Art: why?


At the Visual Art Studies program at the University of Florida, my graphic design teacher told us “If there isn’t an idea behind the work, it is irrelevant.” My 3-D design teacher challenged us by saying “Everything has been done before.” Instructor Jerry Uelsmann was also a strong influence, as he has been a pioneer in using collage within photography.

Later influences have been George Braque, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson, more recently Joaquin Torres-Garcia, and of course blues and gospel music. I am interested in the transformation of trees to wood to building material to the art that I make. Cropping images is an essential part of my process, as well as utilization of fractions of old houses, using found objects, painting words & phrases, utilizing typefaces, and moving objects on a plane.

Why do I make art in addition to being a graphic designer? My degree was within the Fine Arts Department, and I have made art since I was little. To me design creation and art creation come from the same place.

I am happy to work in Houston, my home since graduation, as a graphic designer and artist.




“Sneak Peek atWhole Foods Montrose”, by Katherine Shilcutt, Houston Press, June 2011


“Art and Culture at the NewWhole Foods Market in Montrose”
by Lauren Marmaduke, Houston Press, June 20, 2011


“Local Artist Pen Morrison Celebrates Guitar Pickers and Their Guitars”,
byWilliam Michael Smith, Houston Press, April 27, 2012


“The Many Faces of ‘God’ on Display atWhimsical Art Car Museum Exhibition”
byWilliam Michael Smith, Houston Press, Sept. 28, 2012


“Christmas Comes Early:WHAM is Here” by Abby Koenig, Houston Press, Nov. 15, 2012


“Pen Morrison, A Different Kind of Tribute Artist”, Houston Chronicle, by Andrew Dansby, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013