Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Break

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is ready to start a new year with renewed enthusiasm. I am. I am taking my life in my hands and really going all out to fulfill my hopes and dreams of being an artist. So here is to 2014, where dreams will take flight and soar. Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


Some creatures faces just speak to you, their eyes may catch your attention, their expressions, attitudes. Owls do that for me and barn owls with their lovely large eyes but seemingly blank expressions are so enigmatic.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I watched a wonderful series on television which featured kingfishers and since then I have been mesmerised by these little birds. Their flashes of brilliant colour brighten riverbanks and add a irridescent magic to the leafy green world of water and trees.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


It's such a pleasure and honour to be asked to do a commission for someone - an old friend asked if I could paint a hoopoe for her to give to her husband for Christmas. An easy choice to say yes on two counts; she is an old friend and I love hoopoes. I grew up in Kenya and these birds were everywhere and more recently when we lived in Pakistan, I rediscovered them. There striking colouring stands out and their elegant headress of feathers is worthy of an Ascot hat!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


I recently saw an exquisite botanical painting of a single rosehip - it was perfect! You could have picked it up off the paper, it was so realistic. On my weekly foray to the florist, I found that they had sprays of rosehips. So this week's floral paintings are inspired by one perfect rosehip.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Landscape sketch

I've been very lax this week, very little painting has been going on in my mini-studio. But I do have an excellent excuse. My son is getting married and I have been working hard at the sewing machine making bridemaids' outfits and my own dress.

I did manage to do this little sketch which I am hoping is going to become a large painting. I've been longing to get back to landscapes and this really appealed to me. The colours of the heather and the late summer fields and the contours of the hill.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


While I was shopping for Lisianthus at the florist, I was seduced by the most gorgeous hydrangeas. I love these flowers with their big blousy heads in a range of colours from white through pinks to bright turquoise blue - my favourites! After painting the first couple of petals, I began to think that madness might lie in hydrangeas!

Monday, October 21, 2013


Lisianthus - such a delicate flower, unfurling it's petals like a twirling skirt.
Walking to an appointment with my physio, it struck me that these upright flowers might lend themselves to a different format ........
After receiving several enquiries, I am working on having my artwork produced as prints and cards - more info coming soon.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cymbidia Orchids

Continuing with the floral theme this week, I've had a flush of pink in my palette from painting a commission of cymbidia orchids. It's such a joy when someone reaches out and asks you to paint a picture for them. This is the first of two commissions I have lined up.

A couple of warm-up exercises to test out shades of pink .........

Sunday, October 06, 2013


There is something about these plants that I love - but I can't decide if it is the colour of spiky blue flowers or the silvery grey and green foliage.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Sand dunes

While we were in Denmark a few years ago, I was struck by the beauty of the sand dunes. I have found few landscapes more peaceful than the undulating sand with whispy grasses blowing gently in the sea breeze, shadows playing on the pale sand. I took a number of photos and then forgot about them as life ploughed on with it's distractions. Wanting to find a way back into artwork I was searching through my photos looking for something that would inspire me and came across a number from that day on the beach - the painting that followed is a mixture of fact and fiction.
"Dunes" - Watercolour

Monday, September 30, 2013

Botanical influence

While I am happy to admit that landscape is still my passion, I have been tempted to dabble in a few botanical subjects of late.  Not really the best subjects for someone wanting to loosen up, especially when they have a tendency to go for teensy weensy details given the slightest provocation.

I love the colour of Physalis and the little lantern-like pods hanging from the stems.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Beginnings

It has been a very long time since I have posted on my blog. 

No excuses!

Well, a minor one - I couldn't get into my blog! I don't know what happened but I could not log in until today. 

We have moved to Vienna so I am now surrounded by wonderful architecture and art. Culture is seeping out of every alley so I have no excuses not to be producing bountiful amounts of artwork! I am also enjoying being unemployed and having plenty of time to start getting to grips with art. I've been exploring and playing with subjects and styles in watercolour and in oils.

One of the last pieces I did before we left Germany was this portrait of my nephew, Sam.  Painting someone that is near and dear is quite an unnerving experience as their face appears out of the paper. 

all artwork is copyright of Anita Murphy 2006/2007/2008/2009