bio

In the studio with Milessa

Yes, her name is spelled M-I-L-E-S-S-A.  It’s a funny story but we can go into that another time.

Milessa Murphy has a lifetime filled with artistic expression that began before she learned to read. As a young child, she loved to draw characters from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip. She would fill pages with drawings of cartoons such as Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Although her mature artwork is much different, Milessa’s desire for happiness and joy in her work remains.

Along with positive energy in her art, Milessa loves surrealism, abstraction, and color. The urge to add color in each of her pieces may stem from her sepia-toned memories of her youth in West Texas. There wasn’t a lot of color in the dry, rugged landscape. It also stems from her desire to keep her paintings energetic and inspiring.

As an only child, Milessa grew up to be highly independent. This is reflected in her first formal attempt at becoming an artist when she was 12 years old. After seeing a television commercial advertising an art university, Milessa decided to apply. She submitted her drawings and was accepted. When she divulged her plans to her mother, she learned she was not old enough to attend. Despite her loss, the experience and hope of art school cemented Milessa’s identity as an artist.

Although she never stopped being an artist, Milessa had to pause her dreams due to the pressure to have “real work” and earn a steady income. During her mother’s passing in 2008, everything changed. She remembers lovingly her mother’s last words, “I want you to promise me you will sell your businesses and get back to your painting. I am sorry I did not take your art seriously.” Those words helped make it easier to let the businesses go and return to the easel.

Milessa has painted close to 600 pieces. Her most recent series is called Dreamscapes, and it is a collection of impressionist paintings that combine humor and whimsy to create narratives through color and experiences. Her painting has no limits, and she crosses the boundary between fact and fiction effortlessly.

Viewing Milessa’s artwork is an experience in itself, as the viewer is able to enter an imaginative world of dreamlike juxtapositions of their own experiences and those of Milessa. It is surreal and joyful, as she intended it to be. Her art is not solemn or dark; it is full of light and delight.

Milessa lives and works in the DFW area where she and her husband raise one of their young  grandsons. Together they have five children and four grandchildren.

Life is good; and as Walt Disney said, “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever.”