Artist Interview: Rita Morris
What are your earliest memories related to art?
I can still see it now! My mother quite often had a canvas and art palette on our kitchen table. I was amazed at the beautiful flowers she could make look so real!
How and when did you start becoming an artist yourself?
I was given art lessons at an early age and was blessed to have as my teacher a very talented artist whose specialty was drawing. His instruction, combined with my artist mother’s love for painting in oils, gave me a great foundation and a desire to create that has never gone away.
What was the evolution like toward finding your current voice and visual vocabulary?
It’s definitely been an exciting journey — from the early stages of my work to the place where I am now. I have had the opportunity to study with and learn from some great artists! I will always take opportunities to grow and to experiment with different techniques, but I truly believe my subject matter will always be the American West.
What is your process like?
First, I like to “see” the idea in my mind, and then I spend time thinking and rethinking it. I ask myself, “What do I want to show from this painting?” Then the physical work begins. Sketching … REsketching … and often more REsketching! Next comes painting … REpainting … and finally … HOPING that I have portrayed the emotions I wanted the viewer to experience.
Is there anything from your artist statement that you wish to expound on, that you normally don’t have the chance to discuss?
It’s very important to me that those who view my work know that it’s all God! He gives the glorious scenes to be captured on canvas and He gives the talent to bring it to life.
What do you try to control in your surfaces, and what do you leave to chance?
I try to tell a story with each and every stroke of my brushes and I leave it to the viewer to become a part of that story as he/she stands in front of a finished work.
Where do you see your work going from here?
I hope to see it hanging on walls around the world!