Painting Music

Alan Meerow

Music doesn’t only engage the auditory centers of our brain.  It can inspire imagery in our mind, sometimes inchoate, but other times fully formed.  And to some, the gift is given of translating that inner vision into art.  Welcome to the world of Michael Morrison.

Michael Morrison’s artwork is currently displayed on 100 municipal buses in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I met Michael for the first time at Todd Rundgren’s Mythic Pacific Retreat in Cambria, California last summer.  This garrulous gent with the constant grin, Texas inflections and walrus mustache was a new face for me at Rundgren events, but I was charmed.  I learned that he plays and writes music as well as sings.  And we share a common passion for plants.  But it actually wasn’t until some time after Cambria that I discovered Michael’s craft on canvas.

A Texan by birth, Michael resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Currently I work mostly in acrylic on canvas, gesso board, and other surfaces. I love to think outside the box, determined to find new ways to expand my Utopia of art into many medias and directions. My focus is on landscapes and abstracts. I use bright colors in my painting to create a bold statement. You can see my lifetime of traveling experiences displayed prominently in my art.”

Michael has had showings of his work in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., US Virgin Islands, Italy, and upcoming in South America.  He has twice won first prize in the USDA’s annual Art and Agriculture contest.

He cites the fortitude of his wife in her battles with cancer as a major influence for some his artwork. “I credit the willpower of my wife and her positive attitude as an inspiration in my paintings,” he says.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of his art are donated to a growing list of non-profits, among which we can happily count the Spirit of Harmony Foundation.

Michael has begun a series of paintings that he calls “The Spirit of Harmony” series.  His goal is no less than to produce a painting inspired by each and every one of the songs of Todd Rundgren.  Here is just a small sampling of these paintings.

Wailing Wall
“Wailing Wall”
Cold Morning Light
“Cold Morning Light”
A Treastise on Cosmic Fire
“A Treatise on Cosmic Fire”
A Long Time, A Long Way To Go
“A Long Time, A Long Way To Go”

On his web site MichaelMorrisonArt, you can explore the richness and depth of Michael’s full oevre, which includes not just acrylic, but photography as well.  I, for one, find his style mesmerizing and emotionally evocative.

“My paintings reflect my passion and intensity for life; and my imagination moves this to the canvas.”  And so, we too are moved.



Alan Meerow works as a tropical plant research biologist in Florida and is the managing editor of the Spirit of Harmony Foundation blog pages