3 X 3 Show

Just heard that 3 pieces of my work have been selected by the judges for the thirteenth annual 3x3 International Illustration Show. For more info look here. 3X3 POST

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Kibbo Kift

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Just in the middle of reading this after seeing the exhibition at the Whitecapel Gallery in London.

Whitechapel Gallery

The Kibbo Kift Kindred (not to be confused with other organisations with the achronynm KKK) was formed in 1920 by the commercial artist, writer and pacifist John Hargrave, who became disillusioned the militaristic leanings of the Boy Scout movement. Hargrove formed a new group based on naturalist principles with a social,economic and spiritual philosophy. An original mystical-medieval-modernist style emerged fusing Egyptian, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Native American styles.

Small exhibition but really worth a look if you are in London: Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred 10 October 2015 – 13 March 2016 Gallery 4, Free Entry

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Having given up sugar last year and alcohol this year (not sure how long that will last;-) my monk like existence still has a few guilty pleasures; the vase fetish still continues unabated, despite our new kitten's attempts to destroy most of them. Guess it's just a good excuse to seek out more. Drawing them whilst I still have some!



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Do Not Disturb!

Having a studio at home is great in lots of ways; no commute, it's cheap, and warm. But the downside is the distractions, some self-imposed.... I'll just make a cup of coffee before I start that...... and after 3:00 or at weekends....... Dad can I borrow a pencil sharpener, sharpie, elastic band, stapler, paintbrush etc etc, this is my attempt to find an hour to myself at the weekends. doorJPG

Today though I might just pretend to be working and read the new World Of Interiors Magazine all day, can't afford anything in it, but always it a great source of inspiration. But first that cup of coffee........


New Work

One finished piece and a rough plan for a new image. I've always had a thing for mid century ceramics so thought I would indulge my 'vase fetish' with a series of images, first one will feature beautiful vases, dead plants and insects. I think it may be a homage to those dead insects I always used to see as a kid in shop window displays in the 1960s and 70s. Retail has move on a little since then ;-)

Gettin' Around 1flat

dead vases

Us and Them

A visual response to the migrant crisis. Many countries in Europe, including our own, are largely ignoring the crisis and getting on with their lives as normal, making pictures for a living can seem trite and ineffectual, especially whilst people struggle to relocate their lives, often dying in the process. I have put this image on my shop as a print, all profits will go to www.redcross.org.uk/refugeecrisis   "......One drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is an ocean, but a multitude of drops?"

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas 


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Us & Them 3

Us & Them 2

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Murrayville 01





Murray Town 1


Finally finished this new piece, would like to do a series of these time permitting.

knowing Yourself

Cropped detail images from work for a recent American client, working with the theme of knowing yourself. More later when they're published ;-) Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 12.15.34 Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 12.16.53

Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers Tees

Some sneak peeks of recent tee shirt designs for CIBBOWS Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers NYC.  A shirt design for each of the two main races at the event. Really nice job to work on. Thanks to Patricia Sener at CIBBOWS for the great Art Direction. CIBBOWS 3 CIBBOWS 2  CIBBOWS 1 CIBBOWS 4 CIBBOWS 5CIBBOWS 6CIBBOWS 7


Tony and Liz (off with her head)

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I was invited, along with 150 other artists, by Neil Hadfield the course leader at Hereford College of Arts to submit a piece of postal art in response to any aspect of the history of the postage stamp in the UK. The work, which will form a touring exhibition to celebrate the 175 year anniversary of the postage stamp, will be shown at Hereford College of Arts, The House of Illustration and the Hay Literary Festival. 
In 1965 the then post master general Tony Benn changed the criteria for what could appear on postage stamps. Before this, commemorative stamps had to feature a large representation of the monarch’s head, which dominated the design taking up to 75% of the available space. Designer/ illustrator David Gentleman, wrote to Benn suggesting alternative stamp designs, also proposing that the queens image be replaced by another symbol, such as a crown or the words or "United Kingdom”. Instead a much reduced silhouette of The Queen was used and this has been the standard ever since.
During this time I was still only a twinkle in my mother and father’s eyes, but during the turbulent political years of the 1970s and 1980s, the pipe smoking socialist Tony Benn was a poster boy in our house. I marvelled at his eloquence, my dad, Albert, even taking me to see him speak at a smoke filled trade union meeting in the 1980s. During this same period I was studying English Literature at school and was attracted and intrigued by the bold, direct, wood engravings of the New Penguin Shakespeare series covers. It was only some years later at art college in London that I was to discover this was the magical work of David Gentleman.

When researching the history of the postage stamp to produce an image for this exhibition, I was thrilled to discover these small personal connections which stirred such strong memories, and for me at least inform the story behind the stamp. This image (for what it’s worth) is for those 3 principled men Tony Benn, David Gentleman and Albert Murray who have all informed, inspired and enriched me.

Limited Edition prints available on my shop site: www.mrmurray.co.uk

Pushing The Envelope

Preparing prints for the forth coming ‘Pushing The Envelope’ exhibition, celebrating the 175 th anniversary of the postage stamp, held at House of Illustration -London from May 6th onwards. Massive thanks to artist / illustrator and master print maker John Powell Jones who helped me print the limited edition, 4 colour images on to brown card envelopes. L1110783 copy 3 L1110780 copy 3




Last weekend I was in Whitby fossil hunting with my daughter, after freezing our backsides off on the beaches we took shelter in the towns cafes to warm up, we also happened upon a great little exhibition of Keith Pattison photographs recording the unrest and economic fall out of the miners strikes and shipyard closers in Yorkshire and the NorthEast in the 1980s. These events are over 30 years old, even though I remember the events quite clearly, it felt like visual archeology. Two things struck me whilst looking at the images; Firstly how much the country has changed on the surface, how unprepared and ill equipped both police and miners looked for such violent clashes. How militarised the British police look now, and how these days the miners would have been using social media and mobiles to coordinate events.

Secondly how much circumstances haven't changed since the 1980s and all of that social and economic unrest. We were told at the time unions were too powerful, the work force was flabby and uncompetitive, this had to change radically. Homelessness, unemployment, greed, outscoring and privatisation, privilege not meritocracy, selling off the family silver, overpriced housing, economic turmoil. 1980 or 2015?

All of Thatchers "enemy within" nonsense and the continuation of that dogma with Blair later on. "Much of what she wanted to do in the 1980s was inevitable, a consequence not of ideology but of social and economic change." Blair said, "Mrs Thatcher was absolutely on the side of history." 

Some how I don't think so Tony, now look at us, hardly any industrial base, crumbling infrastructure, economically vulnerable, unsure of our place in the world. Insert Kiling Joke song.  On the bright side, some beautiful and touching photographs.

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New work

Just finished a fun but technically challenging job for a client in London. The art of writing an inspiring, succinct brief and subtle but effective art direction is not dead I'm please to report. Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 14.27.59

Kids Company Charity Sale

The good people at AMV BBDO asked quite a few illustrators (including little old me) to donate prints to a charity sale to raise money for Kids Company, a charity providing practical, emotional and educational support to inner-city children and young people in the UK. I've got a lot of time for Camila Batmanghelidjh who runs the charity, not only does she speak a lot of sense about the adoption process in the UK but she also has a wardrobe to rival Grayson Perry in terms of colour and pattern. invite images

Brush Grave Yard

On a recent trip to Tameside College saw this in a studio. Some of mine are much worse than this, guilty as charged. IMG_2845


Unplug pic Love this short film encouraging us to Unplug! from the digital world now and again, even if only for an hour or two.