I was born and raised in the New York City Metro area. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from Middlebury and did additional course work at Dartmouth College and The New Hampshire Institute of Art, studying under Christopher Pothier. Originally, I was a Biology Major at Midd, but made the non-logical switch (at least as my parents saw it) to Art after Sophomore Year. It was the best move I could have made, as I spent time working in the studio, side by side, with a group of classmates who were more gifted, talented and creative than I was. It was a fantastic influence on me in the “Do Your Own Thing” era. After graduation I found myself in the world of professional photography and moved away from painting for many years. Wherever I traveled throughout the United States, I always took my cameras and captured thousands of images, gathering what would become source material for paintings. Over the past twenty-eight years I have rediscovered painting, and the photographs I created have come to life in rich, some say, evocative pieces. Using the classic painting technique of underpainting and glazing, I developed a method and style that has been very satisfying. I don’t do commissions—I paint what I want to paint and let the chips fall where they may. Among others, painters Edward Hopper, Robert Bechtle and Christopher Pothier have influenced my work.
The source material for my paintings originates exclusively from my own photography. For approximately every fifty images captured, I will select five to ten that are made into 12” x 18” prints. From those prints I may choose one or two that are satisfactory sources. All my recent paintings are on wood or aluminum panels that I prepare with a dark, burnt umber ground. I begin with a pencil line drawing and follow with an underpainting that is monochromatic, using only burnt umber and white. The dark ground and burnt umber underpainting create a warmth that finds its way through the colors in the final work. I will add a glaze created by mixing pigment with a transparent medium which brings the color to the paintings. The final color glaze may vary in transparency and may be from one to ten layers deep.
Throughout over 45 years as a professional photographer, I have captured a wide variety of man-made and natural landscapes. In recent years, many of these images have been the inspiration for paintings, where the hand and eye create the light more powerfully than camera and lens.
Thank you to all who have influenced, encouraged and instructed me over the years. We’re never too old to learn!
To see more of my work please visit: http://craigmorrisfineart.com/