Artist Profile: Miriam Morrissette… Keeping the Abstract Expressionist Tradition Alive in Corvallis

The Home of Desperation
The Home of Desperation

“Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye… it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.” ~ Edvard Munch

4The work of local artist and Temporary Artists’ Guild member Miriam Morrissette could be said to invoke the same expressionist mission to capture the soul as that of Edvard Munch, but with a significant abstractionist and surrealist twist. Citing artists such as Salvador Dali, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edvard Munch, and Pablo Picasso, Miriam’s body of work consists of an emotional exploration and expression in the acrylic medium.

Miriam’s art most evolved during an independent study course at LBCC where she had to do work that pointedly expressed emotion. In a sense, this was an epiphany, allowing her to express emotion at an extent previously denied by her Asperger syndrome.

Additionally, her art features a Native American motif in terms of color choice, specifically influenced by the medicine wheel.

Explaining her paintings, Miriam emphasized, “there is a level of darkness to every human being but also a level of hope.” She tries to express this dichotomy in all her work, as well as the idea of feeling safe and at home. To quote her, “I like being at home; I’m definitely a homebody.”

Taking Flight
Taking Flight

Along these lines, Miriam’s paintings feature the reoccurring symbol of a Being, a rounded representation of the human soul that looks a little like an eye, often found in a little “hidey-hole” or even protected by a house.

Freedom From The Darkness
Freedom From The Darkness

Her piece, “Freedom from the Darkness” is an acrylic painting which features the Being seemingly caught in a storm above a snowy, mountainous landscape while at the same time escaping a shadowy rift in the center of the painting.

Interestingly, the Being here is not secluded but is exposed to the very elements it is found most often hiding from. The mountains, as Miriam explains, capture that essence of freedom found perhaps most significantly in nature.

Miriam invites any readers interested in her work or lovers of art in general to check out her solo display at Stash, 110 SW 3rd Street, Corvallis, during August, as well as the Corvallis Imagination Music & Art Festival in Starker Arts Park on Saturday, Sept. 1 from noon to 10 p.m. and the Corvallis Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29 at Central Park with the Temporary Artists’ Guild.

By Joel Southall

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1 thought on “Artist Profile: Miriam Morrissette… Keeping the Abstract Expressionist Tradition Alive in Corvallis

  1. I love the incorporation of the Being in each of the pictures. It’s funny because the second picture was the last one where I noticed it even though it’s the largest.

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