Inside Toronto
February 16th, 2006

Review Not Yet Published

Inside Toronto
February 2, 2006

Beach-South Riverdale
Town Crier, January 2006

The East Toronto Observer
September 30th, 2005

December 13th, 2004

The Observer
November 26th, 2004

Inside Toronto
November 26th, 2004

Town Crier
November 17th, 2004

Town Crier
October 16 th, 2003

Inside Toronto
June 20th, 2003

The Voice
June 5th, 2003

Inside Toronto
May 16th, 2003, February 27th, 2003


February 27, 2003

Not Just an Island Boy

by Christine Manning

At the age of 16, Stephen Murphy left the island of Antigua behind and came to Canada with his parents and his twin brother. They settled down in Toronto's east end where Stephen went to Eastern Commerce and he has called the area his home ever since. His wife and two children have lived on Greenwood Ave for the past 5 years. Growing up in Antigua, Stephen always thought it would be fun to be an artist. He was always sketching and drawing and he says it has been a dream of his since childhood. When asked what gave him the courage to pursue his dreams, Stephen states, "It's tough to bear yourself like that. It's like taking your clothes off in front of everyone. My first two pieces that sold were at an art auction. I didn't think either of them would sell. When they both did, that kicked the monkey off my back." From then on he looked at it like a bridge. "I saw where I wanted to go, but didn't know how to get there."

East End by Stephen Murphy

This led him to take several courses at OCAD, where he learned shapes,
light and values. In the four years that Stephen has been painting professionally he has amassed over 5,000 paintings which you can find tucked away in boxes in his basement and framed on the walls in his home. In November he had his 3rd annual show in his home on Greenwood. Stephen doesn't like the idea of showing his work in galleries. He doesn'T like the high commissions and he states that he likes to know where his pieces go. "They are like my children. My paintings are like my spirit." The show was very successful and has added fuel to his fire. He says that his style is, "bold, vibrant. I paint in the moment. A lot of it is fun and whimsical. I paint for myself. If it sells that's great." He loves to plain air paint. In the summer he paints outdoors. He enjoys the interactivity of it. People asking questions, the wind, the rain, deer flies if you are up North. In the winter, he paints in his in-house studio. "I love to paint the east end. I am really an east end guy. When I go west of the Don Valley, I am lost.""I am trying to get away from the Island boy image. I was selling more of my paintings in the Caribbean than I was in Canada. I can't be in both places, so I am trying to focus on the Canadian market now," states Stephen. Eventually he would like to be known as a travelling artist. He was in Florida last year and a lifeguard on the beach bought a painting from him. "That is what art is about for me", states Stephen.

Last year was Stephen's first participation in the Riverdale Art Walk (RAW). He also has his annual show in his home and continues to search for new opportunities to share his paintings with the public. Stephen takes commissions, and also accepts reservations for private home showings. If you are interested in learning more about Stephen and his work, you can check out his web site at

Biography Contact