August Artist of the Month: JU Salvant

JU Salvant began her career in architectural drawing and commercial art, but soon gravitated to the fine arts. Her skillful perspective renderings and beautiful landscapes have been enthusiastically received for more than forty years. Her love of history has led to a highly successful series of paintings of historic buildings, sites and homes in Texas, where she lives and works, and in her native city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Many of Salvant’s paintings of Texas are collected in three books published by the University of Texas Press: The Historic Ranches of Texas, The Historic Seacoast of Texas and If These Wall Could Speak: The Historic Forts of Texas. Salvant has also illustrated a number of other historical books, including Land of Good Water, by Clara Stearns Scarbrough. Her work has been featured in Texas Highways Magazine seven times.

Much of her time is spent on commissions, creating art depicting the private ancestral, family and childhood homes of her clients. Salvant’s paintings and drawings are found in the art collections of two US Presidents, US Congressmen, governors and a former First Lady. Permanent hangings of Salvant’s artwork may be found in the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, D. C., the University of Texas Visitors Center, and Fort Concho Historical Museum in San Angelo, Texas. Galleries that have displayed her work are Evangeline Gallery in Lafayette, Louisiana, Merrill-Chase Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, and Sotheby’s of New York.

Teaching people to paint and draw is a passion for Salvant, and she regularly conducts art classes and workshops in Austin and Central Texas. A gifted instructor and mentor, she generously shares her knowledge of the basics of good drawing — perspective, light and shadow, and composition — as well as techniques of watercolor painting and ink drawing. To see more of her beautiful work and to order prints, go to her website.

June Artist of the Month: Sarita Geisel

Miller IDS is excited to announce our June 2019 Artist of the Month, Sarita Geisel, with her piece “On the Embankment.” Her work is an extension of her travels, dance and meditation. The piece we feature, “On the Embankment,” exemplifies the cool waters and ambiance of the Portugal coast. With the summer season comes travel and this piece captures the beauty and the excitement that comes from meeting new people and seeing new places.

Geisel came to Austin without ever having been to Texas or even having a job lined up. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Geisel decided on her 28th birthday that she would move somewhere new. Ten years later, she is still living and creating in the Austin area. An award-winning graphic designer and art director, Sarita has over ten years in designing and illustrating for the medical device industry. In her painting, she can capture a different meaning to what keeps people alive. From a young age, however, Geisel has needed to express herself through drawing and painting. For the past 14 years her favorite art medium has been acrylic on canvas and she enjoys experimenting with color, texture, and detail “to enhance the emotional experience and bring the story to life for the viewer.” Geisel’s art brings cities, places, and people to life.

 

“On the Embankment” is a rendition of a view from the bridge walking over from the city of Gaia to the city of Porto on an overcast day. Geisel captures the old city feeling that Europe gives a new traveler—the mixture of new feelings and old buildings. As the people mill about the markets in the background and the restaurant in the foreground, Sarita explores the familiarity of everyday life and the excitement of travel. She captures the vibrant fishing boat that evokes its own story, as well as the couple on the balcony carrying on a conversation.  We hope that Geisel’s “On the Embankment” will transport you to a serene (and cool) port city and allows your mind to wander to a new, but familiar place. 

Having worked with Miller for several years, Geisel had this to say: “Working with Dana is always a pleasure! I came to Miller IDS on high recommendations from another artist when I was getting ready for an art show and wanted to be able to sell prints of my paintings, in addition to originals. Dana goes above and beyond to get the color matching as close as possible to the original painting, I was very impressed by how much work she does to get it right. She’s so warm and I love how affordable and fast Miller IDS is to work with. The quality and customer service is top notch!”

Thank you for allowing us to feature your beautiful painting, Sarita. You can find more of Sarita’s work at her website.

May Artist of the Month: Mary Barton

We are honored to feature Mary Barton as our May Artist of the Month along with her piece “Spring Has Sprung.”  A Texas Panhandle native, Barton uses the inspiration of both West Texas and the Texas Hill Country throughout her work. She allows emotions and nature’s beauty to guide her process with each step she takes. Barton reworked “Spring Has Sprung” several times before making the blue, purple, and yellow flowers the center of attention. Now as we inch closer to summer, we at Miller IDS appreciate the vibrancy of  her work even more.

