David Morrison was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1956 and received his MFA in Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. His colored pencil drawings are often nature-based, presenting iconic humble subjects with a quiet focus that is belied by their intensely rendered, almost microscopic details that appear upon close inspection.
Morrison has exhibited widely, and his work is included in numerous public collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Portland Art Museum to name a few. A visiting lecturer and guest artist at numerous universities, Morrison is very involved in the world of printmaking, specifically stone lithography, and he is the Professor of Printmaking at Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis.
My drawings of tree branches and trunks embrace nature. I love the springtime when there are eruptive explosions of buds with new leaves and berries. I am seduced by the sensual shape and color of the buds protruding from the branches. I love the firecracker explosion of the red and yellow berries of the crabapple. My drawings capture a moment of this existence. I am also fascinated with fallen tree branches with their scarification left by diseases, infestation, decomposition and storm damage. My drawings capture the degeneration cycle of plant materials and how they echo the living conditions of man and nature. I am interested in capturing the reality of their existence, with all the imperfections, echoing their fragile existence in nature, not an idealized beautification of nature like botanical illustrations.
The drawings are hyper realistic: they capture minute details of the subjects that I portray, but they are only an illusion of the actual reality. I became obsessed with drawing branches and tree trunks by looking at them through magnifying glasses that allowed me to peer deeper into an astonishing world of abstract shapes and patterns. I then realized the complexity of nature and how magnificent it is. Every time I start a new drawing the discovery process starts anew. In the finished drawings, the branches and tree trunks are isolated on a pristine white background, devoid of all the distractions of other plant materials. My intention is to show the beauty of a simple flowering branch or a scarified tree trunk for the viewer to reexamine the realities of nature.