Deb Crouse Morris – Illustrator, Painter, Musician

Painting -Deborah Morris

What is/are your church congregation(s) and district?

Attend Washington City COB via Zoom, various Episcopal churches in Zanesville OH area

What do you create? 

Drawing/painting, playing the flute

When did you first start creating?

Before I could write, I was drawing pictures.  I learned to play the flute when I was 10 years old.

Mother and Child–Ecuador -Deborah Morris
The Healing; story from Ecuador -Deborah Morris

Describe how your spirituality connects with your creative process?

God gave me the gift of representing what I see in pictures, and great joy in creating music and art.  I especially enjoy creating drawings and homemade cards for people that I love, for their birthdays and special occasions.  When I create pictures of birds or animals, I am always grateful to God for their intricate beauty as I work.  I have played the flute at many weddings, funerals, worship services, and special occasions.  There have been times when something I played was deeply moving to someone when I had no idea that I was doing anything special musically.  Those are times when I especially believe God was using me.

WHY do you create? 

When I am creating art, it always makes me think of either the subject of the drawing or painting, or of the person I am creating it for, as I work.  For example, in 1985 when I drew the picture of my Crouse grandparents, it was a gift for my grandmother after my grandfather had died and she had moved from the farm where the picture was taken.  When I painted the pink-headed duck, I thought so much of how that bird might have lived and what its environment was like before the 1940s when it became extinct.  When I painted our son practicing the piano next to our cat Betty Boop, I appreciated having had a cat that loved piano music and the era of our family when the kids were practicing piano.  I began playing the flute in order to build the skill, play in band, and compete; however I have learned that making the world more beautiful is much more important.  I play now to add meaning to worship and significant occasions in peoples’ lives, and for my own enjoyment.

Esther and Clifton Crouse in MD -Deborah Morris
Pink Headed Duck -Deborah Morris
Piano Practice -Deborah Morris

How has the pandemic (if at all) affected your creative process? 

Since moving to Ohio in 2014, we have had a quieter life (our kids are grown and in other states) where we love to stay home by the woods and river where we live, and our work is at the hospital.  The pandemic has not changed my drawing and painting, since my schedule and activities have not changed much. (Playing the flute changed for the better since I was on the music team for the Zoom version of Washington City Church of the Brethren during the pandemic.)

GrGdadCrouse -Deborah Morris

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Ritchey Martin says:

    Deb we certainly knew you are talented but the artwork is so expressive. Wonderful!!!! Your flute playing has touched so many, this guy included. Thank you for so generously sharing.

    1. Deb Morris says:

      thank you, Tim! What great memories we have of Orlando Community (music, preaching, laughing, etc). So glad my music touched you. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Carissa Fralin says:

    This was wonderful and I’m so glad it was shared! Deb was my inspiration to learn to play the flute at Orlando Community CoB. I still play today.

  3. Deb Morris says:

    Wow Carissa, I’m so glad you still play today and didn’t know I’d inspired you to learn the flute! I do remember bringing my flute to your house when you still lived at home. Thanks for commenting!

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