Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What a busy week . . .I repurposed a wonderful desk for Linda. She gave me a pine desk that was dated in it's "country" colors, but had great bones. We took it, stripped it down, primed it and gave it a whole new look. Here are few pictures from different angles. By the time I was finished, it was hard to give it back to her. I got pretty attached . . .

At the same time, I have been working on an 18th birthday present for Kerrie. She wanted a custom made mirror. We had talked for awhile about some of the images she wanted to see - and most important - a quote that had special meaning for her. "Open your heart and let the sun shine in." There will be a few baubles and beads added to the bottom to dangle and sway in the breeze. Then it will be all ready for pick up. Hopefully it will bring years of smiles to Kerrie. Happy birthday, Kerrie!

Besides creating art, this weekend was my daughter was a milestone as my daughter turned 22. I don't understand how that could be -especially since I am only 29! Or at least that is how i feel!

We celebrated by having our annual family favorite dinner . . .a shrimp boil! It is more than just dinner - it is a tactile experience. We cook the entire dinner in a huge pot seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning. There are small potatoes, sausage, corn on the cob, and most importantly . . .shrimp. We cover the table with butcher paper. Then once everything is cooked, we drain the liquid and dump the entire contents of the pot out on the table. No utensils are allowed. Melted butter with hot sauce, cocktail sauce, and a loaf of crusty bread finish out the meal. Everything is eaten with our hands. It is fun, delicious and full of good conversation. Everyone should do this at least once a year!

Happy Birthday jU-jU! I love you more than words can say. And I am so proud of you. You have turned into an incredible young woman.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Chair for a Teacher and Paul's Dad

I met Julie at an Art Walk this summer. She came to my booth and wanted a new chair. As a teacher, she had a special chair that she used in the classroom. Over the summer, she changed schools, and her new school had much smaller classrooms. She bought a new chair from me for her classroom, and offered to trade her old classroom rocking chair. She brought it over to me and it was obvious it meant alot to her. Many memories . .

I told her I would love to paint the rocking chair for her - something special so that she could keep her memories with her. She took the smaller chair for her classroom, and we decided to paint this up for a prayer and meditation chair for her. She wanted a place at home where she could sit and find peace and solace. I thought that was a wonderful idea. Using lots of greens and blues I created this for her -

When Julie came to pick up the chair, she mentioned that they had just got word that her mother-in-law had been taken to the hospital. She was quite ill and the doctors were not sure what the cause was. I hope this chair gives her a place to find comfort and peace. I know my prayers will be with her in this trying time. Thanks, Julie, for letting me do this for you.

Paul is a co-worker of mine. He had seen a few of the chairs I have done recently and asked me to create something for his guest room. The guest room was created for his father for when he comes to visit. He wanted the chair to be a homage to his father. Paul told me his father loves to read, and loves music. Taking those cues i created this tribute for Paul's dad. . .

I used deep earth colors like browns, greens, and oranges. A quote about fathers says "My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived his life and showed me how." I think that quote is a wonderful tribute to fathers. Blocks of color with images like a stack of books, music notes, and geometric patterns are laid over a branch with leaves. It has the sense of whimsy that I love, without being too feminine. Hope Paul thinks it will pay proper tribute to his father.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Chair is Done . . .

Here is an image of the finished lawyer style chair. It is covered with all kinds of texture and embellishements. The little extras really made it pop!

Here is a close-up image of the seat . . .full of inspirational and uplifting thoughts.

And the back - if you could run your hand over this you could feel all of the texture! I think my friend is going to be pleased when she see this pulled up to the desk of her home office.

Next, I am going to be working on a chair for a co-worker. It's going to be a tribute to his dad. I'll also be starting on a wooden rocking chair for a local teacher. I can't wait to get started on these this weekend.

This mixed-media painting was created by my sweet daughter for her best friends birthday. She started with a blank canvas and layered in a variety of blues and greens. It has the feel of a clear ocean. Then she layered on a black and white clippling of s yoga pose, layers of oil pastels and then some dimensional elements to add some texture. Some clippings of quotes and some words finished it off. I think it turned out pretty great. I love to see my kids trying out their creativity. It's a habit they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Chair For Teri . . .

