A Life of Fine Art Painting

“It’s Christmas Time!”

Well, I haven’t had time to do any modeling this week. I have been looking after my grandson while my daughter finishes up her school semester studies. Three year olds are so much fun! But with Christmas about a week away, I did start some shopping today. I also took time today to take pictures of the new snow that we received over the last few days.

A view of our neighborhood (Westbank, British Columbia, Canada) and Okanagan Lake, with fresh snow – picture taken from the forest behind my house.
For this blog, I took a view quick photos of my paintings, that I have completed over the years, and that my wife and I chose to put up in our home. Most of my paintings are painted with Hyplar or Golden Acrylics on Masonite panels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masonite); and a few on canvas. I add ground marble, or pure sand, into the acrylic for creating textural effects in some of the paintings.

I have added a note on “Hyplar Acrylics” at the bottom of this post.

So, please enjoy the paintings below …and I hope you all have a great ho-ho holiday season – “Merry Christmas”

Sun on the magnificent rock cliffs of “Bon Echo” Provincial Park in the province of Ontario, Canada
Hyplar acrylic (very thick -painted with a palette knife) on Masonite Panel – 2002, by Murray E. Breen

Our family camped at Bon Echo a couple of times with friends. I had started this painting around 1990. I then put it in a corner. I took it with me when I moved to Hawaii and finally completed it in 2002.

“Cockroach Cove”, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii
This little cove is also known as the “From Here to Eternity” beach
– taken from the movie’s famous love scene with Burt Lancaster and Debra Kerr.

Hyplar acrylics and ground marble on Masonite panels – 1997 by Murray E. Breen

This view is from a cave under the highway above. I took photos for reference and then created the painting in layers by cutting the cave and certain rock groups out of separate sheets of masonite with a jig saw and gluing them together for depth. I then applied acrylic modeling paste mixed with ground marble and dark colors to create the lava rock texture base before actually painting the scene. I also added some found real small driftwood to the cave floor.


“Peggy’s Cove” Lighthouse, Nova Scotia, Canada
Hyplar acrylics on Masonite panel – 1990 by Murray E. Breen

In the summer of 1990 our family traveled from Toronto, Ontario (in a Dodge Caravan pulling a tent trailer) to Canada’s beautiful east coast where we visited Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Cape Breton. We returned through some of the US north eastern states. Incredible scenery and a wonderful family trip!


“Blue Heron”, P.E.I (Prince Edward Island’s west side)
Hyplar acrylics on Masonite panel – 1992 by Murray E. Breen

The fine wind blown grass was created by applying a layer of Hyplar modeling paste to the surface and then quickly dragging a toothbrush upwards on an angle. When this base application had dried, I painted the detail grass colors.


“West Point Lighthouse”, P.E.I. (Prince Edward Island’s west side)
Hyplar acrylics on Masonite panel – 1994 by Murray E. Breen

A beautiful restored lighthouse with an inn attached. My wife and two daughters are in this picture. This image was a lot of work in fine architectural rendering and painting, which took me several months. “Not a three hour painting!”


“Waimanalo Beach Park”, Oahu, Hawaii (view towards Makapuu)
Hyplar acrylic on Masonite panel – 1995 by Murray E. Breen

A great beach for boggie boarding in the waves. Outrigger canoes appear on the beach and Rabbit Island is in the distance.

AHA honorable mention award for “Kaaawa Valley, Oahu”, Acrylic

I became a member of the Association of Hawaii Artists, and joined a Saturday morning painting group. This got me out painting regularly and meeting new aloha artist friends. The art group went to a different place, a beach or a valley every Saturday. This quickly showed me the hidden places of Oahu; especially as I was brand new to the islands. Later I became AHA’s treasurer, newsletter editor, organizing exhibition set-ups, and then president of the association for two years. Great experiences through volunteering.

“Makapuu Beach Park and view of Rabbit Island”, Oahu, Hawaii
Acrylic on Masonite – 1995 by Murray E. Breen

This painting although large and detailed was painted on location over three sittings.


“Three horses a grazing”, Molokai, Hawaii
Hyplar acrylic on canvas – 2002 (not dated) – by Murray E. Breen

“Three horses and a barn” – could be anywhere in North America, but I painted this on Molokai.
I took a small plane to this non-tourist island to visit the history of Father Damien and the leper colony. This required previous written permission and a hike down a three thousand foot cliff. I toured the island also for three days and took many pictures. There are no traffic lights on Molokai, and some of the stop signs say Whoa!


“Orcas”, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Acrylics on Masonite panel – 1990 by Murray E. Breen

This is a “made-up from reference” scene. This was a gift for my wife who wanted a whaling wall!
I had traveled from Seattle through many small island channels (San Juan) on the way to Victoria, Vancouver Island. I toured by boat and was fortunate to take some pictures of local area killer whales.

Well, I still have racks of paintings in my studio for a future blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed my painting world. In the new year (2008), I would like to continue sharing all of my modeling ideas and projects with you. Again, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year for 2008.

About Hyplar Acrylic Polymer Color for Artists:

The Grumbacher line of Hyplar® artists’ materials encompasses a range of 35 colors . . . with accessory products which are designed to extend their versatility and meet specific requirements of the artist and craftsman.

Hyplar colors are artists’ quality pigments uniformly dispersed in an aqueous acrylic polymer emulsion. In more comprehensible, everyday terms, this means that the binding vehicle consists of droplets of a synthetic plastic resin suspended in water. As the water evaporates, the droplets of resin combine to form a crystal clear film imparting exceptional luminosity and brilliance to the colors. The tough, durable film is also highly adhesive, water resistant and flexible.

Hyplar provides the artist with a tool which can duplicate effects achieved with any of the traditional painting media. The colors can be used in transparent water color washes, opaque gouache or tempera techniques and to produce heavily textured ‘impasto’ oil painting effects.

Hyplar colors and materials can be employed on flexible supports such as canvas and paper. They adhere well to most non-oil surfaces and this property makes it possible to work on sap-free woods, hardboards, raw canvas, fabrics, plaster, stone, brick, and many plastics. Their extreme versatility makes it quite simple for designers to execute presentations on surfaces exactly duplicating those of the intended project.

Normally, aqueous media produce a matte surface which can only be converted to a gloss by means of a final varnish. With Hyplar it is possible to control the surface reflectance. Although the colors dry to a satin finish, the use of either Hyplar Gloss Medium-Varnish or Hyplar Matte Medium-Varnish in varying proportions as a paint additive. . . or as a final varnish, results in a range of surface reflections from matte to a high gloss.

It can readily be seen from the foregoing, that the scope and versatility of the Hyplar acrylic line is truly prodigious. Within this relatively compact line, you are furnished with a creative tool, the use of which is bounded only by the imagination.

  1. I love your paintings, they’re beautfiul!

  2. Thank You! …I’m glad you enjoyed my paintings:>)

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