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

February Artist of the Month, Kiah Denson, Displays a Special Flair

We are pleased to celebrate our February Artist of the Month, Kiah Denson. As a born and raised Austinite, Kiah uses the energy of nature and travel to create striking colorful and abstract images that leap off the canvas or page.

She graduated from Colorado College in 2005, earning a BA in Studio Art with a Distinction in Art. Upon graduation, Kiah started her own decorative painting business. After a few years, she began creating fine art again, and has been steadily expanding and exploring her practice ever since.  

Kiah lives in the outskirts of Austin, TX surrounded by green fields, trees and streams. She works primarily in her sunny home studio, and also maintains a space at Canopy where she meets with clients and displays her finished work (by appointment). When she isn’t creating art, she can likely be found wandering in nature or swimming with her furry four-legged sidekick, Kali

Kiah Denson Artist Austin
Featured Print, “What Remains III.”

Kiah states that her “artmaking process is a transfer and release of invisible, internal energy onto a visible, external surface.” Within her work, she utilizes the natural unpredictability and fluidity of her materials to her advantage to “explore various processes, aesthetics and techniques.” She describes the featured piece, ‘”What Remains III”, as initially birthed “as a triptych but became more [part] of a 3 part mini-series. It was the first time I incorporated watercolor into my work, which had previously only been acrylic and ink. I was enjoying the experiment; the watercolors were so mineral-y and unique. I was going for a lyrical, energetic composition that felt light, spacious, and earthy.”  These pieces inspired her to create a collection, “The Little Things,” which debuted at Austin’s own Link and Pin Gallery mid-2017.


“What Remains I”

Kiah gives high praise to Miller IDS and Dana Burton, Graphics Specialist for Miller IDS, when she states she doesn’t go anywhere else to document her small pieces. “It has always meant a lot to me that from the beginning she remembered me (and now, knows me) and goes the extra mile to make me and my work feel important. My pieces aren’t very easy to scan, but she works really hard to keep the details from dropping out, gets the whites white and the blacks black, adjusts weird blues and other colors that the scanner doesn’t like much, prints out multiple proofs, and sometimes, if it still doesn’t look right, she’ll adjust even more. It amazes me still that I can get that kind of service and attention for what I end up paying. Worth it every time. Plus, Dana is a genuine, delightful person, and she has even taken the time to come to some of my art events….I’m grateful that people like Dana and places like Miller exist and thrive, keeping the old school vibe alive.”

“What Remains II”

You can find Kiah’s work and story in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Austin Way Magazine, Inside Austin, Luxe San Diego. Additionally, you can find her work in galleries in Charlotte, NC, Houston, TX, and Greenwood, MS.

To see more of Kiah’s work and story, click here

September Featured Artist: Salvador Rodriguez

Our featured artist for September is a local painter who has always loved the wide-open landscapes of the Southwest. Born in Tijuana, Baja California Norte, he discovered his skills in drawing and painting. As a boy, he spent long periods appreciating and memorizing every detail of landscape and then put them into drawings or paintings. 

In high school, he participated and won first place at the local and national level, which won him a scholarship in the workshop at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California to study painting with Master Francisco Chavez Corrujedo. Here, he participated in several group exhibitions.

His work is the result of a detailed observational study of nature, which can be seen in the composition and balance of loud and soft colors, producing pleasure and tranquility to contemplate. 

To see more of his work, visit his website here.

Christy Stallop painting of Lustre Pearl

Featured February Artist: Christy Stallop

Christy Stallop painting of Lustre Pearl
Christy Stallop painting of Lustre Pearl

Christy started her career in art as a children’s book illustrator and was the illustrator chair for the Austin chapter of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators) for 10 years. She has several published titles and was chosen to illustrate the 2011 Texas Teens Read! program funded by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Her Illustrations turned to fine art with her Succulent Series. The paintings began as an homage to El Paso, the city where she grew up. Currently, Christy is working on a Grackle Series (a bird found locally) as well as an Austin Series, a love letter from the artist’s perspective. Christy works in watercolor, ink, acrylic, and oil.

Christy works in watercolor, ink, acrylic, and oil. Contact Christy and see more of her work at her website, her Facebook page, on Instagram and on Twitter.

Texas Cake House Features Our Very Own Natalie Sideserf

Sideserf website
Sideserf website

Congrats to our former Miller IDS employee Natalie Sideserf and her husband Dave for landing their own Food Network show, called Texas Cake House!!

Natalie makes truly unique, amazing cakes that you have to see to believe. After launching Sideserf Cake Studio in 2013, they have gotten lots of attention.

And when you combine their remarkable cakes with their bubbly personalities, the result is a show that is sure to be a winner. Watch them on their KVUE or go to their website to learn more.

And to think, we knew them when! Thanks to them, we can all eat cake!

Featured Artist: Tom Shefelman, In Memoriam by Luci Miller

Paintings pictured to the left are: “Our Courtyard,” the fountain at Westminster, home to Tom and Janice; and the Central Presbyterian Church chancel, completed in November and Tom’s final painting. As our featured artist, a print of “Our Courtyard” is on display through January at both Miller IDS locations.

Our featured artist this month is the very special Tom Shefelman who passed away last month. This is, in effect, my written tribute to Tom as I knew him. You can read about him online on many websites and articles, some of which are listed at the end of this piece.