Barton grew up in Pampa, Texas in the Texas Panhandle.  After a few years in Lubbock at Texas Tech, she moved to Austin in 1989 and currently resides in the Wimberly area. Barton fell in love with the hills, trees, and water features of the Central Texas Hill Country, as seen in her subject matter for many years.  Barton graduated from Texas State University, after starting a family and has worked as a bookkeeper for the past 20 years while pursuing her passion for art. As she describes it, her focus on abstract art is the “balance between the battle and pull of [her] right and left brain.” For Barton, creativity and art is a family affair; as her grandmother, mother, and sister were all artists. Her first love, pottery, allowed her to feel grounded and connected as she formed sculptures from lumps of clay. 

More recently, she has branched out into abstract painting, by using the focus on nature’s beauty that certain spaces can evoke. Barton wants the technique and style of her work to be the recognizable aspect. She prefers nature and tropical ocean scenes for subject matter, but her work is heavily influenced by the seasons. For her piece “Spring has Sprung,” the striking blue, deep red, yellow and purple flowers lay in contrast with the light background which allows the colors to stand out while blending in. The blue in the background deepens the cooler shades and the technique emphasizes the growth of the flowers in the painting. We love how Barton captures all the excitement the ground has after an abundance of rain or an explosion of growth in a field. 

Barton wrote this incredible testimonial about working with Dana Burton, our Fine Arts Specialist and Miller IDS: “When I first met Dana, she immediately put me at ease with her incredible knowledge of the colors that would be necessary to reproduce an image that would even slightly represent the deep vibrant hues of the inks I use.  It is definitely a challenge that she was more than capable to accept and achieve.  After the first painting I brought in was ready for review, I was amazed at the quality and clarity that she was able to produce. It opened up my opportunities to be able to reproduce any painting without limitations to size or substrate. I instantly became a repeat customer and have been pleased with every image scan that she has worked on. Without a doubt, I would recommend Dana at Miller IDS to give you a quality archival image of your artwork.”

Thank you, Mary, for allowing us to feature you this month. You can see more of Barton’s work here or contact her via email at marybartonart@gmail.com

March 2019 Artist of the Month: Connie Adcock

Miller IDS is excited to announce our March 2019 Artist of the Month, Connie Adcock with her piece, “Gemstone Guitar.” As we emerge from our (albeit warm) winter, we find our city filled with live music, smiling faces, and lots of perfect days to go to Zilker Park or hang out on the patio of a great restaurant. Adcock’s piece uses bright colors to bring to life the vibrancy of the Austin music scene and is drawn from her life here in the Live Music Capital of the World. We were so inspired by the content and the colors of “Gemstone Guitar” and how they reflect springtime in Austin.

Formerly a first-grade teacher at Colorado Academy in Denver, Adcock retired in 2013 and made her way down to Austin. An art and education major in college, she had always used art during her teaching and now, in her retirement, Adcock focuses her time on creating art. In her exploration, Adcock has used her fascination with colors and repetitions found in nature as well intricate imaginative patterns to bring her art to life. In the beginning of her work, Adcock took on a realistic tone  by drawing inspiration from life experiences. In the past year, however, she branched out and is currently experimenting with a style that combines realism and the abstract. Currently, Adcock has original paintings in two galleries in Salado as well as Galveston, TX and prints of her work in various restaurants and gift shops in Austin and throughout Texas.

Adcock’s inspiration for “Gemstone Guitar” is drawn from her love and experiences of live music in Austin. She immerses herself in the emotions of her paintings and expresses her joy and passion for her work. She notes that in her art, these emotions “run the gamut from thoughtful and introspective to exuberant and wild.” She paints with bright, vivid colors which reflect her cheerful, optimistic, and positive outlooks and stance to life and art. Adcock’s work is heavily influenced by her life experiences including traveling and new discoveries, memories from childhood, and her imagination. “Gemstone Guitar” reminds us of the bright flowers and greenery that appear in Austin during this time of year as well as the live music you hear throughout the city as the weather gets better. As the city comes alive, Adcock has captures the emotional outpouring of excitement and new projects that reverberate throughout Austin. 

Thanks, Connie Adcock, for allowing us to feature you as our March 2019 Artist of the Month. You can find her work up in both of our stores now through March 31st and you can also see “Gemstone Guitar” on the windows of the Prima Dora Gift Shop next to Magnolia Café on South Congress Ave.

