September Artist of the Month: Tanya Christie

Austin-based artist Tanya Christie grew up in rural, black-land farming communities of Red River County in northeast Texas. By the time Christie graduated from high school, her parents joked that they’d “spent as much on art supplies, as food” for her. Christie earned an Associates of Fine Art from Paris Junior College, and a Bachelors at Texas Tech University in Design Communication, with an emphasis on Illustration. Her mediums of choice are watercolor, acrylic, and collage – often a combination of all three. Christie’s artwork always tells a story!

Always seeking to know more, Christie has had the opportunity to study with master artists right here in Austin, as well as in San Antonio, San Francisco and France. Christie loves color and strives to infuse each piece of art with the hues she loves. She is also fascinated with the often-overlooked whimsy and charm of things we encounter in our everyday life. Christie weaves together her love of color, mastery of fine art techniques and her foundation of design communication to give voice to every subject she paints. In 2014, Christie’s painting, 26 Rue du Four, was selected as a Finalist of the Texas Watercolor Society annual exhibit.

An exciting and varied creative career led Christie across the nation and back. While she began at an advertising firm in the Dallas area, Christie found her way to a printed gift & greeting card company in Portland, Oregon, freelance jobs in Spokane, Washington, and finally right back here to her home state. Thrilled to be back in Texas, Christie operates Wildly Inspired Artworks with her sister, fellow artist Tamara Ingram. Wildly Inspired Artworks creates a wide range of artwork. Some works are custom suited to meet the vision cast by a specific client, and some works inspired by the sisters’ shared love of all things Southern.

Christie’s artwork is for sale at small boutiques here and there across Texas, and twice a year at the curated show Funky Finds, in Fort Worth, where Wildly Inspired is honored to be an anchor each spring and fall. Christie seeks opportunities to impact the lives of others with her passion for and love of art. In addition to creating artwork from the heart and custom artwork, Wildly Inspired Artworks offers group classes and team building through art. Her most recent project has been the design and painting of a dynamic space within Zilker Lodge, the lovely home of Austin Sunshine Camps. Additionally, as an instructor for Young Rembrandts, the after-school art program, Christie enjoys encouraging elementary kids to begin telling their art story. 

“I am appreciative to Miller IDS for all of their scanning and printing support. The amazing artistic eye and color-correcting gifts of Dana Burton make it difficult to tell printed items from the original artwork. Thank you, to everyone at Miller IDS, for the gift you are to artists in Austin!”

Connect with Tanya on social media: 
Facebook – Wildly Inspired
@wildlyinspiredsisters
Pinterest – Wildly Inspired
Instagram – Buy Wildly Inpired
@wildly_inspired_

 

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

April Artist of the Month: Meena Matai

Miller IDS is proud to announce Meena Matai as our April 2019 Artist of the Month and we’re featuring her painting, “Inspire: Black Eyed Susans.” Influenced by the wildflowers of Texas, Matai hopes that the vibrant colors of her work encourages viewers to be positive, collaborate, and to nurture and support one another. This piece is particularly unique because of the playful use of texture in combination with her usual alcohol ink on canvas. At Miller, we were particularly intrigued with her ability to capture the revival of spring in Austin while focusing on collaboration and community support.

Born in India, Matai moved to the U.S. in 2001. Originally an electrical engineer, Matai’s true passion lay in art and painting. A cultivated talent, Matai took classes throughout her life to hone her craft. The unexpected loss of her father brought Matai face-to-face with the fragility of life and turned to art as more than a passion and instead to tell her own story. This storytelling approach makes her art accessible and relatable using grounding and engaging subject matter, color, and texture.

 Matai’s technique uses alcohol inks blown through a straw onto yupo or canvas, which allows the vibrant colors to blend naturally. In the past year, she has introduced other elements such as texture. She notes that, “I arrange pieces to form exquisite patterns using pins, playing with light and shadow to convey messages of community and collaboration through art.” Specifically, Matai’s work plays with arrangements of color to create patterns that interact with light and shadows. “Inspire: Black Eyed Susans” plays with texture as much as it plays with color. With this piece, Matai used a texturing paste to outline the flower petals and keep the colors together. Texture not only brings new elements to a painting, but functions to control the flow of inks on the canvas.

