Local Artist, Paul Murray, has donated the use of two pieces of his artwork to promote awareness and encourage donations to the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. The sketch entitled Hideaway and the watercolor entitled Troubl’ Darlin’ will become the new “faces” of the SMCH. These images will be seen in all of the new promotional material for “The Home.”
Paul Murray, Canadian native, was always preoccupied with the study of his art. At the age of 10, Paul didn’t find it hard to skip school and walk 12 miles to visit his old hermit friends Joey and his siblings. Murray was already displaying his work at local art shows, where his paintings and commissions sold.
At age 13, he quit school and dedicated himself to preserving these rare people. When Paul wasn’t on his friend’s homestead learning to make tools by hand and live off the land; he was in the library learning the techniques of the masters. Some of those he studied were Rembrandt, Wyeth and Rockwell.
Most artists work in one medium only, but Murray has various mediums; pencil, pastel, egg tempera, oil and watercolor. He read all that he could on the elusive and eclectic mountain people of Appalachia. He had been visiting theses areas, since an early age and the mountains and its people intrigued him deeply. Here he recognized the unique purity of such deep isolation, the hard struggle to survive, the pride and hundreds of years of knowledge kept alive in this hard place.
His subjects have a richness within that we find distant, strange, yet wonderful. His talent to capture the depth of every soul is not only unique, but well mastered. In each weathered wrinkle, a life story is told, far past a glistening eye; the detail is revealed in not what is visible but what is felt by the viewer. Murray’s use of negative space is rare, and here he balances beautifully; mystery, mood and technique.
Portraiture is among the hardest achievements for an artist and typically not a prolific one. Murray complicates this by his study of history and of an intimacy with the people he paints. His commitment to each picture to tell the truth of the person’s life and his strive for perfection, causes intense involvement in each painting. Many pictures don’t make the final stages. Those few paintings that do make it to the frame are sold each year in his fall exhibits in his hometown area of Essex County and where his heart is, in Gatlinburg, TN.
Murray continually gives back to the community. His many donations to charities have helped raise more than a million dollars in the past. Now, Paul Murray and his wife, Kati Jane, have turned their attentions to raising money for the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home. In addition to donating the use of Hideaway and Troubl’ Darlin’ to the SMCH 90th Anniversary Promotional Campaign, the Murrays have also agreed to donate framed and signed, Limited Edition Prints of Hideaway to SMCH donors. These prints will be available soon! Please watch our website for more information to come about how you can support The Home and obtain one of these special heirloom prints!
The Smoky Mountain Children’s Home is honored to have Paul’s hauntingly beautiful images represent their message of hope and healing for the hurting children of the Appalachia. The SMCH offers thanks and gratitude to the Murrays for their genuine support and efforts on its behalf. For more information on the art of Paul Murray, follow this link for access to his gallery’s website: www.paulmurray.com