best Buy and Sagebrush Corporation.
When she tired of the corporate world, Morgan earned a degree in floral design from Hennepin Technical College, for her “retirement” career. She worked at Glenrose Floral, then freelanced. “I still dabble in floral design for family and friends and for Art In Bloom, and I volunteer with the U of M Landscape Arboretum. Although fine art was not my vocation, it has been my hobby since childhood.”
Morgan, born and raised in Pennsylvania, always had an artistic bent, and her teachers encouraged her with children’s art classes at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum.
She came to Minnesota when her father, a Tuskegee airman and a dentist wanted to leave the city for life in the country. He searched for areas of the country in need of dentists. That’s how he brought his family to Wanamingo, Minnesota, where they were the first minority in town, and her father its first dentist.
1 Where else have you exhibited?
A: I have exhibited my art at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Savage Art Studio, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and at the U of M Landscape Arboretum. In addition, I have entered floral displays in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts “Art in Bloom” floral exhibition — 2008-2018, winning Peoples’ Choice award in 2009 for my interpretation of Monet’s painting “The Japanese Bridge,” recreated in flowers.
2What draws your interest in a particular landscape or a flower/planting that inspires you to put it to watercolor or oil?
A: What I paint encompasses all the elements of color, lighting, and an overall feeling that I have when I see a setting, flower or landscape ... My medium of choice is watercolor. Watercolor is so easy to transport, dries quickly and is very satisfying for me. The evolution of the painting just happens. It’s a state of letting go … letting the subject and the paint make a statement. I become just the tool to move the brush.
3You’ve taken many classes to hone your artistic skills; what makes these classes and workshops so enjoyable?
A: Currently, I attend a Minnetonka Community Ed class, “Watercolor” by Barbara Boulka. She is an awesome artist and mentor. I learn so many new techniques from her, and continued participation keeps me painting.
Some of my painting subject matter comes from those classes. The camaraderie in the class and unique techniques keep me returning class after class.
— Unsie Zuege