This month, I’m going to walk into a different room of my home, and tell you a little bit about what this picture framer has framed in his house. I’ll explain about the artist, how I obtained it, and where it hangs.

Murphy print installation
“Saturday Morning” by Charlie Murphy – click for a larger view

Being my second installment of my year-long commitment to this blog, I think I’ll walk to the other side of the house; it’s going to be a little tough to one-up the Salvador Dali I started with
Not really, because everything I have in my collection is my favorite. If you remember last time, I encouraged two rules of thumb when it comes to creating your own collection: Do not collect art for an investment, and only collect the things you love. Your collection does not need to be full of Andy Warhol or Thomas Kinkade, but it does need to be full of images and dimensional pieces that have an emotional attachment and are an extension of yourself.
I’ve walked around all these years and said, “It’s good to be the Framer.” I’ve met some of the most fascinating artists; been to amazing shows and museums. Perhaps the reason I stay in the area is because of the local flavor of art in northern Michigan.
Meet Charlie Murphy. He’s actually one of many of my local favorite artists that have a place in my home. (I’ll be bragging about all of them over the next few months!) But Charlie and I seem to be a kindred-sort-of-spirit: always looking for new ideas and opportunities in art and in reinventing ourselves. We share a lot of customers and friends.
Charlie has taught painting and workshops in the Traverse Area since 1975. He is a graduate of Minnesota State University with a BFA in studio arts. A member of many art organizations, he was named Traverse City Arts Council/Crooked Tree Art Council “Art Educator of the Year” in 2003. His classes have taken place all over the world, and his work collaborated in book illustrations by an
assortment of authors.
Working in acrylic, oils and watercolor, Charlie’s imagination is what makes his work the most appealing to me. I have many of his pieces scattered throughout my home, but my favorite piece of his resides over my fireplace. An embellished giclee print titled “Saturday Morning” puts the crowning touch on my living room, and dominates using my favorite color: Yellow.Painting "Saturday Morning" by Charles Murphy
The piece, which was personalized by Charlie, is full of symbols and makes me smile every time I look at it. It’s never the same image when I stand before it, and tends to glow right off the paper. I framed it using my famous tag line, “shirt through the tie,” floating the art on a sunny yellow. To give the piece bulk, and not to be overpowered by the lighting that suspends from each side, I chose a frame of the same material as the pendant lighting (iron) so that the frame worked with the environment that it was in, letting the artwork breath on its own.
This was not an expensive piece. The limited giclee print was $395. To have the artist personalize the piece, or “embellish” it, would add another $100, but that was a gift to me from Charlie. With a 2-inch sunny yellow mat for the artwork to float, the piece hosts museum glass and has no reflection. A spacer to prevent the glass from touching the artwork only adds to the illusion of the piece just being suspended in the frame. The frame is by Décor Moulding. An installed ceiling eyeball light adds to the dramatics at night. This frame job retails for about $425.
Charlie’s pieces can be seen at McMillen’s, and the TreeLine Gallery in Suttons Bay. This image is also available through our store in any size requested, as well as Murphy’s Anniversary Portfolio of either favorites in limited for $245. You may also visit Charlie on the Artists North website.  Below are a few more by Charles Murphy that currently hang here at McMillen’s: