August Artist of the Month: Susannah Blanton

             Miller Imaging and Digital Solutions is proud to present the August 2018 Artist of the Month, Susannah Blanton and her piece The Beginning of the Beginning. Originally from Fort Worth, Blanton was heavily influenced by the creative spirits of her parents who exposed her to all forms of art. Blanton’s work also has great influence from the LA Artist community social commentary during the early 2000s.  In her work, Susannah Blanton views painting as a medium to illustrate a message and tell a story. Specifically, in her collection, The Beginning of the Beginning, Blanton highlights the fragility of human life and is the expression of Blanton’s own grief.

“The Beginning of the Beginning”

               The collection and our chosen piece uses several symbolic elements to describe Blanton’s grief and coping of the loss of both her mother and brother-in-law. The use and power of water, horses, and vintage advertisements aid Blanton in describing the loss of control one feels throughout life. Spilled water is an incredibly powerful image, as to Blanton water “[is] a symbol for death and/or the voyage into the afterlife.” Within the piece, she attributes “the vulnerability depicted in the falling horse [as a reminder of] how fragile life can be.” To Blanton the “piece establishes the symbolism for most of [her] subsequent work, where water came to represent the afterlife and horses represent us in the physical body.” The chosen piece, featured right, explores much more than the literal but the fragility of the human experience and the lack of control humans have throughout life.

An example Blanton’s work exhibiting the influence of an vintage advertisement.

Additionally, the influence of vintage advertisements taken out of their original contexts throughout her collection, give her work a deeper, more complicated meaning that there is the “possibility that under the obvious is something less perfect that demands to be heard.”

Come by either of Miller’s locations to see a reprint of Susannah Blanton’s The Beginning of the Beginning now. 

View more of Blanton’s work here or contact her at blantondesign@me.com.

June/July Artist of the Month: Angela Diehl

Diehl’s “Rotterdam”

Angela Diehl earns a living as a medical illustrator but has always had a fascination with maps and a love of fabric and quilting. Diehl pursued a biology degree, but her work never lingered far from incorporating her interest together.

For the piece chosen, ‘Rotterdam,’ Diehl draws form the meditative process of cutting geometric shapes from fabric in a mixed media. She considers such work as a welcome break from technical drawing. “I always liked incorporating different types of materials in my paintings…I dug up the fabric collection and whatever other materials I thought I might want to work with.” Her inspiration for the collection drew from her desire to preserve a collection of maps she had inherited from her uncle.   Specifically, in her process she begins her process by focusing on physical objects rather than specific story or message she might have in mind.  Diehl’s ‘Rotterdam’ exemplifies the “highly organized visual interpretations of our physical environment. The foundation of her art is organic and always changing, but the structure from the geometric patterns and shapes in her work represents structure, order, and control. Maps, as Diehl notes, are comforting because they “create the illusion of having some level of control over our surroundings.”

Her background in traditional painting and biology gives her a unique view of the world and power within her work.  She specializes in traditional art and digital multimedia with a specialty in scientific, medical and biological subject matter and has worked on a wide variety of educational materials.   Her illustrations and multimedia have been provided for peer reviewed articles, grant applications, teaching materials, and websites.

Diehl has honored Miller IDS and our Fine Art Specialist, Dana Burton, with an incredible recommendation: “Last year I decided to make prints of my work to sell at EAST [East Austin Studio Tour].  Someone recommended Miller… The quality of their work is excellent – Dana has an incredible eye for color and detail and was very persistent in getting the digital versions as close to the original paintings as possible, and I was pleasantly surprised by her results.  I will use their services in the future and always recommend them to fellow artists.  More importantly, however, every person I interacted with during my 6, 7, or 8 trips to their office was friendly, thorough, attentive, and very busy but patient – which I really appreciate these days.  They are a great group of people to do business with.”

Check out Diehls work here or email her at diehlang@gmail.com.

May Artist of the Month: Chelsea Phillips

Chelsea Phillip’s “Meditation Tree”

Miller IDS is proud to announce our May 2018 Artist of the Month: Chelsea M. Phillips with her piece “Mediation Tree.” As the child of parents in the military, Chelsea feels strongly about calling Austin home. She has formed deep-roots in the heart of the lone star state and has established herself as an artist, a mother, and an entrepreneur of her own business, Tiny Tails to You!.  A graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in political science, Chelsea honed her skills as an artist through classes at Austin Community College.

“Meditation Tree” is the result of Chelsea’s greater inspirations: the people, animals, and plants that surround her. She notes that in her images, she seeks to combine people and nature to express a deeper connection to the world around us. Chelsea notes that “Frequently, my own emotions and experiences are expressed in my art, which I use as a form of meditation.”

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Miller IDS is proud to highlight a piece focusing on the practice of mediation. With this piece and through her other pieces, Chelsea emphasizes the practice using her art as a form of meditation.  She states that making art helps her deal with periods of anxiety and stress, “the slow, creative process of painting and drawing allows me to become present and in touch with my emotions.”

Chelsea Phillip’s “Whale Favorites.”

Art is an expression that allows Chelsea to feel both more grounded and fulfilled. Chelsea’s piece as well as a small biography will be hung in both Miller IDS locations until early June.

