December 2021 Artist of the Month: Lucina Suarez

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, I am a child of Mexican immigrants. From a young age, I’ve enjoyed creating art—weaving, watercolor, mixed media, and recently acrylic painting. Nonetheless, art had been a sideline to a lifelong career in public health and epidemiology. Now retired, time allows me to paint with purpose and passion.

The story of my parents’ journey to the US has been a point of pride among our family. I wrote a book about their journey from Mexico to Texas and our family’s early years in America. The book, published shortly after my mother’s death in 2019, was edited by a journalist friend. With me not being able to afford her professional services, she bartered her skills for a painting—the subject matter left to me. At the time, my thoughts were on my mother, her life, and our world as youngsters. Experiencing her loss conjured up her kitchen, her endless tasks making tortillas and foods of her native land, her traditional tools to grind the corn—molcajete, the vegetables from her garden, the Navidad tradition of making tamales, and her stove. So, I filled my canvas with these memories—the figure of a young woman doing the work, thereby producing joy in the form of flowers flowing from her skirt.

I’m not a professional painter, strictly amateur, still learning. Still, I was loathed to give up the painting, but a deal was a deal. I normally take a photo of my paintings using my iPhone for my beginning portfolio. But for this painting, I took it to Miller, specifically to Dana, to preserve it in the best image possible. I am grateful to Dana, who made sure that the colors, particularly, the red in the skirt was true to the original painting.

-Lucina Suarez

Contact our fine art specialist, Dana Burton, for more information on fine art scans and reproduction.

November 2021 Artist of the Month: Angel Chiasson

Angel Chiasson has lived in Austin for most of her life since she was a freshman in high school. Her love of art showed up in early childhood where she would be found (to the shock of her parents) drawing on walls and the underside of tables. Angel would eventually corral that passion into a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a Teacher Certification from Southwest Texas State University (Texas State!). Angel taught art for many years in public schools and in her own private studio.

Angel paints a variety of subject matter and is very inspired by nature. Forefront in her art is bold, bright colors and patterns. “Playful art that makes people happy sounds simple, but it means so much to me when I hear from people that viewing and having my art in their home makes them feel happy. From experience, I know well that life can be hard and sometimes sad. I make this art to send out joy!”

“I love exploring new techniques and subject matter, but my love of color has always stayed true. Inspired by the “Fauve” Expressionist movement, I use bright colors and juxtapositions. To me, Color = Happy and I want to reflect the beauty and joy that can be found in this one great life.”

“I pick and choose certain original paintings to be scanned for prints by Dana. Because I use such bright saturated colors in my work, color-matching and clarity is important so that the happy exuberant feeling comes through. Dana has done an amazing job matching my originals and provided incredible professional prints that I can offer my collectors.”

 
Contact our fine art specialist, Dana Burton, for more information on fine art scans and reproduction.

October 2021 Artist of the Month: Joseph Valadez

Joseph Valadez is from San Antonio. He went to the University of Texas at Arlington and graduated in 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Information Systems. Joseph enjoys spending time in the small towns of New Braunfels and Gruene, Texas, where most of his family lives. He moved to Austin in late 2020 to start working as a Systems Analyst.

His time spent out of work consists of running, kayaking, camping, fishing, and many other outdoor activities where most of his inspiration arises. Joseph paints mainly with acrylic and watercolor while also exploring other types of art such as sculpting and ceramics. Joseph says that his most recent and invested painting started when he moved to Austin.

“Gruene Hall at Dusk” took approximately 150 hours, and was completed in March of 2021. “Gruene reminds me of a place where I have shared great times with friends and family. This piece was painted for my daughter which encouraged me to bring out my best work.”

“The prints that Miller IDS provided have portrayed every detail that my original painting has. Dana Burton has kept in direct contact with me during my process of scanning my artwork and made sure that I received the highest quality prints. Dana and her team make this process easy and stress free. I can trust Miller IDS with my artwork and I am looking forward to continuing working together.”

Joseph’s Instagram: @jsph.valadez

Joseph’s Email: jsphvaladez@yahoo.com

Joseph’s Phone Number: 210-209-0980

Contact our fine art specialist, Dana Burton, for more information on fine art scans and reproduction.

September 2021 Artist of the Month: Hunter Saltzgiver

“Ignoring the need to create something would be ignoring who I am at my core. I’ve always leaned toward picking up a pencil or a brush and seeing what happened next. Most of the time I am encouraged by what I make, but it’s always the feeling I have while creating that I return for. That feeling guides my artistic pursuits.”

