Marianne Morris | Artist

Living Life in Full Colour

New Bird Painting: Intermission

Abstracted painting of two birds flying through a turquoise and lavender sky

“Intermission” 14×18″ Acrylic on Canvas.

If you read my newsletter, you know that I am on going to be heading to Portugal in January for a month-long painting trip. It’s very exciting for me… I haven’t had a vacation in quite some time that didn’t include madly trying to get some project or other completed. To give you some idea, 2016’s vacation time included Arts on the Credit, moving my mom, assorted doctor’s visits and illness recovery, and a week long immersive painting class. This trip is going to use up every minute of my vacation time. But it will be time to focus on myself and gathering inspiration to use in future work. I hope to come back fully rejuvenated. Might be a lot to ask for, but I can hope.

The arrangement with my host is free accommodation in exchange for a certain number of artworks to become part of their collection. When I saw the initial posting online asking for submissions, I didn’t even consider applying. I thought I wouldn’t have a chance at getting it. There is so much competition for any kind of residency, and so many artists out there that are better than I am. Why bother? By the third time the post came up in my feed I had changed my mindset to “why the hell not????” I may not be the best painter in the world, but I’m good. I’ve had shows in galleries and have sold a respectable number of pieces. I have exhibited in one of the best art shows in my home city for the past few years. I have collectors. Someone is going to Portugal, and if I don’t apply, I would never know if it could have been me.

As a mother, I can’t tell you the number of times I have told my child “if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no”. This goes for me as well, though sometimes I don’t always remember it. The first year I felt like I had accomplished something with my art was the year I had decided I would accept any and all opportunities that would get me more exposure. I had paintings hanging all over the place. It was exhausting. I had a calendar printed out and taped to my wall to keep track of where everything was supposed to be, with drop off and pick up times. I applied for shows that I knew I didn’t have enough work for, then worked like mad to pull it off. I went to shows where I knew no one and forced myself to talk to strangers (many of whom are now my friends). I joined an art group. I painted like a fiend. It got me out there, and now people around here know who I am. The last couple years I’ve had a lot on my plate with family stuff, so I’ve scaled back what I’ve taken on. This trip something I had on my wish list, so if I didn’t even apply… well, I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass by without at least trying.

I probably won’t have a whole lot of new stuff to post between now and January. There is Christmas, and the usual craziness that goes along with the holidays. I leave at the beginning of the month. There will be many new things to write about, and new work to show. I will be posting here, as well as to my social media feeds. My intermission is over…. stay tuned….


  1. This is a fantastic opportunity for you! I’m glad you applied and I’m sure you will be too. Portugal is amazing and I regret that we weren’t able to make a second visit to explore further outside of Lisbon. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity – take it and squeeze every last drop out of it!

    • I vaguely remember the algarve from my last visit… some 25 years ago. I was only there one day, but I remember it being breathtakingly beautiful. I’m sure it will be a different experience now that I have a bit of money to spend. Last time I was on a shoestring budget!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend your January! Happy for you, enjoy yourself! 🙂

  3. Congratulations Marianne, so happy for you as you have worked hard to get where you have. Aunt Dawn

  4. Hi

    Awesome! You deserve it. Enjoy every minute.
    Looking forward to hearing about it in February
    Jackie and family

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