Concept of Color
With Artist Meg Lionel Murphy
We stopped by the studio of Meg Lionel Murphy - someone who is resolute in using Living Coral in her current vibrant works of art. Her beautiful paintings and prints featuring women(!) with objects surrounding them like modern stained glass window compositions contain fanciful, fun palettes of color - intricate, pop culture filled, whimsical and powerful. We wanted to find out her process of discovery and of course, her thoughts on Living Coral!
JAM: There is an extraordinary mixture of elements in your paintings. Can you talk to us about how you come up with some of your concepts for your work?
I build stories around buildings and objects I stumble across during a random day. I’ve split my time between cities and rural towns over the last few years, and the contrast between the people and the architecture of those places has made me pay keen attention to my surroundings. I love to imagine giant women, walking down the road with me as I take long walks. I picture them as protectors, sprawling over oceans, fields, houses, farms, factories, gas stations, and skyscrapers. After I have found a building or piece of nature to make into a throne of sorts, I start to collect objects, animals, and wildlife to paint, that will help further reveal the central women of the painting to the viewer.
JAM: Your work is very colorful. Can you tell us how color shapes your ideas?
I keep color journals in my phone—like pictures from walks or screenshots from instagram. I am constantly on the lookout for a color combination that is a little garish. But my secret weapon? I am in viscerally in love with holbein gouache. I wish I could eat my paints, I find them so delicious. Or at least, I wish I could swim in a giant pool of pink holbein pigment. They come in such gorgeous mixes! Nothing better than a handful of fresh tubes.
JAM: Living Coral is represented in your work prominently (even your website is partially that color)! Can you talk about your use of that color in your paintings?
Yes! I do bring corals into almost every painting. It is probably because Holbein’s oranges, reds, yellows, and pinks make some gorgeous coral paint mixes. But the best reason might be because my bedroom is painted coral. It seems fitting that I wake up ready to paint my dreamworld of giant women drenched in that color.
JAM: What is your personal favorite color to paint with?