As an artist Tom was most publicly recognized for his architecture. He had an amazing number of interesting projects but he personally favored churches over all others. His websites show enthusiasm for research and sketches. In architecture he was a collaborator early on, both with other urban planning phenoms (including Alan Taniguchi, David Minter and Jim Nix), and in “teaming” on public space planning with Coffee Crier, Villava-Cotera and others. After studying at both UT Austin and Harvard, his career began at Kuehne Brooks and Barr followed by Emerson Fehr, and then on to Shefelman/Nix. Three amazing firms with amazing project history.

Tom designed numerous churches and I found that his design of the current Central Presbyterian Church dates back to 1955; his design of the church and the stained glass windows remain timeless and beautiful. His most recent painting is of the chancel (also featured here). Fittingly, Tom’s memorial service will be held in this beautiful place of worship this Saturday, January 14th at 11am.

Interesting project mentions include Lower Waller Creek Development Plan in 1982; design of the Starr Building back in 1954 for American Bank, now where McGarrah Jesse is located; and renovation of the Stephen F Austin Hotel in the ‘80s.

Tom was an accomplished watercolorist who partnered with his wife Janice illustrating children’s books she authored. His watercolors also include renderings of the lovely buildings he saw on his lifelong travels with Janice. Tom’s earliest artistic talents were focused on drawing and cartooning; he is quoted as saying “I don’t remember ever wanting to be an artist, I just was.”

To read more about Tom visit:

Michael Barnes Statesman 

Cindy Widner @Curbedaustin (with links to Shefelman Nix and Shefelman Books)

Austin History Center Tom W Shefelman records and drawings:

Our own featured article about Tom from 2015

Historic Austin Home Featured on Miller IDS 40th Annual Calendar.

emily-little-house-adj-cropWe appreciate that our neighbor, Emily Little, allowed us to feature her historic home on the cover of the Miller IDS 2017 Calendar.

Built in 1893, the Rogers-Lyons House is an excellent example of a Victorian-style brick residence. The home was constructed by Martin E. Rogers, bridge foreman for the A&NW railroad, who lived in the house with his wife, Addie Loving Rogers, until his death in 1942.

In 1944, the home was purchased by Lewis D. Lyons, one of Austin’s most prominent black citizens and land holders, who owned and operated the red brick grocery store at 518 East 6th Street.  Mr. Lyons was a lay leader at Wesley Chapel Methodist Church, a trustee at Samuel Huston College, secretary of the Friend in Need Society of Austin and was known as “Black Mayor of East Austin.”  Mr. Lyons was the only black bondsman in Austin at the time of his death in 1944. Mr. Lyons’ widow continued to live at the house and married Mr. Jerry Bell in 1951. Mr. Bell moved into the house and was employed by Governor Allan Shivers for over 30 years as chauffeur and houseman and was on staff during the seven and one-half years the Shivers family lived in the Texas Governor’s Mansion.

After Mr. Bell moved from the Rogers-Lyons house in 1984, the house was acquired by present owner Emily Little. 

We are proud to showcase the home on our calendar. You can order your own calendar on our website.

Go Big this Holiday: Large Banners at Rock Rose

‘Tis the season to make your business stand out. At Austin’s hottest new shopping district, Domain Northside, that is happening, thanks to some pretty outstanding large banners that run along Rock Rose. Just opened in time for the holidays, the sparkling new restaurants, stores and bars along Rock Rose are already getting a lot of media and shopper attention.

We produced many of these large banners for the hot shopping district. It’s a great way to capture the attention of your audience and excited customers.

Whether signage for indoor, outdoor, retail, fundraising, conferences, for walls, windows or hanging, go big, and let’s make your business sparkle this holiday!

img_4415img_4420 img_4422


Community Corner: KLRU’s Austin City Limits “Hall of Fame” Event

A part of Austin History
A part of Austin History


KLRU is renowned for the Austin City Limits televised live broadcasting. And the taping of the show has been a desirable ticket to have for decades – over 4 decades to be exact.  Premiering in 1974 with Willie Nelson, the show was created as a response to PBS’s request that local stations develop individual content.  The show has become the longest running music program in television history and has been recognized in many significant ways.

A new event gaining momentum is the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. The ACL Hall of Fame event was established in 2014 to celebrate the legacy of legendary performing artists and special individuals who have played a vital part in the pioneering music series’ remarkable 40+ years as a music institution.

Consistently Eye-catching Signage and Messaging

Inductees this year were Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, B.B. King, and Dick Peterson, whose journey began and ended at KLRU in Austin, playing a vital part in producing ACL. Performers included Willie Nelson, Mavis Staples, Rodney Crowell, Gary Clark Jr., Billy Gibbons, B.B. King Band, Taj Mahal, and Eve Monsees.

Sponsorship opportunities help benefit KLRU-TV; look for opportunites in the spring of 2017 and ticket sales to follow. Watch – the opportunities go quickly!

The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame is located at The Moody Theater and consists of a photo gallery, timeline/anthology mural, and an interactive online library of Austin City Limits content.

Miller IDS GM Steve Coyle & KLRU’s Sr. VP of Development Lori Bolding
Window graphic showcases Austin skyline





We love table covers
We love table covers





Featured Artist: Don Collins

emily-little-house-adj-cropThis month we honor the work of Don Collins, whose beautiful artwork has graced our annual calendar for each of the past 40 years. Don has produced approximately 400 works for our calendars, allowing us to share his passion with our customers.

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.

For the beautifully restored Austin house that graces the cover of the 2017 Miller Calendar, Collins made a late fall visit after the thick tree cover had shed its leaves.

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, Order your 2017 calendar today on our website.