Bringing memories to life with Rebecca Murray

In Adelaide’s picturesque coastal suburb of Sellicks Beach, artist Rebecca Murray finds her inspiration.

A graduate of the esteemed Adelaide Central School of Art, she has honed her craft to perfection, channelling her passion into the creation of breathtaking oil paintings that capture the essence of cherished moments.

Recognising the central place children hold in our lives, Rebecca views art as a means to immortalise the ephemeral beauty of childhood. As a dedicated artist, she specialises in crafting oil paintings that evoke the emotions and memories of these precious moments in time. 

We chat with Rebecca about her artistic process and the vision behind her incredible pieces. 

Tell us about the themes and emotions you explore in your artwork.

I want to transport the viewer into the magic moments within my vivid coastal paintings, that often explore the relationship between children and their environment. I strive to create paintings that capture the time and place, making that moment eternal. They draw you in with the familiar, and invite you to interpret the story behind them.

Can you tell us about your artistic journey and what led you to focus on capturing childhood moments in oil paintings?

I graduated from the Adelaide Central School of Art and it was there that I found the relationship between children and their environment so enjoyable. I saw a unique opportunity to capture these fleeting moments of childhood in a timeless manner, which led me to focus on this incredibly special and emotional aspect of life.

Could you describe your artistic process?

The process begins with close collaboration with my clients to identify themes and emotions they wish to capture. We then source reference photos, or specifically take photos, often considering locations of personal significance. The key is to find images that capture a unique personality, then make these memories come alive.

How do you collaborate with your clients to ensure the artwork you create truly reflects the essence of their cherished moments?

The most meaningful art emerges from a true understanding of the client’s vision. We often sit-down multiple times, either in person or virtually, to discuss the emotions and themes they want to see immortalised. It is also critical that we source the best possible photographic reference with the best lighting and facial expressions possible.

How does the coastal environment influence or inspire your artwork?

The beach has always been a huge part of my life from childhood summer holidays, to now the inspiration behind my artworks. Sellicks Beach has featured in our lives more than most and now we live here!

Our family weekends and holidays have provided an endless source of inspiration. I love how the colours of the sky shift during sunrise and sunset, the play of light on water, the energy and movement of nature, these elements often find their way into the backgrounds and even the mood of my work. The seaside with its endless changing landscape, the constant motion and aiming to captivate nature’s fugacity on a canvas is inspiring.

What do you hope people feel or experience when they view your paintings?

First and foremost I strive to achieve that ‘wow’ factor! I want viewers to experience a sense of being transported to the scene, either remembering the time, or feeling like they could have been there. The emotions I most often explore—innocence, discovery, happiness, and playfulness—should resonate with anyone who has experienced or witnessed the magic of childhood.

Many artists find inspiration in the work of others. Are there any artists or artistic movements that have influenced your style or approach?

I’ve always been inspired by the Old Masters for their technique and the way they could capture emotion so vividly. More recently, artists like Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, William Merritt Chase and John Singer Sargent have influenced my focus on intimate, everyday scenes.

How do you envision your art evolving in the coming years?

I envisage exploring more complex compositions and scenes, and immortalising those fleeting moments within the coastal environment. As I continue to grow as an artist, I am exploring the possibility of delving into capturing moments across various stages of life. But always, the focus will remain on capturing the emotional essence of my subjects.


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