Artist’s Statement: My seventh grade teacher, Miss Steinberg, told us that since we would be graduating into high school the following year, we should all have some idea of what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives.
She informed us that the following day, each one of us would be asked to come up to the front of the classroom and briefly explain what we wanted to become and why. Well, I don’t believe that anyone was too pleased with that . . . I certainly wasn’t. Not because I didn’t know “what,” but rather, I didn’t know “how.”
How am I going to explain to a group of pretty tough guys and girls (most of them played baseball, badminton or basketball) that I wanted to be an artist?
Somehow, I got along with them all right, but for a long time after that I was known as “the artiste.” It wasn’t meant to be complimentary.
My parents, hard-working laborers, only just arrived in their new country and couldn’t see the reasoning. “Surely,” they said, “you could make a lot more money as a plumber.”
I have spent my entire life trying to become an “artist,” and now I am one. Well, I don’t really know if I am one or not, but I’ve certainly had a great time trying. I’ve enjoyed a good deal of success and pleasure in painting and teaching. I’ve had my own TV show (“Painting with Morris”) and my own gallery/studio, which I still have.
Let me close with this thought, for all those young people. “Don’t give up the ship.” It’s a highly competitive game, but what worthwhile endeavor isn’t. If you love it, go for it. and good luck to you all.
A few words about me. I live and work in Florida, selling my paintings and giving classes to people who want to paint. I first started painting before entering elementary school and have had a number of art instructors helping over the years. I studied at Sir George Williams University in Canada, and spent two years at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York.
Those of you in Florida may have watched me on Channel 15 in Daytona Beach, where I did my show called “Painting with Morris.”