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 Tom Murray  (1953 - )

About: Tom Murray
 

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Lived/Active: Arizona      Known for: photo real landscape, wildlife

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Tom Murray
An example of work by Tom Murray
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Vivid pastel colors paint the Arizona sky, as a wisp of a cloud softens the view to a luminous pink.  Surrounded by this daily scene, Santa Fe artist Tom Murray creates in his Sky View Studio.  Challenging compositions of dramatic western landscapes, featuring Arizona and New Mexico at their most beautiful, are his forte.                               

Tom Murray was born in Spokane, Washington in 1953.  His family moved to Arizona in 1957.  Murray began drawing and painting as a youngster.  While studying art at the University of Arizona he pursued a career as a professional musician, and in 1978 he devoted himself to his art full time.

After working at an architectural firm as a commercial artist, Murray shifted his focus to landscape painting.  While traveling extensively throughout Arizona and neighboring states, Murray has developed a strong connection with the southwestern landscape and its beauty.  The natural world reveals to him the give and take that is part of the greater unity that underlies creation according to Murray.  He believes that the unspoiled landscape of our planet is the fingerprint of a higher power. "It has been my good fortune to live during and age when there are still large areas of the natural world left untouched by civilization. My paintings represent a tiny portion of that world.  The goal of my work is to, within an infinite space, reflect the perfect balance that exists in the ever-changing relationship of nature," the artist explains.

While tackling very intense and extremely complicated subjects like the Grand Canyon, a brilliant sunset, high county trees, romantic monsoon clouds, or even a Santa Fe winter along the Rio Grande, Murray's work shows versatility in a wide range of difficult landscape subject matter.  Tom speaks of his work, "The landscape painter's challenge is to take the totality of a scene, reduce it to a small flat rectangle while capturing as much of the essential quality of the reality as possible". 

Self-taught, he has developed an unusual technique that enables him to create paintings of depth and beauty. "I have designed my paintings to be appreciated at any distance.  From several feet away they look realistic, like looking through a window.  A closer inspection reveals the image is made up of many harmonious brush strokes which have their own pleasing qualities.""Today, in our society, there is a certain amount of pressure to compromise quality and be concerned only with selling a product.  I resist these pressures, however, for the satisfaction that comes from creating something of lasting value. I take my time and use only the finest materials to ensure these works will endure from generation to generation."

Murray enjoys discovering places not known to most people and has produced dramatic paintings of the Grand Canyon, cloudscapes and landscapes.   

Tom now lives in Santa Fe New Mexico and was featured in Southwest Art, February 1987 and December 2004.  His paintings have also appeared in Art Book Arizona, Art Life and various local and national publications. Tom Murray's oil paintings are found in collections in the US, Europe and Japan.     

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Tom Murray is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Painters of Grand Canyon

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