You can contact her at cadcocktx@gmail.com or feel free to visit her website at connieadcockart.com

Featured Graphics: Hensel-Phelps at ABIA

Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) is bringing the Austin cultural experience to all who stop by. The airport, just like Austin, is currently expanding to fit the growing needs of our funky, tech-based town by adding nine new gates and updating three existing gates. The new terminal will also feature an observation deck, a Delta Sky Lounge, and Austin-based restaurants such as 24 Diner, Toy Joy’s Yummi Joy, Parkside, Salvation Pizza, and more.  As we (and the 150+ people who move here each day) know, Austin is a special place with its own unique culture and vibe. Everyone who visits gets to experience that funky, but updated, Austin feel in the expansion and face-lift of ABIA.

One company propelling that push forward is general contractor and construction company, Hensel Phelps Construction who has worked with ABIA since 2013.  Although not Austin-born, the builder and contractor has worked hard to bring the Austin culture to our ever-expanding town and airport. The expanded terminal was inspired by Texas dance halls and the Austin Moontowers. For the past few months, Miller IDS worked with both Hensel Phelps and the Austin-based artist, Mila Sketch to bring new, vibrant and modern art to ABIA.

Hensel Phelps is proud of its Hensel Phelps Way. For them it is a collaborative approach that blends proven processes, innovative technology, and effective communication throughout every phase of the project lifecycle. Hensel Phelps worked with Austin-based, Russian-born artist Mila Sketch to bring her exciting and award winning modern- environmental art to ABIA as a continuation of the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places initiative.  The piece, “Urban Nature,” was drawn free hand on panels and feature recognizable Austin buildings as well as futuristic buildings we could maybe see in the future. The space in front of her mural will be a rotating selection of art as selected as part of the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places initiative.An incredibly accomplished artist, Sketch has produced many memorable murals you might have seen around Austin including Austin Howdy (on West 6th St), Austin Beat (at Encore Records), and These Walls Bring Us Together (between 4th and 5th streets at I-35). Sketch has also produced art for the Austin Parks Foundation, Ramen Tatsu-ya, CLIFF Bar, Google, SXSW Festival, Mazda USA, X-Games, Lifeproof and has won several awards throughout the US. 

Sketch first brought her art to Miller IDS’ Fine Art Specialist, Dana Burton, who took special care and 2 months to scan and color match 32 40″x 92″ panels. When the printed panels were not ready in time for their installation from another company, Miller IDS swiftly came in and printed and installed a solution using vinyl.

Phil Randel, Office Engineer for the ABIA Term/Apron Expansion and Improvements team, had this to say regarding working with Miller IDS:  “Working with Miller IDS was great. Ryan Bruce and Dylan Pender did everything we needed them to do to ensure that the vinyl was installed on time and with superior quality!”

You can view and enjoy the vinyl panels in the new terminal of the airport. We look forward to getting to go on a trip and see Hensel-Phelps and Sketch’s collaboration to bring more art to ABIA.

February Artist of the Month: Larry Stephenson Sr

              

The inspiration for Stephenson’s painting, Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, CA

Miller IDS is honored to announce our February 2019 Artist of the Month, Larry Stephenson Sr. and his piece, “Firebird.” Founder of Green Builders and CEO of Green Design Builders Inc, Stephenson uses his knowledge of and passion for architecture and design to enhance the viewer’s understanding and absorption of his work. For “Firebird”, Stephenson was inspired by the “exquisite architecture combined with magnificent sculpture” of the Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, CA.  This building so moved Stephenson that he notes it “pulled at [his] soul to unleash the enhancing of the colors and brilliance in which [he] sees.” Stephenson has worked with Miller for 20 years and continues to bring us incredible thought-provoking art.

               Originally from Northwest Texas, Stephenson has studied and painted his way across the US before settling in Austin. He has studied at Oklahoma State University and West Texas A&M University and studied under artists such as Emilio Caballero, world-renowned portraitist David Rindlisbacher, and Darold Dean Smith. Stephenson’s work draws heavily on moving past the technical and into the emotional joy and soulful fulfillment of his unique vision before placing it on a canvas, thereby introducing concepts of the painting from a new perspective. In his work, he places his soul onto the canvas, creating art that only he has seen, but is made visible for all to enjoy. Moreover, his art is “created primarily and solely for its imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content that one’s soul may ponder and enjoy.”

