Monday, December 31, 2012

A Little Snow Scene 
Oil on Canvas      5"x7"
We did not get a "White Christmas" but New Years is definitely WHITE. Happy New Year all!
A special "Thank you" to Leslie Saeta for her 30 Daily Painting Challenge... Starts Jan. 2.
Because of several events during the last five months of 2012, I have painted very little. I am using her wonderful idea to jump start my painting activity again.
I will be doing several at a time (hoping for at least two a day to begin) so I can skip Sundays and still have paintings to post.
Today is my day to prepare! Exciting for me, a little intimidating because it has been so long, and really challenging to be consistent for a whole month!!! Here we go! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Christmas Painting.....

"Come to Bethlehem"
Oil on Canvas Panel 14"X11" nfs
During the summer plans were made for a program of Christmas music for our community planned and performed by members of our Burley West Stake, Church of. Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was asked to make a painting for the cover of the program. While I was contemplating it, a wonderful photograph came on a Blog I have been following, "Huntsman's in the Holy Land". It showed a group of students  standing near Bethlehem in what is called the L.D.S. Shepherd's Field. I was so excited. As I looked at it, I could see this painting and felt it would be perfect for the cover.
I was able to contact Eric Huntsman who graciously gave his permission to use his photograph.
Our program was held Sunday, Dec. 16th  and was a wonderful experience for all who attended.
What must be on my Christmas Tree....
First, of course, Lights!
Lights to represent THE LIGHT of the world, Jesus Christ.
Lights to dispel the darkness.
Lights to brighten us and to shine in our eyes.

Then come the Glass Ornaments. Most are round, but some are differently shaped like the small blue ball with the convex silver and pink sculpted front that was my Grandmothers, perhaps from as early as the 1920's, no later than the 30's. And the small pink bell which has a glass clapper and rings! There are also hand blown Santa's, French horns, violins (though I prefer to think they represent the cello...), and tear drops.

There are glass ornaments from all the decades our immediate family has existed. From the 30's, the glass bell that rings and a small pink glassine Christmas tree. From the 40's a clear green glass ball with a paper top reminiscent of the scarcity of World War II days. The 50's brought ornaments of every color! Many painted with “Merry Christmas”, snow scenes, a Nativity, churches, a sleigh, and stripes. Through the 60's, and 70's my mother collected wonderful ornaments as marketing was done for the Drugstore, all colors and sizes. She got enough ornaments and lights to have our tree be all pink, or all blue, or all red, or all colors mixed. She got a wonderful six foot white plastic tree to display all and put it up religiously each Christmas to the delight of all who saw it. My Father always loved her creations and always photographed it each year.

On my Tree, there must be Every Color! Red, pink, blue, yellow, orange, green. and violet! There is lots of white and gold. Bright colors, and pastel colors, and I even allow a bit of brown, maybe some grey.

There must be Creatures! Lots of birds, a family of partridges, several pairs of doves with long tinsel tails, butterflies and a mouse. I really need at least one cat and one dog, preferably a fawn colored long hair Chihuahua....I'll keep looking.

There must be Snow and Ice! We are in the north, but sometimes the only white Christmas that happens is with snow ornaments. There are clear sparkling snowflakes and crocheted snowflakes. And lots of icicles. I have two hand blown by an acquaintance in SLC and wonderful set of a dozen hand blown icicles given my Mother and I by our neighbor/friends, Kathleen and Randy

Places I have visited (or wished to visit...) are represented. China is here in the way of small plastic triangular rectangles of colored braid with tassels which I found being sold one day by a street vendor in Hong Kong. I am so glad I bought them. I never saw them again until I came back to Burley in 1991.A crafts show on television showed how to make them! I was so tickled and made many with colored ribbon and nylon yarn tassels. They are wonderfully oriental and Christmassy, colorful and fun!

 The Philippines is represented by translucent butterflies made of gapis shell.

Switzerland is represented with a small Indian infant doll with fur hair and beads made by my artist soul mate friend, Karin and several small colorful silk stuffed and beaded stars. She is a glass artist.... I wonder if she has ever considered making small glass angels?

Iran and our older brother, Iraj, are here too with turquoise ceramic ornaments given to us by Iraj's wife when they came to visit. Iraj lived with us for a summer while he apprenticed with my Father in the Drugstore as part of his pharmaceutical training. Our association with him has enriched our lives in many wonderful ways.... and I feel that the Wise Men may have come from Persia.... Also, on a trip to New York at the Metropolitan Museum, I found a gold ornament from a Persian design.

