Gary McMurray was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1953.
He was employed as a graphic artist at the Belleville Regional Unemployment Insurance Office from 1970-74 when he decided to embark on a career as a painter. He toured Canada and the USA while developing his style and technique as a landscape artist.
In 1977 he was represented by the Damkjar-Burton Gallery of Hamilton. In 1982 he was recognized by the National Gallery Of Canada as an established Canadian artist and listed in their Dictionary Of Canadian Artists.
After several more years of a nomadic lifestyle travelling and painting the Canadian landscape and rural buildings, Gary settled in Ottawa. He has successfully dealt with many of life’s challenges and continues to paint in his room at St. Vincents Hospital in Ottawa.
In his own words this is how Gary describes his paintings:
“Muted colours, houses are part of the Canadian scene, slums visited as social documents…knowledge of simplification, dramatic contrasts of light and dark. Interpretation of abject poverty, often painted in light and cheerful colours…pure picture making not for money…a sadness for those that walk down the cruel, cold repellant streets…dirty shutters sag this way and that. Half dead trees, black and broken covered in snow or a bare rigid telephone pole…the windows are dirty with dust and grime and cardboard stops the wind with the broken panes of glass…there are broken down bikes, cars and fences meant to be repaired at a later date. A fear of pain and poverty deep down and hidden but always an open hand extended for warmth or food or just plain goodwill.”