Friday, June 1, 2012

modern watercolor for the bedroom

With the bathroom (and honestly bedroom) remodel being done, I have been turning my attention to art. The art in the bedroom has been Japanese for a very long time. I won a one-month trip to Japan from Rotary Clubs as a "young business person" in the the early 90's which caused me to fall in love with Japan and all things Japanese. While there, I purchased and was given a few prints that I had nicely framed, but somehow they didn't totally fit the more mid-century vibe.
Gold print is shows the changing of the seasons,
and bottom two are Hiroshige prints.

And too be honest, I had gotten a little bored with all the Asian art. I stopped by the Home Consignment Center to sell my Baronet Java lingerie chest, and discovered HCC had bought out an art gallery which had gone belly up. Recently, I had acquired an outstandingly huge oil painting from HCC for a very good price, so I HAD to take the time to pick through the wares. Lot's of really cheesey landscapes, some awful abstracts, and other assorted interesting art, but honestly, a few really good pieces could be found.

Stacked behind a HUGE picture of a lady smoking a cigarette and drinking a glass of red wine (tempting), was this little beauty for $79. Took me about two minutes to think it over, then march up to the counter.

Cherry Murray watercolor
Watercolor by Cherry Murray
I have subsequently done some research on Ms. Cherry Murray. Her internet listings are obscure. She appears to teach art classes in the Arizona with a reference on this artist bio page and a few others. And I found another reference in this newsletter from the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society from 1999, "Memories of AAHS's second raffle in 1986, by Connie Allen-Bacon."
 I remember that night vividly. I was recuperating from a lung  operation of two 
weeks before (I swallowed a nail!) and I could not attend the second AAHS raffle ever 
held. It was in 1986. But about 10 o’clock that night, I received a phone call from 
Jackie Breheney, president of AAHS. She was very excited to tell me I had won the
Grand Prize! She insisted that she deliver it to me on her way home 
from the University. What could I say, but, "That would be great!"
    The prize was the beautiful water color painting I am holding below.  The artist is 
Cherry Murray, wife of John Murray, both very long time members of AAHS.  Cherry 
was a painting instructor at Pima Community College for many years. I had dug with 
John around town for a few years and did so for more years as volunteers with local 
contract firms and the AAHS. Cherry and John are very dear to the hearts of those who 
know them. This painting has hung over my bed since that time, 
and it is one of my most prized possessions.

I think this reference is to the Cherry Murray that did the water color I bought. And I think Cherry Murray is out there painting and giving classes still somewhere in Arizona. So Cherry Murray, if you stumble upon this post, please contact me. I would like to know the inspiration for this picture and its province. I love it, and it is worth far more than $79.

Cherry Murray watercolor
To give you perspective.

The painting is large. My dad made the mission style chair, and the end table is a very old Mission style library desk. Yes, we have mixed and matched contemporary, mid-century modern and mission in our house. So shoot me.

Cherry Murray watercolor
Cherry Murray's water color. Accompanied by a
Jonathan Adler lamp, found at a dealer for a third the price on the site.

Cat on bed with Japanese art
Jack on bed. With another glimpse of Japanese art that will
very likely stay (my mom made picture on right)
and contemporary bureau that will stay for sure.
Jack's picture above was featured in Monday's Pets on Furniture at Also, see the peek-a-boo view in the above picture of the track lights? Sneaky add-on during the remodel. It was honestly the only after thought we had, that we tacked onto the project. The track lights make a huge difference in our unusually large mid-century modern master bedroom and were well worth the almost immaterial dollars (considering the whole bill), to purchase them from Lightbulbs Etc. in Costa Mesa and have the electrician install them and wire the lighting to a switch while the walls were open. Brilliant.

1 comment:

  1. I have one of her paintings that i found here in tucson at a thrift shop, and I also have been wondering about this artist! its so beautiful!


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