July Featured Artist: Casie Warnke

Like most everyone, our July Featured Artist is fascinated by the human face. 


Casie Warnke has been drawing, including portraits, since she was a kid. As she became older, she realized that she had a fascination for people’s faces. She believes that she can feel people’s energy and that the eyes are truly the windows to the soul. She feels someone’s emotions through their face, and transfers it through her hands and fingers onto paper. As she says, “It’s a beautiful thing.” She is amazed that her work makes people feel things as well.

Since her parents really wanted her to go to college, she went to art school because it was the only thing she could think of that she was interested in. While she developed her craft somewhat in school, it didn’t really blossom until she moved to Austin and immersed herself in artist communities. That’s when she finally realized that she had truly found her purpose and now, she’s happy that she continues to improve. 

 

 

You can experience Casie’s talents at artbycasie@gmail.com and visit her website – www.artbycasie.com 

Miller IDS’ Featured August Artist

Our August artist, Heidi Miller Lowell, is a long-time Austin resident. First teaching in our public schools, she then launched the town’s beloved Artery, which offers an art collective,  summer camp and and provides nursing home classes in art.

The Artery’s goal is “for each artist to come away from each lesson with a sense of joy and desire to create more art“. Heidi’s extensive reading of current brain research has informed the Artery’s teaching philosophy, believing that just as stress makes brain waves more active and agitated, art calms them. The school concentrates on product over process and goes out to many of the area’s elder care homes regularly.

Heidi feels art is an expression of being alive; its creation is an outlet for all the joy, hope, sadness and love in one’s heart. Though she has used multiple media, watercolors are her favorite medium at this time; watercolors require that you release some control, which she finds meditative. She paints whatever inspires her, often from nature. “Pelican”, featured here is a delicately beautiful rendering of the bird, whose meaning as a spirit animal connotes confidence and calm.

Printing this and other works at Miller IDS, Heidi enjoys coming in as she feels “everyone is so nice, down to earth and friendly – very Austin! – and Dana has been so helpful with my prints”. More of Heidi’s work may be enjoyed on the Artery’s website.

Miller IDS’ Featured July Artist

galveston 1965 adj clean_smallThis month, we’re happy to feature the work of Austin’s renowned artist, illustrator and underground cartoonist, Jim Franklin.

Born in Galveston, Jim studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and moved to New York before returning home to Texas. With other artists and musicians, he opened Austin’s iconic music hall, the Vulcan Gas Company. Gilbert Shelton created the venue’s first posters, then Jim took the job, drawing his first trademark armadillo, which soon evolved into the symbol and virtual folk hero of Texas hipsters. His art appeared regularly in Austin’s underground newspaper, The Rag and his own Armadillo Comics.

Ever creative, Jim is currently focusing on oil paintings, such as our featured “Galveston-1965” of a beach scene in his home town. This and more works may be seen on his website, http://jim-franklin-arts.myshopify.com/

Miller IDS’ Featured May Artist

barton 002 country house adj_200This is the perfect month to feature the work of Greg Barton, as the Austinite’s artwork will appear in the West Austin Studio Tour May 14/15 & 21/22, which Miller IDS is proud to sponsor.

Greg’s unique style of using his fingers – as well as the occasional rag – to apply paint produces almost Impressionistic images which strongly evoke a sense of place. Most of his work is of landscapes, either his beloved Texas or Cape Cod scenes, all of which draw the viewer in by sharing the colors and light of the scene effectively. The image featured here, entitled “Gray Day 2” was inspired by summer visits to the Cape marshes and their timeless salt-weathered houses.

For more of Greg’s work, please come by to meet him and view his work up close at the Linc Collective Artist Group during the West Austin Studio Tour, or visit his website.

Miller IDS’ Featured April Artist

EL TORERO RGB ADJ2 crop_600wThis month, we are pleased to feature the artwork of Javier G. Corona, the founder of another multi-generational Austin business. Javier and his wife, Amelia, founded Austin’s beloved Las Palomas Restaurant in 1983. He was a sensitive and talented artist; he painted, wrote poetry, composed music, played the guitar and designed his family’s homes in both Mexico City and Austin.

Born in 1927 in Mexico City, he studied accounting, advertising, and art at universities in Mexico City and New York City. After graduation, he spent three years in Canada, working for the Mexican consulate in Montreal, then moved back to Mexico, where he worked for the American Embassy in Mexico City for 28 years in the office of the cultural attaché, responsible for promoting American music, dance, and visual arts and traveled extensively. Upon retirement, the American government honored him with permanent U.S. resident visas for his family and they chose Austin as their new home.

Javier passed away in 2003, and his daughter MariCarmen Corona Dale now runs the restaurant. Some of Javier’s paintings may be seen at Las Palomas, including many painted during his Abstract Impressionism phase, such as “El Torero” featured here. He is remembered as an exceptional husband, father, son, brother, grandfather, friend, artist and – always – a gentleman.

Thanks for the Stars!

David Bowie Aladdin SaneOlivia Rains, an Austin-based artist, wanted to reproduce her Bowie-inspired artwork for the recent David Bowie Tribute Art Show at Jerry’s Artorama. Olivia tells us “I wanted prints that would look exactly like my paintings and wanted to find a local art reproduction business with great quality. I have tons of artist friends in town and almost all recommended Miller. I was floored and ecstatic when I picked up the prints; they were perfect and with the fastest turnaround ever and a great price for the quality. The people at Miller are very professional and very helpful, translating what I’m looking for into print terms. The first run sold out and I ordered more, plus ordered stickers. Can I give you six stars?”

