Artist Morgan Jamieson is well-known for her brightly hued paintings which exude positivity and capture life in full bloom.
It is a signature style the Ocean Grove creative has developed over more than a decade since first experimenting with the medium as a 16-year-old.
Her beautiful works now feature on everything from candles and wrapping paper, through to murals on shop walls and original paintings hung proudly in people’s homes.
The artist herself admits she has come a long way since first selling her paintings at local markets.
“I actually had a lady contact me last week who had bought one of my paintings that I used to sell back when I was in Year 12, which is like 13 or 14 years ago,” Morgan says.
“She said she was sending a photo and I was cringing waiting for the photo.
“I looked at it and obviously it’s old and it’s a bit dated but I can kind of see the roots of where it all started.
“It was quite flat but concept-wise I can definitely see an evolution to where it has ended up today… it told a little story which was nice.”
Morgan added a new chapter to that story earlier this year when she quit her day job as a graphic designer to focus full-time on her own business.
It proved to be a sliding doors moment.
“It was quite literally two weeks later that the (COVID) announcements were made and I thought ‘oh my gosh, what have I done?’,” she recalls.
“I was nervous that it was a time where businesses were reining in on spending and artwork is considered a luxury item and graphic design services aren’t a necessity.”
At first she second guessed her decision to leave the security of a part-time job but any fears proved to be unfounded and her work has never been in higher demand.
“It’s been incredibly busy – I cannot believe how busy it’s been with people spending money on artwork,” Morgan says.
“I think perhaps the people who are lucky enough to have two incomes in their home are not necessarily spending money on things they would have once spent money on like going out for dinners.
“It’s a time where people have been redecorating and decided to do jobs around the home that they’ve ignored for so long because they are spending so much time at home.”
Amidst the challenges presented by the pandemic and parenting two young children – three-year-old son and 16-month-old daughter Vinnie – another silver lining for Morgan has been the opportunity to take part in the artist-in-residence program at Lon Retreat.
The stunning retreat is set on 200 acres of rural land and conservation land at Point Lonsdale and artists taking part produce works that give their interpretation of its calming country coastal landscape.
It is a world away from Morgan’s spontaneous style of creating works driven by her own imagination.
“It’s definitely not my usual palette down there – it’s really, really muted and beautiful soft calming colours,” she says.
“There is nothing too bright or bold or clashy so I had to pull the colours back a lot in comparison to what I’m used to using when I paint.
“It was a real challenge for my brain from a colour perspective and from working through a process.
“It was awesome… but the polar opposite to how I usually work.”
Working with a different colour palette while maintaining her signature style proved to be just the challenge she needed and Morgan is excited to share the work when her solo show, The Shapes of Lon, opens on October 17.Ano
ther project that has kept her busy has been renovating her beach house with husband Ryan.
The showstopper is undoubtedly the recently completed kitchen which features Morgan’s colourful artwork wallpapered underneath the kitchen bench – providing the perfect contrast to the white cabinetry in the sunlit space.
“It was just screaming to have something on it and we thought about tiling it,” she says.
“I said to my husband ‘I’m going to put my artwork on it, why not?’.
“If we get sick of it in a few years’ time we can always go over the top of it.
“We used the artwork as our base for the design and then planned everything else around it – probably a bit risky in hindsight.
“It’s the sunniest area in our house so it’s really light and bright and throws the colours really well.”
It is testament to Morgan’s willingness to do things her own way and her confidence with colour – something she regularly shares with her loyal following of 28,000-plus followers on Instagram and through her hugely successful collaboration
as a member of the Greenhouse Interiors stable of artists.
“Greenhouse Interiors has honestly been the best thing that has happened for me and my artwork,” Morg
an says of working with stylist and entrepreneur Julia Green.
“Julia has got all of the connections and she is amazing person who is full of energy,” she says.
“I had a massive hiatus from painting and Julia kind of gave me a bit of shove to keep pursuing it and then I released my first collection with her at the end of 2016.
“It’s kind of been non-stop since then.”
Follow Morgan’s artistic journey on Instagram @morgan_jamieson_artist and listen to the interview on Episode 8 of our My Coastal Home podcast.