Friday, July 6, 2012

Paint Party Friday: Week 17, Year 2 Check In Featured Artist: Minnemie Murphy

image courtesy of minnemie

Welcome to Week 17 of Paint Party Friday (Year 2) and to the next edition of our Featured Artist Series! (Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Please click here for details!) This week's featured artist wows us with her wonderful watercolors weekly. Please welcome Minnemie Murphy!

1) Please tell us a bit about your personal history with painting. (When did you start painting? How has your painting evolved since you first started?) I started painting 3 1/2 years ago, when my friend Uschi invited me to join her in a watercolor class. She suggested that it would be a great sanity-break for me. (My house vibrates with the footsteps and voices of 5 lovely, lively little boys.) I have to be honest, however, that I was not really all that interested in watercolor as a medium, and had little hope for gaining much from the class artistically. (While I have always had a burning desire to create, and an irresistible attraction to colors, brushes and pencils, I had not been able to be creative in a satisfying manner. After a couple of disappointing drawing classes, I figured that I just didn't have what it takes to do the artist-thing.) But I really wanted to get out of the house, so I joined Uschi for this watercolor class. After all the supplies were purchased, I thought it to be a rather expensive investment to collect dust after the 10-week class… for that is what I was sure would happen. But I am happy to report that I was wrong! Our instructor, Tom Herzog, turned out to be fabulously talented and creative, but also exceptionally patient and encouraging. Through his guidance I discovered that I do actually have a Right-Brain, and that my (very helpful in many other areas of life) Left-Brain needs to be silenced while I create. Oh JOY! I found a part of me that I've always been looking for!

I do not know how much (or even if) my work has evolved since I started... I still stick pretty much to technique and realism. I know though how I would like for my work to evolve: I would like to be able to paint more loosely - more right brain-led than left brain-limited.

image courtesy of minnemie

2) What are your favorite techniques, media, and tools to use in creating your paintings? I mostly paint with watercolor, since it is the medium that unlocked my creative journey. I also like it because it responds well to simple household items and techniques such as throwing salt, applying gauze, dripping rubbing alcohol, blowing with a straw... and frisket. Not a household item, but I can't live without frisket. And since time and space is often limited in a house with a tribe of little hurricanes running around (yes, I do tell them not to run in the house but...), I vote watercolor for its simplicity in setting-up and cleaning-up.

I have played with acrylics a few times and find it to be much more forgiving than watercolor, but ironically also more frustrating, for I really do not know what I am doing! (Yes, Mrs. Left Brain Perfection interfering again. She needs the rules in order to function comfortably! But I do think there is something valuable in knowing the basics…) Lately I started sketching in a journal regularly, for it is an easy way to ensure daily creativity on those crazy laundry-monster and brotherly-love/war days. I have also heard it said that a painting is only as good as the sketch, so I figure this is an important habit to nurture and skill to improve.

image courtesy of minnemie

3) What is your favorite thing to paint? Why? I love painting African animals. I grew up in South Africa, but I did not realize how deeply the soil, and the feet (or hooves) that tread it, was part of my heart until I left my home country. Maybe it is not coincidence then that my first "successful" painting was a giraffe. From there on I found myself painting the African creatures very often. Elephants have been my favorite since childhood, and they also turn out to be great fun to paint!

4) What is your proudest painting moment and/or greatest painting achievement so far? My greatest joy and accomplishments are counted in little voices saying: "I love your painting, Mamma!" I found that my pursuit of creativity has done more than just gain sanity for me - it has influenced our home as a whole for the better. My very supportive and wonderful-in-every-way husband says that I am a better mom and wife since I started painting. Those are of course very encouraging words to hear. (But let's not stop to ponder then what the wife and mother "before painting" was like ;-o)

image courtesy of minnemie

The painting that the The Tribe likes best is one that just kind of happened one afternoon - without much planning or aspiration for a successful outcome. (Mrs. Perfection was out on an errand I believe... :-) ) It is titled "Not Safe... but Good" - a description of C.S. Lewis' Aslan - an important and beloved character in our home.

And then of course there is the inspiring art and kind voices from PPF-friends who cheer me on as I walk this creative journey. I learned about PPF from our friend dthaase, but was long too intimidated to participate. But oh my, what a world of encouragement opened up once I did! Thank you Kristin and Eva for having me... I am grateful for the PPF community. You help me pull out the paint (and thus sanity) on those chaotic days.  :-)

5) What's next in your painting future? Being very much in the thick of potty training and boys-to-men making, I see painting as a continuous source of welcome "sanity insurance" for me, and a measure of grace in our home over all. I really cannot think or aspire much past that presently – except maybe for loosening up and taming Mrs. Perfection.  :-)

Thank you so much, Minnemie! To learn even more about Minnemie and her beautiful "sanity insurance", please visit her at:

http://cripplepencil.blogspot.com/ (art and words)
http://minnemie.blogspot.com/ (the reason I art)

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
WE WANT YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR STORY!

**Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Click here for details!**

What a great party last week! So many wonderful paintings.... Now, here is our check-in for this week's party:
As always, please make sure to use your post URL address NOT your blog home page URL address as there are many late visitors who get confused as to which post is for PPF when they arrive (after Friday) at your website. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Linky, an explanation of how this tool works can be found on Week 1 and Week 2 Check-Ins.


