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Daphne Morris - The Artist

Daphne Morris In June of 1995 I purchased a bit of an island. I thought of it as an auspicious possession. Gradually I came to realize that I was the one possessed. (Photo of Daphne: Karyn Jovanovich).

The island is a rocky bit of the San Juan Archipelago between Washington State's mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The island's shape, if viewed from above, resembles that of a running moose making a left-hand turn. (illustration - aerial map, by me)

My favorite island perch is a craggy rock outcropping that knuckles its way into the beginning of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. From here I can survey awesome sights such as whales, bald eagles, radar-jamming jets, oil tankers, mirages and dragon flies. The island has crevices and niches which harbor spirits that force wanderers to sit down, breathe slowly and take up a pen or a paintbrush.

My artistic career should have begun in the seventh grade, when I received my best-grade-ever for a hand-colored report on deep sea creatures. But it didn't happen then. I also might have launched into art when my botany reports in Mr. Haine's Bellevue High School biology class were pinned up on the bulletin board. But it didn't happen then either. Perhaps an auspicious beginning could have evolved during marine biology classes at the University of Washington, or when I drew and documented marine flora and fauna at the College of Fisheries at that university. Nope, not then either.

Instead, I happily tended a family, some vegetables, and a few animals on a small farm east of Seattle for a while. Everything grew; everything matured, and at times, I thought of those colored pencil pages of hatchet fish and quahogs and brittle stars. Eventually the family, the vegetables and the animals were fending for themselves. THEN it happened. At first I dabbled, then studied, then began painting.

NOW I paint.

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