Marianne Morris | Artist

Living Life in Full Colour

Month: November 2017

Like a Moth to a Flame

Abstract mixed media painting in blue and brown on a neutral background

“Like a Moth to a Flame”, 10×10″ mixed media on wood panel.

This panel was one of my first forays into collage with this series. I’ve used collage before as part of a painting, but for the most part, it adds texture and is completely covered with paint by the end. This little moth was added near the end of the process when I realized I needed something dark in that area. I like that it isn’t blended in and you can still see the edges of the torn paper. It’s evidence of the process.

I’ve got printouts of bugs on my work table. All different sorts… bees, dragonflies, beetles, spiders. I’ve had a fascination with various types of bugs since I was a kid. I don’t like them so much when they’re alive… they kind of creep me out actually. But they are interesting.

The ancient Egyptians used a scarab beetle to represent Khepri, or Ra the sun-god. It symbolized self-creation or rebirth. (As the story goes, Khepri renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon, then carried it through the other world after sunset, only to renew it, again, the next day). They viewed these bugs as good luck and buried them with their dead. Ick. But still, interesting. I often use this imagery in my visual journals. This is the first time I’ve used any kind of insect on a painting where you can still see it when I’m finished.

I see the moth and butterfly as much the same… a symbol of renewal or rebirth. It’s the stages… the caterpillar, chrysalis, and ultimately, a rebirth into an entirely new being. It’s symbolic and adds some layer of meaning to an image that is otherwise just colour and shape.

This painting is number 18 in my 100 Square Project. I’m a long way from the end. I’ve started a few more that should be finished for my Studio Sale next weekend. My goal is to sell enough to set up an e-commerce store so I can step up to the next level. I know art sells online, I’m just not set up to do it yet. I’m hopeful an online store and selling prints alongside original works will allow me to make enough income to cut back my hours at my day job. I know I’ve learned a lot in my work life that is serving me well now.  I can do things on my own that other artists have to pay people to do for them. My technical skill is useful. But it’s not everything. The time has come for me to become the artist I was meant to be. 

Studio Sale November 26, 2017


Short post this week. Just want to announce a clear out sale I’m having in my studio, on Nov. 26.  I have a large amount of work and seem to be running out of space. Its gotten to the point of selling it or starting to paint over things. That’s not something I really want to do.

I’m putting my entire inventory on sale at 25% off, with an extra discount for my email list subscribers (you can sign up by putting your email in the sidebar area if you are so inclined. There will be a coupon code in next week’s email). And as always, if you already own one of my originals there is an extra special deal for you.

I still have a decent number of my musician/dancer paintings, as well as my entire series of Jazz Legends. I’ve got quite a few small pieces as well as big, statement paintings, some prints and matted works on paper. Something for every budget.

It might not be the easiest place to find… the numbers on the houses don’t go sequentially around the circle part of the street… so here’s a link to a map. Hope to see you there.

Thoughts for a Summer Morning

Abstract painting in teal and brown on a neutral ground.

“Thoughts for a Summer Morning”, 10×10″ mixed media on wood panel.

A bit late for that “summer morning” thing, yeah? Isn’t it November? Well, up until last week it has been feeling like summer… we’ve been out and about with balmy temps that are more seasonable in early September than late October. I was actually thinking this could be the year where the kids were out for Halloween without needing a coat over their costumes. Didn’t happen, but only 2 days before I was out in a t-shirt. Weather-wise, it’s been an odd year. June was chilly, July cool, even August didn’t feel like summer. But September and October have been lovely. Sunny and warm.  It wasn’t until last week that I even thought about getting out a winter jacket. I live in Canada. This isn’t normal.

I have a few of these 10×10 panels hanging around my studio that I didn’t get to in time for my show. I started a few but didn’t get them done. And there were a couple I had primed but didn’t start. I figured that was the easiest way to get back to work… picking up where I left off. I enjoy working on these little paintings. I can, quite literally, do anything. I can experiment. Try new things. Any mistake is fast to cover, and even if I end up with 20 layers of paint, it still doesn’t turn into a huge project.

Small pieces have other advantages. They can be sold for a relatively low price, great for the novice collector. And they are easily transported to and from shows, inexpensive to ship, relatively easy to store. So here I am wondering… why don’t I do more?

I had many of these little gems on exhibit in October, including this one. I’ve got them hung in rows now in a hallway… minus the 4 that I’ve already sold. I have a couple other spaces that would look good with an arrangement of these little squares. And I like doing them, which is really the point. I’ve decided I’m going to turn this into a real “project”. They are 10×10″. If I did 10 rows and 10 columns… so 10×10… that’s 100. One hundred squares… it kinda has a nice ring to it.

It may take me a year or more to get these all finished, but it will be interesting to see where this will take me. I should number them as I post them… it’ll be cool to see how my work changes from beginning to end. I sort of remember what order they were done in. Or what groups they were done in any way. I was working in sets of 5, going back and forth between them until they were finished. Well, no time like the present to start I suppose. This one will be 16.

16 of 100. I’ve got a long way to go.