Introduce yourself!
Hello, my name is Bee Morrison.  I am a self employed artist, designer and art tutor living and working in Eccles, Manchester.
Tell us how you got into the art industry, was it something that you had always wanted to do?
Since leaving school, I had drifted into office work but I yearned to go to art school.  Then I saw someone on the television being accepted for art school and I knew that I had a lot more to offer.  So I immediately applied for Bolton foundation course and have never looked back. Four years later I had completed the design course with an honours degree in Art and Design.

When you are not painting, what else do you like doing for fun?
I love listening to classical music and gardening.  If I had not gone into art I would have been a gardener.

What was your “first” when I grow up I want to be….?
From the age of 8 I wanted to be a fabric designer and this stayed with me for a very long time.  I had to change school at the end of my 4th year at grammar school because my dad was offered a better job and so we all moved house. I really did not like my next school and could not wait to leave.  So I ended up in an office.

What does your studio look like?  Give us a tour.
I have an office in part of our house which is where I design and paint and do all my planning. I am lucky enough to have a studio in the garden. It’s a wooden chalet called the Clockhouse Gallery which is where I teach. All the different things that I make are housed there.


What does a typical week look like for you?
As I teach every week right through the year, I have a week off in between.  This is taken up with lots of planning images for next year’s classes, art holiday preparation, my own painting ideas or jewellery making.

What’s been your favourite piece you have created to date?
That’s quite hard to answer as I love everything that I design and make. So much goes into any product as it is totally made by hand. Perhaps the portrait that I did for the Queen has the edge on everything else and it now resides somewhere in Buckingham Palace.
What do you love about painting with watercolours over other mediums?
I love its unpredictability and even after all these years of working with it, there always seems to be something more you can learn about it.

How do you get inspired? Is there anybody that you follow for inspiration?
Monet and Turner and all the Impressionists are always full of inspiration. But mostly I get inspired by my own students and how they have developed over the years by sheer dedication and practice.  Some even do more work at home. So I am always looking for new techniques to stretch them even further.

Could you give us five top tips for beginners?
  1. Start with a limited number of colours, say 6 (two reds, two yellows and two blues). By doing that you can get to know these colours very well and how they interact6 and mix with each other. 
  2. Practice doing small pictures as often as you can. 
  3. Find an art group…you will be more motivated in a group situations and you will find new friends. 
  4. Look at lots of art magazines and books for hints and tips from the experts. 
  5. Get to know one colour at a time by painting a picture as a monotone and ENJOY.

Share your biggest artist achievement.
That’s a difficult one to answer as I have done so many wonderful things; seen the world on cruise ships, been on TV quite a few times, painted the Queen’s portrait.  Above all these and more my biggest achievement has just happened a few weeks ago.  I managed to get one painting in a biennial exhibition at the Waterside Open at Sale in Manchester.  I apply for lots of things but this time I was chosen.

And for the future? What’s next for you?
Just when everyone says I should be slowing down I have so much more to do. I have another art book half designed, I have a book on jewellery techniques and lots more jewellery to be made.  I also want to design a new pack on how to work with pewter and return to Hochanda with it. The hard choice is…what to do first? I wouldn’t mind going back on cruise ships… it’s quite a different life out at sea.

So, who knows?  Flip a coin perhaps.

Join Bee Morrison on Hochanda for Bee Inspired Watercolour, this Saturday 21st May at 10AM, 1PM and 3PM.

Make sure you watch Hochanda every day 24/7 for lots of fun and crafty demonstrations and inspiration from your favourite guests! You can watch Hochanda live online, Sky channel 663, Freeview 39 (6AM-9PM) or Freesat 817.

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