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WV Artist on Display: The Zoo Inside my Head.

Meet self-taught artist, Misty Murray-Walkup. Painting since childhood, she loves realism and wildlife is her favorite subject. She tells us, “I love painting in realism and wildlife is by far my favorite subject, bringing the zoo inside my head to life on canvas with my brush and paint.” She also enjoys painting portraits of people which brings the challenge of creating realistic skin tones and facial expressions. Misty is a lifelong resident of Greenbrier County and has been a working artist and illustrator for over 25 years. While she enjoys painting in a variety of mediums, Misty prefers oils and acrylics. She recently became a member of the Greenbrier Artists and in 2018 became a Tamarack juried artist. She looks forward to entering her work in shows this year and invites you to check out her new exhibit called “The Wild-The Wildlife Art” at Carnegie Hall in downtown Lewisburg. Featuring over 20 brand new paintings, her exhibit will run through the end of April in the Old Stone Room Gallery. Learn more about Misty, and what inspires her, with our Q&A:

Tell us about your art.

My artwork has a strong focus on animals from wildlife to domestic. While I do enjoy painting many other subjects, including landscapes and portraits, I enjoy the unique challenge that capturing wildlife in realism presents me.

How do you describe your palette?

I work from a full palette and any color found in nature you will find in my art. I need and use them all to try to recreate what I see as realistically as I can.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

This is a tough one.  Aside from my family who will always come first. I’m always just happy when I don’t get paint on my clothes lol. I was pretty excited when I got juried into the Tamarack last year and I just recently had a book collection of 22 of my wildlife prints selected for addition to the United States Library of Congress. I’ve been juried into in the WVDNR Wildlife Calendar including just finding out that 2 of my paintings were selected for the upcoming 2020 WVDNR Calendar. There is the giant mural I donated to the Crichton School. The way the kids reacted to it was worth more than any amount of money. I’m always pushing forward so i guess I’m hoping the best is still yet to come…

What obstacles do you need to overcome to find your creative space/muse?

I am my biggest obstacle. I tend to procrastinate, its terrible. And as with just about every other artist out there, I am my own worst critic. I have a vision in my head of how I want something to look. Its hard to get that to translate from my brain to canvas sometimes. Someday maybe I’ll quit being so hard on myself….but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

How do you find your inspiration?

Finding inspiration to paint wildlife in West Virginia is easy, its everywhere!!  I couldn’t be more blessed in that respect. My cup runneth over!

What advice do you have for other artists?

I am completely self-taught. My advice would be if you are truly passionate about learning to paint or just getting better at it, GO PAINT you can do it!.  Practice makes perfect.! It really does, you can read books, watch videos online etc.  but if you aren’t painting and practicing applying what you learn from it, it will never really help. So just go paint, then paint some more.

What is your favorite piece(s) you’ve made and why?

Every piece is my favorite at the time I’m painting it. I guess one of my most recent favorites would be the big white tiger I painted for my exhibit at Carnegie Hall. I titled that painting ‘The Wild’.

How can our readers purchase your pieces?

I post all of my new art on my art page on facebook first @LaurelCreekMountainArt. That is the best place to see all my latest work. I also have a website for anyone who isn’t on facebook.

What is the best way for our readers to contact you?

By phone or email (304)-520-8873,, as well as my art page- Laurel Creek Mountain Art on facebook.

– HashtagWV #112. April 2019.

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HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks.