Morgan Boszilkov is a self-taught artist who uses clay, fabric, paint and other media to create two-dimensional and sculptural works of art. She has created an innovative form of fine art: ceramics sewn onto canvas. This year she installed a public artwork, Serenbe Tree, a mosaic in memory of Shelton g. Stanfill, the former president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center.
The last year has brought me a new understanding of personal time and space. Before the pandemic, I did not realize I was too busy and overscheduled. The lockdown forced us to slow down, enjoy each other as a family and find the joy of missing out. I found my space and meditation through art. In my studio there is peace, possibility and time to be with my thoughts. For the last couple years, I have been quilting, embroidering, beading and painting acrylic on canvases before sewing high-fired ceramics onto them. During a year of cabin fever, I escaped by experimenting with new art mediums: oil, linoleum carving and collage.
I love to watch time-lapse videos of how artists work. When I see a finished product, I am often astonished. But when I watch the process, it becomes achievable, possible. I become inspired and want to try it, too. This is how I decided to paint a realistic portrait in oil. With some research into oil techniques and some trial and error, I have the beginnings of a successful painting. I envision sewing my embroidered, repurposed silk onto the painted gown, block printing a “wallpaper” in the background, and attaching tiny, delicate ceramic flowers and leaves creating a garden in which my subject stands. Also addicting and calming are videos of carving linoleum for block printing. And what a stress relief to carve them myself during the cold winter months. Similar to the satisfaction I get from roaming my yard to pull weeds and prune plants, I truly enjoy carving out the design in the linoleum. I carve away the unnecessary to reveal the beauty of what remains.
I let go of striving for perfection years ago, and it has been one the greatest gifts to myself. It has allowed me to have the confidence to explore my ideas and curiosity without the fear of failure. Embracing the “wabi-sabi” has been essential to my growth and experimentation as an artist. Some days I feel like I don’t have enough time on Earth to fulfill all of my artistic ideas and inspirations. Other days during the pandemic, I felt like I could do nothing at all, and that was OK, too, because sometimes it is in the quiet times that I recharge my batteries, which will eventually fuel my next creative spark.