Featured Graphics: Bright Spot in the Pandemic! “Heroes’ Exit” Mural at Dell Children’s Hospital

Dell Children’s Medical Center has a new addition – a Heroes’ Exit! Ready for a great story? You may have heard of Owen Coulter, a 5 year old boy who went to Dell Children’s Medical in December of 2019 and had a miraculous journey that included a life-saving experience by staff upon his arrival. Owen’s father is a firefighter in Austin. As Owen left the hospital after a 56 day stay, there was a “superhero” departure celebration with dozens of firefighters, police officers, 18 fire trucks, balloons, t-shirts, and even a few costumed super-heroes. The experience was wonderful for everyone there, but especially the hero being celebrated, Owen.

Days later a Dell Medical Children’s Medical Center Foundation board member dropped by the office of Susan Hewlitt (executive director of the foundation). The board member, Marcella Maxwell (who also works at Dell Children’s) said that she couldn’t stop thinking about the wonderful exit Owen had. “How can we have every child feel like a hero when they leave?” she thought out loud. They quickly began brainstorming and walking the hospital for ideas.

At the entryway of the hospital is the HEB Auditorium, which happens to be a perfect passageway and private exit for the kids. Susan immediately went to this spot and an idea came to her for a “hero’s exit” – what if they had a mural here and kids could take pictures as they were released to go home? The idea was positively received by the foundation board, and Susan could not have been more pleased with their unanimous agreement to support the project. The next question was who the artist would be – Susan knew that Becca Borrelli would be perfect!

Becca had designed a coloring book for the kids at Dell Children’s. Becca is an illustrator and has a background in teaching. For Becca this was the perfect project- it combined her love of children with her passion for design. Becca began to weave a compilation of happy imagery from areas in the hospital, making the final memories in the hospital a way to remember Dell Children’s in a positive way.

The final product is a brightly colored mural printed on DreamScape wallpaper. Images include a StarFlight helicopter, the stone water wall from the courtyard, a replication of the donor butterfly wall, and spotlights on art found in the hospital such as the art by Graciela Boulanger gracing the bridge in the lobby as well as the blue dog featured in a George Rodrigue piece found in the hospital.

Becca contacted Miller after having printed with us before. The experience was pleasant for Becca and it was easy to communicate with Destenie (Customer Sales and Service Rep) from the beginning. Becca had been contracted to paint the mural on the wall, but had worked with DreamScape in another hospital setting and knew that it holds up to cleaning and is long-lasting. “DreamScape was the perfect solution we didn’t know we needed, especially with how clean we have to keep it,” said Susan Hewitt.

As the final joyful touch to this fulfilling project, note that it was accomplished during COVID! Installing the piece during this difficult time made it an even happier win!

October Artist of the Month: Pama Monfries

After graduating from University of Texas at Arlington with an art degree, Pama worked as a graphic designer then creative director for 25 years. After that, she worked for 8 years painting portraits and murals full time. Pama was able to make a very good living being a professional artist. 

During that time, she taught adults and children at the art center in her town. She also took ceramics, life drawing and glass fusing classes. Every year she does many commissions of pets and people as well as special memories from clients’ photos.

Pama moved to the Austin area (Point Venture) from Dallas 10 years ago and loves it. Since moving here, she has made several bronzes, lots of jewelry and numerous mobiles. She still makes fused glass and has started incorporating fused pieces in her paintings.

“I come from a long line of strong, creative women who have always inspired me. Creativity was a part of their lives and so it has become a part of mine. We always encouraged our children to explore their creativity. Two of them are art teachers in AISD and one is an actor.” It is important to Pama to always be experimenting with many kinds of art, as it helps keep the creative juices flowing.

Although Pama loves painting, her passion is gardening. She started pressing petals, leaves, feathers and insect wings onto her canvas with paint about 3 years ago. She says she is “gardening” and painting at the same time. “It is very interesting how the petals and leaves change color when dried and pressed. I love to bring them back to life with paint.”

Featured Graphics: Patika Coffee & Superthing Coffee

We are thrilled that we were called on to print signage for Patika coffee on South Lamar.  We produced their safety guidelines and temporary outdoor menu on coroplast and aluminum which make for a durable duo. The folks over at Patika cleverly hung their signage with removable hangers, making sure the signs were secure and weatherproof.

Located at 2159 South Lamar, Patika is open for online and in-person orders. They have plenty of parking at the back of the building and space to wait for your order while maintaining distance from employees and other customers.

We also helped Patika’s sister company, Superthing Coffee, develop contour cut coffee stickers as well as business cards, which created a distinct look for their coffee bags and branding. Superthing is roasted locally and served at Patika as well as Mañana, Brew and Brew, Olamaie, Creature Coffee and a few other places. It is also available online for single purchase and subscriptions at superthingcoffee.com

As you can see, Miller’s takes pride in working with local businesses. Let us help when the time comes to open your business or office. We’d appreciate your support! 

