Artist Feature: Sienna Morris – Daily Creation

Editor Julia Alora, Art, September 19th, 2019

"Embrace failure as a step on the path."


By attempting to create every day for a year, Sienna Morris has given herself the freedom to fail and the room to grow. The rules for this challenge are simply to create every day to the best of her ability using any medium and completing each drawing in as much time as it takes. This means that some drawings are finished in an hour or two, while others are worked on over days or weeks. The goal is to create, not to be perfect or to fit into the mold of other challenges. Each drawing is numbered with the day it was completed.

When drawing everyday, the blunt force to the artist’s ego of a perceived failed session or the elation of a favored piece passes quickly to make room for the next drawing. There is only room for the work, and so the process is clarified. This challenge has taught her acceptance, patience, and the value of listening to the work we create. There is a quiet voice that is starting to be heard, slowly being made free by the simple act of daily work. Listening to it feels like letting go.


Reflections from the artist:

Day 120-122
“It’s like a warm nap in the sun watching it. Deft experienced hands turn, twist, pull, fingers, knuckles, veins and yarn. Beautiful. The movements connect me to forgotten feeling, missing memories. How bright and precious a match seems in a dark room.” – Rick Curtis
(Photo reference by Nicole Tignor)

I love this piece because the drawing process started so badly. If I hadn’t come back to this piece again and again, it would have just been a failed and forgotten attempt. My first several attempts were awful, with Day 37 being so bad that I was too embarrassed to share more than a detail of it on my Instagram stories for my daily drawing post. But slowly after several drawing attempts I started to find it, to find him and to connect back to the poem that inspired it. With work I found what I was looking for. This piece reminds me to embrace failure as a step on a path.

Day 236-238
The Storm series is interesting because of how peaceful the drawings are, given that they came from such a loud, thrashing place inside me. The storm series starts with a nude woman sitting with her back to us, calmly surveying a lightning storm before her. The inclement weather seems to have no effect on her. In the following two pieces, two other women sit passively watching the sky as it changes from a raging storm into a serene and cloudless sky. By the third day I realized I was drawing acceptance. A quiet part of me was asking myself to accept that there was a storm raging in my mind, and that by sitting with it without judgment I could let it go. The drawing experience for these was like a breath, falling effortlessly onto the page. I needed these drawings and didn’t know how much I needed them until I was finished with the series.

Drawing daily keeps these conversations with myself open, and sometimes I listen. This is all work. It’s hard. Sometimes I want to quit and be done with it already, but I can see the results in my drawings and in me and so I cannot stop.



Sienna is an artist based out of Portland, OR, currently attempting to draw every day for a year. See the original drawings from day 1 – 238 at AFRU gallery during the month of September. Follow the challenge on Instagram at @Creative_Praxis and @SiennaMorrisArt, check out her website, and find her at Portland Saturday Market year round.


Julia Alora

Julia Alora is a transplanted Portland sculptoress inspired by biology and the natural world. Her works can be found lurking in the woods, guarding her studio, and in co-op art houses around the city.