Candace Shrope bought a horse named “Master Design” and decided to call him Murphy. She soon realized that Murphy was exceptional at one thing - putting things in his mouth. Murphy’s mouthiness was seen as a negative trait in the past, but Candace decided to channel his energy in a positive way. She taught Murphy to fetch, pick up a bowl and hold it out for treats, to put a hula hoop over her head, and to put his toys in a bin. After watching Murphy repeatedly pick up his toys and scrape them back and forth on the ground, Candace thought perhaps he’d do well with a paint brush.
For months Candace worked to teach Murphy to paint. First he had to learn to hold the brush, then more importantly, drop the brush when asked! He then learned to touch the canvas with his nose, then he progressed to touching the canvas while he was holding the brush. Murphy showed promise, but he wasn’t really getting the point. They worked for months until one day Candace added paint - and once Murphy saw the color - he got it! Now he stands in his stall flapping his lips - begging to paint!Murphy paints with fervor, sometimes pressing so hard he rips the canvas. But the repairs tell a story, as does the texture in every painting. Murphy leaves a bit of himself on every canvas.
Candace Shrope joined Fine Art America on May 13th, 2015.