Suzanne Elizabeth Murphy
As a child, I was drawn into the world of visual storytelling by 20th century illustrators such as N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle. My influences broadened to painters like Degas, Sargent and Sorolla. My theatre studies taught me the power of body language, the drama of lighting, informing my work as I paint the stories of people in portraits and landscapes as intimate as a thought, a wish, a memory.
I often use my camera first to document the physical. Then in my studio, with charcoal, canvas and oil paint, I attempt to unveil that quality that urged me to take the picture. I listen for silent voices in the stillness of a pose, the nuance of a gesture or colors that quiet the mind. Then I begin.
Like the Big Bang, beginnings have energy. Laying out a palette of seven colors and white, I mix from scratch, not relying on premixed colors. The first strokes, the first colors are when anything is possible. I rush to cover the emptiness with first impressions. My brush on canvas finds its rhythm.
My paintings are my essays, my poetry and, ultimately, my autobiography. They are what I feel in the world. I am happiest with my work when I have painted the invisible which resonates in someone else’s heart.
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas
Artist, Poet, Author
Art came to my hand late in life. My first canvas was “Art Set” on iPad. My first brush was my finger. I was rewarded to see my inner self in bright wonderful colors flowing into shapes and combining to produce new colors. My iPad canvas worked well with my business travels around the country. Experimenting with recreating what I saw and felt during these trips became my passion.
After over 100 digital works I was encouraged to try the canvas. It has been a love affair ever since. The reality of portraits, still life, landscapes etc. did not find a place within me. My soul wanted more, to bring to life what has not been seen or recorded with shapes and colors that fill my soul with joy.
I marveled at Monet, Picasso, Pollock, Kandinski and currently Chihuly. Their inspiration has led me to want color, lots of color, with an inviting occasional side trip to play with values using a monochromatic pallet. My journey continues with new discoveries coming from within with delightful surprises as my reward.
My poetry found its way to me in 2017 to my great delight. I now paint my poems or my art inspires my poems. They have become one.
I am member of the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America and the Florida Poetry Association.