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Emerson MurrayComment
The Story of an Art Scam

Someone tried to scam me this week. 

I received this email earlier this week through the contact form on this site:  
Name: john glenn
Email Address: johnglenn1001@gmail.com
Subject: artwork is needed
Message: Greetings!
My name is john glenn from SC. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work, I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, : ) You are doing a great job. I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you. I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
Thanks and best regards,

"john" picked out a painting and agreed to the price. I wrote that I could invoice him through Square, but he insisted on sending a check. I have had almost this exact email come from a legit buyer and that communication resulted in a successful sale.  It all seemed fine until I got this email:

Hello: Emerson Murray
Thanks for the message,  I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece. Also If you'd like to know, I'm relocating to the Philippines soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I'm trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a surprise one. I am buying the art work Silence Falls: 36"x36" 

 as a gifts to her.I'm okay with the price, I think it's worth it anyway, so I'll be sending a check. As regarding shipping, you don't have to worry about that in order not to leave any clue to my wife for the surprise. as soon as you receive and cash the check, my shipping agent (who is also moving my personal effect) will contact you to arrange pick-up.

I would have come to purchase the piece myself but, at the moment, am on training voyage to the North Atlantic Ocean (I'm an ocean engineer) with new hires who are fresh from graduate school and won't be back for another couple of weeks. 
PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your full name (you want the check payable to) cell phone no. and contact address (preferably for Ups ,fedEx not P.O box) where a check can be mailed to, so I can get the check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away.

The whole story seemed to stink. I googled "john glenn ocean engineer art scam" and found the comments on this site: http://www.agora-gallery.com/advice/blog/2014/12/11/how-to-recognize-art-scam/

If you are a creative type. Look out for this gent. 


A Figurative Affair 2017

I have two pieces in this show. Short notice for the opening tonight, but go see the show if you have a chance. There are some fantastic pieces.

Here is the full listing of artists:

Emerson MurrayComment

I've been working on a series of small cockfighting paintings. Cockfighting has intrigued, disturbed, and fascinated me since I saw the amazing 1974 film, Cockfighter, several years ago. I will post the series once I complete and photograph the series.

Before my current figurative abstract paintings I was painting single frames from movies and painted a shot from Cockfighter. My studio has been freezing lately and I wanted to work on some small canvases in the house. I decided to expand on the film frame painting and make a cockfighting series of paintings. 

The images are violent and fevered. I know they are not for everyone and are the furthest thing from being politically correct, but I am really interested in the inherent drama and striking colors.

The paintings are mostly 9"x12" and I'm looking at finding old frames for them. I plan on making the series 11 or 12 paintings. I don't know where a good place to show them would be. I'm open to suggestions.

I'll post more about the series once it is completed. Thanks.


Emerson MurrayComment
Thank you, but there is more.

Thank you to everyone who came by for Open Studios this year. I had a lot of fun visiting with old and new friends.

I was asked to fill in for an MIA artist for a show at The Nook in Santa Cruz. The show will be up November and December. I'll post more information on my Facebook page. I will be at The Nook for a reception on First Friday, which will be Friday, November 4th. I think the hours are 6 to 8 or something like that. I'll let you know. Please come by. Don't make me drink all the wine by myself. Thanks.

Emerson MurrayComment
Santa Cruz Open Studios 2016
Where I Belong.

Where I Belong.

This weekend is Open Studios. I have a lot of new work of all sizes, both acrylic and oil paintings. This piece is from a series of smaller, 12"x12" pieces that I will have available this year.

Come on by and check out my work.

Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th from 10:00-5:00.
I'm at: 125 Oak Lane, Scotts Valley, CA 95066


Emerson MurrayComment
Show at Ristorante Casa Nostra

My show at Ristorante Casa Nostra in Ben Lomond is up. The paintings look great on their walls. The show will run until mid-August and the reception is Tuesday, July 19th, 6:00 - 9:00pm. So, clear your calendar and come on by.


Emerson MurrayComment
Works in progress.

Here are a few paintings I'm currently working on. They are mostly completed. I took the pics with my phone, so, the quality is not the best.

Emerson MurrayComment
It started with Derrick punching me in the face.

All of these pictures were taken with my phone. Not the best quality.

I was thinking about using some video screen grabs from my backyard wrestling days as backgrounds for my paintings. First up, a picture of Derrick (AKA The Militiaman) punching me in the face. The leg in the picture is the referee. I started the painting somewhat literal.

The painting sat in my studio for a few months. I felt like the idea was a failure. I couldn't not see the original photo.

Eventually, I turned the painting sideways and began painting new elements.

Today, I started adding a figure to the painting. I still see Derrick punching me in the face, and now, you probably do as well, but I like the direction the painting is going.

Emerson MurrayComment
A trip to the city.

I make my own oil paint. I buy the grounds and mix them with linseed oil. The grounds come from a business in San Francisco named Sinopia.

A few years ago I attended a Windsor Newton demo and the woman giving the demonstration mentioned how great Windsor Newton paint was, highest grade, blah, blah, unless you want to go to Sinopia and make your own paint, blah, Windsor, blah, Newton. I use a lot of Windsor Newton paint and really like the product, but, her statement about making your own paint really hit me.

I visited Sinopia for the first time about three years ago. The shop looked like a Frankenstein laboratory with plastic bags full of color all around. The owner's name is Alex and I was so excited to meet him and talk about pigments that I rushed home and ordered a copy of Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay for him. It was a little creepy, but whatever.

Sinopia's pigments come from all over the world and can vary dramatically from area to area. An ochre yellow from France and an ochre yellow from England look quite different. The pigments are also usually quite colorful when in ground form, which always tricks me. Most darken considerably when mixed with oil. Each one also absorbs the oil a little differently and mixing takes some experimenting.

Buying dry pigments seems to be considerably cheaper than buying commercial paint. I always love looking at the little five gram jar of $170 lapis lazuli. Sinopia's new line of milk paint is soft and beautiful. But, it is meant for furniture and walls, so, I haven't used it yet.

The shop has since closed. The website is going strong. Alex let my wife and I come up to check out his warehouse this week. It is still inspiring and wonderful to me. Alex has made the mail ordering on his website so easy, I will be doing that from now on, but I had to see the new digs.

I really like mixing my own paint, there is something base and primal about it. You need to wear a mask, mix it in a ventilated area, and it takes some practice. But the colors you can get are simply amazing.

You can visit Sinopia's site HERE.

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