Nature drove John's art

JOHN Morrison was born in Queensland and has had an enduring interest in art from an early age, winning his first art contest at age 12.

Tuition began in the 1950s with Vida Lahey followed by secondary art education at Central Technical College in Brisbane.

Graduation from university led to a career in Roma where, in 1968, Morrison met and befriended Mervyn Moriarty who was just setting up the Australian Flying Art School.

This rekindled Morrison's interest in art, and workshops by influential tutors including Andrew Sibley, Irene Amos, Rex Backhaus-Smith and Fred Cress fuelled the fire.

The Carnarvon Ranges became his second home in the '70s when he dropped out of society and lived as a potter-painter and tourist guide in the national park.

A keen interest in anthropology led Morrison to a co-operative production of books based on local Aboriginal mythology with friend Grahame Walsh.

This fascination with the landscape, wildlife and mythology of national parks formed a nucleus for much of his art.

After completion of resident artist jobs for Kakadu, Mount Moffatt and Carnarvon national parks, Morrison was offered the first international artist in residence position at the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado in the US.

This was followed by further residencies in Yosemite National Park in California and Haleakala National Park in Maui, Hawaii.

As a truly professional artist since 1990, he has had 40 solo exhibitions, 37 mixed shows and tutored at 37 workshops.

His work is on show at Seaview Gallery, Moffat Beach, and at Art on Cairncross Gallery, Maleny.

He has won many awards, but one stands out: a Second World War Battle of Britain Spitfire fighter pilot.

This work was jury- selected for the annual exhibition of the Australian Watercolour Society at the SH Ervin Gallery in Sydney.

Morrison will showcase some of his portraits at Seaview Gallery from June 18-August 20.

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