Everyone in her home knew when young Yoshiko Murdick was painting.
The house was filled with the scent of turpentine as she studiously composed on the canvas. Her pieces fluctuated between serious and dark subject matter to the natural beauty surrounding her childhood home.
In her first grade class in Kobe, Japan, Murdick vividly remembers drawing using blue crayons instead of greens for the surrounding mountains against her teacher’s instructions.
When she showed it to her father he commended her artistic eye and she later received an award for the drawing. Murdick appreciated her family’s encouragement and felt lucky to be recognized for her talent. As a teenager, seemingly gloomy ruins piqued her interest as she sought to capture their crumbling frames. Looking back, Murdick, 65, now reflects on her trajectory as an artist and the lighter, natural themes that are represented in her current work.
“The artist tendency when you’re young is to be more attracted to the serious, dark, and deep,” Murdick laughs while scowling comically.
“When I got older I just wanted to create something pretty and happy. I want to paint something that makes the viewers feel good or nostalgic.”
The colors she utilizes largely depend on her mood but Murdick stays true to a limited palette approach with only three colors. She finds that selecting one red, blue, and yellow variation each yields marvelous results and allows colors to harmonize uniquely each time she picks up her brush. While she has made several abstract works, she finds their freedom more challenging as they lack the constraints that a more representational image presents.
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