Be careful not to bump into that large easel and oversize canvas if you are fortunate enough to be invited to Sasha Murphy’s apartment at Residences at Deer Creek. “It’s like walking into an art gallery,” muses Marcia Zellers, Director of Sales and Marketing. “We probably should add a few more walls for all her fantastic paintings!” Sasha’s paintings are so unique in subject matter and it’s no wonder—her life story is far from ordinary as well. By the way, Sasha first started to paint at age 65. Hold that thought!
Sasha’s parents had a unique career. They were actual circus performers at the turn of the century in the country of Georgia. In her” gallery” there is a large wedding photograph of her parents along with smaller photographs of her mother and father, in beautifully ornate costumes, posing with their horses. They performed tricks while riding.
The family came to America, and like many immigrants during that time, settled in Chicago. Sasha likes to ask who knows about the Chicago Stockyards, because although long gone, she grew up right across from them on the famous south side of the city. She recalls visiting The Art Institute of Chicago and being amazed by the paintings. No, she did not begin to paint after that visit.
Sasha married and had the good fortune to live on an American Army base in Germany. Her husband performed helicopter repair; he was also awarded the Bronze Star. So Sasha and her new family enjoyed cities such as Stuttgart, where her daughter was born. “The Russian zone of Berlin was so dark and gloomy, not at all like life on the Western side,” she explains. They returned to the United States and Sasha likes to laugh about one child born in Stuttgart, the next in Las Vegas! Eventually they lived in Chicago suburbs again but when her husband finally retired, the couple moved to Munster to be nearer their daughter who lives in Highland.
“My kids were grown and I wanted to do something, something different. I didn’t think about being age 65 or that I never had painted or even drawn anything, I was just interested and wanted to learn,” says Sasha as she describes how and why she got started.