Thursday, March 23, 2017

Studio Secret -find out what I do with leftover paint

plastic plate, paint palette, cheap art supplies
Studio Secret:  What I do with leftover paint:
Leaving big globs of OIL paint on the palette is fine - you can come back later and it is still usable... 
Which is one of the many reasons I LOVE oils but sometimes I do use acrylics for their speedy dry time and all that leftover paint on the palette cannot be saved...   Who can live with all that waste?

Not this granddaughter of a depression era woman who made her own clothes and curtains, canned her own home grown fruits and veg. and saved all her rubber bands in a jar on the window sill.  Wasting perfectly good paint would have annoyed her and it annoys me too.


So I started taking the old paint and brushing and smearing it onto extra panels that were just lying about.  Not paying any attention to what it looked like  - just building layers.
After a while, actual paintings started to emerge and now its just part of my studio process.

close ups below
painting process, abstract art, paint
After a while these panels were starting to look like actual contemporary art and I like them.
abstract art, paintings, beach painting, blue

abstract art, blue, white, black, painting
So don't let that extra paint go to waste!  Turn it into abstract art!

abstract art, white tulips, vintage blue vase

abstract painting, contemporary art, blue and white

art, decorating with abstract art, lamps, black wall,

The Wait, beach painting by Debbie Miller

painting of two girls in bating suits and bathing caps, swimmers, figurative art
20x20 oil on panel

The Wait, an oil painting from my Swimmers Series.
This painting is SOLD but prints are available through One Kings Lane.  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Outer beach - plein air beach painting, Debbie Miller

plein air painting at the beach, painting with dogs
remember that 70 degree day last February?  I just posted the plain air painting I painted on that morning in my ETSY shop.

Take me Away

contemporary beach painting, figurative art, midcentury modern side table
Beach Chair 30x40

"Calgon, take me away" is all I can think of when I look at this.  Saying that date's me doesn't it?  Youngsters just google it.

 Normally I am "team snow" but today - 5 days out from spring - to have this cold air and crunchy frozen snow everywhere, I am done.

HERE is this paintings original post with a link to purchase.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Painting Collaboration (or how to paint with your teens!)

---  update: this post is originally from Feb 2014 - a snow day- like today so I thought it was a good day to repost it!  ---

 When my boys were little - we made art all the time.  Quickly of course, but still, it was always a part of our week and they were always eager.  Teenagers are a little harder to get involved in one of Mom's projects but it's not impossible!

 Finding myself with yet ANOTHER snow day, a wall that desperately needed something new and antsy teenagers hanging around - I decided to give a group art project a whirl.
So, out came the acrylics and the big inexpensive canvas from the craft store.  I set things up and said "Hey,  I need you guys to help me do an under-painting, I need it to be random colors, grafitti -ish, with drippy paint.  Go to town."  They took the bait...

 Naturally, agreeing to not show their faces was a requirement...  

And there may have been a little bribery involved.  Teen boys think of food as currency.  
Breakfast sandwich it is.

    Shooting from behind was allowed too. At least I think it was - I may have snuck this.

 The colors they used were suggested by me but how they used the paint was all up to them. The messier the better and printing, stamping,  painting over, splattering, and dripping was all encouraged!

painting, collaborating, painting with your teenagers,    
A friend who showed up got in on the action too (Loving it! - my plan is working!!) 

When everyone had added what they wanted and they were happy with it, we set it aside to dry.
 Then it was Mama's turn.
 Inspired by drawings in my sketchbook, I used my new white Sharpie to draw on top. 

 Love how it turned out.
 Loved collaborating with my boys. 
 Proudly hung in the heart of our home. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

New Work for Eisenhauer Gallery - Debbie Miller

paintings of swimmers, contemporary art, figurative art, bathing caps,

These lovely ladies will be heading to Eisenhauer Gallery on Martha's Vineyard soon.  
I am so pleased with this years group of paintings from my swimmers series.  !

painting of swimmers, bathing caps, black and white
"In Neutral" 36x60 oil

painting of girl swimmer, bathing cap and goggles, figurative art
"Focused " 24x36 oil

painting of swimmers, figurative art
"Secrets" 36x36 oil

painting of a line of swimmers, figurative art,
"In the Meantime" 24x36 oil

painting of girl swimmers, figurative art, blue and white
"Girl Power" 36x36 oil

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lifes a Beach - daily painting.beach scene

beach umbrella, beach painting, daily painting beach scene

6x6 oil on gesso board sold

UPDATE: 3/6/17
It seems this post _ originally posted on 7/14/08_   is by far my most popular image/post from my blog.

THANK YOU everyone for all the likes, shares and pins!

After painting this I painted another version that I liked so much that I made it available as a print HERE.
Check it out I think you will love it!!

