Welcome to J. David Murphy Art


Artist's Biography


Exhibition & Gallery List


J. David Murphy – Artist

J. DAVID MURPHY B.A. (Hons.), M.Sc., J.D.

J. David Murphy was born in Barrie, Ontario, Canada in 1948. He obtained a B.A. (Hons.) and law degree (J.D.) from the University of Toronto, and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics (University of London). He was a partner at a prestigious international law firm based in Toronto. From 1989 to 1996 he was a law professor at the University of Hong Kong. From 1996 to 2000 he was a high court judge in the Cayman Islands. He retired in 2000 to live in Europe, and moved back to Barrie, Ontario in 2013.

Mr. Murphy has been painting since the early 1970’s, but arrived at his current status as a respected artist by an unusual route. Inspired by the famous early 20th century Canadian school of post-impressionist landscape painters, Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, he started experimenting with oils as a diversion while a law student. During his time practicing commercial litigation in Toronto in the 1980’s he led a “secret life” taking art classes at night from noted teachers in various institutions in Toronto including Danforth Technical School, the Cedar Ridge Art Centre, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, and showing his work in collective exhibitions.

Canadian Wilderness Landscapes

Autumn Marsh

Rockies Scene


Winter in Rainbow Country (No.2)

Spring Ice – LaCloche Hills

Beaver Pond

Boggy Lake (No.3)

Spring – Bay of Islands


Chartres Reflections

Banca Giuratale – Victoria, Gozo

Grand Canal from the Rialto (No. 2)

Temples in Xian, China

Triq il-Majjistral, Vittoriosa

In the Bar of the Lion Inn, Winchcombe

Golden Prague

Canals of Venice



Coral Reef


Treble Clef

Bird of Paradise




Portraits & Life Studies

Girl with beautiful hair (Marion)


Self-portrait (No. 2)



Torso (No. 2)

Viewer Testimonials

D. Murphy’s oils – boldly handled wilderness landscapes and cityscapes – have been praised for their vibrant colour combinations and subtle values and tones.

His icy lake scenes take viewers to their own personal memories of nature, even if they are not familiar with the lakes of Northern Ontario.

His paintings contain a vibrant use of colour, with clever colour combinations with subtle values and tones.

His landscape paintings evoke a sense of stillness and contemplation, while his abstract paintings express energy, movement and emotion.