Jean Morrow —theHumm Came Out to Morrow - theHumm October 2019
Jean Morrow —theHumm Came Out to Morrow - theHumm October 2019
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
It was time to check out the artistic chops of another member of the amazing Almonte art scene. A relative newcomer to the community, Jean Morrow has opened her solo art gallery as part of her stunning Thoburn Mill condo overlooking the Mississippi River. Her art also brightens the walls and nicely complements Deborah Arnold’s supremely appropriate stone sculptures in the main corridor of this remarkable building. After several iterations of renovation since the historical landmark closed as a woollen mill in 1956, the Thoburn Mill condos are now home to more than twenty owners and shops.
Morrow’s exuberant acrylic paintings throb with joy — pleasure at being alive and doing what she loves best. Her abstracts have titles like Colour Me Energy and Inner Self. They radiate the sheer pleasure she experiences as a full-time artist — finally! On her website, her Artist Statement explains: “Painting is my passion in life. I have always needed to be creating in order to express myself, and found early on that painting fills this need. I live for that moment when the painting takes on a life of its own and flows through me onto the canvas. Often hours pass by unnoticed. When it’s working right it becomes like meditation. It is so satisfying to me to make something beautiful that didn’t exist before.”
Colour is her friend. In her abstracts she plays with it, experiments with it, uses it with gusto and spontaneity, but is always acutely conscious of the consequences. Many of her works are light and full of movement, achieved partially through her generous use of white space. To me, a few of her works suggest hints of Jackson Pollock’s, but hers are much more accessible, smaller, affordable, and — you guessed it — happier. This is no tortured artist expressing existential angst; on the contrary, this is an artist who uses her art to celebrate how wonderful life is.
Her online gallery at morrowgallery.com is divided into five collections: Water, Trees, Abstract, Human Form, and Sun Rise/Sun Set. Morrow takes a very modern approach in her Human Form collection, playing with unfamiliar colours on familiar subjects. Several works are on display at 8008 Lingerie, a new addition to the shops in Almonte’s antidote to shopping malls — the Heritage Court. Morrow’s collection — modern, sexy, and “bejazzled” — is a major departure from her previous works.
A confirmed autodidact, Jean embraces the freedom and excitement that she derives from tapping into the vast resources available through the internet as her primary method of discovering and mastering new artistic media and techniques. Like many artists she remembers always loving to draw. About thirty years ago a good friend gave her a set of paints and asked her to make him a painting of his hero — Bobby Orr. She never looked back. She absolutely loved creating art, starting in oils and painting landscapes, always learning. When she discovered acrylics her reaction was: “That’s it for me!” and it remains so.
So much so that she recently created a line of jewellery using the same acrylic paint techniques she use on her canvasses. Jean strongly believes that original art should be affordable and accessible. Her jewellery fits the bill — wearable, unique art. Another impetus for developing her line of jewellery was that the couple spends much of each year in London, England, and on Saint Simons Island, one of the Barrier Islands off the coast of Georgia. She was looking for an artistic outlet that did not require a studio. Again self-taught, she figured out how to create miniature fragments of her favourite paintings. She sells her pieces at her gallery and also on Etsy.
Happiness Came To Morrow
No. That is not an anachronism. Happiness came to Morrow when Morrow came to Almonte. Ten years ago, she and her husband George Shafer took early retirement together from long, successful and satisfying careers at Telesat, relinquished their condo in downtown Ottawa, and moved to Almonte. Longtime Almontonians love it when new residents react like Jean: “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life!” Having a gorgeous condo with an attached studio that gives her more space “to work with messier media” is a major part of that happiness. The couple wisely enlisted the services of Peter Mansfield to guide their conversion of a former wood-working shop into a strikingly modern condo. (Mansfield was the primary architect for the multi-use redevelopment of the landmark former factory, one of five Almonte buildings that just won a national heritage award – see page 25 for more details.)
Smiles Are Powerful
Morrow has been an autodidact throughout her life. She grew up in the southeast Ottawa suburb of Gloucester and entered the Public Service from high school. Being a quick learner, she became a legislative assistant, and then applied for an entry-level job at Telesat. In her words, “It was a great company to work for — if you worked hard.” She fortuitously met her husband there, whom she credits with helping her overcome painful shyness as a self-described introvert. That characterization was so at odds with the demeanor of the person I was interviewing that I called her on it. She convinced me it is true, but she has worked hard at forcing herself to overcome it. Her trademark is her smile — take a look at her Trading Card. She claims that meeting her husband, and then “meeting a bunch of intelligent people and wanting to be more like them” motivated her to learn how to — and even enjoy being — more social. Science confirms that smiling can improve your self-confidence. It looks like it’s working for Jean.