Miller IDS’ Featured March Artist

Miller courtney holder broken spokeThis month, our Featured Artist is Courtney Holder.  Courtney began oil painting at age 9, and it’s still her favorite medium, especially for personal pieces like our featured “Broken Spoke”. She believes “oils deliver a spectrum and depth of color and flexibility that’s hard to beat and that punch of color that really resonates with the neon colors and swirl of movement that permeate the music and dancing that takes center stage at places like the Broken Spoke”.

Courtney wants her paintings to tell a story – and this painting beautifully tells a story about a nostalgic place encrusted with emotions and memories that mean so much to generations of Austinites. The Spoke is one of the first places Courtney heard live music as a kid, and it’s where she later went boot scoot’n with her now husband. In her own words, “you may recognize some of the regulars in the painting; while the city grows with the new wave of hipsters and progressives, some Austin mainstays dig in their heels and refuse to change. When I drive by the Spoke on my way home, with all its character hanging out all over the place, and surrounded by shiny new towering apartments and lofts, all that rusted metal, dirt and neon glow the Spoke gives off just makes me smile. It’s good to see, that some stories never change.” You can enjoy more of Courtney’s artwork on her website.

Miller IDS’ February Featured Artist

Poppy Fields ForeverMiller IDS’s Featured Artist this month is Lynn Kessel. As a child, Lynn played with art extensively, encouraged by her artist father. However, college and a business career took her time and attention and it was twenty years later before she heard the call and took up a brush again.

Also changing career paths, Lynn returned to school for her Master’s degree and is now a Counselor working with at-risk youth in Williamson County, and has been instrumental in successfully infusing art into the program.

Lynn prefers watercolors and acrylics, primarily painting the flora and fauna she finds near her Georgetown home or on her travels. Her bright colors and tight focus bring the natural beauty of her subject directly to the observer. Her images appear on multiple gift items and her paintings are sold through the Artisans Connect Gallery in Georgetown and she exhibits her work annually at the Georgetown Red Poppy Festival in April.  Her website is www.lynnkesselart.com.

How a savvy businesswoman helped bring Antone’s back downtown

miller antone'sFrom today’s Austin Business Journal:

Thanks to the business and real estate matchmaking skills of Meredith Sanger at the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Antone’s blues club is settling into its new home.

Antone’s co-owner Will Bridges said the Alliance “is really under-credited” for finding appropriate real estate for local businesses in the tight and pricey downtown market.

Bridges and his partners, including musician Gary Clark Jr. and Susan Antone, had been looking long and hard for the right place to re-establish Antone’s, which had its genesis in 1975 when Clifford Antone opened the blues club at Sixth and Brazos streets in a former furniture warehouse. Over the years, the club moved several times.

The club’s cachet survived — greats such as B.B. King and Muddy Waters performed there — even when Clifford Antone served two prison terms stemming from drug trafficking and money laundering charges. He died in 2006 at age 56.

In subsequent years, the club operated at Fifth and Lavaca streets but moved to East Riverside Drive in 2013.

“We knew we had to represent Antone’s in the right way,” Bridges said. “We talked to a lot of people and made a lot of runs at a lot of places. We were looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Enter Sanger, who enjoys a challenge. She lured nationally lauded Houndstooth Coffee to a spot in the Frost Bank Tower and persuaded Portland, Oregon-based Voodoo Doughnuts to open its first Texas store on East Sixth Street.

“Will gave me an idea of where they wanted to be and I could tell that the Maxey’s building didn’t look like what he wanted — at least at first,” Sanger said. “But once he got in there he realized it was a hidden gem in downtown.”

Bridges expected it to be “all offices, but then we saw the beams and columns, I just knew that was the spot. Something with soul, great bones. It just spoke to us.” Additional information>>>

Miller IDS’ Featured Artist January 2016

Miller don collins noah cox house 600This month, we are especially proud to highlight the work of Don Collins, whose beautiful artwork has graced our annual calendar for each of the past 38 years! This decades-long process of calendar design began over coffee when Robert Lambie Miller expressed dissatisfaction with the commercial calendars then available, and suggested that Don do something on a more local level. The result was well received, hence the 38-year tradition. You may recognize the featured work “Noah Cox House, Roma, Texas” from the cover of our 2016 calendar.

Don has traveled the back roads and long-deserted main streets of Texas for years, searching for unique images reflecting a Texas that existed in the past. His inspired drawings and paintings breathe life back into the old homes, courthouses, shanties and industrial sites he finds.

Raised in rural Parker County, Don attended NTAC and Texas Tech before army service during the Korean conflict, completing his final year at UT Austin. Settling in Austin, Don was an active commercial/easel artist for 52 years, serving a broad array of clients, including architects, builders, NASA contractors, publishers, state agencies, and many others.  As a painter, he participated in scores of venues throughout the Southwest, initially depicting wildlife, and later broadening into character studies, landscapes, and historic/vernacular architecture.  Still active at a somewhat more relaxed pace, he welcomes commission work, and is at the board daily, doing art for the sheer pleasure of it.  Don has also co-authored the popular book, Traces of Forgotten Places: An Artist’s Thirty-Year Exploration and Celebration of Texas as It Was. Don has produced more than 300 works for our calendars, allowing us to share his passion for our state with our customers.  Additional work and contact information are available on his website.