Thursday, May 21, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Maria Morris

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Maria's painting "Baby Ranunculus" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Maria's DPW Gallery Page:

Hi! I’m a portrait painter who has sold almost two hundred paintings in the past twenty-five years. Although portraits are my first love, I’m currently obsessed with florals and landscapes!

I took several years off my art because I didn't believe in art as my true calling. Since then, God has assured me that He has created me to create and that He has a plan for my art that goes beyond what I can imagine. I offer an online painting course and giclee prints on Etsy.

Painting Workshop                            Etsy Shop

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

When my family of ten would have drawing contests, I would win even though I was the youngest. I would draw or paint every day growing up and took art classes at a visual arts high school in the D.C. area. I later majored in art.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

After college, I lived in Paraguay for several years, where my husband was a pastor. I painted and sold over one-hundred and fifty watercolors, mostly portraits, during our time overseas. But, after having children, we experienced violence and trauma overseas, so we came back to the States. I went through a time of PTSD and raising my two kids that made it hard to paint. I also didn't know how to market my paintings here in the States. So when my kids were around ten, I started a family photography business because there was a demand for photographic portraiture. I learned a lot about business and customer service, but I didn't paint during those seven years either.

At age fifty, I am starting over painting full time and I could not be happier. Although I have regrets about not painting for so many years, I'm also grateful that I am free to dive into my calling as an artist.

Baby Ranunculus
(click to view)
Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Maria's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I painted watercolor for many years, learned oil painting two years ago, and then settled on gouache on canvas. I don't really follow a genre. I'm just naturally a modern realist with fauvist colors.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I have played with resin, painting on wood, inks, paper art, and digital art, so now is the time to focus on gouache. My exploration comes in subject matter and refining my skill.

Who or what inspires you most?

God's creation inspires me the most. Light, color, children's faces, flowers, mountains and water. 

Jenny Lake
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I'm done procrastinating! I'm making up for lost time by painting boldly, without fear. Fear is what leaves us paralyzed and procrastinating. But, "art takes courage" (Henri Matisse) and being an artist means not being afraid to fail.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

First, I needed to believe that I am called to be an artist. To accept, embrace and execute that calling. When I am convinced that art is a priority, I have no problem making time for art. I also make it easy on myself by having a functional art space and easy process. I teach a five-step process to fail-proof painting in my online painting course that I follow with each painting. It involves a quick way to cover the white of the canvas with strong form and color that guide me through the rest of the process.

Pike Place Market
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I go to beautiful places at beautiful times of the day and use my photography skills to capture great composition. I later paint from the photographs I am most excited about.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I have a passion for realizing the God-given potential within me. I'm not currently at the skill level I want to be, so challenging myself keeps me engaged. And if I am excited and engaged in a painting, others will get excited about it.

Glory Clouds
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I am learning so much as an artist and creative entrepreneur right now. A few things I'm learning are:

The more I paint, the more I want to paint.
The more I paint, the better I get at it.
The more I paint, the more God blesses my business.

My art isn't all about me. It's about magnifying the beauty of the Lord. It's about blessing others and bringing joy.

The better I am -- physically, emotionally and spiritually -- the better my art is. Art is a manifestation of the soul of the artist.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I derive the greatest happiness when my art brings joy, love and/or comfort to people.

When a print makes the perfect gift for a special day.
When a floral brings life and joy to a home and reminds them of a special day or place.
When a portrait brings tears to a mother's eyes.
When that portrait brings comfort after one of the family members has passed.

Spring in Seattle
(click to view)
Thanks, Maria!

© 2020 Sophie Marine


  1. Maria is such an inspiration to so many of us, creating so many works of glorious art! She is true to her calling and her Lord!

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