When Anne Morris arrived at James Hargest College in Invercargill, she was told she couldn't do art in the sixth form.
Morris pushed back and said it was in the curriculum. So the school gave her space in the storage cupboard and the art teacher, who only taught up to the fifth form, gave her some guidance on assessment requirements.
That same determination meant despite studying sciences and maths at school and her parents thinking that might be her career direction, she continued her art studies at a tertiary level.
Morris was born in Portsmouth, England, and moved to Invercargill with her family when her father got a job at the aluminium smelter.
After finishing high school, she moved to Dunedin to attend the School of Fine Arts graduating with a Diploma of Fine Arts, majoring in painting. It was while in Dunedin she met her husband, dental student Paul Morris. They lived in the UK for several years and had two children, before moving to Palmerston North 30 years ago. It was when she returned from the UK that she got back into art.
The couple own Grey Street Dental Surgery and when Anne Morris gets a break from managing the surgery, she spends time in the art studio she's created out the back.
She's now also got a studio at her home just outside Palmerston North, purpose built and clad in cedar. When she told her father of her choice, he said, much to her surprise, her great-grandmother had a cedar art studio at the end of her garden.
Morris usually paints from her own photos but with Covid-19 limiting travel she went online and discovered photos of lagoons around Palmerston North that have since been drained.
She researched Manawatū landscapes and became fascinated by the changes in use. She wanted to capture what the land looked like before the swamps were drained and trees felled but working from black and white photos she needed to use her imagination for the colour.
She says the trick is to draw what you know and not just what you see.
She draws in charcoal pencil and paints in acrylics; she doesn't use oils because the smell irritates her.
Morris has always liked landscapes and trees. The light in Aotearoa intensifies colours, especially on cloudy days and at dawn and dusk.
"I love to capture the movement of the clouds and trees on windy days."
Her exhibition, Land of the Forests, Swamps and Lagoons, is a collection of works she has painted and drawn over the past two years.
She has previously exhibited at Van Uffelen Gallery, Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts and Square Edge.
Morris says she has always drawn and painted. Her mother is crafty, mainly doing flower arranging, but a little bit of drawing, painting and sketching while her sister does a bit too.
Morris is also taking part in Art Trail Manawatū on October 16 and 17.
What: Land of the Forests, Swamps and Lagoons
When: Until October 4
Where: Square Edge Arts Centre