Ivan Murphy’s landscape paintings are based on memories of particular sites, with basic structures and meanings revealed through repetition. Murphy does not seek out specific sites, but paints based on the familiar, including urban sites from walks to work, winter fields (“Seignieuries”) on road trips home to Québec, winter clearcuts, or seascapes at night and day, witnessed as a pilot boat deckhand. Paintings are created as editions or series, repeating and retranslating until essential form, content, and colour is revealed. Though referencing observed reality, the work emphasizes the material/plastic possibilities of paint and process. 

He received his Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications with Honours, from NSCAD University in 1992. He has been working as a professional artist (painting) since 1998. Currently a pilot boat deckhand and part-time instructor at NSCAD University, Murphy exhibits work in private and public galleries including the Anna Leonowens Gallery, Art Bank of Nova Sotia exhibitions, Mount Saint Vincent Gallery, and the Canadian War Museum. Murphy has received several grants from the Nova Scotia Department of Culture and Heritage (now Arts Nova Scotia), and has been a member of grant selection committees for the Nova Scotia Art Bank, Arts Nova Scotia, and the Halifax Regional Municipality. He has also completed public and community art projects with NSCAD University and the Halifax Regional Municipality Arts, Culture and Heritage department.

Murphy’s works are in numerous national and international collections, including the United States Consulate, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Nova Scotia Art Bank, TD Bank, Ocean Entertainment, Spectacle Design Halifax, St. Lawrence College, QC. , and private collections in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Bermuda.