In the Spotlight!

I’m thrilled to announce that this watercolor, “In the Spotlight”  has been juried into a New Mexico Watercolor Society show!  Having my first painting in a NMWS show was a goal of mine for this new year (as well as taking up yoga again and taking weekly hikes).  Those two things haven’t happened yet,  and it’s already MARCH!  Where did the winter go?

in the spotlight_rachel_murphree_watercolors

Anyway, the show is at the very cool Rokoko Gallery, 1785 Avenida de Mercado, Mesilla.  We will be in one room and their eclectic mix of fun art will be in the rest of the gallery.   In addition there’s a one woman show with watercolorist Arlene Tugel at the Dona Ana Arts Council’s new building across the street that evening.  So if you’d like to make a night of it,enjoy some art and get a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in Mesilla, stop by!!

The opening is Saturday, March 31st from 5-7 pm and the show runs until April 28th.  Gallery hours for this Exhibit: Wed.-Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sun. 1:00-5:00 p.m.   

My eventual goal is to get “signature status” with the society which means that I have to have four more pieces accepted over the next five years and then I can sign my paintings with the initials “NMWS” after my name.  So I’ve started this journey….and I’m doing the happy dance.

This the second time I have painted this vegetable still life of kale, scape (the curly part of garlic that is above ground) and of course a wonderful juicy red pepper.  It will be framed with plexiglass with a white double mat and priced at $300.


Desert Snow

desert snow_desert broom in bloom_rachel murphree watercolors_sm

I am pleased to announce that my painting, Desert Snow (Desert Broom in Bloom) was selected to be in the New Mexico Watercolor Society’s SC “For the Love of Art Month” exhibit.  FTLA, as this event is known, is an annual Arts event in Las Cruces with studio tours, a member art show and art happenings all around town.  See this link for more info:  As of this post, the page shows the map and events for 2017 but I’m sure it will be updated shortly.

Our show will be held in the Adobe Patio Studio – 1765 Avenida de Mercado, Mesilla, NM and the opening is Friday, February 3rd from 5-7 pm. Our watercolor show has the theme  “Small Miracles” where we were asked to respond to the wonder all around us.  My painting is of the beautiful “snow” that occurs when the Desert Broom plant blooms and then sheds its seeds in fluff sent to the winds.  This is one of many wonders that I’ve seen on my hikes with my husband on Lost Dog Trail.  The Franklin Mountains are a fabulous place to rejuvenate and enjoy nature right outside an urban area.

Hope to see you at the show opening!

Woman’s Club One Woman show!

I’m really pleased to announce that I’m having a one woman show at the Woman’s Club of El Paso during the month of December.  I will have a dozen or so paintings showing there, and the hours the beautiful historic building is open to the public are Monday through Thursday 9 am – 3 pm.  If you are coming down to see the show, I’d recommend calling first: (915) 532-6131.  I will be giving a brief talk at the member/guest luncheon on Wednesday, Dec 20th and having a table of things to sell.

I haven’t decided for sure which paintings I will display but these three are top on the list:

These three paintings are available in cards, prints and magnets, and even in jewelry at Rachel Murphree Watercolors store. 

Other things I’m working on this week are painting a Holiday card for a swap, and painting for two upcoming shows that will be held in Las Cruces, and working on lessons to teach new students …oh yes, and I am adding more jewelry to my online store,  and working my way through considering how much to add to the chorus of  Black Friday frenzy going on right now.   It’s really not my style!   So as usual, there’s always something going on at Casa Murphree!

I’m always happy to hear from you, if you are inclined to write a comment….





Ardovino’s funky art garden


I’m in search of a title for this second piece started en plein air at Ardovino’s Desert Crosssing and finished at home.  It’s mostly watercolor with some watersoluble ink.  I can be unimaginative in my titles, so I need your help!

If you are familiar with Ardovino’s you know of their fabulous landscaping and juxtaposition of cool features, art, etc. in the mix.  When you are there, everywhere you look is a scene just ready to be painted! Turning around 360 degrees gives you as many views to paint.

So the big orange flower in this painting is funky up-cycled art that is multiple layers of depression-ware glass plates on a metal stem with utensils for leaves.  I believe it’s created by Ben and Terry Avalos.  And of course the sink lives near by with a cactus growing inside it.

wp-15090582919161929534308.jpgI’m getting ready to frame this piece along with already framed Mecca Lounge Morning (above) to be in the Plein Air show at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing to celebrate their 20th anniversary.  The opening is November 8th from 5-8 pm.  Hope you can make it!

Mecca Lounge Morning


I am thrilled that my plein air painting “Mecca Lounge Morning” was selected to be one of the postcards advertising Ardovino’s Desert Crossing’s 20th anniversary starting in November. The Plein Air Painters of El Paso will have an exhibit inside the restaurant of art painted on location or from that location. The opening is November 8th from 5 to 8 and the show runs through the end of the year. The food, of course, will be fabulous! And the art too. Hope you join us.

I was holding my breath!

matted heart of the matter in progress

As you may remember, this piece “The Heart of the Matter” is twice as large as paintings I’ve done before.  It is 15″ x 22″ and will be assembled in a 22″ x 28″ frame.  This means, since I mat and frame my own pieces, that I had to wrestle a piece of mat board twice as big and larger than rulers that I have on my cutter.  Because I like to double mat originals, it involved all the fiddly work of double matting, measuring  not once or twice but THREE times and cutting once!

I’ve put this off for several days since the huge mat board box arrived in the mail midweek, but it’s due ready to hang on Wednesday at the show!  so needs must…

I am thrilled that it came out perfectly!  whew.  what a huge relief.  as you can see from the shadows in this photo, it’s just lightly taped in without being secured, in process of being framed, but YAY, the hard part is done!

