About Susan Avis Murphy

        Watercolor keeps teaching me new things.  I have enjoyed experimenting with it in many different ways and have covered a vast array of subject matter, both realistic and abstract.  Each pigment in this watery medium behaves in its own unique way—something that both challenges and stimulates the user. 

     I have been delving into this intriguing subject for more than 35 years now.  I have served as an art association president, exhibit coordinator, cooperative gallery director, juried show participant, juried show juror and judge, watercolor demonstrator and lecturer, private instructor, studio designer, picture framer, elementary school guest, small business owner, workshop instructor, photographer, leaf raker and snow-shoveler. Throughout it all, I am a studio artist, always trying to  find a new way to balance those difficult choices that lead to art which is original in concept and style, yet appreciated by those who enjoy good art, though they may not be artists themselves.

     In college I majored in biology and anthropology, and worked as a biologist for a total of about 15 years, but always explored and maintained my interest in art.  Especially with watercolor, learning to paint is largely a matter of trial-and-error, learning to overcome obstacles and create a painting from within.  Workshops with experienced painters have helped me along the way, and classes with my first and time-honored teacher, Barbara Nechis, got me started and inspired in watercolor.  I have done a lot of teaching of watercolor myself, but am no longer actively teaching. 

     My work has been honored with inclusion in many significant exhibitions, such as those of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Allied Artists of America, the National Arts Club, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Southern Watercolor Society, Baltimore Watercolor Society, Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition, the Adirondack National and many others.  It has been purchased for more than 20 major corporate collections, such as General Motors, Beatrice Foods, the Kresge Foundation, International Harvester, Quaker Oats, and the FDIC.  Several of my paintings have won gold medals in shows such as the Southern Watercolor Society, Baltimore Watercolor Society, and Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club.

     Currently I am a signature member and of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, and Baltimore Watercolor Society, and frequently exhibit through the BWS.  I enjoy painting and displaying my art in my home studio, called ARThouse.   My husband, Marco Colombini, and two sons, Paul and Ben have helped me enormously over the years.


with painting "America Loves Freedom" as new member of American Watercolor Society at front door of ARThouse
working on a painting with husband, Marco Colombini at Les Yeux du Monde with Carlo Colombini
giving a talk to an art organization giving a demonstration with student Nancy Preuss