William Murray was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. Before beginning his painting career, Murray served in the Coast Guard on the Great Lakes and trapped lobster in Nova Scotia. Murray holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MFA from the University of Minnesota. From 1977 to 2003, Murray was the fine arts instructor at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater. In 2001 Murray’s work won first prize in Artist Magazine’s landscape competition. Murray lives in St. Paul.
"It is difficult to make statements about so personal an endeavor as making art. I have always felt that the artist is a worker like anyone else. The more time you give to your chosen profession, the more confident you become. It is the entire process of making my art that pushes me forward. What I look for in other paintings or drawings, regardless of style or medium, is the process and the craftsmanship. I want to know and feel that the artist is highly skilled and pushes that skill. I feel that only then can the artist’s final effort be appreciated fully."