 

 

 

June Artist of the Month: Rachel Hurst

 

Rachel Hurst moved to Austin with her family when she was in fifth grade and is the eighth and youngest child of famed western artist Oleg Stavrowsky and her beloved mother, Carol Stavrowsky. Growing up, she was surrounded by world-class art created by her father and siblings. In this way, she was lucky to be trained in the principals of good painting design and technique through exposure.

No stranger to competition, she spent her childhood devoted to competitive figure skating, she holds a national 8-ball title, and she won a tournament qualifying her to play on the World­­ Series of Poker (where she was summarily kicked to the curb… you can’t win ‘em all!). She formerly competed on the Women’s Professional Billiard Association Tour.

Hurst earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Washington and lived in Seattle for about 10 years before returning to Austin. Hurst is an avid cruciverbalist and lives with her husband Travis and three cats in Austin, Texas.

Rachel began discovering her passion for fine art incorporating two of her favorite things: animals & design.  She utilizes color, pattern, and abstract design to frame the animals in the way they make her feel when she looks at them.  She is well known for her pet portraits, and she donates 10% of all of her art sale profits to animal charities, most notably Safe In Austin.

“Most of my work incorporates some kind of abstract background juxtaposed with a representational animal. I like the contrast of the two styles and think it brings a dynamic to a painting that a traditional background does not. I do paint the occasional traditional background, but it doesn’t usually compel me like creating a complimentary abstract background does. I’ve been painting fine art for just under two years, so my style is definitely still evolving.”

“Part of that evolution includes branching out into what I call more stylized paintings – ones like “American Chicken.” That kind of whimsical, interpretive painting feels like pure joy to me.  I equate it to being like a little kid playing in the mud. Many people don’t really understand that kind of art… so it doesn’t tend to have the same wide commercial appeal as my more representational stuff, but those who appreciate that style really do seem to enjoy it as much as I enjoy painting it. That’s extremely gratifying! The design requirements are the same in an abstract or stylized painting as they are in a representational painting—the composition, balance, and color juxtaposition all need to be diligently designed. In that way, it isn’t any less work for me as the artist—but the freedom to be funny and sometimes goofy with the compositions makes it a different process than with the representational paintings.”

“American Chicken started out as a representational painting. I was sketching it out when the song “American Woman” came randomly into my head. As songs sometimes do, it just wouldn’t stop! The lyrics just naturally evolved from American woman to American chicken as it was playing in my mind. This made me laugh—and that was that. The whole design and structure of the painting changed. Because the chicken is so complicated in pattern, I wanted to balance it with a very simple background, and I wanted to use primary colors to reinforce the associations with the USA. That’s how art is—the work itself evolves as I paint. I’ll typically start with one idea in mind, then something will happen and I’ll sit back and watch where the painting goes. It’s really fun to be a part of that process—and know that I’m not really the one determining how it comes out. The paintings come through me—some are better than others, but I don’t really take responsibility for any of it. I just sit back and enjoy the ride and I’m happy and grateful to be allowed to be a part of it. I’m not a religious person, but I definitely know that I’m not in control of this artistic process.”

“I appreciate Dana so much!  She always works in a timely manner to get my images done, and she’s been SPOT ON in getting the color matching correct so that the reproductions look like the original artworks.  I trust her completely – and for an artist to say that about someone who is in control of their reproduction color and quality, that’s saying a lot.  She’s the best – and really sweet and pleasant to work with.  Everyone there has been great.”

Contact Rachel at rachel@rachelhurstfineart.com or visit her website.

Featured Graphics: Austin FC Honors St. David’s Healthcare Workers

In conjunction with National Nurse’s Week and National Hospital Week, Austin FC and Founding Partner St. David’s HealthCare teamed up to honor front line healthcare workers with yard signs that read ‘A St. David’s HealthCare Hero Lives Here”. Austin FC is proud to join St. David’s HealthCare to show appreciation for all the Health Care Heroes keeping Austin safe.

 

 

We were lucky enough to be the folks that printed the yard signs for Austin FC – we love working with their phenomenal team and were especially excited to join forces on this project, honoring healthcare workers. What a nice way to say thanks!

Also included is a look at how the Austin FC Stadium is moving along as construction is underway with Austin Commercial as the General Contractor. Located within a mile of our store, we love to see the progress on this Austin Dream in the making! Go Austin FC!

 

Please contact Destenie about your next project, at CSSR@MillerIDS.com.

Featured Graphics: Hemlock & Heather

Our friends over at Hemlock & Heather are great to work with. Our relationship began when Chase Ryan (@chaseryanfurniture on Instagram) introduced Hemlock & Heather owners and founders Kris and Kelley Denby to us.

