This 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/
To celebrate June, we are featuring the bright and beautiful artwork of Melissa Knight. Melissa works with batik, a centuries-old wax-dye resist process traditionally used to make designs/patterns on fabric.
Melissa dabbled part-time for years in multiple media, seeking a creative outlet but had never considered making art full time. However, when their child was born almost seven years ago, Melissa’s full-time artist husband, Ethan Azarian, encouraged her to quit her job and take the time to fully develop the batik work she had been trying. She creates collage designs, preferring this style to the more traditional batik design, enjoying the surprises of batik; the crackles and the layers of colors that emerge in the wax-dye process. When inclusion in the Blue Genie Art Bazaar last year required more pieces, Melissa began working with Miller IDS to scan and print her batiks and the prints have proved quite popular, as they reproduce the textures and layers of the art. Inspired by the seasons, much of her work, such as the featured “Hummingbirds and Flowers”, includes local flora and fauna.
Melissa’s batiks may be seen on her website or currently at Mockingbird Domestics. Melissa also participates in the annual East Austin Studio Tour at her home studio Blue Cow Studio.
This 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.
This 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.
This 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’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.
This 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.
This month, we’re pleased to feature the work of Hugh Miles, a well-known and well-loved Austin artist. Many of us are familiar with his “Old School Hangout” shown here, a beautifully rendered and evocative piece which pulls the viewer right into the picture. Hugh’s work clearly communicates the mood of his subject; in his music oriented paintings, you can almost hear the melody!
Hugh showed early promise as an artist, winning a fine arts award for a drawing submitted through his local Boys Club in Knoxville. However, his life outside the Boys Club was challenging and he struggled with alcohol and drug addiction for several years before getting help. Several years sober, he now volunteers at his church and at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, reaching out to help others achieve the happiness he has worked hard to attain.
Together with other talented artists, Hugh Miles will be exhibiting at the 23rd Annual Art from the Streets Show & Sale at the Austin Convention Center December 5th and 6th. The always-popular show is an excellent opportunity to view the work of little-known artists and purchase their art before they become better known and higher priced! All proceeds go directly to the artists.
As Miller IDS produces print and fine art reproduction work for many local artists, we are proud to support both Big Medium’s 2015 East Austin Studio Tour and the associated Due East fundraiser, as well as last season’s West Austin Studio Tour. Austin has so many talented artists and artisans creating fine work and we are happy to help them showcase their art.
This year’s East Tour is happening over two weekends, November 14/15 and 21/22, so you have plenty of opportunities to participate. It’s a free, self-guided event and you can pick up a catalog and map at any Austin Public Library starting November 9th.
Our Featured Artist of the month, Flip Solomon, will be showing her work at the Canopy creative work space and studio on the tour – we hope you stop by to see her!