Since her arrival in town, Morrow has participated in a number of arts events in Almonte and Carleton Place. Her works are on display at the Thoburn Mill, at Stairway Gallery at 65 Mill Street, and at 8008 Lingerie. On Thanksgiving weekend she is participating again in the annual juried Crown and Pumpkin Studio Tour at her Morrow Gallery at Unit 110 in the Thoburn Mill at 83 Little Bridge Street. In addition to a collection of lively, colourful and uplifting acrylic paintings, complemented by unique and affordable jewellery, you are guaranteed a warm welcome and an irresistible smile!
Links for this article at Jean Morrow,
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
It was time to check out the artistic chops of another member of the amazing Almonte art scene. A relative newcomer to the community, Jean Morrow has opened her solo art gallery as part of her stunning Thoburn Mill condo overlooking the Mississippi River. Her art also brightens the walls and nicely complements Deborah Arnold’s supremely appropriate stone sculptures in the main corridor of this remarkable building. After several iterations of renovation since the historical......
Jim Cuddy, one of Canada’s most beloved singer-songwriters as both a solo artist and as part of Blue Rodeo, will headline an intimate evening of music at the Almonte Old Town Hall on Sunday, October 20 to benefit the Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation. Presented by KE Electrical Ltd., the evening will feature the Jim Cuddy Family Band, including Jim’s sons Devin Cuddy and Sam Polley, as well as the Prescott Brown Family Band, including Tracey Brown, Randall Prescott and their da......
Lighting the Way 9 Short Plays that Stubbornly Celebrate a Sustainable Future - theHumm October 2019
By — Emily Pearlman
The science is clear. All our major political parties have acknowledged it: we are in the midst of a Climate Crisis. But after people have cast their votes, what are you and I going to do about it? How can we act in a meaningful way to ensure a different future than the one that is being projected? How can we champion those who are working for change on a global level, a national level, and in our own backyards?
On October 17 and 18, a group of thirty people from our communi......
Pumpkinfest Returns! - theHumm October 2019
Since Pumpkinfest 2018 was a such a smashing success, Downtown Carleton Place, the Carleton Place Sister City Committee and the Carleton Place Tourism Committee are ready to bring this wonderful celebration of Fall back again this year.
This year, Pumpkinfest will be held on October 19 at the brand-new Carleton Junction. “We are thrilled to have such a top-notch venue for our event,” says Downtown Carleton Place BIA Coordinator Kate Murray. “This space is loaded with......
While traveling through the beautiful countryside just west of Perth during September and early August, if you hear a low hum, don’t be concerned! It’s just the artisans of the Perth Autumn Studio Tour feverishly endeavouring to finish new works to be presented during the tour and readying their workspaces to accommodate the many talented guest artists that will be hosted at each studio.
Now in its 27th year, the Perth Autumn Studio Tour has become known for the high quality and diversity o......
Every autumn, the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) hosts its premier fundraising event. On October 19, the 2019 Go Wild Gala will be held at the historic Grand Hotel in Carleton Place, and will feature naturalist and author Michael Runtz as the guest speaker, sharing his experiences from nearly fifty years of exploring Algonquin Park.
Steeped in history, the Grand Hotel is the perfect venue to visit with friends and enjoy the venue’s fine and full buffet dinner. Doors open ......
By Susie Osler
This morning I woke early as the day broke, and with coffee and chair in hand, went to watch the sun rise from the forest to the east. I made my way across the grass to sit next to a patch of Mugwort planted last year that grows beside a tangle of nettle, motherwort, goldenrod, comfrey and rugosa rose that hedge along a rail fence at the northeast corner of the barn.
What a luminous morning it was! The remains of the waning moon, a sliver beckoning to the rising sun. And surrounding me, infinite......
On Saturday, November 9 at 7:30pm at St. Paul’s United Church in Perth, music lovers can savour the extraordinary voice of singer Theresa Thomason and the virtuosity of Grammy Award-winning pianist Paul Sullivan. Thomason and Sullivan headline the second concert in the series supported by Group Encore!, a circle of people in Lanark County making events of this calibre possible.
