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.

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. 

Chiles en la Mesa

I am putting the finishing touches on this piece which will be donated to the Art Con Corazon fundraiser run by El Paso Human Services, Inc.  for their programs helping current and former foster youth.   

This is a first for me, not in donating, but in using watercolor ground to put on a surface, in this case a wooden board, to allow it to accept watercolors.  The ground needs to cure at least 24 hours before it can be painted on. 

I like how the wood grain surface shows through the ground which is the white background. The next step is signing it, putting a finishing spray on it, I believe, and getting it to the organizers. 

It has been a hectic couple of weeks so I am happy that I accomplished this and hope it does well in the auction. 

Art con Corazon will be held next Saturday, October 7th at First Baptist Church, 805 Montana Street, El Paso. It runs from 12-3 and the $10 entry includes appetizers, refreshments and music. Lots of beautiful art will be available for auction and all funds benefit the kids.  Hope to see you there! 

Apples a la Blasdell

Apples a la Blasdell

This was done in the last day of Patsy Blasdell’s workshop put on by the NMWS Southern Chapter. The apples are made from a variety of oranges, reds and red purples with spots of turquoise in them in fact.  Fun fun! Colors are used throughout the piece to give it harmony.  This is a half sheet, one of only several I’ve done in that size.

I learned the most this day by watching how she paints, and hearing her thought process as she proceeds.  Because the paper is wet thoroughly both front and back, and put on a glossy surface, it stays wet for an hour or two, less when it’s really dry in the room.  I was focused on how she blends on the paper and thoughtfully places a stroke, evaluates, it thinks about the patterns of lights and darks she wants, and then places more strokes, mingling the colors on the paper.  She works top to bottom with the board and paper almost on a vertical on an easel.  I used that position to make the drips along the bottom portion of this half sheet.

There is so much more to say about what I learned in this workshop, but frankly, I have to get painting again today!  so more later…thanks for stopping by!

Scapes next stage day 21

After today’s event, i painted more on this scapes painting.  I am liking it so far and letting it sit until tomorrow to figure out the next step. I would welcome suggestions! 

Scapes in process day 20

This is where I am in the process of painting the still life of garlic scapes, pepper, and greens.  I realized that the greens are probably chard not kale and need to be suggested rather than be fully detailed all over, because the details are only important around the focal area.  

What do you think? 

Kale take 2–day 18

I am happier with how this is coming together.  After sleeping on it, and spending some time painting upside down, I think I can perfect this. It feels fresher to me. Needs more work but I need some distance from it to know what to do next. 

This is how it started.  A puddle of pigment with plastic wrap crumpled and laid on top with weight on top until it dries. 

And here is yesterday’s with judicious additions, liftings and glazing. 

So I think I can use this technique in a confined area on kale in the bigger picture. Kind of fun to use the abstract pattern that occur and glaze over in leaf sections. What do you think? 

Kale day 17

OK. I am sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly! I am not quite sure where this kale study fits in.   LOL. I tend to go too bold in dark values so I have to lift it out and I think a cleaner look would be thinner glazes.  And I feel like showing the form of this krinkled surface makes me feel tight.  Anyway, those are my ramblings late on a tiring day… 

One idea I had was to try texture technique of using plastic wrap over moist wash but I am not sure that would turn our any better for me. 

Another thought I had was to work from life rather than a photo.  

Or…..Or….If you have any tips, I am sure open to hear them!  Please and thank you. 

Here is the photo from which I am working

Pepper study. Day 16

I am painting this again in preparation for a food still life for an upcoming show.  I have painted this previously in a piece called Harvest Song which is hanging at the EPCC show on Viscount until the 24th.  I would paint it differently now including the background, and after some frustration on another piece for this show, I decided to switch to this subject to get the submission done.