Art in the home of Laura Morrish
A: Art means to me…Thank you Chris-In-The-Morning for the thought: It's not the thing you fling, it's the fling itself. Whether experiencing art as its creator or as a viewer, to me, art is a tool in the process of becoming who you are. A fabulous, fun, creative, fill-up-the-walls-with-it tool.
R: Reading books, blogs or magazines..always! Favourite books include Walden, Or; Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau. It was a life-changer for me. One of my favourite HDT quotes is 'be not simply good, be good for something. Love.
On my reading list now is Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay. She is a social anthropologist that takes the reader across time and continents to uncover the fascinating stories of colours. Magazines in my reading pile include INC - my favourite business mag, Canadian House & Home, Living, Etc. and, from the online set, Rue; Lonny; Matchbook.
Blogs I enjoy these days include Desire to Inspire (I especially love Monday's Pets on Furniture post); Bright.Bazaar, Will is so great at finding all sorts of covet-worthy goodies; Happy Interior Blog, Igor is a man after my own heart, with the perfect mix of quirky things I haven't seen elsewhere; Elements of Style with Erin Gates - love the posts by her fabuloso husband, Andrew, and about her barn-obsessed Pa; Remodelista...I mean, who doesn't, what an awesome resource that is! And, of course, Bloesem, with all its charm and loveliness.
T: Trends I see in art or graphic design are…appreciating that fads are quickly passing while a trend is a 'prevailing tendency', it'd seem that, like me, people have been/are looking for signs of the handmade, the unique, the perfectly imperfect: things that offer a sense of time or tell a deeper story. The longer and deeper we imbibe technology, I think we'll continue to look for balance by craving the opposite. Art is an ideal way to find this balance, and to connect with each other in doing so.
In that our reliance and enjoyment of technology won't be waning any time soon, I think the handmade trend will continue, perhaps tweaked as it pairs with rider trends. For me, I like to artists and the community, the environment, or animal welfare by choosing work that incorporates or benefits something in addition to the artist him/herself. Seems that we've all been making non-art purchases with this in mind over the last several years, and so I can't see how it won't spread to the art world in a bigger way. Recently, I purchased a sweet print of the moon, by FriendsWithYou, and loved that a portion of the proceeds benefit Free Arts NYC, a mentoring program helping at-risk kids build their self confidence. 20x200 often partners with charities, donating a portion of the purchase price in support of social causes. In my own work, I do the same, donating 10% of my gross sales to support animal welfare.
A: Artists I admire are...the Group of Seven and their contemporaries probably tops the list. They'd head by boxcar out north, to the untouched lakes and unspoiled woods to paint the Canadian landscape, rich with saturated colour. Their work just captivates me, from Lawren Harris' Shimmering Water - Algonquin Park to Tommy Thompson's The Jack Pine. Love it all. And while my work is so very different in just about every way possible, I am similarly inspired by the Big Wild. As Thoreau so aptly put it, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." There, I find energy, inspiration, and hope.
N: Never will I...pinch myself too hard!
D: Dreams for my own work are about...well, I don't really dream too much about the creative process itself - I just let that strike when it will, and let it unfold as it may. But in terms of the finished product, I am constantly thinking about getting it out there in a bigger way so that I can make ever bigger donations to animal welfare. While I haven't - even in a whisper in the darkest of night - yet mentioned to anyone, my biggest dream would be to sell enough to make enough to one day, maybe one day, open my own animal sanctuary. That'd be my little piece of heaven.
Note: the above is Shimmering Water, Algonquin Park, 1922. Interestingly, in the '20s he stopped signing his work so that people would appreciate it -or not- based on the work itself rather than when or by whom it was painted. Also above is The Jack Pine by Tom Thomson, 1916-17.
P: Projects I'm currently working on are...Ooh! A book - I am really, really excited. It has been the one constant on my would-love-to-create list. Can't wait to share with everyone!!
R: Relaxing I do when...when my dogs are in charge. Sometimes they feel quite certain that I am working just way too hard. 'Sometimes' is at least once an hour. No matter, this is easily remedied: there are balls to fetch, pools to lap, and neighbours to bark at. Any maybe when that's done (much to their chagrin), then we'll squeak in a bit of guilty pleasure time. If I have more than ten minutes to spare, though, I get into a bit of monkey business. Either a wall'll come down, a book case'll go up, a room'll be painted. Something. I love change, and creating and refining until home is as cozy, efficient, and unique-to-me as can be is a perfect pastime. Far less grandiose a job, the next thing on my list is hanging some recently framed pictures over my Nanna's Singer. I am mad wild for the gilt frames right now.
I: Interesting art focused websites...peppered through this entire post - they are my favourite haunts, though I also find great work directly through an artist's site, typically by way of a great blog.
N: New in my home is...a crokinole board. My family had a general store beginning way back in the 1890's. It's now houses the city's historical archives. Anyway, when we cleaned it out in the late 80's, there were some things from way, way back in the day. The crokinole board was one of them. My father has had it in his mezzanine since, but was kind enough to pack it up and ship it down. Due to the years in storage, it has a decent warp in it. But this is just the perfect excuse to hang it on the wall as art rather than actually play on it.
T: Tomorrow I would like to go to...absolutely nowhere. I am a bar-none nester and relish days that I can spend tucked in, in my cozy flannels, with a drawing pad and my favourite pencil or some paints and a bagful of ideas.
S: Studio, my studio is...a bit of a gypsy. Sure, I have an office, but in terms of where my creative-time takes place? Sometimes it is in the living room, or at the dining room table, in the backyard, or even in the tub. Bathtime seems so condusive to good-idea generation. For years, I've wanted the tub wall to be a chalkboard, so I wouldn't have to decode my notes chicken-scrawled on soggy paper, or jeopardizing my iPad with rogue splashes.
Thank you so much Laura for this lovely tour of the art in your home! If you would like to learn more or purchase Laura Morrish work, click here.
Several of Laura's prints are on my wish list!