               “Firebird” combines the architectural and urban to understand the interplay between nature and man in Stephenson’s interpretive way. Although the building was not designed by him, Stephenson used this painting as an opportunity to showcase his style to “share a moment, time and place, in history with all those that view [his] work.” Stephenson captures the interaction between metal structure, craftsmanship, and art to show “a painting that would leap from the canvas and pierce [the viewer’s] imagination.” With its distinct contrast between cloudy blue sky, sharp lines, and vibrant colors, Stephenson wishes to bring forth the vibrance of life and give viewers the ability to “take a breath and see the wonders before you.”

Stephenson’s “Villa in the Hills”

Stephenson said this about working with Miller IDS over the past 20 years, “I have been working diligently to establish myself as an artist in the ‘FINE ARTS’. Miller is like family to me, Josh has always taken very good care of me, Dana is a pleasure to work with and very knowledgeable and extremely talented in her area of expertise. I just cannot say enough kind words regarding [Miller IDS Customer Service Representative] Larry Williams. He makes each and every visit I have to Miller very enjoyable, in fact I look forward to every visit I have with Miller because of his professionalism, sense of humor, and his unique personality which makes each and every visit a true pleasure.”

The piece is available to view at both of our locations through the end of February. You can contact Larry Stephenson at lessr@earthlink.net.

January 2019 Artist of the Month: Adrienne Hodge

Miller IDS is proud to present our first Artist of the Month for 2019, Adrienne Hodge with her piece, “Suspension.” The piece prominently exhibits Hodge’s interest in astronomy, quantum physics, and the forces that drive our universe through the subject matter of space. A graduate from UT Austin in 2010, Hodge has taught in Dripping Springs ISD, Leander ISD, Round Rock ISD and is the co-founder of the Moon Gallery & Studio in East Austin. She also teaches adults art classes at the Dougherty Arts Center. 

A native to Houston, Hodge ended up in Austin in the early 2000s when her passion for the visual arts became apparent after she arrived. While attending ACC, Hodge would wander into Miller Blueprint on 6th Street in between classes at the Rio Grande campus. Since transferring to and graduating from UT Austin, Hodge has broadened her style moving from portraits to focusing on atmospheres. She has continued to frequent Miller IDS, having many of her works scanned by our Fine Arts Specialist, Dana Burton.  

Hodge’s “Suspension” stems from her desire to create ethereal environments that pull the viewer into the work. This piece exhibits her artistic evolution as it observes her foray into intuitive painting through the subject matter of the stars and Hodge’s contemplation of her place among them, while also exhibiting her imagination. Hodge notes, “For years, I explored portrait work with space-themed and often symbolic or surrealistic backdrops. In the last year or so, I began shifting my focus to the backgrounds in my portraits as my primary subject matter.” Although she has sold the original to a private collection during the EAST Austin Studio Tour in November 2018, prints of the piece are still available for purchase through her website. 

 Hodge has worked with Miller Blueprint/IDS for many years and says this about working with our team:

“My materials are extremely unforgiving at times, so pushing the boundaries of paper and ink is something I take great pride in. This is something I have in common with Dana Burton at Miller IDS. I first began bringing my art to Dana for scanning and printing three years ago when I was working on a monochromatic portrait series using solely walnut ink… Walnut ink often has either a sheen or a transparency that makes it difficult to capture on film or in print, but Dana is a master of matching tone and hue… People who purchase my prints often remark on how much they love the detail in the raw edges of my pieces that remain visible in the prints and I love how Dana notices and catches these details rather than cropping them off. Likewise, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with all other staff I’ve encountered at Miller IDS. I get my business cards printed and designed at Miller, and I recommend Dana to all of my artist friends.”

               “Suspension” is available to view in both of our stores now through the end of January. Adrienne Hodge can be contacted through her email (AdrienneHodge@gmail.com) or through her website (www.adriennehodge.com).

