For Elise Morris, painting is an intuitive process of creating space and layering experiences that evoke both unexpected complexity and the bareness of the moment. It is a process of being present to what comes and taking note of new subtleties. She works from a deep desire to connect with her natural surroundings, and finds beauty in simple and fleeting passages of leaves moving in light and shadow.
For her work on canvas, Elise begins each piece with a simple line
drawing, builds a ground in acrylic, and then adds many thin
layers of translucent oil paint. The resulting images are fresh and airy, yet grounded. They explore the boundary between natural forms and abstraction, and demonstrate the artist’s mastery of light and space.
In the artists own words: “Where ever I am, lately I find myself looking to the light. I look through the trees, in the heavy clouds, at the reflections in the creek. It is ever changing and always there, a basic element in our daily experience. It is the light that makes the shadows that I so love to draw. Where there is light, there is clarity and warmth, and the hope of what is ahead.”
Morris received a BA in painting and printmaking at UC Santa Cruz in 1997, and was the recipient of the Hyde and Benteen Irwin Scholarship for excellence and promise in the visual arts. She lived in the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1998 until 2000. In 2005, she completed an MFA from the JFK University Arts & Consciousness program in Berkeley, CA. She has exhibited extensively, and has work in corporate and individual collections throughout the US and internationally. She is represented by galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Palo Alto, and at SLATE contemporary in Oakland. Elise Morris currently lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.