Exhibit features ‘Mixed Media Baroque Works’ by Murphy

Secrets Are Interesting | Theodore MurphyMILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (Feb. 4, 2014) — The Milligan College Art Gallery will host an exhibit from Feb. 10-19, featuring the work of artist Theodore Murphy.

The art gallery is located in the lower level of Derthick Hall. The exhibit will include a series of paintings titled “Mixed Media Baroque Works.” It is free and open to the public.

Murphy began this series of paintings in August 2013, during his sabbatical from Houghton College (New York), where he has taught for 29 years. The series is made up of 7×10 mixed media pieces that are derived completely from Murphy’s imagination rather than from observation.

“This current body of work represents an interest in strangeness, mystery and invention,” Murphy said.

Murphy began each piece in graphite with a shape.

“In have no finished composition in mind,” he said. “The work grows out of process. There are many changes made throughout the drawing. Once I feel the drawing has reached a point where it achieves an idea or emotional tone, I lay in thin washes of watercolor.”

The transparent washes keep a vital sense of the graphite drawing beneath, and in this manner the works reflect the feeling and process of 19th century naturalist field studies. After the color is applied, he redraws the entire piece to restore contrasts that have become shallow or to reestablish edges he feels are important.

Next, he uses a wax-based overlay, including various types of colored pencils and crayons. Once this part is complete, he frequently repeats the process of graphite, watercolor and colored pencil until the work is a unified and clear conception.

“The elaborate system here is akin to notions of the Baroque,” he said. “This refers to the excess or exhaustive feel of the design and material.”

Murphy holds a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University (Ohio). To learn more about the artist, visit

For additional arts events at Milligan, visit


MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit or call 800-447-5922.

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