Brenda Duke Murphy
On becoming an artist....
I guess it all started with those first coloring books and that big box of crayons I received as a child. Who wouldn't love all those colors and that clever built in sharpener! I spent many happy hours carefully coloring every page in every book. When I started drawing on the blank pages of my storybooks, I was given some actual drawing pads and colored pencils to use instead. Later, my mother ingeniously channeled some sibling rivalry by having my sister and I challenge each other to drawing contests. Sitting at the kitchen table, we'd each look around for an item to challenge the other to draw. The subject matter was a bit limited - salt shakers, the toaster, the kitchen clock - but we didn't mind. We just enjoyed the opportunity to draw...and we learned a lot in the process too. Thanks Mom!
In the years since, I have taken a few "real" art classes and dabbled in different media as I expanded and explored my creativity. My style and subject matter have meandered as a result, and include traditional watercolor, book illustration, poster art, greeting cards and fantasy illustration. I've also painted several murals and a couple of antique carousel horses along the way.
My imagination is fueled by the details, patterns, and intricacies of the world around me, especially those found in the natural world. I strive to capture that beauty and natural harmony in my art or to create a narrative that takes place within that realm. Fantasy and whimsy offer unlimited ways for me to explore those options.
Ideas and inspiration can come from other sources as well, including dreams, people watching, children, and other's artwork. I do appreciate the art of storytelling and greatly admire the illustrators of the early 1900s whose classic images never fail to stir my imagination.
Creating art rejuvenates my soul and transports me back to that child-like joy of indulging my imagination and losing myself in the creative process.