Hunter Saltzgiver went to Azusa Pacific University and got a degree in fine art. Saltzgiver then taught K-8 Art in his hometown of Colorado Springs for 5 years before moving to Austin in 2016. Saltzgiver always planned on teaching art and never really planned on making his art into a business, but he said, “when you do something everyday that people enjoy, and you run out of wall space in your home, I guess that’s how it goes.”

Now, Saltzgiver does custom commission work on the side of his creative work. He paints animals (mainly dogs and bears) with acrylics, and he also forms relief landscapes with layered gesso that he calls ‘Whitescapes’.

“All of my bear paintings over the last 2 years I have gotten scanned through Miller IDS. These paintings have a lot of color variety, layers of contrasting colors, and I infrequently mute my paint making scans a tough thing to dial in. Dana, at the 7th St. location, has the critical eye to match nearly every scan I’ve thrown at her and those that haven’t she’s been easy to work with on making the adjustments. I keep going back to Miller for their professionality, their performance and their pricing.”

Feel free to reach out and inquire about pricing on Hunter’s creative work you see on Instagram, making a custom bear or ‘Whitescape’, or commissioning any of the common gifts like pet portraits and wedding gifts.
 
 
Hunter’s Website
Hunter’s Instagram: @saltgivingart
 
Contact our fine art specialist, Dana Burton, for more information on fine art scans and reproduction.
 

August 2021 Artist of the Month: CoCo Zentner

Having grown up in Monroe, Louisiana, CoCo Zentner’s artwork stems from her many days spent soaking in the culture, food, and nature of her southern surroundings. The vibrant atmosphere of her upbringing contributes to her heavy use of color, which plays a significant role in her art.

CoCo is constantly seeking to bring light and beauty to often-overlooked subjects, reflecting a detail and depth resonating with many collectors and designers alike. She paints primarily in oil and watercolor while also exploring different mediums such as oil pastels and charcoal.

“I have loved working with Miller IDS & Dana over the past few years. They are able to replicate my artwork precisely each time and always in a timely manner. As an artist, it has been a joy to see my work come to life in a different form all due to the Miller team.”

CoCo’s Website
CoCo’s Instagram: @cocozentner_art

Contact our fine art specialist, Dana Burton, for more information on fine art scans and reproduction.

July 2021 Artist of the Month: Ally Aiken

Ally Aiken is a watercolor artist & graphic designer. She went to the University of Texas and graduated in 2018 – she loved Austin so much that she decided to stay! Ally likes to paint & design all sorts of things but her most recent endeavor has revolved around golf.

 

One of Ally’s favorite paintings is the one that started it all! Her first golf course painting was the Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand, which she painted for her boyfriend, Campbell, making it very special to her. Campbell lived in New Zealand for six months to work as a golf pro at the club. She said he is fond of his time in Wellington and wanted a way to commemorate it. He asked Ally if she could paint something related to the course that he could frame in his room, which started her whole business. Ally said she was overwhelmed with support when she posted a picture of the course she made for her boyfriend, and things really took off from there.

 

Another special course she has painted is of Ojai, California. Ally said she was at the post office during Christmas time, packaging prints to send to people as gifts, when a man saw her work and ordered a custom piece as an anniversary gift for his wife on the spot. There is a small oak tree painting on the course, symbolizing the spot they got married.

“I paint custom course maps of golf courses all over the world and make them into digital art prints, which is where Miller IDS has been a lifesaver! Working with Dana & the rest of the team at Miller has made my life stress free when it comes to getting beautiful prints of my work. I am so thankful for the work they do and am excited to continue to work together.”

Ally’s Etsy Shop: Ally Aiken Design
Ally’s Instagram: @allyaikendesign

 

Contact our fine art specialist, Dana Burton, for more information on fine art scans and reproduction.

June 2021 Artist of the Month: Tommy Belton

Tommy Belton is a native Austinite, growing up in East and South Austin. Photography was always a creative outlet Belton was interested in pursuing, and 5 years ago, he borrowed his mom’s DSLR camera and learned to use it watching YouTube videos.  Soon after, Belton bought his own camera and has been pursuing photography ever since.   

“I have a deep love for this city, so I decided to start a Photography Project called ‘This Is Austin’ where I photograph iconic Austin businesses, public spaces, restaurants, music venues, etc. that make Austin ‘Austin’.”