Fine Art America/Debbie Miller

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Orange Tulips

orange tulip, black wall
I have a "thing" for orange tulips.  Especially masses of big ones crammed in clay pots like British garden queen Carol Kline pots them up. Naturally I never got around to planting any last fall so I've settled for some from the farm stand
orange tulips
 I was going to put them on my table in a big white pitcher but my mantle was looking a little bare.  It is a narrow mantle, too skinny for my pitcher so I took my old bottles out and put one tulip in each.
orange tulips and old bottles

orange tulips in old bottles
BTW - I think tulips are the hardest flower to paint.  I may have a go later this week at painting some just for the challenge of it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Swimmers and Artists Block

Girl Power 36x36" oil
This time of year is when I get in the studio and paint A LOT.
Its the season of hunkering - and for me that means getting to hunker in the studio and work on big paintings.
This year I gave my self a deadline to finish up a bunch of "swimmers" - I've been working hard but missed my deadline - well to be clear - I didn't paint as many as I wanted to by the end of last month but I did paint several and I like them very much.

Then it happened... ARTIST BLOCK.  Ugh.  seriously, NOW?  nooooo NOW is when I need to be painting!!

SO what do you do when a block happens?
Here is what I did.....

 - I whined.  I whined to my husband, I whined to my best friend, I whined to my dogs.
- I spent a good 3 days binge watching Netflix (the Crown, Abstract, The Frontier, Broadchurch .....)
- I spent waaaaaay to much time looking at art on pinterest and instagram (which only made me more blocked and confused)
- I made chicken soup from scratch and toll house cookies TWICE.

It was NOT productive (art wise - the soup and cookies were great) BUT part of the process
Here is what else I did....

-I kept going to the studio
-I played with other mediums a bit and other subject matters
-I wrote down my feelings about my art and where I want it to go
-I cleaned and cleared my studio.  Made empty space to let new art breathe.
-I began meditating again
-I turned up the music and turned off the noise (no more looking at other peoples art)
-I kept painting

and then I painted this
painting of a swimmer, green, contemporary art, figurative art
24"x30" oil
and just like that I feel inspired again and have direction and clarity.
Still a swimmer but something new is happening and it excites me
painting of a swimmer, plastic plate palettes, cheap art supplies, figurative art

Unblocked painting wise but I cannot come up with a title
OR decide what to do with this blog.
But for now I will just keep on painting...

Interested in purchasing?  click the button below (psst - free shipping)

New Swimmer (the block breaker)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Happy Weekend

beach rocks, mandala

The weekend is here and I for one am very very happy about that.
(BIG game on sunday.  BIG GAME.)

This year I have really been trying to schedule in my studio time, teaching, planning time into the week - ya know, like a "real job" (insert eye roll here)
Being an artist who works for herself it was normal to me to have loose studio hours during the week and get a lot done on the weekends when my husband was home to watch the kids and dogs.

That was great BEFORE - ya know before my boys got so big that 2 out of the 3 have full beards and lives of their own and even the puppy is grown up.  *sigh*

So this year I am trying it out - leaving the house with a lunch and heading to the studio to put in the work.   Most of being a professional artist is showing up and so I'm showing up, putting in the time and so far I'm loving it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Girl Power, swimmer series, Debbie Miller

painting of girl swimmers, bathing caps, figurative art
February is here and it is time to paint the swimmers!
My studio is cleaned up and organized...
Ok not totally but mostly.  The painting area is at least.

The next week is set aside to finish up about 14 pretty big paintings in my swimmer series.
This one; "Girl Power" is the first and since I painted it last month I thought that was a fitting name.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Eli, portrait painting, Debbie Miller

portrait painting, beard, figurative art
10x10" oil on panel

The challenge of painting a face from life never bores me.  I have started the practice up again after noticing how much I missed it.
always something to learn, always a challenge.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Low Tide, beach painting, Debbie Miller

beach painting, beach scene
6x6" oil
My favorite of these little beach paintings that I have available.  I am working on larger works at the moment, so I will post these until some of those are camera ready.

A new website is in the works complete with my own shop but for now I've listed this and a few more in my ETSY shop.  I am trying that out for ease of purchasing and such.

check it out HERE

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fresh Start 2017

stack of paper, illustration, fresh start

Here's the thing - I hate New Year's Eve and those 'year in review' shows all over the news really bug me but New Year's Day, now that I love.
I love the idea of a fresh start and making resolutions and looking ahead.
I love green smoothies and recommitting to healthier living.
I love packing away the Holidays and cleaning out the fridge.
Mostly I love taking everything off my studio bulletin board and hanging a new calendar.

Yesterday I put on some good music and cleaned my space, organized and made a to-do list.
Love, love, love.

This year I've got some big painting goals but also I decided to commit to a daily practice of doing one little drawing.  Nothing fancy, just a little morning doodle to start my day.
Everyday for 365.
I post each one to my instagram account if you want to follow along.

Happy New Year!


Sunday, November 27, 2016