When the person who used to create the chalkboard designs at Stonewall’s left the restaurant, Morgan Burke decided she would try her hand with the chalk tray. After all, Stonewall’s is her parents’ restaurant, and artistic talent does run in her family. Plus, it would give her a chance to honor the memory of a special person in her life.
“I just tried it out one day,” Morgan Burke said of her chalkboard designs. “I did my own idea.”
Most visitors to Stonewall’s would probably agree that Morgan is doing a great job with her chalkboard designs. Morgan’s designs always contain an inspirational quote.
“Mine usually have quotes on them,” Burke said. “Hers did not. I just see quotes that I like and mean something to me. They make my day when I read them, so if I can make someone else’s day when they read them, I want to be able to do that. I want people to look at what I do and find meaning in it. They’re never my words, they’re other peoples’ words. I usually find them on Pinterest. I always want people to feel something. One lady came up to me one day and said, ‘I needed to hear that today.’ So that makes it worth it.
“During the whole quarantine thing, my grandma, her friend and I have been in this inspiration group. During each day of quarantine, we would each draw a picture and send it to each other to try and stay positive throughout quarantine. Most of mine had a quote with them, also.”
Artistic ability seems to run in Burke’s family.
“My mom and my grandma are both really artistic,” she said. “And my uncle and godfather were also very artistic. I think I really got into it after he passed away. I wanted to carry that part of him on. He was my uncle and my godfather.
“I actually don’t work at Stonewall’s anymore; I have a different job. But when I’m doing them, a lot of people will stop for a minute. A lot of people, after it’s done and it’s there, don’t say as much. I just catch a lot of people taking pictures of it. Or my mom will text me, ’Someone else just took pictures in front of it.’ Or ‘Someone just commented on it.’”
Occasionally, Burke has trouble coming up with a theme for her seasonal designs. “Sometimes it will take me a few days to come up with it. A lot of times, I’ll find the quote that I like first then base the painting on that. When I worked here, I would do it when I was on a normal shift, between breakfast and lunch rush. But when I can work on it straight through, I can usually do it in one day. Otherwise, it might take two or three days. I think the last one took me four hours.”
Next time you visit Stonewalls, take a moment and enjoy Morgan’s artwork. Plus, if it inspires you, let her mom, Kim, know about it. It might just be the inspiration she needs for her next chalkboard design.