|Inspired by the California plein air painters of the early twentieth century, Morrall’s art combines rich color-saturated strokes with strong compositions. At a distance the paintings often have a photo-real quality. Up close, bold brush work and thoughtful under-painting add texture and interest.
Painting since the early 1960’s, most recent work relies on straightforward images of the everyday world that arrest the viewer with their powerful simplicity. Coastal scenes, valley farmlands, foothill views and desert landscapes are favorite subjects. Cows, horses, barns, hay bales, roads, trees, cats, and trucks are often the subjects, but the colors, application of paint, play of light, and final composition are the most important elements in each painting.
In additon to having a BA from San Jose State Univeristy in California, his long career as a magazine editor taught him brevity and conciseness. He knows what to leave in and what to omit. Carefully cropped images help the viewer to focus on the exciting, often unrecognized, world of visual compositions around us. Sometimes his surprising use of color makes us more cognizant of what we really see when we view an object or place.
Morrall’s many years of illustrating books and practicing as an architectural designer have also honed his skills for rendering structure and form. Making his subjects believable, if not always exact representations helps to anchor the viewer to that time and place.” I’ve been there,” is a common reaction.
As his work has grown in physical scale, paintings are often started in the field, but finished in his lake side studio in Penn Valley in the Northern California Sierra foothills.