Paintings on the “Cradle”

I’ve recently mounted paintings onto deep cradled wood panels, sometimes painted on the sides, sometimes not. Here they are individually and as a group.  Click on any photo to enlarge and browse.

The paintings are at the Marketplace at Placita Santa Fe (5034 Doniphan Dr, El Paso) or at First Impressions Salon (6633 N Mesa St # 502 – ask for Leslie)  

Because they are mounted on wood and are not behind glass, they can be shipped.  Contact me if you’d like details.  

Cafe de Mesilla Artists Reception Saturday April 13

In the Spotlight $350

‘In the Spotlight” and “Cactus Queen” will both be on display for sale at the Cafe de Mesilla, a charming breakfast/lunch and coffee shop at 2190 Avenida de Mesilla. The show is hosted by the NM Watercolor Society and it’s part of our Alternate Spaces, an informal display of watercolor and morel The show will be up now through the end of May 2019. The Artists’ Reception is Saturday, April 11th from 2-5 pm as part of the 10-10 Second Saturday Art Hop in the Mesilla/University area. Galleries and museums will be open through the day for you to take a tour of the area and a bite to eat. Hope to see you there!

Cactus Queen $350

Work in progress: fantasy beach

As a beach comber this might be a fantasy beach…it is a piece in progress started by laying in colors in a soft wash and then carving out and defining shell shapes with medium and dark values. It is a lot of fun and maybe 75% done.

The next steps are to make some shells more believable and continue getting depth and partial shells. Also I will string a path of darks leading you into the left top shell focal point.

This is the painting in an earlier stage. What do you think? I would love to hear!

Double shot of watercolor

in the spotlight_rachel_murphree_watercolors

A reminder that my painting “In the Spotlight” will be at the NMWS Spring show of the Las Cruces/Southern Chapter which opens this Saturday, March 31st from 5-7.  Hope to see you there!

SC spring show 2018 ad

Across the street at the Dona Ana Arts Council’s new gallery will be another watercolor show by a NMWS signature member, Arlene Tugel. Make an arts evening night out in Mesilla with yummy restaurants nearby!



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! 

Brushes day 9 

Brushes in a german mustard jar

Again a painting without pencil first.  Day 9 done and dusted! 

Hummingbird nest — Day 8


Here’s my hummingbird nest for Day 8.  I’m happy with how it came out.  I’ve posed it with the actual nature treasure, isn’t it cool?  I just love things like this.  And I included the brushes I used for it.  The striper (the one on top) is so amazing for doing thin to thick lines.


This is the first stage of it as it was drying.  I wet that portion of the paper and dropped in color carefully and watched it spread and blotted some if it went too far, and painted again with the brush, not doing a pencil drawing first.  Once it dried I went in with the finer brush and thicker paint and sometimes water to smooth out lines and finished it.


Hummingbird Nest in Watercolor by Rachel Murphree

You can click on the images to view them larger.  Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to leave a comment.

Felted Santa ornament day 7

Here is yesterday’s painting sitting in my recliner using a support and palette with thumbhole. The Santa turned out well but the boughs?  Not happy with them, but I will try it again.  

Today I am painting a hummingbird nest that is in my “cabinet of curiosities” or collection of nature treasures. I am doing it wet in wet and now letting it dry before adding details. 

Thx for stopping by! 

Smalls framed

I have all the smalls framed and ready to go to the gallery today.  The ornaments are popular too so I am taking more of them with me to work on while gallery sitting.  We have two trees decorated with artisan ornaments. It is so festive! 

New Small Originals @ the Gallery

This weekend has been a time of going through paintings in my files and adding touches, mostly dark values, to enhance them and call them “ready”.  Then came the process of cutting the mats, and today I’m framing them to take into the Sunland Art Gallery for our Holiday season.  So I thought before they went behind the glass of frames, I’d prop them up and have a photo shoot to share.


“Up in the Clouds”  Watercolor matted to 11″ x 14″

This is the largest of the originals that I’m taking in.  It and the other two mountain scenes were the result of playing around with wet in wet pigments to create the soft clouds and the distant clouds.


Purple Mountains Majesty.  Watercolor matted to 8″ x 10″

The frame I have picked for this painting pulls out the warm browns of the foreground.


“Spring Poppies” Watercolor matted to 9″ x 12″

Paintings in nonstandard sizes like this one at 4″ high make it great to have my own mat cutter so that I can paint in the size that fits the subject.  These tiny flowers become a carpet in the spring in the Franklin Mountains.


Mountain Meadow.  Watercolor matted to 8″ x 10″


“Nosegay”  Watercolor matted to 6″ x 9″

This one also was a result of playing wet in wet.


Ornament #1. Watercolor matted to 8″ x 10″

I have some cards left of this print, but am ordering more!


Vitex.  Plein air watercolor matted to 12″ x 16″

This was a plein air painting of our wonderful vitex shrubby trees that flower so beautifully here and live on little water.  With additional water they can grow to be huge gnarly trees.

All of these will be available at the Sunland Art Gallery starting tomorrow.  I will be at the gallery (in the Placita Santa Fe) several times this week:  Tues morning, Wednesday afternoon, and Friday morning.  And we will have our holiday open house Saturday December 10th from 10-6 and I will be painting a demo 2-4 that day.  Hope to see you there!

If you can’t make it to the gallery, check out my online store at squareup or available from my Facebook page.