This December, we honor the work of Don Collins, whose beautiful artwork has graced our annual calendar for each of the past 41 years. Don has produced approximately 400 works for our calendars, allowing us to share his passion with our customers. To order copies of our 2018 calendar on our website, click here. As always, the calendars are free.
Don has embraced hunting unique sites on back roads, long-deserted main streets and historical libraries in Texas for decades. The special sites include a story – be it a story of getting onto the property to take a photo, a story of the building itself, or a tale involving the folks he met on his adventures. His drawings and paintings breathe life back into these old homes, barns, courthouses, shanties and structures that he has chosen. Don authored the book, Traces of Forgotten Places: An Artist’s Thirty-Year Exploration and Celebration of Texas as It Was sharing some of these stories and drawings.
Raised in Parker County west of Fort Worth, Don worked as a commercial artist after serving in the Army during the Korean War and graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. Though he produced a wide range of images for commercial accounts ranging from builders, architects, book publishers and NASA, Don now concentrates on landscapes, character studies, and nostalgia pieces.
Collins is active in his “retirement”, having recently published a colorful children’s book featuring animals of all kinds visiting doctors and dentists. He is involved with several DFW art organizations, accepts several commissions yearly, and travels abroad, with a trip to Africa scheduled in 2017. Additional work and contact information are available on his website, www.dchandart.com.
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.
March’s paintings and pastels are colorful and expressionistic, reflecting our perception of and interaction with favorite places and subject matter; in the context of physical places, emotional states of mind, or a point in time that we cherish from our own, unique, individual journey that we all make on this earth.
Her paintings express self-awareness, personal and community accountability, the beauty of nature and the complex relationships between humans and the natural world.
She works in several different series of artworks, different themes (tropical, sea life, cactus, abstracts, Nordic landscapes, hill country, abstracts, animals and Austin night skyline cityscapes). Her tropical and sea life paintings have been inspired by her travels to Hawaii, Cancun and Port Aransas,Texas. Her mountain and hills paintings and pastels reflect her visual experience of living in Norway and subsequent visits there, as well as living in the Texas Hill Country.
March became aware of her interest in art at an early age, and began drawing and painting as soon as she could pick up a pencil and paintbrush. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with concentration in Studio Art/Painting and Drawing. March works in a variety of media: oils or acrylics on canvas, charcoal, graphite, oil pastels and chalk pastels. She also attended the Oslo International Summer School in Oslo, Norway, with studies in Norwegian art history and Norwegian studio art. Visit her at Facebook: March Mattingly Fine Art, on Instagram as: March Mattingly Fine Art or her website.
Artists enjoy selling their artwork. We hope you will contact them if you are interested in their work!
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.
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.