They were having a hard time keeping up with their supply and demand but didn’t want to compromise on quality. We sat down with Kris and Kelley to discuss their current workflow process and how we could bring some of their handmade pieces in-house to expedite their production.

Once we made a game plan, we direct-printed the chosen color pattern on 1/2-inch MDO board with our flatbed printer, then took it over to our iEcho router to cut custom shapes of all 50 states. The first job we ever did with them was for their stock at Magnolia Market in Waco, one of the places their products are sold. We are so happy to continue working with their wonderful team. Be sure to check out their website and Instagram!

March Artist of the Month: Calhan Hale

Calhan Hale’s maternal family has been rooted in Texas for over 100 years. She grew up in a family of creative, independent and individualistic female role models. Hale received her BA in studio art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016 and decided to stay in Texas to pursue her art after graduation.

In her most recent work, Calhan uses painting as a way of re-examining and reclaiming parts of her Texas upbringing by bringing Texas iconography into conversation with elements informed by digital experience. She is particularly interested in the ways information is gained and lost as it moves from our own experiences, to our memories, to digital interfaces and then back into a physical object. 

“Texas iconography is naturally loaded; Ideas related to tradition, geography and stereotype meet those surrounding trend, irony and self-expression. Objects, along with people and places, can be the holders of multiple, often contrasting, things at once”, and Calhan is interested in how their context and our own experiences greatly inform the ways we encounter them. 

Calhan believes, “At the intersection of time, place and identity, these works also aim to explore the simultaneous confidence and self-doubt that accompany self-awareness and the attempt to own all of who I am at once”.

“The Miller team has been exceptionally kind to me and beyond helpful with all of my printing needs. I’ve been especially lucky to work closely with Dana and Larry. Before working with Dana at Miller, I didn’t know anything about the process of having artwork professionally scanned or printed. Over the past 9 months or so, Dana has personally walked me through the entire process and has worked carefully with me to ensure that each scan and print of my paintings is as representative of the original piece as possible. And every time I come by the shop, which is often several times a week, Larry greets me with the most genuine warmth and friendliness. Dana, Larry and the Miller team make every printing experience feel like working with trusted friends, and I’m so grateful to get to share a creative community with such wonderful humans! Thank you, Miller!”

February Artist of the Month: Leticia Mosqueda

Leticia Mosqueda was born and raised in Mexico City. Since she was a child, Mosqueda showed great interest in painting and drawing, taking after her father. She spent her spare time illustrating in her notebooks and drawing objects that she saw around her. In high school, on the advice of a teacher, she entered the National Institute of Fine Arts. Mosqueda has a degree in marketing from the Technological Institute of Higher Studies of Monterrey, Campus State of México.

Mosqueda worked as a purchasing manager for Alcampo in Madrid, Spain, Auchan, Comercial Mexicana, and Grupo Modelo. Later, following her passion for studying art, she entered the renowned Academy of San Carlos where she studied different techniques and materials in painting, drawing and composition I and II, and human figure. Additionally, Mosqueda holds workshops on various techniques such as fresco, charcoal, graphite, pastel, watercolor, oil, and acrylic.

She spent 3 years in Austin studying English and art at Austin Community College. Mosqueda had the opportunity to participate in exhibitions at ACC, La Peña, and Big Media. One of her paintings represented ACC in the League of Innovation Competition, and she was selected for her first solo exhibition “My People and their Traditions” at the Dougherty Art Center.

“I met Salvador Rodriguez at ACC, where I saw his fabulous prints. I had never made any reproductions of my paintings before. He recommended Miller IDS’s services to me. Since the first day that I visited your company, everybody was so nice and friendly. Larry was so helpful; he introduced me to Dana, another lovely person. Although my English is not the best, they tried to understand me and gave me excellent service. Dana was always available, and she kept in touch with me. Every scan was on time and even in some cases she helped me make emergency scans. I’m impressed with the quality of each work. On some paintings Dana worked hard to find the exact color of the original painting. I have been selling many prints because people like the quality of the images Miller produces. Unfortunately, I could not find a company in Mexico with the same quality; maybe you need to put a Miller company in my country! I have been recommending Miller’s services to my classmates, artists and friends.”

“This painting (left) was inspired by an amazing photo of a beautiful elder woman in Chihuahua México. She belongs to the Raramuris community, who are characterized by the colors in their clothes. Women have a very important role in the communities. They are the guidance, the pillar of the families, and in many cases the financial support. This woman is a clothing seller. She walks long distances carrying many pieces of clothes in her “reboso” (a big piece of cloth that the women tie in different ways to carry their babies or different things on their backs). I choose this photo because I fell in love with the woman’s expression and her colorful dress.”

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).