T. Morgan Crain, a true Branson “artist”

If a recent branding study conducted by the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB is any indication, when most people think of Branson, Missouri and “artists” they are thinking of those performing in one of Branson theatre or show venues. However, for those who still associate the delicate combination, of canvas, paint, brush strokes, subtle blending of color, and the creative ability of a person to share their vision graphically with others, with the term “artist,” a trip to the studio of Branson’s T. Morgan Crain, in historic downtown Branson will remind them why they feel the way they do.

The studio is located at 214 South Commercial Street on the east side of the street right across from the old Owens Theatre. The reason the term “studio” is used rather than “gallery” or “shop” is because although Tom does sell paintings and prints etc. at that location, he also uses it as a studio and many is the day that he can be observed painting one of his pieces at his easel located in the front of the studio near the window. Indeed, on most days, visitors are greeted by Tom himself.

He has been “a full time artist for almost 25 years and enjoys painting no matter what the subject is wildlife, western, nostalgia, flora, pets or barnyard scenes.” And although his enjoyment and love of what he is doing is apparent in his work this author would be remiss if he didn’t emphasis that nowhere, is it more evident than in his wildlife and bird paintings.

The “eagles” of T. Morgan Crain are so lifelike that they appear as if they are about to fly off the canvass. Their coloring, detail, and character are impeccable and show the affection, love, and appreciation that this gentle, artistic and personable man has for the outdoors and nature. It seems that the artist cared enough to put a part of his spirit into the paintings and it shows.

Some of T. Morgan Crain’s career highlights include over 20 magazine covers for Cabela’s, work for the Franklin Mint, 22 plus limited edition prints, was the first two time winner of the Missouri Waterfowl Stamp Design, and the winning of the prestigious Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year. In talking with Tom however, it quickly becomes obvious that his next “highlight” is on the easel and the good news is that visitors to downtown Branson can come by the studio to see its creation and visit with one of Branson’s top artists, T. Morgan Crain.

Originally Published In the Branson Courier on May 2, 2005.