Alice Joy Murphy is a predominantly dry media artist who specializes in highly detailed color pencil portraits of people’s Pets and Animals. Alice channels the animals energy when she is working and has this to say about the process...


‘I was nervous about admitting that I connect with an animals soul while I’m working in case it made me seem a bit new age and crazy.

In reality it’s a feeling I get from looking at their photo and working where I can sense and feel who they are/were and it helps me to put their unique personality into my work. It’s no more crazy than that.

I’ve never wanted to do a static representation of photo where everything is perfect. Anyone can make a copy of a photo or pay $50 to get a computer to make a photo look like a painting.

I want my portraits to feel vivid and alive, to me that is what art is, it’s part the artist, part subject, part process.

It’s done by hand with heart and soul and energy. As unique and special as every being is unique and special.

I strive for this and will keep striving for this in every piece I do. The animals I draw and the owners I work with are just as important as my skill and they are part of the portrait too. The relationship my clients have with their pets and the memories they share, I use as my inspiration.

I Love my job, it’s my calling.’


 Alice who resides in Solvang California started her artistic journey back in England where she grew up. She gained an A level in art at sixth form college before going on to study Equine Business Management at university.


After the birth of her two children in 2016 Alice resumed her passion for art and in 2017 she decided to take it in a professional direction alongside raising her two boys.


Since then Alice has been juried in to a reputable fine art gallery, Gallery Los Olivos in Los Olivos, California where she enjoyed over a year in the gallery as a member artist in 2018. Alice has held many exhibitions in the Santa Ynez Valley including the month long Animal Kingdom Exhibition in 2018 held in Gallery Los Olivos. Currently Alice sells her original pieces and prints exclusively through Ranch 'N' Back Boutique in Santa Ynez, California.


Alice has been accepted to exhibit her work in well respected online showcases for the American Academy of Equine Art, Fusion Art and Light, Space Time. Awards include Special Recognition Award in 2020 for Light Space Time 10th Animals Exhibition for 'Dark star'. Special Merit and Special Recognition awards in 2021 for Light Space Time 11th Animals Exhibition for 'Sarge' and 'Solomon'. Honorable Mention Award in 2021 for Fusion Art 6th Annual Animals Competition for 'Little Leopard'.


Detail and color are two key components of Alice’s work. The experienced jurors at Gallery Los Olivos complimented her work on it’s texture and life. Alice’s work is not merely a static representation but has visual energy and depth. Alice’s work stands out for it’s style and fine art quality amongst other pet portrait artists.


Alice completes most of her portraits using artist grade color pencils that are of museum quality and are resistant to UV fading. The portraits are done on Bristol Vellum surface which is an acid free card suitable for the type of pencils that she uses. The recent developments in technology behind color pencils has made them come to the forefront of mediums that professional artists use for portraits. The modern pencils are a medium that have been designed to stand the test of time. Alice loves the detail that she can go into with the pencils she uses and the rich, vibrant color that they produce. All of Alice’s commission pieces are unframed to allow for her clients to custom frame them according to their individual tastes and home decors.


Alice is currently accepting commissions and she sells her work all over the world with clients in the UK, Europe and Australia as well as the East and West coasts of America. Alice adores her job as an animal portrait artist and every piece she creates is unique and special just like the animal she tries so hard to do justice too.


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