The Thomason-Sullivan concert follows the inaugural, superlative concert held at St. Paul’s on May ......
A lovely recent tradition in Carleton Place involves November being ushered in with the Itty Bitty Art Show — an exhibition filled with gorgeous and diverse works of art that reflect just how talented our little town is. The fifth annual Itty Bitty Art Show will take place on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3 at the Carleton Place Canoe Club, from 10am to 4:30pm each day.
In celebrating Carleton Place’s 200th year we honour all the beautiful pieces that make up our to......
How do you bring history to life? Easy! Create an original live theatre musical show!
The Mississippi Mudds have put together a brandnew, original musical show that shines a light on the history of the town of Carleton Place. Will it be dry and boring? NO WAY! The fascinating facts of history will be brought to life through a strong storyline, amazing costumes and rousing music!
Here’s What Happens…
A young boy, fleeing bullies, takes refuge in the Carlet......
The “little charity that could” is celebrating the construction of their 111th classroom in Nicaragua, after a year of instability in the country. SchoolBOX has recovered due to their strong network of supporters, donors, and team on the ground. This year was a bounce-back one for the Almonte-based charity, as they are on schedule to build twelve classrooms, deliver over 18,000 educational supplies and equip countless communities around Nicaragua with books.
SchoolBOX has its roots in A......
Christmas in the Valley Show - theHumm October 2019
Are you looking for gifts with originality, quality and attention to detail? Then forgo the gift cards, big box stores and stressful malls, and make your first holiday shopping destination the popular Christmas in the Valley Artisan Show! There you’ll find a juried selection of over thirty carefully selected artisans, crafters and bakers presenting their original creations in a relaxed, friendly and festive atmosphere. This year’s show takes place on November 2 and 3 from 10am to 4pm a......
My heart too small? Nah, this whole place gives me gas and I knew it was time to get outta town. But since my head isn’t screwed on right, and my shoes are too tight, I got stranded with my goat ......
By — Charlee Ostrom and Bruce Bailey
You may remember us from a previous article in theHumm or from meeting us. For those who don’t, we are Charlee Ostrom and Bruce Bailey. Charlee is an artist, a wonderful tapestry weaver, former p......
Signals from the Station October is a Hopping - and Haunted - Month in Smiths Falls! - theHumm October 2019
It’s a little cooler now, eh? Bit of a chill in the air. Sweater weather is how I like to think of October. Time to throw on your favourite old sweater and slip into your most comfortable pair of j......
FABulous Recognition! - theHumm October 2019
By — David J. Stephenson is a retired federal policy guy who now divides his time between life on the Mississippi in Almonte and roughing it in the bush on two acres near Pakenham
Last month we featured an article about Five Almonte Buildings (FAB) having been shortlisted for a National Trust for Canada’s Ecclesiastical Insurance award for Resilient Places. And… drum roll ......
By — Paul Joyce
For theatre goers, one-act plays are rare, tantalizing theatrical delicacies. In a cluster of two or more, one-acts provide an enticing assortment of dramatic experiences in a single evening.
A Message from Stephen Kotze - theHumm October 2019
By — Stephen Kotze is the Federal Green Party candidate for LanarkFrontenacKingston
We’re almost into the third week of the campaign as of press time; I’m getting out every day, knocking on doors and talking with people all across this huge riding.
May 1 - 31 Exhibition: Jeweller Anne-Marie Chagnon
May 2 - Jun 20 Exhibition: Visible Mending
May 16 Teagan McLaren
May 17 Sue Prosser
May 20 Eric Uren
May 21 John Wilberforce
May 21 Spring Makers' Market
May 22 - Sep 5 Head Over Heels
May 23 The Co-conspirators
- Patrick John Mills — An Artist to Look Up To
- Perth’s First AnnualShort Film Festival
- Return of the Rag Bag Cabaret!
- This Year, Next Yearat Studio Theatre
- TNIM PresentsDrinking Habits
- Art in the Attic — Close to Home
- Vintage Market Trunk Sale at MERA
- Summer Fun that’s Good for Your CV
- Classical Concert for Refugee Resettlement
- Catch the Blues Bossat The Cove Inn