Sandra Murphy is a realist oil painter living in the Toronto area. She is a graduate of the Academy of Realist Art, one of the few ateliers in Canada teaching the classic techniques of the Old Masters.
Murphy paints mostly still lifes, although she does occasionally do ﬁgurative work. Her still life paintings feature antique or vintage items, children’s toys, old tools, common household items, wine or fresh ﬂowers; whatever captures her eye and imagination. Viewers have said they ﬁnd her paintings peaceful and soothing. Some comment that a particular painting has evoked a memory from their childhood.
Drawn to the beauty of fresh ﬂowers, Murphy has recently embarked on a series of ﬂoral paintings. The challenge is to capture the essence of the ﬂowers and their ﬂeeting beauty before they change, wilt or die. This elusive goal keeps Murphy coming back to try again and again to get it right.
Murphy works only from life, not photography, whether the painting is of vintage items or fresh ﬂowers. She arranges her composition on a stand beside her easel, lights it to create interesting shadow patterns, then sketches directly on her panel using thinned Burnt Umber. She carefully separates her lights and darks, does a thin underpainting of local colour, followed by multiple layers of colour containing progressively more oil resulting in rich, luminous colours.