Paul Murray graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1984. Drawing inspiration from the landscapes around his Gourock home, Murray’s paintings demonstrate an acute understanding of compositional balance, weighing physical space against negative space. Whilst a good deal of his work still focuses on the drawn mark combined with collage, Murray has also increased his use of paint and scale of canvas, continuing to be inspired by the shapes and textures within landscape and still life compositions, though only as a starting point, allowing the drawn mark or brush stroke to dictate what happens next. Murray explains how he tries to make different marks in each piece of work, not repeating things he ‘already knows the answer to’. While it is inevitable that a recognisable style will permeate, Murray believes that his work is continually changing, developing and improving with each passing exhibition. ‘From Places I’ve Been’, examines his foray into these explorative techniques. An energetic mixture of still life and landscape, the show features a variety of wintry scenes with Murray’s bright summery works studded jewel-like throughout. Darker, more subdued colours mingle with his recognisable use of vivid pinks, yellows and oranges, creating warmth and depth, while shades of blue, black and deep red lend an elegance and grandeur to each composition.
Travelling to Europe and the Middle East, Murray returned to the UK in 1999, and has continued to paint and exhibit as much as possible. His work is represented in numerous private collections, including the Bahraini Royal Family and the Education Institutions in Marbella and Bahrain. He has shown annually at the RGI, RSW and the PAI, winning several awards including the University of the West of Scotland Award, The Glasgow Art Club Fellowship, the Mary Armour Awards and first prize in the Scottish Drawing Competition. In 2011 he was elected a member of Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and a Diplomate of the Paisley Art Institute in 2012.