Christopher Hill Morse

Grafton, NH



Covalent Bond

I have been thinking for a long time about water being a metaphor for life. It combines two of the most flammable gasses into one of the world’s greatest solvents by what is called a covalent bond. This is a sharing of an electron of the oxygen atom briefly with hydrogen atoms which trade the electron back and forth with each orbit. In our community often diversity between people who share energy toward some common goal can work as a great solvent for the community. The covalent bond is a great metaphor for life.

My etching, “Covalent Bond,” came from thinking about the process of learning to listen again when you have not been out hiking for some time. When we first get back out to the woods our thoughts are often about our day to day circumstances. It is hard to let go of your busy thoughts and allow yourself to really hear the woods and enjoy the moment. When I first take water running clean and pure I often find that I have finally arrived to the wilderness experience. As I stand back up with the cold water running down my throat, I find that I hear the birds and wind and notice where I really am. I let go of the momentum of my world’s circumstances and feel the here and now. “Covalent Bond” is the moment right before this connection. The figure is struggling with a civilized concept of water, the chlorinated texture and color of a swimming pool, and is about to reconnect to the cold clean water. It is the second piece in what will be a series of four etchings featuring the water figure.


“Sumei National Juried Print Exhibit 2002,” Sumei Multidisciplinary Center, Newark, NJ, 4/21 – 6/2/02.
“In Dreams: The New Surrealists,” Altamira Galleries, Raleigh, NC, 3/3 – 5/6/2000.
“Janet Turner National Print Competition,” Janet Turner & CSU, Chico Art Galleries, Chico, CA, 8/23 – 9/26/99, Winner: Merit Award.
“2nd Mid-Atlantic Small Print Exhibition,” Washington Printmakers Gallery, Washington, DC, 8/3-8/27/99.
“43rd Annual National Print Exhibition,” Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ, 6/13-7/18/99. Winner: Rembrandt Materials Award.
“Juried Regional Exhibit,” Library Arts Center Gallery, Newport, NH, 8/17-9/22/01.
“The “Loon Egg” Pair and 12 Years Celebrating Our Public Lands in Etching,” Audubon Society of NH, Concord, NH, 3/7-4/18/99.

Covalent Bond, etching and aquatint, 22″ x 26″, printed a la poupee from a single plate on Rives BFK, which is an archival 100% cotton paper, matted in an archival museum rag mat, backed with acid free foam board and hinged with a filmoplast conservation tape