I have to give a shoutout to the new free border cutting app from Logan:  
it’s also available on Itunes.  It’s very easy to use, just put in inner dimensions of the frame and the dimensions of the hole for the painting and then choose single or double mat.  Easy peasy.  And I re-watched their youtube video on double mat cutting.

Franciscan Festival Sept 2-3, 2017

Franciscan Festival, Sept 2-3

And now I can take a deep breath!  and keep working on cutting mats and assembling prints into bags for the Franciscan Festival which starts a week from today.  I’ll be in room 5 at the Holy Cross Retreat which is in its 60th year of hosting this festival of fine arts.  It’s a really fun festival with great food, art and people.  I hope you can stop by and say hello! More on the print assembly process in a later post…




The Art of Flowers — show at the IMA

I am happy to announce that these three watercolors were juried into the Art of Flowers show that opens June 3rd at the International Museum of Art, 1221 Montana, El Paso.  The opening is 2-4 pm.  The show has flower paintings in all media.  Hope to see you there!

Watercolor of rocks and flowers by Rachel Murphree

Stumbled Upon. Watercolor. matted and framed to 18″ x 22″ $300

Buzzing in the Mountain Laurel #2. Watercolor on Yupo

Buzzing in the Mountain Laurel #2. Watercolor on Yupo Framed to 18″ x 22″ $300

Columbine Vignette

Columbine.  Watercolor framed to 11″ x 14″ $200


Going going gone…

Sorry I’ve been “gone”  from my blog recently, but I have a very good excuse.  I was on a murder jury for nine days, my first jury experience, and it was eye opening, hard, and I’m glad I had the experience.  It certainly messed with my schedule though!  I planned on spending many studio hours reinforcing skills I learned at the three days workshop in the end of March, but that didn’t happen!  I did spend my free time at lunches sketching outside in our redone downtown park, and also read Jan Hart’s fabulous color book during down times.


I found out when my piece Gone But Not Forgotten: Globe Mills will be auctioned.  It will be this Saturday, April 22nd, from 6-6:30.  You can see the piece and others that will be auctioned that evening at this KCOC TV page.  Bidding starts at $140.   This is my second time to participate in the auction and I hope that it sells well! You can read about the auction process details here.

This beautiful historic building was torn down early last year to make new highways.  I hate when that happens.



Contemplation. 16″ x 20″ framed. $250.


I also found out that my piece Contemplation was accepted into the New Mexico Watercolor Society’s spring show in Albuquerque!  The show opening is May 6th from 1-4 at the Expo-NM fairgrounds and is free and open to the public.  In previous years I’ve attended and it is a LOVELY show!  well worth attending if you are in town.  It runs through May 28th and is open Thursdays-Sunday 10-4 pm.

Please share my blog post with anyone you think may be interested in either piece or in following my art progress! and thank you for leaving a comment…



Buzzing in the Mountain Laurel

Buzzing in the Mountain Laurel #1_Rachel_murphree_Watercolor

Buzzing in the Mountain Laurel #1

Buzzing in the Mountain Laurel #2 on Yupo_Rachel_murphree_Watercolor

Buzzing in the Mountain Laurel #2 on Yupo

These are two pieces that I just framed yesterday for the Colors of the Wild show opening this Friday at the Crossland Gallery, 500 W. Paisano.  The theme is animals, wild or domesticated, and while I was painting plein air my early blooming Texas Mountain Laurel bush, I was amazed at the wild buzzing activity of the big black bees that swarmed the strong smelling flower.  They were very busy getting the most they could out of the hanging pendulous blossom bunches.  They were the “star attraction” for the bees as they are for me, but  I am also drawn to the new and older seed pods that remain on the shrub.  They are beautiful to me in a different understated way.

The second day I worked on Yupo paper, rather than traditional watercolor paper, and that’s always a “wild” ride!  The smooth synthetic almost plasticky surface of Yupo shakes up all the normal expectations of how you use the pigments because they continue moving and blending for long periods of time, and they also can easily be wiped away to “fix” a problem, but the wiping creates its own unique set of issues to solve.  I’m just starting to use this surface for watercolor, but I’m having fun playing! I will be demonstrating the process of watercolor on Yupo on Sunday, May 7th at the International Museum of Art’s Elevate Your Art fundraiser, auctioning 8″ x 10″ artworks donated by local artists.


2017’s first Art Show

My  first show for the year opens this Friday at the EPCC Administrative Building A, 9050 Viscount. It is hosted by the Alliance Francaise and the opening is from 7-9 pm, Friday January 6. I will have these eight pieces on display, and all can be purchased by contacting me directly. No sales are allowed on campus. The show runs from January 6-24 during normal business hours. It is a lovely venue and the refreshments are always delicious! Hope to see you there.


Contemplation. 16″ x 20″ framed. $225.

along the rio  (1)

Along The Rio.  Plein Air Watercolor $225

Here's Looking at You! watercolor of schnauzer mix by Rachel Murphree.

Here’s Looking at You! Watercolor.  $225


Gone But Not Forgotten — Globe Mills.  Plein air watercolor $225


A Moment in Time.Watercolor. $225.

Morning dog walk. watercolor by Rachel Murphree

River Trail Dog Walk.. Plein air watercolor. $225

Farmers' Market Scapes watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Harvest Song.  Watercolor.  $225

Walk with me. Cholla blossoms watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Walk with me. Plein air watercolor framed to 16 x 20. $225