I am currently working on a chair for my friend Teri. She asked me for a chair for her home office and has been incredibly patient while I searched for the perfect one. I eventually found a wonderful solid wood "lawyer" style chair with a removeable swivel seat. This was a first. Generally, if I find this style of chair, it is unaffordable. I located this one at a garage sale of a young couple who were moving. When he heard I was going to paint it, he almost took it back. Good thing I'd already paid him for it when I told him my plan.

This view shows the base pattern on the seat . . .it still needs all of it's little details that will make it pop!

Here is the base with a few base colors laid in. It still has lots of doodles and dazzles to go before it is finished. It's a good thing I can seperate the pieces like this. When this chair is together, it weighs more than some tables I have worked on. When I bought it, I had to move it to my car in two pieces. This chair is solid and will last for years to come.

Here's an overall view of the main part of the chair - notice the metal rod in the bottom - it fits into the base above. It let will let Teri adjust the height of the chair and swivel. If she needs to smile, she can spin herself until she is dizzy.

The chair has a base color of black with layers and layers of bright happy colors that make me smile. Positive statements adorn the arms and seat. Teri - this should be ready for you by the end of the week. I hope you like it!

If you are interested in a special custom order for you or a friend, leave me a comment or shoot me an email at ldlmiller@hotmail.com Let's talk about a personal creation for you . . .

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me . . .

That's right . . .It's my birthday . . .well almost. My daughter was here from out of town and we spent the day doing girl stuff. Before we set out on our adventure, I was informed that I had some new accessories to wear. A sparkling tiarra with genuine plastic purple rhinestones!

Then it was off to one of our favorite breakfast restaurants, Sympatico, for omelettes and Eggs Benedict. It was wonderful and tasty. It was nice to have the morning to visit and catch up! And because of my birthday tiarra, I was treated to a free cookie - I haven't got a free cookie since I was about 9 years old and shopping at Albertsons with my mom.

And finally - pedicures. How indulgent! It was a perfect morning. (Check out those short, stubby toes!)

After a little shopping, my daughter had to head back to her home over the big mountain Then I went out with my good friend for a little lunch and girl talk. Several hours later I headed back home to find my younger daughters had picked up the house and were making dinner.

How's that for a perfect day? Good friends, good conversation, good food, no chores, and blue toenails!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A new Journey

The other night I spent the evening trying to apply for a Holiday Show in Seattle, Wa. It is a juried show, with a lengthy application process. There format is different than any other show I have applied to. They want to 8 ½” X 11” sheets with photos, descriptions, price ranges, and a brief bio. That was in addition to the traditional application. I worked on it for an hour, getting the photos just right and creating some creative quibbles about myself and my work. When it was all done, I decided to email to myself at my 8-5 job so I could print it off and mail it out the next day.
My computer at home is old and very tired. Even with a cable connection it is painfully slow sometimes. Two hours later, I was still trying to email off my pages. I had removed a few photos, shrunk them down – I event split the document into 2 separate emails. It finally worked after 2 ½ hours.
Fast forward to the next night. I am taking my daughter out to look for school supplies. I stop by my local Best Buy to get something for my IPod and walk out with a brand new laptop. The first one I have ever owned. Now I can really blog in style!
This blogging thing is a frightening new adventure for me. I love to read other people’s blogs. I have gained a world of inspiration from reading about other artist’s journeys. And I have always been a journaler. I love words and I love to combine them with my art. Blogging should be a natural progression for me. But considering how long it took me to join the Laptop revolution, you can understand my fear of actually doing my own blog.
This blog will be used to track my progression with my art – to create a witness , if you will. I hope to use it to track the progress on various projects and custom orders, as well as to let you know about my successes and my failures. I hope to use it to keep connected with friends – both old and new. Here is to a new journey and adventure!