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:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.logan.bordercalculatorapp  
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…




Two for shows!


Balcony View 16 x 20 framed. $225

I found out recently that these two paintings were accepted to different local shows.

Balcony View was selected for Ardovino’s Desert Crossing’s 16th annual Celebration of our Mountains.  That opening is Thursday, September 22nd from 6-9 pm at the Sunset Hall at Ardovino’s.


Along the Rio. 16 x 20 framed. $225

Along the Rio has been juried into the Arts International show, opening October 8th from 6-8 at 500 W. Paisano’s Crossland Gallery.

I will be at both openings.  I hope to see you there!

October Leaves accepted to Arts International!

Watercolor painting of autumn leaves

October leaves.  Watercolor 11″ x 14″  $175 matted and framed for sale at Arts International, October 3.   Click on image to view larger.

I am very happy to announce that my painting October Leaves has been selected for the Arts International show, opening October 3, 2015 at the Art Junction!  It was one of 68 paintings chosen from 145 submitted. This is the annual juried show of the El Paso Art Association.

As I blogged about in an earlier post called Try and Try again, this was a piece that I went back to  months after it was “finished” because I didn’t like the background and scrubbed it out and redid it, adding more layers of leaves to the pile. You can go back and read to see the process if you’d like.  Guess it shows that persistence works…and that watercolor CAN be forgiving!

Such a Surprise!

Rachel standing next to the painting at the show

Take a Bite! won the Lelaroy Williams Memorial Award for excellence in watercolor October 2014, Arts International Show.

I was so honored and frankly very surprised, to receive an award last night at Arts International.  There were many excellent pieces there, including a lot in watercolor which made me happy to see!  Watercolor is typically under-represented and undervalued, and it’s my obsession, so I want to see it flourish.  My husband knew about this for four days, and never told me, so it was a huge fun surprise to see that ribbon next to my painting. He is very good at keeping a secret.

Here’s a closer view of Take a Bite!

Take a Bite! Still life watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Take a Bite! Watercolor, Award winner at El Paso Arts International Show, October 2014

Ms. Williams died several years ago and I didn’t have the chance to meet her, but I am fortunate to have one of her original paintings on the walls in my home, thank you Mom and Dad.   Thank you so much to judge Kerry Doyle, Director of the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at UTEP, Don and Carol Beene who sponsored this award, and to the El Paso Arts Association for their tireless efforts in supporting the arts in our city.

Winning an award is a big high and I hope to translate that into increased studio time in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned…and if you’re local, be sure to check out the show.  You won’t regret it.  The hours are 11-4 Tues-Fri, 11-3 on Saturday at the Art Junction, 500 W. Paisano at Durango, El Paso, Texas.

We’re Going to the Show!

Bird of Paradise watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Bird of Paradise, watercolor

Take a Bite! Watercolor still life by Rachel Murphree

Take a Bite! Watercolor

These paintings are framed and ready to take in this morning to the Arts International show running October 4-November 1, 2014 at the Art Junction, 500 W. Paisano, El Paso, TX

My goal this year was to submit at least one watercolor to this five state/two country annual show, and I submitted three and two were accepted!  So, if you’re local, please stop down and see the show.  The gala opening is 6-9 on Saturday night October 4th with good food and drinks!  All works are for sale.  Hope to see you there.

The Promise – bead embroidery shoe sculpture

"The Promise" -- bead embroidered and felted toddler shoe

My bead embroidery sculpture  of my daughters’ toddler shoe won a Judge’s Award at the El Paso Art Association’s Colors of Spring show this past weekend.  It will be on display until March 28th.  Here’s a link from the website so you can see the other winners and pieces there.  It was a nice show and exciting to see paintings and photography represented.  http://www.crosslandartgallery.com/current-exhibition.html  Many thanks to the Damon Crossland Insurance Agencies for their support of art in El Paso and this show in particular.

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture side view

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture side view

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture back

beaded embroidery shoe sculpture back

I started the front panel of this piece right after they outgrew the shoe but just completed it these many years later.  It is amazing how much more time you have when the kids are more self sufficient, the rest of the panels seemed to create themselves.  I had such a good time making it!

The Promise front view

The Promise front view



A Fresh Start with another show

I just got the news that “A Fresh Start” has been accepted for the Arts International exhibition this year. I’m excited, especially because it’s in a new venue: the historic Union Depot. With its high ceilings and lovely windows and architecture, I think it’ll be great for the show.

After not getting into Craft Texas with this piece, I’m pleased it will show locally. The show opens on September 25th, so stop by if you can!  Palette photo