Many people in Bluff Park know Jayne Morgan as the artist who paints honey bear bottles. It’s time to add jars of flowers and silver Airstream travel trailers to the list. These seemingly unconnected items are prominent in her life and appear in many of her latest works, which will be on display in the gallery of Aldridge Gardens this summer.
“The thing that ties all three (together) is the reflective quality,” Jayne, 31, says. “The shine on the honey bears, the Airstream and the flowers in a jar. That’s what I’m really interested in painting: reflection. I’m inspired by things that are in my life.”
Jayne owns an Airstream and paints it when she travels to art shows. She takes pictures of flowers everywhere she goes. But her main subject remains the famous honey bears.
“We always had the honey bear on the table,” Jayne recalls, and says her favorite thing to put honey on was the rectangular rolls that come in tin containers. “That’s a vivid memory I have from my childhood. I definitely have honey bears on everything.”
In addition to paintings, honey bears adorn pottery and ornaments Jayne makes when she’s not painting. She plans to paint right up until her gallery opens at Aldridge Gardens, just in case she decides to add any last-minute pieces to it. “Some things may be wet,” she says, laughing. “I’m bad for giving paintings away when they’re wet. I’m never not painting.”
Jayne uses acrylics and oils on canvas. Her studio is in the red caboose at On A Shoestring Antiques, and she teaches classes at Moonlight on the Mountain next door.
Jayne’s studio was located in the former Artists on the Bluff facility for five years. Bluff Park’s vibrant artist community fueled her decision to move to the area after she graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010. Jayne and her family had attended the Bluff Park Art Show regularly in the past, and her dad was convinced “the artists are in Bluff Park.” So, Jayne bought a house near the facility and started her full-time art career.
“I think definitely being in Bluff Park was very helpful,” she says. “I loved Artists on the Bluff. I met a ton of people that came through there. It was just really cool.”
Bluff Park Elementary School students would come to her studio next door after school for art classes a couple days a week. Jayne held several summer camps with potter and fellow Artists on the Bluff artist Lana Hobbs. Jayne’s new studio and teaching spaces are also close enough to her house that she can walk. She walks with her art students from the school to Moonlight on the Mountain, too.
Teaching children is a passion of hers. Doing things for Camp Smile-A-Mile, a Birmingham-based program serving children battling cancer led to her volunteering more at Children’s of Alabama, where she leads paint sessions for patients every couple of months.
Jayne also does commissioned paintings. She recently finished a painting a Connecticut couple ordered as a graduation gift for their daughter. They found her work online and reached out to her about the project.
Artist Janet Fish is an inspiration to Jayne. “When I saw her work, it changed my style of painting when I was in college,” she says. Lila Graves is another inspiration to her. She met Lila at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts when she was in the sixth grade.
Jayne’s work will hang in the Aldridge Gardens gallery June-August. The opening reception is set for Tuesday, June 12. Pieces will be available for purchase.
“I’m excited for the show,” she says. “Aldridge Gardens was my very first art show that I did.”
Follow Jayne Morgan and her work at Jayne Morgan Art on Facebook and Jaynemorgan.com. Moonlight on the Mountain, where Jayne teaches classes, is located at 585 Shades Crest Road.