Artist Biography

Brenna Murray was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Her father, Brook Melchin, is an architect and watercolour artist who has had the greatest influence on her art. His paintings of the Rocky Mountains and European architecture surrounded her from her earliest years.

Brenna attended the University of Calgary on a scholastic scholarship for her first year and received other scholarships in following years. At the University she studied under a number of art professors including Eric Cameron, Gerry Hushlak, and Bill Laing. Each of them influenced her style and approach to her work, helping Brenna discover a passion for painting the mountains. In 2007 she graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art with honours.

During her years of study, Brenna had a number of art show experiences. In 2004 she won first prize for visual arts in an LDS talent competition. She participated in the Post-miniature art show in 2007 in the Little Gallery at the University of Calgary. Her prints were included in the Art Department’s annual fine art print sale in 2007. Brenna was part of Merge: The Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduating Exhibition in 2007 in the Nickle Art Gallery, University of Calgary.

Since graduating, Brenna has continued to paint and sell her work. She has had two solo shows at The Second Cup in Kensington, Calgary in 2010 and 2011. Her paintings can be found in a number of private collections.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Exhibitions (*Solo Shows)

    *Waterton, The Second Cup, Calgary Alberta, 2011
    *Paintings from Kananaskis, The Second Cup, Calgary, Alberta, 2010
    Emerging Canadian Artist Program, Cenera, Calgary, Alberta, 2007-2011
    Merge: The Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduating Exhibition, Nickle Art Museum, Calgary, Alberta, 2007
    Post-miniature Show, Little Gallery, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, 2007
    LDS Young Single Adult talent show, University of Calgary Theatre, Calgary, Alberta, 2004

Selected Collections

    University of Calgary Art Department, print collection
    Ronald Jacobs Insurance Agency
    Various private collections

Awards

    1st prize for Visual Arts, LDS Young Single Adult talent show, Calgary, Alberta, 2004

Commissions/Volunteer

    Nativity Pageant Set, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Calgary, Alberta 2010
    Beach mural, LDS young single adult student association, Calgary, Alberta, 2002

Appearances

    Interview on Mormon Missions, “Soul and the City”, CBC News at Six Calgary, Alberta, February 28, 2007

Education

    Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (painting), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, 2007

Artist Statement

Why do I create art? I feel happier, more energized, more fulfilled when I am being creative. Growing up, my family excursions to Banff National Park sparked my love of the Rocky Mountains. I am always inspired to be creative when I look at mountain landscapes.

My landscape paintings are large oils on canvas. I use bold, energetic brush strokes, and bright colors, to paint my subjects that fill the canvas. I try to capture the feeling of immensity that surrounds me when I am in the Rocky Mountains, and the awe at the beauty and grandeur of God’s creations.

I generally sketch from a photo or on site and then use that sketch to plan composition and colour for the painting. I enjoy painting “plein air” on location, as well as painting in my studio. I love seeing the image in my mind evolve on the canvas as I paint. Painting in oils is especially enjoyable because I love the rich colours and the feel of painting on canvas.

Copyright © 2015 Brenna Murray