Eileen Murphy, American Realist Painter

Eileen Murphy’s painting simultaneously straddle two genres; photorealism and surrealism. Her landscape paintings are inspired by the Hudson Valley where she grew up and spent many years with her family. The views themselves are pristine and suggest varying times of…

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Eileen Murphy’s painting simultaneously straddle two genres; photorealism and surrealism. Her landscape paintings are inspired by the Hudson Valley where she grew up and spent many years with her family. The views themselves are pristine and suggest varying times of the year; fallen leaves and stark branches contrasted against a piercingly blue sky in fall and winter; or thousands of hand painted leaves and bright white spring blossoms characteristic of spring and summer. But the cool sophistication in Eileen’s work is in the details, which even rival the qualities of a photograph. The intricacies of a tree branch in the foreground is as crisp as a tree line spotted in the distant hills, achieving a superhuman clarity exceeding real life experience. This play on perspective is what tips her work toward the surreal; it’s as though one has taken a drug and suddenly everything is in extremely sharp focus. Once you get past this “WOW” factor, and challenging the very nature of the work itself to be hand painted, you are able to dive in and truly appreciate Murphy’s choices. In this work titled “Other Friends May Walk in Sight”, she transports us to a place, perhaps the rolling hills of Hillsdale, NY. A grouping of trees are “socially distanced” on a hillside, appearing isolated if not a bit lonely. Hundreds of rusted red leaves lay gently on the hibernating grass. Interestingly, each leaf is perceptible as opposed to merely clumped together in a wet mass. The painting is illuminated by how the artist paints the sky itself; the blue tinted atmosphere softly radiates out to all corners of the panel. One can truly appreciate the architecture of trees during this time of year. One feels that something important and clandestine may have just happened at the base of these trees, or even still, that something is about to happen…
This painting can be appreciated as much upon close inspection with a magnifying glass, as it can from a great distance. There is something to occupy the eye and mind at each glance!

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