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Featured Artists

J. Chris Morel


Born in 1958 and raised in rural Maryland, J. Chris Morel was inspired early on, through his deep love of nature and natural artistic ability, to paint the farms, mountains and fertile valleys of the beautiful Northeast. But after receiving his B.A. in Fine Art in 1980 and a few years' experience as a graphic artist in the Baltimore/ Washington area, Morel took a trip through the great Southwest and knew he had found the perfect subject matter for his paintings.

In 1985 Morel moved to Austin, Texas where he was employed as an illustrator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, producing work that appeared in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine and on official Texas hunting and fishing stamps. While working full time Chris was traveling and painting as much as possible, finally realizing that he could support himself solely through the sale of his paintings. He decided after three years to resign his position and embark on the full-time pursuit of his career in fine art.

Primarily a watercolorist at that time, Morel's style, which emerged as a response to the strength and intensity of the landscapes of the American Southwest, deferred from the traditional watercolor technique in its intensity and richness of color. He began to experiment with acrylics and oils which allow him the freedom to spontaneously lay down rich, loose color on canvas.

Morel owns the J. Chris Morel Gallery and Studio in the beautiful Taos, New Mexico area. He is married and is the father of two boys. He sees his success and good fortune as blessings from God that have been attained through hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude - all attributes for which Chris is well known. He continues to participate in fifteen art shows per year across the Southwest and has received "Best of Show" and "First Prize" awards for his colorful works. He was also selected as a finalist in the highly acclaimed National Arts for the Parks competition in 1994 and was the Region II winner in 2001.

When Morel is not participating in art shows he is most likely painting in The Morel Gallery and Studio, located in St. Frances Church Plaza in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico. Gallery works include dramatic landscapes from the Rockies and the Southwest desert, rich, colorful courtyard scenes of Spanish villas and gardens, quaint adobe dwellings of Northern New Mexico and vibrant, colorful, floral studies.

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