Leigh Murphy moved to Jacksonville, Florida, at the age of two. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from the University of Florida, Gainesville, where she also studied marine biology. Murphy worked as a graphic artist, but after taking a course in watercolor in 1992, she eventually followed her love for art and nature, and turned to painting full time. Although she works largely in watercolor and has an affinity for marine studies, she is a versatile artist who paints in oil as well, creating large scale images of vintage aircraft – influenced by her upbringing in the Navy. Murphy has been the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and commissions, and maintains a busy exhibition schedule, primarily in Florida, in museums, galleries, and juried exhibitions. She still lives and works in Jacksonville.