Catherine Jo Morgan paints colorful abstract hearts in acrylic, mixed-media collage and oil pastel. Her paintings and prints are in private collections across the United States, and the images have been licensed to medical centers, conferences, and professionals as far away as Italy and the UK. She lives and paints in the wooded foothills of northeast Georgia.
Born in Muncie, Indiana, Morgan grew up in Champaign, Illinois and graduated the University of Chicago, then earned an M.A. at Georgia State University. Her first career -- empowering people in groups and workshops – has carried over to an abiding interest in the potential of artwork to evoke inner resources. The core aims, principles and skills she developed as a psychologist have transferred to her artmaking – first as an artist-blacksmith and vessel sculptor, now as a heart painter.
Morgan studied blacksmithing with Francis Whitaker, Brent Kington and Peter Ross, establishing a full time forge in 1983. Her early abstract painting experiments in 1990 – on paper and on paper vessels – were undertaken as a way to learn to work spontaneously in her main medium, forged iron. A colorist even with iron, she colored her iron bowls by using a torch to draw spontaneous color. Three such bowls are featured in Dona Meilach’s book, “The Contemporary Blacksmith.” Morgan bowls were also included in invitational exhibits at the Macon Gallery in Atlanta, and at Georgia Southern University.
Her first heart paintings (in 2003 and 2004) were inspired by her father's death from a heart attack. Work on mixed-media vessels increased her interest in color and paint, and in 2007 she committed to a full focus on painting hearts. She studied collage with Jonathan Talbot that year, and began making heart paintings with collage, mixed media and oil pastel. Caring for her life partner became her main focus from 2009 until her partner’s death at the end of 2011. Morgan expanded her north Georgia painting studio in 2012, with more expansion in progress.