Past and Present, Drawing from Life...

Sometimes, you gotta revisit the past...go back to the beginning.  Figure out how early passions inform the present. For me, it's the memories of art school, my love of drawing/painting people from life, capturing their faces and  the stories behind them.

life drawing, pauper's art guild, American Academy of  Art, Terri Murphy, terrimurphyart
life drawing, pauper's art guild, American Academy of Art, Terri Murphy, terrimurphyart

I was very happy to discover a professional gathering of artists happening just a stone's throw from my home, the Pauper's Art Guild.  Like a kid in a candy shop, I was instantly enamored of this place filled with serious (and fun) artists.  The walls display gorgeous original art while numbered prints on the consignment pile wait to be framed. Tom Waits, Elvis Costello or some obscure indy band urges us on as those present delve into it with the medium of their choice.  While it was a bit of a rough start getting back in the swing of drawing from a model, soon everything resolved itself. The atmosphere goes from silent intensity to raucous debates with a little blue humor mixed in.  I found my tribe, in my own 'hood, no less!

Mornings in May--My Illustration Challenge


It’s been a while since I’ve devised an artistic challenge, and so beginning tomorrow and for the full month of May, I’ll be creating one illustration a day.  Even though I have a big job/deadline on my drawing table, it seems those are the times I feel a great need to refresh and inform myself while frolicking with the muse. The parameters will be a concentration on design and tonal value, to be completed in the morning within an hour.

Wherever one is in their career, there is always something new to learn and explore.  The first seed that inspired this challenge is a critique (above) I received from illustrator Matt Faulkner, who pointed out things I can concentrate on to improve my craft. The other seed is I’ve been privileged to take a picture book making class with illustrator Laura Montenegro here who stirred the pot of my creative process.


To make things more interesting, I’ll be picking 3 subject suggestions from this list I’ve compiled to create the illustration.  Hopefully it will feed into my sense of the absurd.

Starting May 1st ..  Let the wild rumpus begin!

Update:  Here are some of my favorites of the month:



One way I get to travel is when I follow my artwork.  So far it’s lead me to New York and Texas.  Now I’ve just shipped off 5 themed illustrations for consideration to Bolognafiere 2012, held in Bologna, Italy.  It’s the “Sundance” for children’s illustrators.  Last year, no one from the United States was chosen.  But if these make the cut, I’ll go to Italy.  I’ll go! Terri Murphy

Those with generous overflowing imaginations and heart, can you picture them there?




Children's book illustrator Terri Murphy has Halloween Fever and it shows, in the Oct 2010 issue of Spider Magazine for Children

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