Original Art by
Artist: Sally W. Morris
Sally’s artistic talent was evident from early on. She was often chosen by the Elementary art teacher to participate in special art projects. She attended art classes at the Delaware Art Museum. She received awards as outstanding artist in both Jr. High School and Sr. High School in her home town of Wilmington, Delaware. Her Jr. High School teacher Mr. Shaw was particularly encouraging and fostered a love of sculpture and oil painting.
Sally attended the University of Delaware as an Art Education major. Again, Sally’s talent stood out in drawing, charcoal, conte crayon and portraiture. At the university, Sally was able to explore all phases of art, including weaving, print making, and batik. However, oils and watercolors were her best media.
At the university, Sally met and later married John L. Morris; her life partner. A wedding in the US was not in their life path so Sally flew to Okinawa and she and John were married on the Island in a small military service. She also followed her husband to the Netherlands where they lived for two years. In both countries, Sally continued her artistic bent taking courses in Ikebana flower arranging in Okinawa and sculpture classes in Schiedam, Holland.
John’s work in New York, brought them to New Jersey were they first lived in Cedar Grove and then purchased a house in Montclair. Here they raised their two sons Christopher and Kevin. Both are graduates of Montclair High School. Sally enrolled in many classes at the Montclair Art Museum taking, Life drawing, Portraiture, Silk Screening, Sculpture and pottery.
In 1971, Sally participated in the annual Caldwell show: Art on the Avenue and won First Prize for amateur Watercolor. A year later, she entered the Montclair Cooperative School sponsored show: Art in the Park and won second prize for Mixed media. That led to teaching Drawing and Sketching at the Montclair Adult School, and a job as Arts and Crafts Director at the “Cabana Club” in West Orange.
As her family obligations grew, Sally’s art took a back seat and her creativity was expressed in many other areas such as; T-shirts designed for Northeast School fund raiser; illustrations for the Northeast School Newsletter and illustrations for St. John’s Episcopal Church Newsletters and Bulletins. Sally also used her artistic talents as Den Mother and Den Coach for Cub Scout Troop 7.
In the eighties Sally became involved in the first, “First Night Montclair”. She designed window displays for several shops in Montclair which led to a 10 year job decorating the windows for Bogart and Hansen Electric Store on Bloomfield Avenue; she designed many posters, shop windows and the pin for the 3rd First Night. Her window display skills led to an opportunity to create and install the decorations for the Livingston Mall. Many of the May in Montclair window displays were done by Sally.
As part of her course work at Montclair State University, Sally worked as the Assistant Manager of the Montclair Art Museum gift shop and over saw the training and sales during the big South West show that the Museum had in 1986. She graduated from Montclair State in 1988 with a BA and concentration in Art Therapy.
Sally pursued her career in Advertising Sales with both The Montclair Times and The Verona Cedar Grove Times; and New Jersey Skyline where she sold tradeshow booths and equipment. She worked as the Executive Director of the Montclair Chamber of Commerce and helped orchestrate a town wide celebration of “Booktober Fest”.
Sally has turned back to her favorite mediums, Watercolor and Acrylics. “My classes in Watercolor Techniques at the Montclair Art Museum with PJ Carlino; Acrylics and Oil painting with Janet Belove; and Plein Air painting with Sharron Pitts at the Van Vleck mansion have really jump started my creativity and interest. I’m really excited to have the time and energy to devote to my paintings.”
I draw my inspiration from nature and flowers. I also have a particular fascination with trees. I love the changing of the seasons and the amazing colors that are produced in nature. There is such a large assortment of colors and textures to choose from it can be overwhelming. I received a digital camera as a gift and I am delighted with the ease and accessibility the camera gives me in creating scenes and objects to work with as subject matter. I have books of pages of scenes and subjects I’d love to paint. When the time allows, I search through my pictures and select things that I find interesting. That is how the Paterson Falls series started. I found some shots I had taken and thought they would make nice paintings. I’m very pleased with the results and I had a lot of fun doing them.
I like to work quickly and Acrylics allow me to do just that. I’m still partial to the texture and color that oil paint produces but I don’t like the time lag or the clean up. Acrylics and watercolor suit my impatience.
The feeling of pride and accomplishment after completing a painting is a “natural high” for me! That euphoria keeps me painting!