It’s not often that banking and art have much in common, but in the case of Cynthia Morris the opposite is true.
Morris, vice president and marketing director at Central Bank of Sedalia, has been employed at the bank for 38 years.
What many people may not know, is Morris, past president of the Sedalia Visual Art Association, is an accomplished colored pencil artist.
Morris credits Central Bank, once called Third National Bank, with peaking her interest in colored pencil drawing in 1996.
“The bank actually got me started,” she said. “They knew that I did artwork, and the marketing director at the time asked me if I would create a greeting card. So, I’m terrible with the paintbrush, and I had gotten some colored pencils. They wanted a dogwood, which is our bank logo.
“So, I did a colored pencil drawing of some dogwood flowers, and they used that,” she added. “That’s what really got me started in colored pencil. It was probably about the third piece I’d done in colored pencil … I’ve been going great guns ever since.”
Since that time she has received signature status with the Colored Pencil Society of America for her realism art.
“Which is an international group of colored pencil artists, consisting of about 1,700 artists worldwide,” she added.
She is officially known in the art world as Cynthia C. Morris, CPSA and has obtained her 10-year status with the organization.
“You have to be accepted into three of their shows in order to attain signature status, and it has to be done within 10 years,” Morris said. “I had 10 years I think 2012.”
Her artwork features animals, horses, nature and vintage subjects, but her most popular piece has been a drawing of colorful apples in a plastic bag created in 2004.
“I’ve sold more prints of those than anything I’ve done,” she said. “That’s the one that was the finalist in ‘American Artist Drawing’ magazine.
“My most fun pieces are horses,” she added. “I have a thing for horses. When I’m not working on something for competition, I just like to draw horses. That was the first thing I ever drew as a kid.”
Since becoming a colored pencil artist Morris has received several awards for her work and it has been printed not only in national magazines but in books.
“I’ve been published in several books,” she added. “Two last year.”
One, “CP Treasures: Colored Pencil Masterworks from Around the Globe,” features colored pencil artists from all over the world.
“One coming out within the next month will be ‘Strokes of Genius 7,’ I’m going to have two pieces in that,” she noted. “It’s by North Light Books, and that’s all kinds of drawings. That’s not just colored pencil.”
“Strokes of Genius 7: Depth, Dimension and Space (Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing)” will be out mid to late October, Morris said.
For the last 10 years, Morris has been sharing her drawing talent with others by giving monthly colored pencil classes. Those interested in classes may contact her on her website, cynthiacmorris.com.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 660-530-0289 or @flbemiss