OLENA McMurtrey

OLENA McMurtrey

San Francisco, CA, United States

About OLENA McMurtrey

Hi, I am Olena McMurtrey, a contemporary artist based in California and specializing in cityscapes, oceanscapes, and landscapes. I have lived in several large cities on both sides of the world and finally settled in California. I got inspired to pursue furthering my art education while living in Los Angeles and completed the Master of Fine Arts at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

I am always experimenting and playing with many mediums to find the exact tool to express my creativity and voice. I enjoy feeling the thickness and heavy flow of oil and acrylic, these two mediums are so different and alike at the same time. The biggest challenge for me is to find a unique mix of colors to achieve depth and vibration in my paintings.

My landscapes convey natures' calmness and tranquility through a balance of color, shapes, temperature, and abstract design.

The bodywork of cityscapes inspired by my time living in the beehive of the Big Apple, and later in the City by the Bay during my grad school. There is something magical when the sun sets exactly along the cross streets in coastal cities, beaming sunrays into shattered reflections of a concrete jungle. For precision to bring the grid of cityscapes into a dance with light, oils are my favorite choice.

Through my passion for windsurfing and surfing, I felt compelled to paint waves, the element of fluid force that many deeply connect with. In my paintings, I thrive to bring the mood of calmness and wildness - a blend of beautiful and dangerous. To achieve the expanse intensity of ocean depth, I work with the dynamic nature of oils in many layers to control the desired design. I depart from strictly photo-realistic effects and focus on abstract elements and bring visual cues of the maker's hand to achieve painterly resin.


MFA Academy of Art University
San Francisco CA USA


2020 - Busy as a bee, figuring out how to create and show during a global pandemic.

Selected for Superfine! Art Fair in San Francisco
February 2020

Handpicked to show at The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art in Los Angeles
September 5-8, 2019 in Santa Monica at Barker Hangar


Solo show June-July 2021
Secession Art&Design
3235 Mission st, San Francisco CA

On-going showing during 2018-2021
at City Art Gallery, San Francisco
828 Valencia st, San Francisco CA
reception every month First Friday 7-10pm

Voss Gallery 2019
3344 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Artspan SF Open Studios 2014-2019
Oct 7- Nov 5
SOMAarts Cultural Center
934 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA

ArtExplosion Open Studio,
every Spring and Fall 2015-2020
Studio #146, 744 Alabama street, San Francisco CA