Rain Birch by Gail Morrison

Gail Morrison

Richmond, CA - United States


Gail Morrison is a printmaker who grew up in Massachusetts, but has lived most of her life in the San Francisco area. She currently lives in Richmond, California, and prints at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California, where she is an Artist in Residence.

She has a BA degree in architecture. Although she always dreamed of being an artist, she came late to the practice of art, beginning in 2008 with a printmaking class. She found it fascinating and irresistible, and has been working full-tilt at printmaking ever since. She has taken several more workshops and classes in etching and digital printmaking, and has exhibited in many group shows (winning awards in printmaking and digital art), and several solo shows.

She works primarily in etching with occasional forays into monoprint, and also produces digital art – art created entirely β€œin the computer.” She is currently exploring the potential for synthesizing these two media, even though the technologies are hundreds of years apart. For instance, the concept of using multiple plates or passes through the press in traditional printmaking is similar to creating layers in a digital piece.

Artist statement

The beauty of the world leaves me stunned and distracted. Sometimes I have to turn off this aesthetic ecstasy, but in art I can let it fly.

I am captivated by printmaking, bewitched by etching. The luscious paper. The smell of the ink. The embossment made by the plate, and the melding of ink and paper into one. The stately procession of steps to a traditional etching. The thrill of turning the wheel of the press, folding back the blankets, and gently lifting the paper to see what has appeared.

Recently I have been turning toward landscapes, particularly those with a history of human interaction, working to capture the inspiration and impact of the big picture, and toward the use of abstract imagery to add layers of philosophical ideas and points of view.

I honor the traditions of fine art printmaking, its quiet connection and intimate involvement with the viewer, but this is a world of working within limitations.

In digital art, anything can happen as an image develops. The principle of multiple layers is similar to using multiple plates or drops in traditional printmaking, but goes way beyond it in the potential for complex expression. Ordinary items may move beyond recognition into abstract tropes and ornaments. I am especially interested in interweaving patterns and textures to establish an emotional background for an image.

And so I flip back and forth between the old traditions of etching, and the new technology of our own age.

Local shows

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