"I heard that Tuscany was a very inspiring place for artists, and I was eager to test this rumour."
Murphy wasn't disappointed.
In Siena, he found himself in the Piazza del Campo — a sight Murphy felt had an "energetic and great vibe." The Piazza was so captivating to him that he set up his easel and brushes, and decided to paint the Gothic buildings that have characterized Siena .
"The Piazza del Campo is one of the most beautiful piazzas in Europe. It had a certain uniqueness and energy about it which I found inspiring."
As Murphy was leaving Italy to return to his Beaches home, he said he was overcome with a strong feeling of contemplation. He realized that the Piazza had seen so many faces that had come and gone throughout the centuries, and it struck him that he too would be one of those fading faces.
However, through his art Murphy has found a way to keep the memory of his experience alive forever.
"For me, the Campo wasn't just a piazza anymore; it was a place of reflection and spirit of hope and confidence."
You can catch Stephen Murphy's latest art exhibition, entitled Follow me to Siena, at the Todmorden Mills Art Gallery, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5. Receptions will be held Dec 3, 4 and 5 from 4 to 9 p.m.
If you are interested in learning more about Murphy's work, you can visit his website at www.wadadliwatercolours.com.