Morris Cole Graves, American, 1910 - 2001
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The painter Morris Graves absorbed a variety of influences from widely different cultures, overlaying his attraction to the flora and fauna of his native Pacific Northwest with his experience of the philosophies and the art materials and techniques of the Far East. Writers on the artist emphasize the reductive, Zen-like quality of his work, its meditative aspect, his quasi-spiritual regard for nature, and the skilled and delicate evocation of Chinese calligraphy in his drawings. Graves's fine calligraphic brushwork and use of Japanese paper and sumi ink in this drawing of sixteen speckled birds in downward flight exemplify all of those characteristics.