blog update

heart rock, cape cod, beach
My blog is 10 years old now!  She deserves an update and an update she will get!!
Let me know if there is anything you would like me to add or remove and any other thoughts

also if you get my email updates - I'm thinking about removing that feature and doing a quarterly newsletter update instead.


Who - whose dyed their eggs? - onion skin egg dying

onion skin dyed egg, easter egg, owl and the pussycat

update - I am reposting this because it is time to start saving those onion skins!!  I'm going to make a new batch this year so check back to see what I come up with OR sign up for my newsletter (in the column on the right) or follow me on instagram

Have you ever dyed eggs with onion skins?  Not only is it Eco-friendly, and creates the most gorgeous shade of red,  its just so science experimenty cool.

easter eggs in egg cups, onion skin dyed eggs, owl and the pussycat

After they are colored - I etch them with an old scratch board tool. These three were done - 18 years or so ago! - left uncracked the insides dry out and it sounds like a marble is inside.

onion skin dyed easter eggs, dragon, owl and the pussy cat

My designs are: Owl and the Pussycat, a maiden on horseback stopping a dragon, and a chicken wearing a ribbon that says " which came first" : )

owl and pussy cat, white horse, easter eggs, onion skin dyed eggs

Yesterday I dyed a new batch and hope to etch them tomorrow. Here's how I do it - ( Ive heard red cabbages makes a beautiful blue dye - got to try that!!)

onion skins, easter egg dye

All it takes is:

1/4 cup vinegar,
1 quart h2o
and the SKINS from about 15 yellow onions (yes yellow!! this makes red, trust me)

onion skins for egg dying

Put all three in a pot and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 min.
After that, strain the skins - some people let the dye cool, but I am way too impatient for that !
In go the eggs and bring to boil again.

Then shut off the heat and let them sit - the longer they sit, the deeper the red.
eggs in onion skin egg dye

Easy Peasy.
Now you are ready to etch in a design - be careful not to poke through the shell, use care to scratch away and reveal the white.
Have fun!  Show me how you did by posting a photo on instagram and tagging me!!

I'll let you know how the cabbage goes...


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,

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.

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...  
teenagers collaborating on a painting

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.
teenagers collaborating on a painting, artistic teenagers

 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. 

Lifes a Beach - daily painting. beach umbrella painting by Debbie Miller

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

Or check my PURCHASE page for similar available original paintings

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

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.

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