01 Jan Murphy, Brenda
Born 1955 in Dallas, Texas; lives in Arlington, Texas
2021, pencil on Bristol board, 12 ½ x 18 ½ inches
The American Bison is adapted to survive the harsh winter conditions of the Northern Plains. Using their large heads as plows, they forage for native grasses that lie dormant beneath the snow. Bison are so well insulated against frigid temperatures that snow which dusts their shoulders and faces doesn’t melt from their body heat. Their dark, woolen fur makes a stark contrast against the delicate snow crystals which blanket the plains during the winter months.
BORN AND RAISED IN TEXAS, Brenda Murphy grew up with a love of all things Western. She spent hours drawing Western scenes, horses, and other animals. She earned a BFA degree in art from the University of Texas at Arlington, and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator in Dallas. After several years of commercial design and illustration, her thoughts began to turn frequently to fine art and her desire to once again draw the West. Gradually, her art career shifted from commercial illustration to drawing the subjects she loved. She now spends her time with people whose way of life and heritage she admires, and masterfully captures with pencil on paper.
Murphy’s drawings can be found in major corporate, private, and museum collections across the country. She has been featured in major magazine publications, and in the new book, Horses in the American West: Portrayals by Twenty-four Artists.
Notable Awards and Achievements
2008 National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Heart of the West, Patrons’ Choice Award
2006 Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Cowgirl Up!, Museum Purchase Award
2005 National Museum of Wildlife Art, Western Visions Miniatures and More, Patrons’ Choice Award
2003 Bosque Arts Center, Bosque Art Classic Show and Sale, Museum Purchase Award
Art of the West
Horses in the American West: Portrayals by Twenty-four Artists, by Heidi Brady and Scott White (Texas A&M University Press, 2018)
True West Magazine
Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, Arizona
Trailside Galleries, Jackson, Wyoming, and Scottsdale, Arizona