By Arden Spearman
Based in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Tay Morgan is a Southern artist with a passion for painting. Morgan creates many canvas pieces, paper goods and hand-painted Easter eggs. She does all of her work out of a spare bedroom in her home that her husband turned into a personal studio.
Morgan’s work is tedious, but, she explains, it is simply what she loves to do. In describing her start in art, Morgan always mentions that her grandmother was an immense influence.
“She was always painting a canvas or a piece of furniture, sewing or creating beautiful Christmas ornaments,” Morgan said.
With that as inspiration, she began taking after-school art classes in elementary school. She continued painting throughout her childhood and went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi with a degree in art.
Today, Morgan describes herself as fortunate for being able to do what she loves. She has become a popular artist in the state and sells her art nationwide. Along with creating art, she also loves to help others develop their creative side.
A large part of Morgan’s life is devoted to helping her local community through art, and she does this by volunteering with her local Stewpot in Jackson, Mississippi. Stewpot provides the homeless population warm meals and many other services including HeARTworks, in which Morgan has invested much of her time in. HeARTworks invites those less fortunate in the area to create art with the help of volunteer artists like Morgan. Their art can be sold at yearly art shows to raise money for Stewpot and the artists’ personal expenses.
Morgan’s heart can be seen throughout every piece she designs, and many of her customers agree. Morgan loves to use her artistic skills to paint products that are available for sale in many stores throughout Mississippi, including About The South gift shop located in Tupelo. Her business, Tay Morgan Designs, also offers the products on her website, along with her signature hand-painted Easter eggs. In just one season, Morgan creates an estimated 900 eggs, painting them in batches.
Her process starts by painting one of her many available designs onto a solid wooden egg, then sealing everything with a top-coat and finally wrapping each in a decorative bag. Many of her eggs that are available for order have classic Easter depictions, but other designs range from baby or engagement announcements to paintings of collegiate icons. Many of her customers request custom orders, and Morgan brings their ideas to life as well as her own.
“I love to paint my eggs and hear the stories my customers tell me,” said Morgan. “None of this is ever a chore.”