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BELLAMY MURPHY and her art training can be best described as the story of how I grew up. . . born an artist into a family of “fishaholics.”

My grandparents always had a place on the water. Back then, you needn’t be a person of means to have waterfront. It was simply the most important thing for my grandfather that his grandchildren, there were six of us, learn to love the river and the environs. I could gig, throw a shrimp net ,crab, fish and swim before I could ride a bike. My mother was a true naturalist. It was not unusual for a beach walk to be an all day affair. She would have us examine every little shell to notice every nook and cranny. She had names for every one; some I think she made up. We spent many an hour in the lowcountry mud alongside the oyster beds and salt marshes.

The summer I turned eighteen, I dismissed college. My high hopes for an art education vanished with my parents’ divorce. I took to travelling and being more and more inspired by life itself; and, in some form or another, I have been a working artist for more than thirty years. Though I had those wonderful “teachers” in my life, you won’t find an impressive profile of degrees or “One Man Shows” in my resume. I continue to grow and learn something every time I pick up that paintbrush. . . who knows what’s ahead!

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