 

Featured Graphics: Chair 7

It all started in 7th grade shop class, Chris Harman planned and built a functioning chair for his wood project. Now, many years, kids, and a move from Houston later, Harman has updated his original design to produce a classic and elegant chair manufactured in East Austin. Harman worked closely with both Ryan Bruce, Miller IDS’ Graphics Account Manager, and Micah Frugia, Miller IDS’ in-house graphic designer to create several vinyl wall decals that detailed the chairs creation and Harman’s biography. Although the first chair was created in 1979, Chair 7 continues to show the sleek sophistication of Harman’s original design.  

Chair 7 became a project again after attending a UT Architecture class one summer, he decided to combine his passion and business acumen eventually leading to Chair 7 today. Miller IDS is glad to have such an incredible work of design just down the way at Springdale General. He’s updated the original design, slightly: modernizing the overall look, to bring a polished, comfortable chair that will be a warm and inviting addition to any home or office. The chair was named after when it was originally constructed, whereas the logo for the chair is an homage to those original offset legs.   

Miller IDS helped bring Harman’s furniture creations from visual concept to completion in several different wall decals that highlighted Harman’s design. Both Ryan and Micah worked with Harman to create a museum-style studio wall vinyl that accentuated the timeline of the chair, a biography, and other wall decals right in time for the EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR this past November.  

Harman had this to say about working with Miller IDS: “Ryan and his team at Miller did an incredible job in taking the vision I had for our studio and adding a number of really cool design elements to our new studio at Springdale General. His team worked under a very short timeline and delivered as promised.”

We love working with designers and artists to help create a place to showcase their incredible, passion-filled work and backstory. Call (512.478.8793) or email (info@MillerIDS.com) for a custom quote to infuse your unique style into any space.  

   

 

December Artist of the Month – Don Collins

This December, we again honor the work of Don Collins with his piece, “The Annandale Ranch Log Cabin (1915)” as our Artist of the Month and as the artist of our 42nd annual calendar. Don has produced approximately 400 works for our calendars, allowing us to share his passion with our customers. The Miller IDS calendar is our holiday gift to you, order yours online today or pick one up at either of our locations beginning December 5th, 2018.

Don has embraced hunting for 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. Additional work and contact information are available on his website, www.dchandart.com.

From George Cofer about the log cabin on the family ranch, The Annandale Ranch near Concan, Texas:

“The ‘dog trot’ log cabin was first built in the 1800s (date unknown) a few miles up the Frio River from its current location but still on the family ranch. In 1915 my great-grandmother Mae Florea FitzGerald had it disassembled, floated down the river, hauled up the hill, and reassembled at the current site in the ranch headquarters compound as a wedding gift to her son, Paul FitzGerald and his new wife Helen Haynes FitzGerald.”

We appreciate the Florea/FitzGerald/McQuown/Cofer family for allowing us to place an image of this intriguing log-cabin on our 2019 calendar face!

November Artist of the Month – Ashwara Pillai

Miller IDS is proud to announce Ashwara Pillai with her piece, “Under the Tuscan Sun” as our November 2018 Artist of the Month. An Ann Richards School (ARS) senior, Ashwara’s creative side has prospered since she was young. Now at 17-years-old, Ashwara just completed a solo exhibition of 60 pieces at Imagine Art, a space where artists both with and without disabilities can practice and exhibit their art. Miller IDS is honored to feature this young artist from ARS.

Inspired by her trip to Italy in summer of 2017, Ashwara created this piece under the guidance of Meenashi Matai. She notes of her painting, “[it] transports me to the Italian country side, which is filled with color, happiness, and flow.” Specifically, the hues of red, yellow, and orange highlight the playfulness of the countryside and the depth of Ashwara’s ability to captivate the Italian landscape. “Under the Tuscan Sun” sparked a greater interest in landscape and observational pieces, which is now Ashwara’s favorite style of art

Regarding working with our talented fine arts specialist, Dana Burton, Ashwara had this to say: “Dana was incredibly helpful when creating my informative poster that would be held at my exhibition. Dana was also extremely cooperative when transforming my painting into a print. We thank Miller Imaging and Digital Solutions for making my exhibition and artistic path successful in every way possible!” 

Next fall, Ashwara plans on attending college and majoring in design. We are proud to feature a future graduate of ARS and wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors!

With the holidays fast approaching, remember that scans and reprints of personal artwork and family photos make incredible gifts for loved ones and friends! Contact Dana Burton (FineArt@MillerIDS.com) for further information.