Excerpts from an E-Cards e-mail Interview with Artist / Painter / Sculptor Bill Murphy:
What kind of accomplishments have you achieved with your artwork?
The greatest feeling of accomplishment comes from completing that last work, whether it is a painting or a new sculpture that I am beginning to experiment with. Also, when I look around my studio and see works that were completed years ago that continue to satisfy, I get a real sense of accomplishment. To produce a work that is not only remarkable but evidences that character that says I will continue to provide enjoyment for years to come is important to me. This is probably not the response you were hoping for. If you meant, "Is your work in any galleries, museums or collections?" let me answer with a simple, "Yes".
Why the interest in Flower (Flora) Painting?
This is a difficult question and I am ashamed to say that it may be that it is easier for me. My art does not come from a tortuous process. For some artists great pain goes into each work they produce. For me, painting (creating art) must be fun or I wouldn't do it. As I began to produce artworks in quantity, what emerged could be classified in a small number of themes (topics, if you prefer). One of these themes is flora. Though I have always been fond of animals, too. It is rare that I paint them. I have painted my pet Dalmatians a number of times and have done drawings and a few paintings of animals, however, most of my work is of three topics: figures, faces and FLOWERS.
How many years have you been painting?
I have been painting since childhood. If you visit the biography section of my web site you can read a story of these beginnings.
Has anyone been a particular inspiration to you in your artistic pursuits?
I hope this will not sound pompous. The great inspiration for me has come from the lives of the European artists that most of us know so well. My favorite artists are Van Gogh, Manet, Miro, Chagall and most importantly Picasso. The works of these men (along with those of many other men and women) have moved me to commit myself to this profession. I have drawn useful information from the works, lives and writings of each of these great artists. Let me add that in no way do I compare my results with theirs, yet with this opportunity I must thank them and so many others that space does not allow.
Do you do this full time, and if not, what else do you do?
Art is my full time profession and has been since 1989. I had always wanted to be an artist, however, for many years I followed the advice of others that told me it was impossible to earn a living as a fine artist. They were not too far from wrong actually; it can be a difficult road financially, especially at first. The rewards that come from first, following your dream and second, as in my case, to have the freedom of expression and the lifestyle that comes with it have made all the difference. Life has always been interesting for me, but now, I find joy in most of what I do.
What do you hope to accomplish through painting?
I am not sure that it is something I want to accomplish, so much as it is something that wants to be expressed and a response to that need that motivates me. I have spent a lot of time intellectualizing this whole process and what it all boils down to is simply: painting is an attractive form of being, for me.
Did you ever have any formal training in art?
Yes, I have received formal art training, first in grade school. I was fortunate to attend a public school system that valued art education. In high school art was an elective subject. I have a degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a minor in Art. I studied basic drawing, art history, and graphic design as well as painting. In later years, I studied printmaking and etching through the State of California community college system. Most recently, I had the opportunity to study watercolor painting with the ever-popular Charles Higa at Kapiolani College in Honolulu.
What can a visitor to your web site expect to find?
If you visit my web site you will find two areas. In the GALLERY sections you will find sixteen selected oil and watercolor paintings that exemplify trends in my work. Each painting is photographed in detail and you have my permission to copy any or all of these files for your private use, and private use only, not for commercial reproduction - that right is granted exclusively for E-Cards.com and only in conjunction with the WWF. Please remember this is not a policy of any other artist connected with this site or the WWW. This is strictly my policy and opportunity to extend Free Ware. All other copyrights and rights are reserved. You will find the STUDIO section, also. Here, you will have an opportunity to visit with the artist and learn more about my work and lifestyle. You can see my best friends, Pablo and Rita.
Have you won any awards for your art?
Yes, I won my first art award in 1960. I have won several since and have been selected into a number of juried shows. For me, art is not a contest. Awards are fine for what they are; however, awards are better suited to politics and sports. Art is an individual experience on the parts of both the artist and the viewer. To allow a third party, a critic, to intervene is adding interference to a process that does not need interference. I disdain awards much like Groucho Marx was suspicious of any club that would want him as a member.