Marianne Morris | Artist

Living Life in Full Colour

New Bird Painting: Pilgrimage

Abstracted painting of a lone bird flying through a turquoise and lavender sky

“Pilgrimage” 14×18″ Acrylic on Canvas.

I felt like painting something with an actual subject this time. Often, I just enjoy working with colour and shape, but I feel like I need a bit of practice with my realism to get me ready for an upcoming trip. Not that this is particularly realistic… I don’t really do realism, but I do sometimes like to paint a slightly less abstracted image of an actual thing. I often paint birds… quite often a single bird in an abstracted landscape. There’s something about the way they look in flight that I find calming. I did a small painting from this drawing before, but this time I was much more deliberate in how I wanted it to look. Choosing the blue and turquoise to get the feeling of water, I added the hit of orange to bring attention to the details.  I felt better when it was done. So I did a companion piece, just because I had another canvas the same size (not quite done… stay tuned next week).

Photographing this piece was somewhat difficult. If I got the whites white, my turquoise came out dull blue. That won’t do at all. The photo above I actually took with my phone, instead of my expensive DSLR. Not as sharp, but the colour was better. I really should take some kind of photography course so I can learn how to deal with stuff like this. I imagine the next one will be the same deal. I’ll save myself some time and just take the photos with my phone.

When my father passed away last year, I had planned to do a piece to donate to the hospital in his memory. They took such good care of him I wanted to give something back. Then my sister suggested we do something together, so I put the idea on hold until she had some time. Of course that hasn’t really happened. We live a 2 hour drive apart, I work during the week, she works weekends, we both have kids… it’s busy. After I finished this I sat looking at it for a while… it feels peaceful. Calm. Most of my bird paintings feel this way to me. That’s why I do them. I think this may be the one I give to the hospital for their palliative care wing. It has the right mood. And it would be nice for the families who sit in the room reserved for them to have something to look at other than the empty walls. Unfortunately, with winter coming, it will be spring before I can get up there. The weather out that way is more severe… they’ve already had a load of snow while here in Toronto we are still enjoying the above freezing temperatures. That gives me lots of time to figure it out. A luxury I don’t seem to get very often.


  1. I love this painting Marianne and it would certainly be a good fit for the hospital. You are correct, it is very calming indeed.

  2. This would certainly be a good painting for the hospital. I don’t know if you noticed, but there was a dove posted on the door of his room. I saw it after he died, but I don’t know when it was put there. A bird in flight seems to be appropriate symbolism for the palliative care wing. A lovely idea.

    • I didn’t notice. I wonder if it was a sign for the staff to know what had happened. I’ll let you know when I go to drop it off. I’ll need to talk to them first and make sure they want it… you never know.

  3. oh this is a marvelous subject MM! You are so right about the calming effect … in both the subject and colour.

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