Liz Murphy: MVA Open Studios

A person posing for a picture

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Liz Murphy

Manufacturers Village Artist Studios, located in an 1880’s historic industrial complex at 356 Glenwood Avenue in East Orange, NJ, will feature the work of over 60 different artists at its annual open studios weekend, Friday 10/15 (VIP Preview) and Saturday thru Sunday from 11-5, 10/16 and 10/17.

Liz Murphy was born and raised in Surrey England and is a professionally trained abstract artist and mother of two sons. Always creating and painting, she studied graphic design at art school and has enjoyed a diverse creative career. Her roles have included creative and studio director in various London-based design agencies, illustrator of New York Times bestselling children’s books, designer of a range of kid’s products and more recently after settling in Montclair NJ, Liz now runs her own interior design firm. You will often find Liz in her studio, oblivious to time, music blasting and covered in paint.

Tell me about yourself and your art.

My work represents an honoring of a deep need in me to push beyond the ‘neat and tidy’, to a place that is raw and free. It is my truth. It is where my humanity gets stirred up, faced, embraced, befriended and at times discarded. It’s messy, imperfect, ugly and hopefully, in parts beautiful. It’s a journey that takes courage, vulnerability, and an open heart. 

My paintings are souvenirs of that journey. 

A picture containing text, graffiti

Description automatically generated

Making Memories, 2020, 40×40”, acrylic on canvas

What will we see in your studio?

The freedom I have discovered in my painting practice has given me the courage to show up for myself and take risks. I now have the confidence to break some rules, create a mess, push my edges, experiment, and make mistakes. My studio at MV is where it happens.

To get to my second-floor studio, I must walk through 5 doors and up 2 flights of stairs. I use the physical action of opening all these doors to help release anything that is not going to serve me, allowing me the quietness to lose my mind and find my soul.

My light and bright studio has 2 windows, high ceilings and a fascinating old wood floor, which not only has layers of paint splatters from recent history but evidence of a time when the building was a medical factory. There is a huge 10×4’ standing desk, an easel, a couple of movable desks and carts that provide the flexibility to change location. There is also a much-loved sofa with pink paint splattered pink accessories, providing the comfort to relax, meditate, or simply sit back, sip my coffee, and reflect on what has appeared on my canvas. The pristine white walls presently showcase a selection of art large and small, but it won’t be long before the large blank canvases, that presently lean against the end wall, will be hanging in their place, framed with colorful drips, dribbles and splatters from the new art that has been birthed.

A picture containing text, drawing

Description automatically generated

Rose Petal Party, 2020, 48 x 36”, acrylic on panel
A picture containing text

Description automatically generated

Simple Complexity, 2020, 40×40”, acrylic on canvas