“Her work reflects her insightful and compassionate vision, her never-ending curiosity of the world, and a deliberate and intense focus on color, form and detail. Her paintings reflect a passion for knowledge which has defined her life.”

Janine Wesselmann
Internationally Acclaimed Artist

Artist’s Statement

Picasso once said, “It took me four years to learn to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to learn to paint like a child.” Picasso’s words resonated with me. I began to paint fifteen years ago with no expectations whatsoever as I was quite sure I had no abilities. My first instructor encouraged me with these words, “You may never learn to paint like Picasso but you will never see the world the same way again.”

Both statements have guided my journey as an artist. My first works reflected my delight that I could draw what I was seeing. Then my works demonstrated my joy that I could paint what I was seeing. Although I still love to paint “what I see,” increasingly I want my work to reflect what I feel and how I interpret the world. My work continues to evolve as I explore different ways and mediums to create art. The title of my 2019 exhibit, The Eclectic Art of Mary Murphy reflected that exploration. I want to continue to explore and grow as an artist; I want the journey to continue, ever-changing, ever-exciting…chasing Picasso as I do.


Mary Murphy paints in her home studios in Naples, Florida, and Port Washington, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband Terry. In 2005, she began her studies with Ellen Orseck in Houston, Texas, and continued her studies with Milwaukee-based artist, Thea Kovac and with Brenda J. Clark in Leland, Michigan. Since 2015 she has worked with artist Janine Wesselmann who lives in Naples, Florida. 

Mary’s educational background includes degrees in English, Spanish, and reading education. She completed post-graduate work in women’s studies. She facilitated a writer’s workshop for survivors and edited The Album, a collection of their writings while working as an educator for Holocaust Museum Houston, located in Houston, Texas. While living in Milwaukee she wrote Shanghai Deliverance, the story of a Jewish family’s 1939 journey to relative safety in Shanghai, China. 

In 2017 Mary was chosen by Ovation Chai Point in Milwaukee to have a one-woman exhibit of her artwork. Because of its success, in 2019, she was invited to do another show of her newest works. Mary’s works are part of private collections in Nanjing, China, Great Britain, Maine, Florida, Washington, Texas, and throughout the Midwest.