“Since day one, Miller Imaging and Digital Solutions has been my printing partner. Dana Burton, in the Fine Art Department, has been so great to work with. She is always incredibly responsive and offers great ideas to make sure my clients get prints they will be happy with. I can’t say enough good things about Dana and the team at Miller.”

Tommy’s Etsy Shop: This Is Austin

Contact our fine art specialist, Dana Burton, for more information on fine art and photography printing.

May 2021 Artist of the Month

Born in Houston, Collins was reared on his family’s small ranch in north Texas during the heart of the great depression. His youth was almost idyllic, roaming freely through the woods and streams of the beautiful Trinity River valley.

Art was a compulsion from his earliest days, often to the detriment of his scholastic efforts! After several educational false starts, and military service during the Korean war, he yielded to his artistic urges and completed his formal education at UT Austin in 1956.

He immediately began a 52 year career as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Busy years followed, with a great variety of commercial clients, but in his early 40’s, painting became an important part of his work, and he participated in many prominent shows throughout the Southwest, as well as enjoying some gallery representation.

Collins’ eclectic subject matter reflects his rural upbringing, as well as impressions and experiences encountered in career of many decades.

Now painting and showing at a reduced pace, he still delights in hitting the back roads in search of new impressions to bring back to his easel and record….the compulsion still lingers!

Don’s Website: www.dchandart.com

Contact our fine art specialist, Dana Burton, for more information on fine art scanning.

April 2021 Featured Graphics

We submitted these seven pieces of work on behalf of our customers for judging in the Print Industry of America (PIA) MidAmerica’s “Graphic Excellence Awards” or GraphEx. Five won Best of Category and will move on to being judged at a National Level.

As you take pride in your work, we take pride in producing your work! We are proud of ourselves and of you for these beautiful pieces. Thank you to these amazing companies and individuals who trust us to produce a phenomenal product. 

We will keep you updated on the National awards when they are announced.

For more information on our Graphic Printing services, please contact Elesha at CSSR7@MillerIDS.com. 

April 2021 Artist of the Month

Fine Art Scans and Reproductions

Featured Artist: Jessica Fontenot

 

Jessica grew up outside of Houston but is a Louisiana-native. She is a Texan with a deep love and nostalgia for Cajun life, like homemade gumbo and zydeco music. Jessica went to college at Texas Tech, and always knew Austin was where she would end up. She got a graphic design degree, moved to Austin, and worked for agencies as a designer. 

Jessica always made art on the side, as a way to explore her creativity away from the computer and clients. She began a drawing project in 2016 of drawing a building every day for a full year, 365 buildings. They were mostly of Austin and chronicled the changing landscape of the city as it gentrified through the 2010s. A fair amount of the drawings are buildings that have since been torn down and businesses that closed. This year-long project helped Jessica develop her style and led her to her career as an illustrator. 

“One of the big reasons I love drawing buildings and places is how it’s an anchor for our memories. We all hold stories of places from our past inside ourselves, and we all have different relationships to the same place. When I look at buildings, I wonder about who loves this place, who worked here for years, who met a partner or a friend here, etc.”

“When businesses here in Austin began closing soon after the pandemic started, I dreamt of making a piece dedicated to these places. But I was beaten down by the pandemic myself, so I let the idea go. Then as 2020 came to a close, I saw the New York Magazine cover dedicated to 500+ closed NYC businesses and a voice popped up, ‘Jessica, you are the person to do this for Austin. It is literally your job to make this. Do it.’ So, I relinquished and began.”


Jessica drew 28 businesses, for her “What We’ve Lost” series, ranging from the youngest of 5 years (Barracuda) to the oldest of 87 years (Threadgill’s). The original art is large at 28×40″, and she shrunk the work down to 18×24″ for the print edition. “I wanted to capture a slice of Austin’s history from the last few decades and memorialize some of the businesses that made Austin, Austin.”
 
“Miller was a delight to work with. Easy and helpful. I talked with Dana, who connected me to Jacy to complete the job. One of the memories of working with y’all that will always stick with me, is when I went to pick up my order, and the man who brought the posters out said, “You made everybody here cry real tears!” And we had a really nice conversation about the artwork and our changing city, with a lot of laughs and heart-warming smiles. Thank you, Miller!”
 
Jessica’s Instagram: @jcfonte
Jessica’s Website: Shop.JessicaFontenot.com
 
Contact our fine art specialist, Dana Burton, for more information on fine art replication.