Artist’s paintings reflect her heritage as a migrant worker
Consuelo Soto Murphy’s artwork stems from the fields she worked in and the time she spent with her family.
Excerpt from Gallery One Visual Arts Center:
Consuelo Soto Murphy was born and raised in the Yakima Valley along with her nine siblings. Her parents were migrant workers who came to Washington in the 1950’s from a small, poor, little town named Bajan in Coahuila Mexico. The older four children had to work day in and day out in the fields. When her mother became ill with a brain tumor in 1960, the last five children were able to go to school during the day and work only part-time after school. Murphy was one of the lucky ones able to get an education.
She truly loved school from first grade through college. Her second grade teacher, Mrs. Lindenburg, once read a story to the class about an octopus and assigned them to draw it. Upon seeing Murphy’s lime and purple octopus with twisting tentacles, Mrs. Lindenburg called her up to the front of the room, held up her octopus drawing and declared that she was Connie the Artist. Her teacher had made official what she had always known.
Most of Murphy’s artwork stems from the fields she worked in and the time she spent with her family. The many colors of the harvest and the fruits dangling from branches can be seen as an inspiration in her bright, colorful and happy works revolving around several themes: the farm worker, happy fat ladies, mothers with children, and the Day of the Dead. Often the subjects of her paintings have large hands and feet and big hats that obscure their faces. Murphy purposefully hides their faces so that viewers might imagine themselves behind the hats.