“I started making all this artwork based off grief,” she says. “I had held back a lot of emotion at the time and just the act of putting water on paper and dropping ink into it was very refreshing. Just letting things flow the way they should, without trying to control anything. It was really what I needed at the time.”
However, it wasn’t the dark, drab, colors usually associated with grief that sprang from her brush. Pattison’s watercolor paintings reflect seasons, changes in time and the beauty of nature. Her work has recently taken a turn to reflect her own growing family that includes two infants: a four month old and one year old. In addition to abstract watercolors, she paints matryoshka dolls and “families” of musical instruments. “I’ve been doing a lot of family representations lately,” she says. “It’s been a very important series for me.”
Memory and nature play a large role in Pattison’s work, from the color choice in recent work inspired by the greenery of South Carolina to the uncharacteristic mournful, dark colors of Eulogy, inspired by a speech from Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pattison’s most recent project applies her unique view of the world into the burgeoning adult coloring book market with Modern Nature, a collection of elaborate line drawings. “As an art teacher, I do a lot of line drawings with the kids,” she says. “I can get really detailed with those, so I figured it would be fun to see how far I could go.” Pattison’s work can be seen annually at the Cooper-Young Fest and Crosstown Arts. Her coloring book can be found on Amazon.com, additional work can be seen at morganpattisonart.com.
Morgan Yen Pattison
In a word: Colorful
The art of Morgan Yen Pattison is all about family.
For Pattison, a Highland Oaks Elementary art teacher,creativity was always a part of life. The daughter of a painter and a photographer, Pattison recently started painting in earnest after the loss of her father, Rupert Yen, in 2015.