Thanks so much Lori for sharing with us behind the scenes of your painting
journey, your home, and your family!
First of all, tell me a little about your background and how you got started painting:
I have wanted to paint since I was old enough to hold a pencil. My first doodles were so interesting to my oldest sister, that she asked if she could bring them to school to show her friends. Her interest is my earliest memory of my creativity being validated, and it was pivotal to seeing myself as an artist.
That confidence helped me to believe I was a natural artist and it was only a matter of time before I learned to paint. I had a “knowing” that one day I’d grow into an old lady who painted outdoors, in a field.
Even though I didn’t know that was a thing at the time. (Now I know it’s called “plein air painting”.)
In saying all of this, I didn’t learn to paint until I was in my early 40’s. About that time, I began to explore the coastline where I live (mostly to get perspective and refreshment.) I was very inspired to photograph the beautiful trees and seascapes but the photos never did the scenes justice. It got me wondering how awesome it would be to paint them.
At that time, I started to seek out live painting demonstrations and online teachers to show me how. That was only 8 years ago… but it didn’t take me long to find my way. Within a year, I was able to paint anything I set my heart on.
What is your creative process like?
I look through all my photographs of the beautiful places I’ve explored and choose the photo that stands out the most. I look for interesting reflections and high contrast in the shadows and light captured. Then I begin to paint an underpainting on a primed stretched canvas.
The painting starts out very ugly with the darkest tones first and then gets prettier and prettier with each layer of mid-tone and highlights. I like to paint with music playing and try to include God and prayers in my process too. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to complete a medium to large size painting, since I need to let the painting rest between stages.
What’s your work space setup like?
It’s on the second floor of my home with floor to ceiling windows. Natural light comes in from three walls and there is an inspiring ocean and creek view out the front. There is room for a big work table, a smaller work table, a stand up easel (to paint up to 48” x 72” paintings) as well as plenty of shelves for supplies.
What are your favorite art tools to work with?
Golden Acrylic paints, Masterson Stay Wet Pallette, Flat and Filbert synthetic brushes, Stand up Easel, Stretched Wrapped Canvases are the tools I use most. I also just bought myself a U.go plein air pochade box for painting outdoors.
What’s your best time-saving painting shortcut or hack?
That it is possible to restore seemingly ruined paint brushes, that are hardened with dry acrylic paint, simply with any alcohol based waterless hand cleaner which is actually the same stuff we all use daily now to stop the spread of germs, so everyone has some in their house. So timely for painters 🙂 . I’ve tried special expensive brush restorer liquids and they don’t seem to work as well.
What inspires your creativity?
I am extremely inspired by nature, especially arbutus trees, seascapes, mist, water reflections, shadows and light that create high contrast. I am also inspired by other artist’s work and I love to go to art galleries and visit artist studios to get motivated.
Besides painting on canvas, are there other forms of art that you like to do?
I have recently started a spiritual art journaling process. I’m creating many small sepia toned portrait type paintings in my watercolour journal using this method. I also write poetry, compose songs and I enjoy playing guitar, piano and singing.
One thing, I have noticed it’s the beautiful color palettes that you use to create your artwork. How do you decide on what colors will compliment and provide a mesmerizing design for your artwork? How many colors are too many?
I rely on the photographs that I take to inspire the colors in my paintings. Sometimes I turn up the volume on the saturation in my reference photo. My favourite colour is blue and many of my art pieces have a lot of blue in them. I love vibrancy and the bright happy colours of summer…. and the more colours the better.
Do you have an Etsy shop?
Yes I do have an etsy shop with a few items.. and I also have a website to purchase large and small originals directly from me.
I have been working hard at updating my Etsy shop with lots of new mini paintings and even very reasonably priced downloadable prints. I call the downloadable prints Art for a “song”. As they are they priced the same price as an iTunes song…. they are printable on your home printer and are set to print at 8” x 10” to fit in a standard 8” x 10” frame.
They can be used in a set as art wall in your home or office and they can also be used as screen savers and reference photos to paint from if someone is trying my Youtube tutorials.
What advice can you give to someone wanting to sell their art, but not sure where to start?
Etsy is a great place to try since it is almost free, but I find the best place to find buyers is on my own personal Facebook page. People connect to art but also to the person who create it, so a lot of my customers are people who I already know or who are acquainted with me through mutual friends.
Can you give beginners some advice on how to create simple paintings and find their own style?
I recommend going to lots of art galleries and seeing what type of art appeals to you. Once you know what you would like to try to paint, YouTube is a great place to learn to paint. I have a lot of free painting tutorials and demonstrations on my YouTube channel. It can be found by searching Lori Morris Paintings in the YouTube search bar, and here is one of my simplest real time tutorials to get you started:
Do you have favorite paint, tools or canvas brands that you always use?
I really like Golden Acrylic Paint, and the Masterson Stay Wet Palette but I’m not picky on brush brands or canvas brands. (Just as long as they are a great quality) I have created a 5 video series on this topic that will be available on my youtube channel in the coming weeks.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers & fans?
My husband and sons are also creative. My my youngest son writes music, writes lyrics, plays piano and is now recording many of his original songs and he has a YouTube channel of short films called Mitchell Morris.
My oldest son plays keys, sings melody, sings harmony, does stand up comedy, as well as acting, and is an entertaining YouTuber named JimineyBob. My husband is a drummer and is very supportive of all of our creative endeavours emotionally and financially. It seems creativity creates more creativity in our household!
Where are all the places people can follow you?