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RepresentationBiggs' Gallery & Frame Shop
Aurora, Ontario - 905-727-6308Biography
A classically-trained oil painter, Sandra Murphy took her first art class the year she turned fifty. She saw an ad for classes at the Art Gallery of Ontario, told her son she thought that would be fun, then promptly forgot about it. At Christmas, Murphy's children gave her a gift certificate for a beginners' watercolour class. That gift changed her life. After that first class, she signed up for another and another, eventually enrolling at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto, one of the few ateliers in Canada teaching the techniques of the Old Masters. Now a graduate, she pursues her art full time.
Murphy paints mostly still lifes featuring fresh flowers, antiques, children's toys, old tools, common household items, wine, cheese, whatever captures her eye and imagination. She likes things with a history, things that are worn, rusty, well used or obviously much loved. Viewers say they find her paintings peaceful, soothing or that they have sparked fond recollections.
Drawn to the beauty of fresh flowers and the challenge of capturing that fleeting beauty, many of Murphy's more recent works are florals. As Murphy only paints from life, never photographs, her goal is to capture the flowers before they change, wilt or die. Most flowers change quite a bit in the span of a single painting session. In some ways, it's a bit like painting a life model. No matter how hard they try to sit still, there is always some subtle movement.
Murphy arranges her flowers and any other objects to be included in the painting on a stand beside her easel, lighting them to create interesting shadow patterns. Unless it's a particularly complex composition, she then sketches with her paintbrush directly onto a prepared panel using thinned Burnt Umber. She carefully separates the lights and darks, does a thin underpainting of [...]Read the rest of this bio on the
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