Galleries

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Marla

I grew up in Speedway, Indiana (visualize race cars and soybeans) in a typical mid-west, middle class family. My parents were very supportive of the three of us as we all worked our way through dance lessons, or baton (a must in the mid-west), piano, speech and drama and, in my case, drawing and painting. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Purdue University, School of Fine Arts, where I studied interior design and architecture along with painting, drawing, pottery, textile design, film making, art history, architectural engineering and model making. I have to admit that my toothpick bridge collapsed under the first brick, but my architectural renderings were accurate, to scale, and exquisitely detailed. I loved the process of creating those renderings – the precision, the geometry, the formulas used in perfecting the perspective and calculating the exact location where the shadows would fall. Unfortunately, it never occurred to me during the days of “abstract expressionism” that architectural renderings were art.


The next several years were spent building a career in the Computer Aided Design industry. During that time I met my husband, Bill Murphy – an architectural engineer, and moved to New England, where we worked endless hours in the start-up phases of Architectural CAD/CAM. Now the computer was calculating the perspective and the fall of the shadows for us as we modeled buildings for new construction and calculated heating and cooling loads of buildings as far apart as Texas, Minnesota and Paris - yes, we actually worked with IM Pei while he was designing the pyramid entrance to the Louvre.


When I finally picked up a brush again, I decided that art, for me, was what I wanted it to be and that if the end result pleased me, then that was all that mattered. So I dragged out my old brushes, traded in my oils for a set of acrylics and started to paint. I found subjects everywhere in New England – using the mountains, beaches, forests and streams, the 17th century homes and 18th century mill buildings – I resurrected my painting skills. As I finished each piece, I found a place to hang it on the wall and started another. Because I did not expect any critical appreciation of my work, I was first surprised and then thrilled when visitors to our home began to tell me how much they also enjoyed the paintings I had done.


Of course, critical appreciation meant that I had to start thinking about what I was doing and how I was doing it and whether or not I could do it again. I came to realize that my best pieces started with a strong feeling about a place, along with a desire to capture the memory of it. Something about an old barn, or a storm cloud crowding the sky over a farmer’s field causes my brain to scream “make it yours!” and I’ll begin thinking of a composition. Usually, as I’m working through the issues of angle, eye level, time of day, center of interest, highlights and shadows, the name of the finished piece-to-be pops into my head. The rest is easy.

If you want to know more about how I create a painting, click How I Work


Professional Associations, Past and Present:

National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society
National Acrylic Painters Association
New Hampshire Art Association – Juried Member
Sharon Arts Center - Juried Member and Instructor
Nashua Area Artists Association
East Colony Fine Arts – Founding Member
Keyes Art Group
Western Maine Art Group
Kennebec Valley Art Association
Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
Southern Appalachian Artist Guild

 

Past Exhibits

Currier Gallery of Art - Manchester, NH
Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery - Portsmouth, NH
Sharon Arts Gallery – Peterborough, NH
Gallery on Chase Hill – Kennebunkport, ME
Art Experience – Hampton, NH
Gartrell Gallery - Blue Ridge, GA