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Creative Process at Biddington's
Bill Murphy 
mixed media portrait

Bill Murphy Contemporary Realist Painter

Current Exhibition:
"Recent Work: Three Big Ones
Wagner College Gallery
Staten Island, NY
September 7-October 8, 2005

CREATIVE PROCESS visits artist
Bill Murphy in his Staten Island (New York) studio.

Mixed-Media Painting

Bill Murphy drawing

Bill Murphy: I like to draw. But I want to make drawings that couldn't have been done 100 years ago.

The Hanged Man-- Bill Murphy
Large charcoal & graphite drawing on paper
37" X 85" (margins cropped in photo)

Bill Murphy etching of Staten Island

Bill Murphy: My background is landscape painting and etching. For years, I would take off for the day with a pocketful of etching plates and work directly from nature--a very Whistler-like approach.

My Hometown--Bill Murphy
Etching of Staten Island

Bill Murphy etching From the Brooklyn Bridge

"In the work of all great artists, there is at least a germ of autobiography. Wyeth considers every patch of ground home to the imagination; every place he walks is drenched in memory, filtered back to him in a way a non-artist would only vaguely understand. There is much of that sense of a personal homeland in Bill Murphy's Staten Island images and in his work in general."--Brett Busang "Bill Murphy and His Quest for Space", American Arts Quarterly Winter 2005

From the Brooklyn Bridge--Bill Murphy
Etching of Brooklyn Dockside

Murphy charcoal drawing detail

Bill Murphy: Chance brings me things for my work: I found that old globe (at the top of "Hanged Man") on the street in my neighborhood. Walking around the upper East Side of Manhattan, I found two black mannequins that a store was throwing out. They had such a presence that I felt compelled to bring them home. I wanted to use the mannequins in a way that wasn't a surrealist kind of cliché. Hanging this mannequin upside-down seemed to work in this drawing.

Bill Murphy studio table

Bill Murphy: In my most recent series of large, layered drawings, I have been using a combination of models, photos and studio set-ups. Bill Murphy pencil drawing

Table in Bill Murphy's Studio (left)

Glass with Checkbook
Pencil Drawing (right)

Bill Murphy detail of drawing

Bill Murphy: I don't like to talk too much about the imagery in the drawings. Elements in them do have meaning for me and come from specific sources. But I prefer the viewer make up his own story.
Detail of Bill Murphy drawing
All and Everything
Bill Murphy: I work from varying vantage points and perspectives. For the very large drawings, I construct drawing boards so that I can see the set-up and draw at the same time.

Bill Murphy: These pieces take about two months to make--both unconscious and working time. I work on only one drawing at a time.

Bill Murphy nude drawing detail

Bill Murphy: I do many preliminary studies for the large drawings- especially working on placing elements within the composition. I cannot tell you how many times I sketched this figure and ax to get the right relationship between them.

Detail of Bill Murphy drawing
All and Everything

Bill Murphy: The same was true in placing the three figures that form the core of the painted triptych
"My Search for the Truth".

Bill Murphy sketch for larger painting
Sketch for Bill Murphy painting "My Search for the Truth"
Bill Murphy: My triptychs and my drawings are organized very differently. The drawings work in complex layers from back to front.

Bill Murphy: The triptychs appear much more open; these paintings look simpler than the big drawings. The triptychs expand horizontally from the central panel outward to the sides. The side panels refer to each other, then back to the center. Both in composition and in theme, they are layered horizontally. The triptychs have a narrative quality to them.

Bill Murphy triptych
Painting triptych "My Search for the Truth"--Bill Murphy

Bill Murphy: Previously, my work seemed to glorify or romanticize aspects of the world we live in. Now my work dwells in a place that is more in accord with the nature of human life--with life's anxieties, complexities and mysteries.

Bill Murphy mixed media painting
"Chess Game" Mixed-media Painting

Artist Bill Murphy

Bill Murphy in His Studio

View Bill Murphy realist drawings, paintings, etchings and lithographs
for sale in BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery
Price Range: $200 to $5000.

Bill Murphy is represented in the collections of:
British Museum
New York Public Library
New York Historical Society
Westinghouse Corporation
Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences
Nassau Community College
Wagner College

Bill Murphy selected bibliography:
American Arts Quarterly, "Bill Murphy and His Quest for Space"--Winter 2005
Visual Arts Journal--2004
The Artists Magazine--12/93
US Art News--4/92
American Artist, "Bill Murphy's Race against Time"--4/92
The New York Times, "Detailed Realism in Works on Paper"-- 12/17/89

Bill Murphy  self portrait mixed-media

Bayonne: Arabian Nights
Large Watercolor, 2001


CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auction--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.

COPYRIGHT: Images and information within are Copyright Biddington's, Inc. 1997-2005--except where superceded by individual copyrights of the artists.
Downloading or printing for online or print reproduction of any materials without specific written permission from Biddington's, Inc. is prohibited.

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COPYRIGHT: Images and information within are © Biddington's, Inc. --except where preceded by individual copyrights of the artist.
Downloading or printing for online or print reproduction of any materials without specific written permission from Biddington's, Inc. is prohibited.

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