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Virtual Resources – Object 1

This is an oil painting of Stonehenge, which has long been a place of fascination that has inspired people across the years. Morris painted this as part of a series of 12 paintings of Stonehenge in 1997. Stephen was born in Smethwick and taught art for 17 years at the Wolverhampton Polytechnic (later University). He now lives in France.

Sophie’s thoughts

I chose this painting because of the bold colours and simple shapes. It reminded me of a happy day trip I once had to Stonehenge and of the positive energy the stones are meant to release.

Thoughts from the learning team

This is one of our more modern paintings. I think it looks like an illustration from a book or a portal you can walk through into the stones.

Activity

Think of a place you have visited, or would like to visit, that is meaningful to you and make it into a modern artwork, perhaps in the style of Stephen Morris. Whilst you are making your artwork, try thinking about the following questions;

  • What feelings does this memory evoke?
  • Did you go with anyone?
  • Why did you like it there? Or why would you like to go?
  • How would you describe this place to someone?

It could be someone’s house, a place of worship, somewhere you went or would like to go on holiday, a local landmark or even a beautiful view.

This is an easy step-by-step guide to how I made my painting of Glastonbury, which is a place that makes me happy when I think about being there or going again one day. Whilst I was making it, I thought about the questions above.

Materials – a printed picture of your chosen place, tracing paper, a pencil, a ruler, paper (any size or thickness you like), paints, paint brush (colouring pencils or felt tips are also fine).

First, I traced my image just choosing the most important bits to create a simple line drawing in the style of Stephen Morris.

Then I went over the lines on the back of the tracing paper to make sure it didn’t come out back to front, before transferring it to the middle of my nice paper, by scribbling all over the back.

Afterwards, I added a border of geometric shapes like Stephen Morris’s painting. He used rectangles but I chose triangles as I thought they suited the style of my picture more.

I then painted the main image, using bright bold colours, not adding too much detail. I enjoyed doing something so simple where I didn’t need to worry about it looking perfect.

Finally, I painted the triangles in the border, using the same colours from the main picture.

I really like the finished result, but more importantly, thinking about the questions while I was drawing and painting, transported me to a happier place.

I hope this activity and the Stephen Morris painting inspire you. You don’t have to do it the same way I have, this is just an idea. Art is all about personal expression, interpretation and escapism.

Please share your creations on social media with us using #aspacetobe_northherts

Enjoy!