Arbutis Grace Studio
Dedicated to Art

Artist Statement

Jennifer S. Murphy


“An artist is usually a handyman in the service of Inspiration.” Kenneth G. Mills

My intention is to open a window to wonder and magic.  Each artist is responsible for what she brings into manifestation and my interest is to focus on beauty, seen through landscapes.  I paint places where I have lived or visited extensively -- the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, the rugged terrain of the American Southwest, and Ontario’s Canadian Shield.  The places are always recognizable but never literal because the colours are imagined and the paintings frequently contain references to other landscapes.  It is  my understanding that experience is always multifaceted, layered and fluid and that is foundational to my approach to painting.  I feel that a painting is successful when its structure allows the viewer to look beyond it.

I acknowledge the well known Canadian musician, artist, poet and author, Kenneth G. Mils as my mentor and inspiration.  His impeccable example of unlimited creativity in agreement with an Ideal or Principle has always guided me.  Dr. Mills once told me to always include something living such as a bird in my pictures.  His recommendation resonated with my lifelong love of birds.  It has been said that birds have ultraviolet vision and what we see as a drably coloured sparrow is really wearing a brilliant array of feathers.  Such is the magic that I attempt to convey in my paintings.

Generally, I do research on site with charcoal drawings, painted sketches and photography.  More drawings are done in the studio and the drawings, sketches and photographs are used as references for the finished painting.  I work in oil and acrylic, building up many layers of colour and texture on various surfaces including 400 lb. watercolour paper, canvas board, canvas and wood.