At Miller, we consider our connection with our customers and community to be of great importance and we love how Matai’s work emphasizes and focuses on the importance of interaction with those around you. Recently, Matai has had work featured in the People’s Gallery at Austin City Hall, Art for the People, and many others.

In her own words, Matai said this about working with the Miller IDS Team: “I have worked with Dana Burton at Miller IDS for almost two years now and she always goes the extra mile for me. She always listens to my vision and does her magic to realize it into a finished product – be it fine art reproductions or notecards. The quality of the final product is beyond what I have seen anywhere else. To me, it’s important that when people buy a print of my artwork, they are getting something as close to the original as possible. Dana makes this possible…I recommend Miller IDS to all my artist friends for the quality, reliability and great customer service. Dana, thank you for all that you do.”

Thank you, Meena for those incredibly kind words and for your beautiful work. You can find “Inspire: Black Eyed Susans” at either of our locations during April. You can contact Meena through her website at https://www.meenamatai.com/

 

Featured Graphics: KLRU- ACL Hall of Fame

On October 25th, The Moody Theatre in downtown Austin hosted the 5th annual KLRU Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. This year inductees included musical legends Marcia Ball, Ray Charles, and Los Lobos who joined the ranks of other ACL Hall of Famers BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble, and others.  Hosted by Chris Isaak (who also performed), the 2018 ACL HoF continued in tradition by honoring musicians who have made a great impact on the music industy. Additional performances this year included Norah Jones, Ray Charles’ Orchestra Keyboardist and musical director Dr. James Polk, Boz Scaggs, Gary Clark Jr., Austin’s own Ruthie Foster, New Orleans Soul Queen Irma Thomas, Tracy Nelson, Lou Ann Barton, Shelley King, Carolyn Wonderland, and many others. Proceeds from the event benefit KLRU-TV, Austin PBS.

 

We were excited to provide print sponsorship for ACL HoF for the third year in a row. KLRU worked with both our graphics account manager, Ryan Bruce, and our graphics operations manager, Ozzie Guzman, to provide colorful and exciting signage for both inside and outside of The Moody Theatre.

 

As they walked up the stairs, guests were greeted by custom vinyl window decals and wrapped poles that celebrated past inductees. Additionally, we printed fabric table covers, banners, and retractable banner stands that highlighted this year’s inductees and magnetic high-top table covers, which can be re-used for future events. Miller IDS is a proud supporter of KLRU ACL HoF as well as KLRU NEXT, a young professional’s group with a focus on the arts, public issues and education in the Austin community.

Kiah Wagner, Graphic Designer at KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, said had this to say about working with the Miller IDS Team. “Miller IDS ensured that we had top-quality signage for our event. Ryan and Ozzie have an impressive attention to detail, and their commitment to quality continued even after the event when their quick breakdown helped us all get home on-time.”

 

The ACL Hall of Fame was taped live and will premiere on New Year’s Eve on your local PBS station. To read more about the event, click here. Photos courtesy of KLRU, Ozzie Guzman, and Ryan Bruce. 

 

 

 

July Featured Artist: Casie Warnke

Like most everyone, our July Featured Artist is fascinated by the human face. 


Casie Warnke has been drawing, including portraits, since she was a kid. As she became older, she realized that she had a fascination for people’s faces. She believes that she can feel people’s energy and that the eyes are truly the windows to the soul. She feels someone’s emotions through their face, and transfers it through her hands and fingers onto paper. As she says, “It’s a beautiful thing.” She is amazed that her work makes people feel things as well.

Since her parents really wanted her to go to college, she went to art school because it was the only thing she could think of that she was interested in. While she developed her craft somewhat in school, it didn’t really blossom until she moved to Austin and immersed herself in artist communities. That’s when she finally realized that she had truly found her purpose and now, she’s happy that she continues to improve. 

 

 

You can experience Casie’s talents at artbycasie@gmail.com and visit her website – www.artbycasie.com 

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/

Miller IDS’ Featured May Artist

barton 002 country house adj_200This 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.