George Murphy began to paint late in 1970, while attending the University of York, England, although he had never received formal artistic training. Seven years later, his car packed with belongings and an easel strapped to its roof, Murphy set out for Florence, Italy, where he remained for three years. Working from a studio overlooking the Piazza Santa Croce, he portrayed bushes, hedges, and trees, "seeking to isolate them as objects with a certain 'presence.' " In the spring of 1979 he made his first trip to the United States, and the following year moved to Nantucket, his home and inspiration for the past six years. Murphy is currently interested in neoclassical architecture as subject matter for his paintings and seeks consistently to simplify and order his imagery.
Virginia M. Mecklenburg Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987)
George Murphy, who received no formal training as an artist, began painting in the 1970s while a philosophy student at the University of York in England. In 1977 he moved to Florence, Italy, where he lived and worked for the next three years. Murphy made his first trip to the United States in 1979 to visit New York City. He moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts, the following year and became active in the Artists Association of Nantucket, won several awards, and held numerous solo shows. Murphy draws inspiration from trees, bushes, hedges, and other elements of landscape, as well as neoclassical architecture.