San Murata and the The Truth about Art

Anyone who meets San Murata knows that he is someone whom you won’t soon forget. Lively, charismatic and honest; he is certainly a true reflection of his art. He currently lives in the small historic town of Grafton where he loves to paint the beautiful Northumberland countryside. He also enjoys spending time in Quebec during the colder months to paint. The painting on the front cover is a scene from winter, one of the things San says he likes most about Canada, particularly in Quebec.

San grew up in Japan, with admittedly a stricter social system, which encourages all children to work hard in school and go to university. San’s father was a banker and wanted his children to be professionals, so San studied at the University of Musashi in Tokyo, and although he says he wasn’t the best student, he graduated with a degree in Economics. He, too, worked at a banking job but it was always his dream to one day be an artist.

In the late 60’s, San travelled to Canada to “have a look around”, and he liked what he saw. He liked Canadian people and their free style, and decided to stay. He made Toronto his new home and further, made the transition from banking into the art world. He entered many art competitions and was soon recognized for his graphic design skills. This eventually lead to a career in graphic design for network television, a career that San admits was less about the actual art and more about the design and details that go into making a show.
After many years working for CityTV, GlobalTV and the CTV National News, San was ready to realize his dream of becoming an artist. For the past twenty years he has been painting landscapes with a self-described ‘naïve style.’ His main medium is gouache – opaque pigments ground in water and then thickened with a glue-like substance. This medium is used to shape the relationship between the subjects on the canvas. The result somehow gives the viewer a felling about the painting – a feeling of joy.

Today, at 76, he still enjoys painting and says he is improving every day. He says “with age comes experience and with experience comes the truth.” He goes on to say that everything is finally beautiful, the truth opens up everything. Further, imaginations adds another dimension to it all. Painting for San is telling the truth; the truth that is in his heart. The love and passion he has for painting, such things are important and they come out onto the canvas. This is the truth in his art.

Although we have focused on his painting here, San is also an accomplished jazz violinist. Of his talents he says “whether on canvas or in a jazz club, I want to provide an opportunity to experience joy.” Indeed, he has succeeded.

San Murata is currently featured on the cover of The Link magazine. For more information about this artist please go to  


Popular Posts