An Interview with Jamie Murray
Category : In Warner Arts - Joanna M
Before he retired, I’m guessing that many of you were greeted at Warner’s Aubuchon by the friendly and helpful Jamie Murray. It was on such an occasion that my husband first met Jamie. Our daughter was with my husband at the time, and Jamie saw something in her that encouraged him to ask if he might work off of one of my photos of her, that I had posted on Facebook, for a painting (see Dragon Faerie below). Since that time, I’ve been delighted to discover Jamie’s seemingly limitless artistic talents in drawing, painting and photography. I hope you enjoy this little interview with another one of Warner’s talented Artists.
You have had quite a diverse artistic career. Where did it start?
As a little kid, I used to fake being sick so I could stay home from school and draw or paint or create things. As I got older, if something piqued my interest, I’d explore it – sometimes it clicked and I’d continue, sometimes it didn’t and I’d drop it and move on.
For example, I thought doing elaborate makeup for Halloween would be fun. I got a book and taught myself basics…I had so much fun, I talked with professionals, improved the craft, eventually creating a character for Dallas TV. The character then got invited to scifi conventions to emcee, where I met pros in acting, art, writing, etc. A book cover artist I met at a convention taught me the basics of airbrush illustration, I started painting and showing in art shows, which led to book cover deals.
So, here we have interest in something fun that snowballed into an acting/painting/publishing career.
Many artists have a “Big Break”, turning point, or opportunity experience. Does any such moment stand out in your mind?
To be honest, the death of my Father. I grew up painfully shy, and I always felt embarrassed to do anything in front of him. I was 15 when he died, and suddenly the floodgates opened, and I could sing in rock bands, perform in community theatre, paint portraits.
What do you consider your most important or significant work?
I’ve done so many different things, I couldn’t pick a most important or significant. It’s like asking a parent, “which child of yours is your favorite.” Oh wait, I could say ME! I am sooooo different from what I was like in high school! Yup, “I” am my most important or significant work, and it’s still evolving!
How did your artistic life evolve? For example, did you start out as a painter and end up preferring photography, or do you work across a set of media?
Definitely, across all types of media, they’re all interconnected. Growing up, I loved drawing and taking pictures. I got serious about photography while traveling the country, singing in rock bands, in the 70s. Then I found I could take pictures to use as reference for drawing or painting.
I’m a lousy writer, so I concentrated on developing the visual talents. I spent 34 years in television, using those visual talents, but tv also let me explore the acting talents as well as other aspects of creativity.
I was a studio cameraman and film editor (back then, everything was on 16mm film), but I was also able to build and light sets, write and produce shows, even acted in front of the camera, as Jamie and as my alter ego, Myhr.
Do you have particular themes/styles you enjoy working with more than others? E.g. Realism, Fantasy, Landscape?
I’m a realist painter (my paintings lean toward photographs), and an artistic photographer (my photographs lean toward paintings). In painting, I prefer SciFi and Fantasy, in photography I prefer landscape and portrait. Most locals are familiar with my landscapes, which I’ve been doing since moving to New Hampshire in 2008, but I photographed people for 30-some years before that, in Texas and Nebraska.
Who are your influences?
Whoever strikes my fancy – I’ll study their style, then adapt it to my own style. But, if I had to choose, the main influences in photography would be Ansel Adams and Francesco Scavullo, the main influences in painting would be Drew Struzan and Boris Vallejo, the main influences in makeup effects would be Rick Baker and Dick Smith.
What has inspired your work in the past, and how has inspiration evolved for you?
As stated before, I’ll try something if it looks fun and interesting…if it resonates inside, I’ll jump in feet first and learn all I can, and maybe continue for 10 years or so. If I try something and it just doesn’t seem right, I’ll drop it and move on…life’s too short to struggle with something that just ain’t workin’!
Where can people view or purchase your work?
There are 2 ways to view online: www.meadowpondphotography.com and www.facebook.com/myhr99 . I have work hanging in the MainStreet Bookends Gallery, and I have a booth set up at the Spring Into Warner festival and the Warner Fall Foliage Festival. You can also hear my voice on the intro video at the NH Telephone Museum, as well as the new tour-guide smartphone app for the NH Telephone Museum. I’m building miniatures for the Contoocook Railway Depot museum.
And then, there’s that episode of “Walker Texas Ranger” I did…