We love hearing positive feedback from the artists who trust Miller IDS with scanning, archiving, and reproducing their pieces. Thank you to Chelsea for this glowing recommendation of our Fine Art Expert, Dana Burton: “Dana and Miller IDS have been amazing to work with. Dana’s ability to match the colors in my original art on the prints people order is spot-on. Dana always works with me to meet my deadlines and is so kind and easy to work with. It makes my day every time I visit or pick something up from Miller IDS, their entire staff is so helpful and fun to talk to. I wouldn’t go anywhere else for print work!”

 

You can find more of Chelsea’s work at her website and on her Instagram at @C.Philly.

March Artist of the Month: Bill Rider

Rider’s ‘Buddy Guy’

March 2018 Miller IDS Artist of the Month is none other than the painter and musician Bill Rider and his piece of famed blues musician Buddy Guy. Rider is an exceptionally talented artist with paintings spanning many different styles.  His many interpretations of western scenes, personalities and landscapes has made him a particular favorite to many art lovers throughout the world.

Rider completed one year of art school at Illinois Wesleyan, four years as a technical illustrator in the U.S. Air Force, and three years in the University of Texas Art School.  A beloved teacher, throughout his career he taught Laguna Gloria watercolor classes for 15 years as well as at Austin Community College for 9 years and the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of Austin Professional Artists, a founder of Waterloo Watercolor Group, a member of the San Antonio Art Group, and the Artists Alliance of the Hill Country. He currently owns The Barn at Bell Springs in Dripping Springs and has devoted much of his life to the art world.

Bill has restored 2,607 art projects since 1968, including the Texas Pavilion at Hemisphere Park.  He was the recipient of the Art in Texas Award and his winning painting was purchased by U.S. Representative Jake Pickle. Additionally, two Presidents of the United States purchased his paintings, including President Lyndon Johnson. Click here to see more of Bill’s art and get in touch with Bill, here

Oct / Nov Artist of the Month: Ethan Azarian

Our Artist of the month for both October AND November is Ethan Azarian. His painting, 1870 Our Lady of Guadalupe, is featured in our East 7th Street location right now. 
 
“I live and work full-time as a visual artist in Austin, Texas. I realized early on in my career that it was important to diversify, be open to and embrace the many different ways there are of making a living from creating art. One way to do this was to create a space to exhibit my paintings, so I turned my house into a gallery and called it the In House Gallery, which existed from 1999 to 2014. In 2015 Blue Cow Studio was born. Blue Cow Studio is both studio and gallery space which we had built in the back yard. My wife Melissa and I exhibit our own work as well as host and curate exhibitions with Texas based artists. 
 
Recently I have been concentrating on large public works of art in the form of murals. Some of these murals have been funded through the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division and are collaborations with local elementary and high school students as well as members of the community in Austin. In September 2016 I was invited to Angers, France to create a large outdoor mural with art students at Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts. Through these community arts projects (both locally and internationally) I realized just how much I enjoy and am inspired by working with fellow artists and members of the community. I enjoy sharing my artistic process as well as connecting with communities I am working with.
 
In addition I exhibit my paintings in galleries, cafes, libraries and schools. I have permanent works on display at the Robert B. Green Clinic and the University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas as well as the Wilton Mall in Saratoga Springs, New York. “
 
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Featured December Artist: Don Collins

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.

June Featured Artist: Julie Ahmad

I am currently in love with alcohol ink and fluid paintings. Not only are the colors vibrantly exquisite, they seem to have a life all their own.  I’m blissfully immersed in the process as I experiment with different unconventional tools and techniques; eye droppers, spritzer bottles, straws, q-tips and blow dryers have all been repurposed.  Even traditional surfaces have been reinvented as I’ve discovered that painting directly onto the glass and then adding a plain white paper background to enhance the ink is providing remarkable results. 

I, as the artist, often feel as if I am merely a vehicle for the application and am delighted to be able to witness as the images unfold. There are many surprises that occur as the painting flows and organically takes shape.

I’ve shown with West Elm Austin, EAST & WEST Austin Studio Tour, Women & Their Work and currently am licensing my work with iCanvas domestically and Artist Lane Internationally.  I have been commissioned to create one-of-a-kind pieces for several collectors around the world. I can’t express enough how gratifying it is when a piece of your art (soul) is welcomed into someone’s home. It’s an honor that is not taken for granted.

Living almost a decade in New York City, working in the fashion industry, texture and color come second nature to me, the cross over to fine art was natural.  The city is where my taste and style was molded, I love bringing that cosmopolitan energy into my work and sharing it with the world.

I attribute my life as an artist to my daughter. When I was pregnant, I often felt this strong burning desire to be creative and work with my hands. There was some kind of organic correlation between my body being in the state of creation and my heart urging my hands to do the same.

I’m currently living in South Central Austin with my husband and our sweet baby girl that we just adore to pieces! Please visit my website www.julieahmad.com to find out more.

March Featured Artist: March Mattingly

March Mattingly is a central Texas artist. Miller IDS is proud to support her.
Miller IDS is proud to support Central Texas artist March Mattingly

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!

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/