Having grown up hunting for unusual rocks and exploring deep ravines in the woods behind her childhood home, Morgan Mercer is a Twin Cities-based oil painter and storyteller who still has a fascination for finding wonder in unexpected places. She starts each of her paintings by creating a hand cut collage of black and white images, layering up to 40 different cut-outs to create a scene or moment. Then, she prints the collage on transparency paper, projects it onto her canvas and draws it. With each layer of the painting, she interprets imagery from the collage onto the canvas by focusing on different shapes, lines, feelings or areas of negative space until the painting explodes in a mass of color, overlapping brushstrokes and energetic marks. Her work is a catalog of moments and scenes —a midnight dinner party, an underground circus in an abandoned warehouse or a cabinet of curiosi.es that opens to a sea of stars and forest — that encapsulate feelings of wonder, curiosity, adventure and discovery.