This week Les 100 Ciels met Morgan McFie, a contemporary abstract artist based in Barnes. Morgan’s paintings are intuitive, fluid and full of texture, taking inspiration from aerial perspectives of natural landscapes. Read more to learn the intricate and fascinating process of giving life to a canvas.
Where and how did you learn your craft?
I have always loved being creative and painting. I nearly did an art degree, but chose the safe route of doing a business degree at the end. After university, I wanted to get back to being creative so started painting again in my spare time. Things really changed when I moved to New Zealand for a year and was hugely inspired by the art scene in Australia and New Zealand where artists use bright and bold colours. I began experimenting with abstract fluid techniques and then once I started using resin I felt like I’d found my style.
Your latest art pieces are beautiful. What inspires your art?
I find aerial perspectives of coastlines and estuaries really beautiful and I look to try and capture the movement and subtlety of tones in my paintings. I find traveling also hugely inspiring and recently found lots of inspiration after a trip to Bali.
What materials do you use?
For my work I mainly prefer to use resin, pigments, acrylic paints. Resin is such an incredible material and creates depth to the painting and cures with a glass-like finish making the painting very reflective. I love adding touches of gold pigment which creates a fine shimmer and different texture to the surface when the painting catches the light.
How has your work evolved since your first commission?
So much so! One of the things I love about resin is that it is a very volatile material, so initially I was meticulously planning the composition of each piece, but then was thrown when the resin didn’t move as I expected or the colour pigments shifted as it cured. As I have become more experienced, I’ve learnt to go with the flow and let the painting evolve in front of me. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but when it works well the paintings often turn out far better than I could have planned.
Can you describe your workspace? Where do you like to work?
I work from a home studio in Barnes. One of my walls are covered in photos and they are my main source of inspiration, along with an endless stash of acrylic paints and my equipment. I tend to base myself wherever there is the best light at home that day.
Describe briefly the process of making your paintings…
I start by creating a mood board of images that inspire me – it could be shapes, colour combinations or textures. I sand and prime the boards and then mix the resin and pigments. Resin is fluid and has about one hour working time which really motivates me and I go into a state of flow. I pour the resin and use gravity and a blowtorch to change the viscosity of the resin which alters how it moves across the board. Each layer of resin cures over 24 hours and I finish the piece by painting the edges for a clean finish.
What would you like to achieve in the near future?
I would love to sell internationally, start a print range and collaborate with other artists.
What is a common misconception about your art?
Lots of people mistake the resin for ceramics or glass as the finish is so glossy and reflective.
If you could visit anywhere in the world where would that be?
There are so many countries I would love to travel, but Sri Lanka has been at the top of my list for a while now. The food, the jungles, the mountains and the surfing culture all massively appeal to me.
The Les 100 Ciels team are always looking for like-minded people to collaborate with and we were so excited to discover Morgan McFie! Her abstract art is inspiring and beautiful and her passion for what she does is evident in every piece. A range of Morgan McFie products is available in our St Christopher’s Place store in Marylebone. We highly recommend viewing Morgan’s art in person to fully grasp the depth and intricacy of the pieces.