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.

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.”

Featured Graphics: Lyft

Lyft’s Musician Rideshare Program has worked with several local music venues to assure musicians can get to their gigs with their gear. Left, a large vinyl banner promotes the Musician Rideshare Program. Lyft launched the program during Austin’s infamous “Free Week.” The hemmed and grommeted banner announced the launch of this new program.

During SXSW, Miller IDS worked to advertise Lyft as it transported thousands to events, concerts, and even to the fictional town of Sweetwater from HBO’s Westworld. Though the rideshare company has been back for a little under a year, it has made a big splash by participating in Austin cultural events, festivals and everyday activities.

 

 

Lyft Pink brightens our days in the Miller IDS Graphics Department. With every project, Miller IDS strives to meet the highest quality and standards of our customers.  

 

 

Meg Jones, Lyft Austin Marketing Associate, noted that “[Lyft is] so thrilled to have found such a fantastic partner in Miller Imaging & Digital Solutions. In the past month alone, we’ve worked wit their team to print large scale banners, posters, palm cards, direct mail postcards, pull-down banners and custom fixture signage. The staff is friendly, professional, extremely knowledgeable and works tirelessly to make sure each project is top-notch.”

This spring, Miller IDS is excited to help you and your business welcome new Austinites and visitors to the Live Music Capital of the World!

Thanks for the Stars!

David Bowie Aladdin SaneOlivia Rains, an Austin-based artist, wanted to reproduce her Bowie-inspired artwork for the recent David Bowie Tribute Art Show at Jerry’s Artorama. Olivia tells us “I wanted prints that would look exactly like my paintings and wanted to find a local art reproduction business with great quality. I have tons of artist friends in town and almost all recommended Miller. I was floored and ecstatic when I picked up the prints; they were perfect and with the fastest turnaround ever and a great price for the quality. The people at Miller are very professional and very helpful, translating what I’m looking for into print terms. The first run sold out and I ordered more, plus ordered stickers. Can I give you six stars?”

Another 5-Star Review!

5-stars

Thanks for the sweet review C. Denise!

I consider the Metric Boulevard location of Miller IDS as an extension of my office these days.  I run a small architecture business out of my home, and don’t have the space for a big printer (or the IT department to keep up with one!).  I send print orders to these guys several times a week.  Service is friendly, prompt, and professional.  I can always count on them to deliver a quality product.

In a pinch, they’ve printed drawings on short notice, as I’m running out to a client meeting.  They never huffed at me for the inconvenience.

I’ve worked at large firms in the past – and feel that I get the same level of service as a “small fry” as they give to the larger outfits.

I am glad to have this team behind me to support me in my work!

C. Denise S.  C. Denise S.