Philip Morsberger in his studio, August 18, 2010
Recently I visited The Morris Museum of Southern Art in Augusta Georgia with a group of fellow artists and art enthusiasts. The curator generously arranged a studio visit for us with Philip Morsberger .
Philip’s warehouse studio was large and well lit with flourescants, no windows. There was artwork everywhere, we all wandered around like little children getting into all of his things, and asking a zillion questions like; why is there a turtle on that mans head? What is the significance of this and that. And he patiently explained what the images popping in and out of the colorful brushstrokes meant to him. The turtle was the only pet he and his brother were allowed to have growing up, by the way.
His process is to attack the canvas with paint, no form at first only what he feel is asthetically pleasing to him. Then he steps back to sit and look at the piece. Studying it to see where the painting leads him. He said, like a child who could see animals in clouds, the process he works in is similar.
My reaction to Philip. I need to paint more freely again. There was a time I unleashed my inner crazy child and brushed, smeared, splattered paint with no care for any reality except the feel and vibration of colors and patterns. In fact I wrote a poem explaining why I had come to this conclusion.
Sail Away by Cheryl Whitestone
So sensual abstract
Colors vibrating waves of light.
Deep impulses the senses and soul interprets.
Wonderful because it is nothing yet everything.
Reminiscent and vague.
No boundaries of mundane.
Sail me canvas, sail us
Let us wander, wonder at the sight of you.
Lost in saturated color.
The formless dance that was the artists joy.
Edible art created a few days after my field trip to Augusta
The Philip Morsberger cake, yes it was delicious too!
By the way Philip can paint realistically and had done several traditional portraits. We discussed this as he showed us some of his older work. He had classical training and was also an educator for many years. We both agreed a strong foundation in how to build and create 3 dimensions in paint was crucial to creating very dynamic artwork whether it is abstracts or impressionism. All that classical training pays off when one decides to veer off into a looser style of painting.