Caitlyn Murphy's paintings elevate the charm of everyday life

16 September 2016

Caitlyn Murphy’s paintings are heartfelt in their simplicity and naturalness. It is an underrated skill to elevate the charm of everyday life that others passed by but a skill Caitlyn has honed. The paintings stem from her varied interests, “landscapes, sports, exteriors, corner stores, food…It’s all fair game though, I always come back to the same elements. I gravitate towards quiet moments that are slightly odd with off-centred compositions”, creating gouache versions of a fly-on-the-wall documentary of daily existence.

The Toronto based artist, who has studied bachelor degrees in both philosophy and illustration, clearly has an understanding of both people and the natural beauty they should notice around them. Her compositions of fruit filled corners of shop fronts with colour choices that pinpoint shadows and textures are uncomplicated but considered. Her use of gouache additionally appears quite thick, layered lusciously to display light bouncing off lemons, an ageing brick wall and flower beds, “I have minimalist tendencies” the artist explains, “so I am constantly trying to reduce everything down to convey the least amount of detail as possible.”

Caitlyn’s talent has been consistently recognised since graduating from her illustration course last year. She received CMYK magazine’s Top New Creatives award two years in a row and more recently an exhibitions assistance grant from Ontario Arts Council. With her first solo exhibition Window Studies occurring in March this year, Caitlyn has another upcoming show in October at No Foundation gallery in Toronto.


Caitlyn Murphy: Boxes


Caitlyn Murphy: Hallam Corner Store


Caitlyn Murphy: Watermelon Gate


Caitlyn Murphy: Grace Street Fruit Market


Caitlyn Murphy: Garden View


Caitlyn Murphy: Westmoreland Backyard


Caitlyn Murphy: Backyard Scaffolding


Caitlyn Murphy: Melting Snow

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.

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