Murphy to Manteo—An Artist's Scenic Journey

Artist Statement for Murphy to Manteo—An Artist’s Scenic Journey

I have been painting the North Carolina landscape for more than 35 years. The current body of work is “Murphy to Manteo—An Artist’s Scenic Journey” and began to take shape as a series more than a decade ago. As Murphy to Manteo has become synonymous meaning “all of North Carolina,” the ultimate objective is to produce 100 large oil paintings that are a comprehensive portrait painting of the North Carolina scenic landscape along the 563 miles of the US 64 corridor from the mountains to the sea. The project evolved as a result of becoming interested in serial landscape images while living and teaching at a university in Japan. I then began to see the entire state as potential subject matter as a result of exhibiting landscape paintings including cotton fields in the, then, Lieutenant Governor, later Governor, Bev Perdue’s office. I was also seeking new and varied compositional strategies while striving to emphasize a personal voice in the post-abstract Southern Realist tradition.

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video by Nathanael Shelton

some photographs by Keith Tew