The Allure of a High Horizon

Limpia Canyon/Willows and Oaks (acrylic on paper, 22 x 30)

I grew up in New York State, outside New York City. At that time the area was full of apple orchards. There weren?t many children around, so I did a lot of walking around the orchards. Walking, being part of the landscape, still resonates with me. When I choose a site, I always look for a panorama. Not that I always paint the panorama, but a panorama has majesty. It?s a bird?s-eye picture, the expansive view. Paintings are personal; therefore, what appeals to me immediately is what I choose to build on. I try not to settle for a scene, just because I can?t find one I really like. I react intuitively and once I feel that the site is right, I adopt a more reasoned and analytical approach. Usually I?ll hold up a viewfinder and try to wiggle it around to get a good composition.

Limpia Canyon/Junipers and Oaks (acrylic on paper, 22 x 30)

Whether I?m working in the field or in my studio, I?ve learned not to be too self-critical. I try never to make judgments right away. Final selection and last-minute corrections will occur late in the process?when a fresh eye will solve problems. Immediately after finishing a painting I feel too close to the actual experience. I may have had preconceived ideas about how a scene should look, and I can?t dissociate myself from what I intended so as to make a clear evaluation of what I actually created. For that reason, I take my time in judging a painting?s merit.

Cranberry Cove/Roosevelt International Park (acrylic on paper, 26 x 41)

Artist and instructor Judy Morris lives in Medford, Oregon. To see more of her work, visit her Web site at

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