From Washington D.C., I have two annual ornaments from the White House. One I bought to commemorate 2007 when my Aunt Glenna and I were guests at the artist reception at the White House because I was invited to paint an ornament of City of Rocks which hung on the tree in the Blue Room. What a fine day that was! The other was given me by Linda and Dr. Joe Petersen who so graciously gave us the gift of a stay at the Marriott for that occasion.

 Israel, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Jewish people are represented by a tiny trio of olive wood Nativity ornaments given me by my friend Cheryl. Perhaps the most important object on my tree comes from a dear friend in Salt Lake city, a fellow artist and Jewish man who made a beautiful brass ornament of Hebrew letters saying “Shalom”. I do cherish it and hang it with reverence each year.

There must be Books! Tiny books of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and “A Christmas Carol” hang each year. Today I decided I must make a new small book of Luke 2, the first Christmas story. as an ornament....

There must be Toys! Julie, my music mentor friend, gave me a small articulated nutcracker/soldier. I have thought many times this year about the first time I saw The Nutcracker Ballet performed. It was a magical Christmas present ~ tickets to attend a performance by the Utah Ballet at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake when I was probably 11 or twelve years old. Ballet was my first love and that performance still lives fresh in my mind.

There must be Temples! I have pretty, gold replicas given us by Judy of the Salt Lake Temple because it is THE Temple., Nauvoo because several of our family progenitors did get their work done in it before coming west, and the Logan Temple where Mom and Dad were married May 29, 1935.

There must be Hearts! The two red hearts Mom bought to represent their love for each other. I love remembering them as I put them on the tree each year.

There must be Music! Bells, French Horns, Cellos... and piano sheet- music.

There must be Stars! As many stars a possible! I have mirrored stars and the Swiss silk stars. I think I would like to carve and paint some wooden stars. I have for the past several years painted stars with jewels on glass ornaments and have one on my tree. One thing is missing so far this year.... Last year my star tree topper was broken. I must find a GREAT star for the top of my tree. It won't quite be Christmas until I find it.... maybe today!

Wishing each of us and all of us Christmas JOY!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Murex Lace Shell & Maple Leaf

                                                     Murex Lace Shell and Maple Leaf

Oil on Cradles Panel  8"x8"  $125

My paternal Grandfather returned to his native Denmark to serve as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in about 1905 and returned to Idaho and his family in about 1908. He brought this wonderful shell with him then.
As a child, I was sure it was the seas around Denmark that I could hear roaring by putting my ear to its opening.
I loved knowing that by touching this shell, I was touching something of my Grandfather who died before I was born. Much of our Family History is represented by it. One of my father's brothers was born and died while their father was away. Another brother, just older than my father, also died during that time.
The leaf was caught my eye a few days ago while walking my little Lili Chili Chihuahua.
I thought the choice to paint them together was purely random.....
But in the process of painting, I became more and more aware of the Divine Patterns they have in common with each other and even with me and with you.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Completed Saw Blade Painting

Four Seasons  Saw Blade
Spring: Doe & Fawn, Bear and Cubs

 Summer: Antelope
Autumn: Mule Deer

Winter: Elk, Mountain Lion, & Canada Geese
Today! Finished!!!!!
Mary and Tyler brought this five foot plus saw blade a few years ago. It sat in the garage for a while. It has been hanging in my studio as hung by Tyler for a few years too while I have struggled to take time to paint it with the animals he and his family love to hunt.Ty is a bow hunter. All have bagged deer. Their living room holds many of their trophy animals. This will go there also. I am so happy to be able to let them kmow it is complete and will be anxious to see it in its new home.
The saw blade itself is from Ty's family. His grandfather owned a saw mill and Tyler was able to keep this blade as a memento. I was quite surprised by it. It is a beautiful object, well designed and very heavy. I enjoy being able to move my cnavas around as I paint, not possible with this. It is being held in place to be painted with   drywall screws and has stayed in place very nicely. Because it is such an interesting object of itself, I wished to retain some of the original texture and color and to make sure the blade keys were visible. Each tooth has two pieces to allow changing single tooth replacements.
I was amazed at the sharpness. As they were hanging the blade, it ripped through six or seven layers of the roll of heavy cotton damn canvas standing next to the easel.
With my family, I remember as a child seeing a similar saw in action at a sawmill here in Northern Idaho. It was impressive to watch as large logs were turned into raw lumber in very few minutes.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Peonies and Roses

Peonies & Roses
Oil on Canvas Panel   20" x 16" $575

Last night, finally, I worked on the vase and I think I completed the painting!

After contemplating it for a few years, and working on it for several months (the flowers are shriveled and dry in the vase... all who come into the studio ask about why I am painting that...) it feels great to have it complete.

