GREENS! in honor of St Patty’s day


And now for something completely different!  I recently took a class with Nancy Frost Begin on abstract painting beginning with elongated out of scale sketches of ordinary objects and then playing…  It’s very different for me, but I’m sure having fun.  While painting you keep turning the canvas to get a new perspective, and work on using the elements and principles of art to make an interesting piece.  This is in process, so I’m not sure where it will go from here, but I think the journey will be a blast…  I’m thinking it needs more places to rest your eye, and I have to look at it critically with the principles in mind…  but here it is turned three ways.

Does either way catch your fancy?  What do you see in it?

Thanks for stopping by!


Flying saucer cupcake

Jenna's cupcake _murphree watercolor in progress

This painting has a ways to go yet, but I wanted to show you what I’ve been  working on.   My daughter is a fabulous baker, and this is her chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting that is her latest creation all from scratch. Right now it looks like it’s a plate flying in the area with a blob on top, I know!  The background reflections are partly in, and I have to add the tabletop and work on forming the beautiful frosting, but it’s getting there.

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.

Birthday Studies in Color and Value

I’ve been laying low online, but in real life I’ve been working on studies and homework from group lessons with Nancy Frost Begin.  She’s from Las Cruces — here’s a bit about her and her varied work.   I have gotten so much out of the two classes we’ve had with her.

Here’s homework that I just finished where we had to paint a small painting in our regular style, and then repaint it two ways:  once in darks/shades, and the other in palest hues/tints.  I took my birthday bouquet as the starting point.

And here they are in black and white through the magic of software.

I found the dark one the most difficult to paint.  I knew that yellow would be the lightest dark on the value scale, but I thought I was getting the rest pretty dark, but as you can see above, they are a bunch of lights in the painting.

All in all, it was an excellent exercise all around in the pigment/water ratio, mixing darks, while just having fun!   oh yes and my birthday was chill and relaxing…just what I needed!

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!

The seeds of a new year

My goals for the new year are to sketch and paint daily. No pressure, right??  LOL.  I know I won’t succeed every day but I believe in aiming high. 

New Year Pomegranates

New Year Pomegranates ink sketch with watercolor wash

As you can see from the buckling pages, this sketchbook isn’t made for wet media, but these pages aren’t anything precious.  Just daily practice in drawing and noting the pigments that were used. 

Happy New year to all!  May it be one of peace and enjoying the daily goodness of life. 

Pet Commissions

Tulie (my rescue dog)

Prints and more available at my online store.

If you’re looking for a unique gift for that special someone, occasion, (or even for yourself!), consider having a commission painted of your favorite pet in watercolor.  I work closely with you, meet the pet if possible, and work from your closeup photos.  All along the way, I will send you update shots and get your thoughts on background.  Your satisfaction is guaranteed; if you don’t love the painting, your deposit will be refunded.  I want you to love the painting that’s on your wall.


Shiloh (commission)  Prints and more available at my online store

Paintings are matted and framed and delivered.  11″ x 14″ paintings are framed to 16″ x 20″ and are $325.  References provided upon request.


Charley (commission)  Prints and more available at my online store


20% off Sale — Save the date!

marketplace PSF

Come visit us Sunday, December 17th from 12-4 at the Marketplace’s Customer Appreciation Open House!   The entire store of unique and special and antique gifts is all discounted that afternoon only….I will have magnets, cards, prints, and ornaments for sale and look forward to seeing you there.

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….





Online store and Queen of Peace!

Queen of Peace Bazaar November 18-19

I have been busy working behind the scenes in getting photos of my jewelry up on my online store, and also making more jewelry to bring to Queen of Peace’s Holiday Bazaar going on this weekend.  I’ll be in the main hall and look forward to seeing you there!

For those of you who don’t live in El Paso, I now have an online store where you can purchase jewelry, cards, prints, ornaments, and the magnets are coming soon!  I can also take special orders and deliver (in town).  You can see some of the assortment below.

And you can now shop in person at the Marketplace @ Placita Santa Fe, 5034 Doniphan, El Paso, inside the Magic Bistro restaurant.