Elusive Muse first learned about Marianne Morris on the popular Facebook group “A Stand for Art Journaling” and was instantly interested in learning more about her and her work. What we did not know was that her beautiful journal pages were really just the tip of the art iceberg and that Marianne is an accomplished mixed media artist with an extensive portfolio of beautiful work. If you would like to learn more about Marianne, or see more of her work, you can find her by visiting any of the links below.

…And now a few words from Marianne Morris…

My work is mainly about expressing emotion. I use my painting to explore things we all experience on a daily basis but rarely examine; emotions like joy, loneliness, sorrow, love, connection. Using colour, pattern and symbolism, I explore the relationships between us and our surroundings, ourselves and the things that influence the pattern of our lives, like culture, music, and nature.

Traditional tools, supplemented with digital technology, stretch the possibilities for my images. Each painting starts with a photograph, drawing or a combination, and a piece of music. The backgrounds are painted intuitively, the soundtrack providing the inspiration. I use whatever tool strikes me in the moment: sometimes paint is applied with a brush, but often it is my hands, a kitchen utensil, or something improvised. The photograph is used for reference as the form emerges from the background, final touches adding the details to the subject.

I have a BA from the University of Waterloo, and currently reside in Mississauga, Ontario.


And now, our exclusive interview with Marianne Morris

  1. How would you describe your art?
    I don’t really… I just paint and it is what it is.
  2. How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?
    I’ve always been an artist. I put that part of me aside when I became an adult and had to be “responsible”. I did what was expected. But at some point I knew that wasn’t working for me anymore, so I went back to what I loved. There were a few false starts, but I kept going back to it until I could manage to make it a regular part of my life.
  3. What is your favorite medium and why?
    I like acrylic because it is incredibly forgiving. I can take bold risks with an image and it doesn’t matter if it fails miserably, because I can always paint over it.
  4. Pick one work of art from your portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece? 
    My piece “Rainy Day Blues” was inspired by a trip to New York last year with my husband. The day we decided to go to the MET there was torrential rain. There was a busker outside playing the sax in the downpour, with an umbrella somehow perched on his shoulder. He was fantastic. We stood in line getting drenched, listening to this mournful jazz… I managed to get a couple of photos by shielding my camera with a plastic bag. Not great, but good enough to work from. It was tricky to get that feeling of rain without actually painting rain. I just reworked it until I got it.
  5. Tell us about one medium, technique or style that you would like to try working with (that you have not tried before) and why you would like to try this.
    I think I would like to try making a metal sculpture. Why? well, because it would be fun and a challenge… Do I need another reason???
  6. How do you make time for art?
    I had to give up a few things to make time to pursue not just art but an art career… I have a full time job and a family, so what had to give was leisure time activities. I don’t watch tv anymore, and the odd time I do need some mindless entertainment I do something else at the same time, like fold laundry or clean something. I’ve found I don’t miss it at all. I gave up my daily piano practice… but I had to anyway because I was dealing with a chronic wrist problem. I miss that one, but creating fills that void a little bit.
  7. If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?
    Like a true Canadian, I like weather… as long as I don’t have to drive in it, that is. A thunderstorm or heavy snow provides an inspiring show. On a perfect art day I’d sit at the window with my coffee and watch, then paint, do some sketching or journaling, a walk with my dog maybe to get some fresh air and exercise. Of course if it was a perfect day, everything I tried would work beautifully and would still look acceptable the following day. Which never happens.
  8. If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why?  What would the two of you do?
    Oh there are so many. I think maybe Mary Cassatt… because as a woman painter who was as good as the men around her but didn’t get nearly the same recognition, she would have to be incredibly motivated to just keep working. Or perhaps Emily Carr… I read her biography and I think she is someone I enjoy talking to, and getting an idea of what kept her going.
  9. Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists?
    Show up. Do the work. Be true to yourself. Keep learning.  Take risks. And don’t be afraid to share.

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