Bob Murdock - life imitating art

Featured artist Bob Murdock, who grew up in Long Beach, California, then went on to study art at Long Beach City College, was drafted into the US Army in 1966. The Army noticed Bob’s talent, and he was assigned to work as a draftsman making visual aids.

Two years later, after being discharged, Bob went back to school, this time at Cal State Long Beach, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drawing and painting.

Then, after moving to the Monterey Peninsula, Bob became active in the local art community. There, too, his talent was noticed, and he was rewarded with a one-man show at the the Monterey Museum of Art. About the same time, he started working as a highway maintenance worker for CALTRANS and, in 1978, moved to Arroyo Grande, where he says he spent a lot of time “working on a fixer-upper.”

In 2002, Bob moved again, this time to Willow Creek in Humboldt County where he built a new home with acreage. And it was 2014 when Bob moved to Oregon. As he tells it, “During all these periods, I continued to draw and paint, exhibiting in local juried exhibitions and member shows.”

For Bob that includes PBAA, Humboldt Arts Council at the Morris Graves Museum of Art in Eureka, and Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay.

As for the artists Bob admires, “I’m most influenced by Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse. I also saw the Pop Art and modern American painting of the 1970s while in college. I used to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Pasadena Museum of Art, where large paintings by James Rosenquist, Frank Stella and Ron Davis influenced my early work.”

Commenting on his work today, Bob says, “I hope my work emits some of the joy and energy I relish when doing it. I prefer acrylic paints because of the easy clean-up, and I use Prismacolor pencils for my drawings.”

Bob also reports that in the 1980s he “dabbled” with serigraphy (silk screen printing) and hopes to try it again. Then he adds, “The Oscar Wilde quote: ‘Life imitates art far more than art imitates life’ has always fascinated me.” Indeed.

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