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JoEllen Murphy​


JoEllen works in both oil and pastel with an emphasis on keeping her work both loose and impressionistic.  Her paintings have won numerous awards in national pastel shows as well as juried plein air events up and down the eastern seaboard. She has been featured in both Pastel Journal and Plein Air magazines. 

Here’s an excerpt from the Pastel Journal article:

Punctuated by bursts of color, JoEllen Murphy’s paintings balance tranquility with lively vibrance. She captures landscapes, garden scenes and architectural details with a style that’s both painterly and confident. 

 “There’s a spontaneity to my work that has come mainly from all the plein air work I’ve done,” she says. “It’s given me my sense of style for loose landscapes.” 

Her background includes a fine art degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an early career as a Medical Illustrator. However, most of her working life was spent as an art director at The Washington Post where she honed her sense of design and color. After leaving the Post in 2008, she focused on her new path of becoming a fine artist.

She’s a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters, a signature member of the Maryland Pastel Society and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Plein Air Painters. Her paintings are featured in numerous permanent collections, including The National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Md. and the U.S. Department of State Works on Paper Collection, in Washington, D.C.

JoEllen resides in Northwest Washington, DC, with her husband Les Wexler.

Artist Statement:
JoEllen’s hope is that after she creates a painting, the viewer will be pulled in by her painterly brushstrokes and strong sense of color. She has mastered both the mediums of pastel and oil but continues to explore and experiment.  When she is painting “en plein air” which she often does, she is mostly drawn to a strong sense of light whether it’s a building with strong shadows, reflections on water or something as simple as the way the light hits the blossoms on a spring tree. It’s all exciting to her. Most recently she has been working on larger studio oil paintings.

JoEllen’s art is available at the HorseSpirit Arts Gallery in Savage, Maryland.