Ian Murphy Fine Artist
Ian Murphy is a UK based Fine artist of 30 years, known for his passion for journeys, and sketchbook drawing, to inspire his artworks. The rugged and eroded landscape, both natural and the constructed, feature strongly in his visual stimulus, as he seeks to investigate the environments that fracture and decay to get the best ideas for his mixed media canvases in the studio. His work fits beautifully within the realms of romanticist traditions of western oil painting, but with such rich stimulus coming from his many journeys around the world, the results embrace an exciting, eclectic mix of surface abstraction and atmospheric identity.
This new site is aimed at giving you an insight into his creative development, allowing you to see the important sketchbook drawings, through to all the small scale development ideas, and colour studies, and onto the finished drawings and paintings.
Ian Murphy workshops are now very popular around the world and, as such, he is more than happy to share his creative insights with his enthusiastic audience. We asked him a few quick questions to highlight some of the principals he uses to develop his ideas, both out in the landscape and back in his studio.
How do you start an idea?
Understanding the need to journey
‘Technically, we would probably agree that the ideas are born in my sketchbook; the visual identities certainly are. However, it’s important to stress that there is so much significant work that goes on before the pen (or pencil) actually touches the paper. In my workshops I always highlight my observational skills, and the critical way that I need to spend time to discover the ‘essence’ of the location. This is actually a quest, a physical journey into the landscape, both natural and constructed, to find the key features, the best viewpoints and the intimate characteristics that make it so special. This is not a quick process, and I’m happy to walk for hours to find the best ideas… then I draw.’
How do you best describe your sketchbook practice?
‘I always use the phrase ‘controlled scribbles’, which basically means that I draw with exciting linear marks, they’re full of energy and typify my passion to get a great drawing. I want each drawing to be controlled in design but expressive in nature, and therefore I love to use lines that are accurate but with enough ‘life’ to satisfy my unique identity. A good drawing can be done in 15-20 mins or it may take a bit longer, but irrespective of time, it has to capture the ‘essence’ of landscape in front of me.’
Why do you create your style of art?
‘I’ve always believed that my artwork should harness all my creative thinking, things like identity, mood and narrative are all important ingredients in my paintings, and in some shape or form become features that my audience can peruse or discover for themselves. I tend to think that the visual identity (the realism within the image) is the initial point of interest (for me and the viewer) and then my passion for capturing light and atmosphere start to take over, and this leads me on a creative journey to explore the beautiful anomalies of surface texture and intrinsic elements of abstraction. The better I balance this mix of characteristics, the more I like the finished painting, but it is very much an instinctive, and intuitive, journey; I constantly take risks with the paint and mixed media just to see how the image and surface react with each other.
The new limited edition prints
I am delighted that we can now offer such a large percentage of the images as limited edition prints; I know that so many people will be pleased to see the options we have available, particularly the sketchbook images as this is the first time ever that anyone will have been able to own one of these.