Morris Graves (August 28, 1910 – May 5, 2001) is a rare Northwest native, who was, by and large, a self-taught artist. His early experience with Japan and zen buddhism contributed to the development of his mystic paintings, some of which are shown below. Much of his adult life was spent in and around Seattle and La Conner, WA. He connected with many artists here, three who makeup the Northwest School: Kenneth Callahan, Mark Tobey and Guy Anderson. Graves influence is broad, an example is Robert Davidson’s noted resurgence in Haida art. Graves choose animals and birds to represent symbols where the presence of spiritual essence may be witnessed.
Photograph by Imogene Cunningham: Morris Graves at the Lake.
Bird Singing in the Moonlight
Time of Change, 1943. Tempera on paper. 24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm). Private Collection
Waking, Walking, Singing in the Next Dimension, 1979, Watercolor and tempera, 40 by 30 inches
GARGOYLES, 1948 (“Gargoiles” in the artist’s hand) Tempera on paper, 12.75 x 18 inches