Elise Morris is a working artist exploring nature’s point of view, particularly fleeting moments of growth and change. Finding beauty in the unexpected, she works from a deep desire to learn her natural surroundings. The resulting paintings and drawings explore concepts of nature, at the edge of abstraction.
Elise received a B.A. in painting and printmaking at UC Santa Cruz in 1997, and is 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 from1998 until 2000. In 2004, she received a Master of Fine Arts from the JFK University Arts & Consciousness program in Berkeley, CA. She has exhibited throughout the Bay Area, and has work in corporate and individual collections throughout the U.S. She is represented by several galleries including Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in New York, and Bryant Street Gallery in Palo Alto, CA. Elise currently lives and works in Oakland, CA
The shapes of nature are so much more surprising than what I imagine them to be. And so, I start with something tangible. In drawing the curves and winding trails of a branch in bloom, I have learned that beauty is in the unexpected and momentary.
I consider the fleeting images that represent change: a sequin of light, a passing shadow, tangles of blurred lines, the places where growth blooms and withers along an otherwise bare branch.
I am interested in exploring nature’s point of view - how nature might perceive itself on the inside. From this perspective, I imagine a chaotic tumble of change and growth, a relentless and overwhelming surge of interconnected events. Painting takes the form of inquiry where my process is made visible.
I want to hold a moment in my focus, noticing the fragility of its current state before it quickly becomes something completely different. In this way, I am watchful of my surroundings. There is beauty in unexpected places, not just waiting to be found, but waiting to really be seen.