Collaborative Compositions

Inspired by a multitude of infulences, Amy Sheppard Morose paints pieces to pass down for generations.

By Samantha Hubbard
Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton


For contemporary painter Amy Sheppard Morose, an artwork’s significance reaches beyond the image, inspired by the collaboration of stories each one encompasses.

For instance, the story of Henri Matisse continuing to create his famous cutouts while bedridden with cancer contributes to her admiration of his work. Similarly, Amy dreams of her work joining Diane Von Furstenberg’s art collection because of her empowering story. Barely escaping a concentration camp, DVF’s mom compelled her to achieve her goals because her life gave her mom freedom and fear was not an option. 

Amy’s artisan story begins with her most influential inspirations: her creative mother and her patient father. She inherited her ability to be exceptionally observant of the world from her mom, the art major. This trait ignites her intense interest in color. In both floral designs and abstract artwork, she explores the changing ways of color through layering and movement. Her mother’s imaginative mind is behind many of the painting’s titles.

Each painting is built on this inventive foundation. “While I had learned more traditional ways of using paint, it was being able to play with the properties and see what it would do,” says Amy. Playing with a palette knife and acrylic paint, she finds depth through texture. With just a brush, she discovers impressive forms and lines that create texture from movement. Her self-created “squirt gun method” incorporates different angles to create different paint splatter shapes.

Her father, the civil engineer, taught her the importance of structure in design, and the patience to carry out ideas into finished projects. Her compositions are constructed with the background of the pieces' proprietor in mind, such as a past abstract painting comprised of 10 loops representing the couple’s 10-year anniversary and three circles for the number of children. Looking at the design process through problem solving, she is able to brainstorm a final product from a patron’s story and ideas about location, color and mood.

Her husband, Mark, inspires her to reach for the big projects. Her  best critics are her sons, Alexander, 17, and Jackson, 13, because of their instinctual understanding of their mom. Their honest feedback keeps her in check, making sure she stays true to her simplistic taste that is a staple of her work. She encourages them to appreciate the details, both in quality design and the natural world. She also uses art as a teaching tool because of the memorability of visual aspects to teach concepts. “From art you can study geography, history, politics, religion and even math,” Amy says. “My color field paintings are broken down into golden section ratios of 1 to 1.618.”

The importance of passing on characteristics through generations is embedded in her compositions, designed to last lifetimes as family heirlooms and design staples. Her corporate background in graphic design has allowed her to work with architects and designers to create a piece that effortlessly belongs in its placement.

Amy’s artwork is currently available for viewing and purchasing at Kodner Gallery and Arch Framing & Design, Inc., and by commission.

Amy Sheppard Morose, 314-265-1774