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.
Due to popular demand, we’re adding a second date for the Fine Art Reproduction Seminar!
Join us on Saturday, March 26th or April 2nd from 1pm-3pm and learn helpful tips and important details that can make an impact on your artwork, making reproductions cost effective and color accurate.
There are still a few seats available for March 26th if interested, and 10 seats available for April 2nd.
Whether you want to sell prints of your work, give prints to friends and family, or archive a quality scan before you sell your original masterpiece, Dana Burton of Miller IDS can help you navigate the decisions – and explain the relative benefits of those decisions. Register today!
Olivia 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?”
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.