Maurice Orr has always been drawing and painting. He had his first work exhibited in Belfast when he was only 15 years old. He was born in England but now lives in North Antrim, Northern Ireland. He studied at Belfast College of Art and Design in the early '70s before working as a graphic artistin the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
After taking early retirment, following major surgery, Maurice initially turned to oil painting as a hobby. In 2002 he won his first International Residency and in 2003 was awarded the prestigious NI Art Council Banff Residency in Alberta, Canada. In 2006, though the Arts Council of Australia, Maurice was awarded a residency for 2007 at Hill End, Bathurst Regional Gallery. During this visit to New South Wales, he also worked with the Barracks Artists in Thirroul, Australia.
Maurice cites Monet, Turner, Arthur Boyd and the Canadian artist, Tom Thompson's use of light and its changing effect on nature as being the main influence in his style of painting. These influences are apparent throughout his work.
Maurice uses oils and a palette knife to create works that have been interpreted as bringing nature to life. He is a representational painter but with an abstract slant. His landscapes are less an attempt to faithfuly reproduce a particular place than to convey an ambience or an emotion. Maurice's paintings, which convey an atmospheric quality, encourage the viewer to look and explore the spirit of the landscape.
Maurice has just completed a new series of works in Donegal, exclusively for Throatlake and Creeslough Fine Art. His work is also now in private and public collections around the world.