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A Few of My Favorite Things & Places

February 25, 2014 @ 11:00 am - March 22, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

Mary-Jo Murphy will be sharing A Few of My Favorite Things & Places in her solo show by that name opening Feb. 25 at Buenaventura Gallery in Downtown.

“My creative longings can be stimulated by a ripe vegetable or a grand mountain range, by a massive creature or a tiny insect,” said the Ventura artist. “These paintings are about what makes my pulse quicken, things and places that make me stop and take notice, that engender a feeling of awe in me.”

Murphy plans to present about 20 recent works in several media — oil, acrylic, watercolor and Copic marker — ranging in size from 8 by 10 inches to 48 by 60 inches. She will be at the gallery 5-7 p.m. March 1 for an opening reception and from 5-8 p.m. March 7 for the First Friday Ventura gallery crawl. The exhibition of her work will continue through March 22.

“Living things are fleeting,” said Murphy, a prolific painter of animals who is showing a range of subjects this time. “Painting them allows me to capture a moment. For a brief time, as I work, I develop a relationship with the creature, object or place.”

A seventh-grade teacher was a major influence on her art, Murphy said. “She took her class out into the woods in Connecticut and we painted local scenes. Her instruction was very traditional and those early works representational. I still strive for realism, but I let the medium dictate how I interpret a subject.”

Examples of her art can be found online at www.mary-jomurphy.com.

Like many another artist, Murphy said a continuing challenge is getting started. “It’s why being a member of BAA is so valuable: a new show, a new opportunity to paint. It’s too easy to fritter away creative time, to think what you do has no impact.

“I love the possibilities — when idea, canvas, paint and I collaborate,” she said. “The other thing I love is watching people react … I get such joy if someone is moved by something I’ve created.”

Murphy’s creativity will be on display for visitors at the Buenaventura Gallery, 700 E. Santa Clara St., which is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more about the show or the nonprofit Buenaventura Art Association, visit the website www.buenaventuragallery.org or phone 648-1235 during gallery hours.