Among other things, it has taught me that I really need to loosen up a bit. So I am planning on purchasing a few large brushes and doing just that.

I also learned to love this doily even more, having explored it in painting. I am no longer sure whether it was crocheted by my Mother or Grandmother, perhaps even by a Great Grandmother. It is intricate and beautiful.

There are many sentimentally beautiful treasures around me. Seeing them day to day is almost as good as being able to chat with my family, the makers or users of them.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Third Incarnation....

Poppies and Iris
Oil on Canvas Panel  20" x 16" $350

Studying a painting for very long can lead to changes. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Now there have been three versions of this painting.
Which do you prefer? Shall I just give up and destroy it? Shall I try something else with it?? Shall I study it more???? Shall I put it out of sight?????

2nd version, done in the studio months later

1st version, done on site

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peonies and Roses, Still in Progress

Last night's work makes three times I have worked on "crocheting" this doily on the painting... It is really great fun, especially on hot days, to work on tediousness which requires little but repeat of a pattern.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Genesis One: Creation Series

Genesis One: A Visual Interpretation in Eleven Paintings

Marilyn R Miller ~ Completed October 2010

1. ...Without Form, and Void...” Genesis1:2

2....Darkness Upon the Face of the Deep...” Genesis1:2

3. ...Let There be Light...” Genesis1:3

4. ...Firmament in the midst of the waters... Let it 
Divide the Waters from the Waters...” Genesis1:6

5. ...Let the Dry Land Appear...” Genesis1:9

6. ...Let the earth bring forth grass,  fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,  Whose Seed Is in Itself...”

7. ...For signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years... The Greater Light to Rule the Day...”
Genesis1:14, 16

8. ...The Lesser Light to Rule the Night, ...the Stars Also......” Genesis1:16

9. ...Let the waters bring forth abundantly  The Moving Creature That Hath Life, and Fowl 
that may fly above the earth...” Genesis1:20

10. ...Let the earth bring forth the  Living Creature After His Kind, Cattle, and Creeping Thing...”

11. In the Image of God Created He Him;  Male and Female Created He Them...”

The adventure of making this series took two years to complete study, thoughts, and painting. It was completed in October of 2010.

While the actual painting was usually quite fast, the reading and contemplating and arriving at each concept took time and was a wonderful process. It is deeply satisfying to study such classical and beautiful words from scriptures over  time, sometimes spending days with a single verse working out both the meanings and the visual symbol for those words.

The image of the lizard as the "Creeping thing that creepeth", was a fine experience. As I was working through the series, I often contemplated what I might use for that. I had thought I ought to be able to use a bug, a beetle, and  that I could probably get one all by myself. I tried several local bugs.... never good enough. One day as I was looking on the Internet, I found a wonderful photo of a lizard. When I looked up the source, it was from a photographer that lives very near me! I called to inquire what he would charge for a single use of his image. He needed to think about it. A few days later, he brought a fine copy for me to use and asked nothing to use it, AND I could keep the photo! Thank you, Gordan Hardcastle, for allowing me to use it. It is perfect!

Each painting is 16 inches by 16 inches. They are to be hung about two inches apart to make a single continuous composition about  eighteen feet in length.

I have happily been living with it hanging in my studio for nearly two years. I have loved discussing it with studio visitors.

Today the young couple who are purchasing it, and their three dear children came to take it to its new home! I am so thrilled that it is going to them. They have been dear friends of our family for many years and his parents posed for the Man's and Woman's hands.

I loved it when the oldest son, about eight years old, noticed that it was all one picture.

One of the great things about its leaving is that it gives me a fine reason to start all over again. I truly love the Biblical account of Creation. The new series has already begun to take form in my mind.....

This note came on "Facebook" today from the family...."
"Marilyn, the Creation Series is officially on the wall and they look gorgeous. I now just need an excuse for a lot of people to come visit my house and see them!"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

from Psalms and Revelations...

Oil on Panel 8" x8" nfs

Oil on Cradled Panel 8"x8"    $85

"Leaves" was done for a dear friend to celebrate her birthday.  I am pleased with the result and with the continuity with paintings done for my Masters of Fine Arts degree years ago. I love combining scripture verses with visual ideas.

Until I started the painting of leaves for June, it never ocurred to me to use my own script rather than an attempt at lettering. I love scratching a signature through the paint and I am quite happy with the painterly quality of writing into the paint. The dove painting was done months ago , but I was never satisfied with the results. I like this much better. I think I will play with this concept again.

Roses and Peonies progressive....

Still not finished, still spending my time elsewhere.... but making bits of progress....It will happen!


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