Rob Murray’s expressive mixed-media work captures the vibrant energy of our rivers, lakes and rural landscapes.
A self-taught painter, Rob has developed a following amongst collectors and his work is now held in a wide range of private collections in the UK, Continental Europe and the USA. His paintings have also been selected for group shows and exhibitions, including the inaugural Westmorland Landscape Prize (2019) and the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition (2020).
Alongside his work as a painter, Rob is also one of the UK's leading cartoonists, for publications including Private Eye and The Sunday Times.
“My work is influenced by developments in contemporary landscape painting, and also by a longstanding interest in Abstract Expressionism. As a result, my paintings often exhibit a tension between representation and expression. My work is always inspired by specific places, but I am most interested in recording how it feels to be within the landscape.
My paintings are produced in the studio, but always originate from live encounters with the landscape. I spend a lot of time out in nature, whether swimming in rivers, walking in woodland or climbing to hilltop viewpoints. I produce rapid gestural sketches during these excursions, as well as taking photographs and short videos. Sometimes a painting develops directly from one preparatory image; other pieces evolve from a number of sketches and compositions, or from memory.
Drawing is central to my practice, both in the early sketches and within most of my paintings. Smaller pieces are sometimes completed in one session, harnessing that immediacy to produce dynamic impressions of the landscape. Larger works tend to be built up more gradually, and I often work back and forth between layers of representational detail and layers of pure energetic mark-making.
My paintings are an attempt to record the place I’ve visited, but also to articulate my personal response to that place; to catch an intangible moment or recreate a memory.”