Taos landscape painter, Chris Morel, left his home state of Maryland a few years after graduating from art school and headed for Austin, Texas. The Maryland art market in the mid-80s was not strong, and Morel believed that the art world of Austin would allow him to become a full-time fine artist. He found work as an illustrator for the Texas Park and Wildlife Department, where he worked for several years. By 1990 Morel was able to open his own studio; he began painting full-time and started to sell his watercolor and oil works in retail galleries.
In 1994 Morel moved to Ranchos de Taos in northern New Mexico and was inspired to fully develop his skill in plein aire painting, his subject matter transformed through the influence of the high desert landscape. His preferred materials at present are the mountain valleys of New Mexico, their plant life and the adobe structures of those who live there.
Morel's work has been recognized by many fine art institutions in the West. He has shown at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, at the Albuquerque Museum and at Tulsa's Gilcrease Museum. His work has been featured in numerous fine art publications including Southwest Art, American Art Collector and International Artist.
Among numerous awards, Morel's work was selected as "Best of Show, Artists Choice" at the 2002 Masters in Montana Show and Sale at Chaparral Gallery in Bozeman, Montana. Also in 2002, he was honored with the National Art for the Parks Region II Award, and has been recognized as an Award Winner at Plein Air Tucson, in both 1998 and 1999.