Have a funtabulous and creative week, everyone!

35 comments:

  1. These are incredible. I can't believe she had only painted for over 3 years! Extraordinary!

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  2. I agree. Excellent work minniemie. I love all your pieces, especially the giraffe who is a beautiful creature. Great job and interview. It's great to be back on PPF and hi everyone. Missed everyone. Thanks Eva and Kristin.

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  3. What an fabulous & interesting interview. I don't see any formula work here at all. Its amazing work and to know its only been a short time since you have been painting really adds to the WOW factor. Happy PPF.

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  4. WOW, Seems I got a long way to go with my animal drawings! Great work!
    Happy PPF everyone!

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  5. your paintings have a strong sense of the inherent nature of the animal you paint. your style is recognizable as your own and the results are moving and beautiful. your comments on preferring watercolor over acrylic are interesting to me. i work in acrylics and would be terrified to attempt using watercolors.

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  6. I am so glad to have had a chance to learn more about Minnemie. Wonderful!
    Stay inspired!

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  7. Lovely work from Minnemie, I always admire her wonderful animal paintings! Have a great day, Valerie

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  8. Minnemie, you are now famous! Your animal art is extremely beautiful! Did you know watercolor is considered the hardest medium to master? Keep up the excellent work.

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  9. I've been following Minnemie since she started joining in with Paint Party Friday and I absolutely adore her work - obviously the fact that she paints animals plays no small part in that but she paints them so amazingly well!! I think she does manage to let her right brain in because to me, while her work is realistic in that you can clearly tell what the subject matter is, there is also a wonderful loose, free style to it that is very distinctively hers!

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  10. Great to meet Minnemie here, I am a keen follower of her blog.

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  11. Smashing to meet Minnemie, I love all her animal paintings they are wonderful. A true talent.

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  12. I was super eager to add my PPF link and did it from my iphone, only to realise now, that looking at in a browser it is all condensed, so I've re posted the correct url. Is it possible to delete the first one?

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  13. I love those fabulous animals... I think they're wonderful, thank you PPF for the introduction!

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  14. I am in awe of Minniemie's work...I have been lucky enough to receive an atc of one of her elephants...the card she sent with it is now framed...her work is mesmerizing, captivating sooooooooo much talent!!!!
    love all of it! congrats on the interview!!!!
    cheers, dana

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  15. so interesting to learn about Minnemie's artistic journey, and 5 little boys...just wow. Thanks for hosting Eva and Kristin!

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  16. Beautiful interview...Minnemie's work is so brilliant and gorgeous..i love visiting her ! These images are stunning..powerful and magnificent!
    Shine on!
    Victoria

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  17. It's great to learn more about you, as I admire your work! How do you find the time, with such a busy family?

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  18. Awesome story and paintings! It is so interesting to hear an artists story of how their creative journey began. Thanks for hosting!

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  19. I'm going to be traveling today, so will be visiting off and on this week. Happy Friday!

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  21. Loved reading this interview with Minniemie. Her work is beautiful and powerful ♥

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  22. Thank you for the lovely interview! I find Minnemie's work really fascinating and original!

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  23. I really love that giraffe you painted.

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  24. Amazing work! I absolutely love her use of pattern and color.

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  25. Yes BEAUTIFUL! Great to meet such artists here, such a pleasure to discover.

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  26. Wow, what a great interview! I am a big fan of Minnemie and have even bugged her by email on occasion. I did not know she has FIVE little boys. I am a bit flabbergasted by this fact. I mean, holy cow!

    Such wonderful African animals (I suggest she try some of the birds, especially big ones, so fun!) I hadn't seen the bison or the Aslan lion and they are wonderful! And to think it was practically by accident she took a painting class. Thank goodness she did!

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  27. These small canvases are also my entries for Colors of Summer2. They are small (4x5) canvases. Didn't have a lot of time - but really wanted to create something! Happy PPF everyone.

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  28. Wow this girl's work--absolutely incredible. Better than photos if that's possible. Looking forward to seeing more of her paintings.

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  29. Thanks to all for your kind words and great encouragement both here and on my blog. It is worth saying again: You help me pull out the paint (and thus sanity) on those chaotic days. I am thankful for each one of you!

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  30. I am going to start next FRIDAY, love what you are all doing here- see you soon.

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  31. YAY! I'm a BIG fan!
    Kristin xo

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  32. I was away on vacation last week so I missed PPF. I am so glad I came to read about Minnemie and her journey and adventure into painting. So hard for me to believe that you have only been painting for 3 and a half years Minnemie. Your African animals are magnifcent! I love your art and so glad you mustered the courage to jump in here and share through your blog as well.
    I think anyone who can raise five sons has to be very brave indeed! Bravo to you!!! Keep it coming. (PS if you haven't met Soulbrush you left a comment here a few up from mine you will enjoy her art and blog. She also hails from South Africa and her art reflects that too.

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  33. Still painting grasses and weeds.....may move over to something prickly next week!Happy painting

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