Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lady with Her Baby

This image is from an Art in America magazine (February 2006) that I found in a discard pile at my studio building. I'd never seen this artist's work before and have not found much on-line about her. I love this painting. It brings to mind my little book of baby dreams. I'll have to see if I can find a book about her in the library.

Sylvia Fein
Lady with Her Baby, 1947
egg tempera and oil on panel, 18 x 15 inches

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Just Don't Know...

I get going on these things and go way over the top. I love the over the topness of Mexican Retablos...
But I'm starting to feel lost. Is this where I really need/want to go? Is it simply a form of play? Or compulsion? Agh. Too much stuff. I get to this point and either want to take a match to it or start painting everything black...

Once again, welcome to my process.
I'm sweaty and tired of being in my un-airconditioned studio. I might just submit the drawing and to heck with the whole frame idea!!!

A Conversation With the Moon

I'm trying to finish this piece before tomorrow and need to get my butt over to my studio and DO IT. I was researching Snow White and the Magic Mirror. In some texts looking into the magic mirror represents a conversation with the sun or the moon. I like that. And in the Brothers Grimm version of SW, the evil step-mother (who in the ORIGINAL tale was actually the mother, but they had to tone it down for dare a mother have those dark thoughts?? And, as if this toned the story down!) so the evil mother/step-mother has to wear iron shoes at her daughter's wedding that are hot like fire and she dances until she dies! (I just have to add some shoes filled with fire to this piece...)

So, this piece is about vanity, envy, jealousy, competitiveness (insecurity) which are all a cover for loss (loss of youth, and loss of a daughter) and sadness, anger, grief, denial about aging...
I like the idea of looking for wisdom and answers about all these dark feelings from a conversation with the Moon...
Mother of the Bride Wears Beige/Self
Conversation with the Moon
still in progress...

East End Beach

The past three days have been gorgeous here in Portland, and I have actually gone swimming for the past three afternoons in the Maine ocean, at East End Beach, pictured above. And I mean swimming: I stayed in the water for twenty minutes or more, doing laps. Swimming! Not running in, screaming, dunking down and tearing back out again (what typically occurs when one attempts a dip at the Maine coast). The water is a good temperature right now. Cold, but not unbearable. This beach is at the top of Munjoy Hill on the East End of Portland, just minutes from my apartment. How cool is that?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Book

In the spirit of synchronicity, I am posting today about my book, Portraits from My Father's Chair, which was the culmination of my senior thesis project. My daughter-in-law, Tracey Miller, put this book together for me in less than 2 weeks! She's a terrific designer! She also designed my website and this blog! (Tracey commented in yesterday's post about the book...)
We self-published my book using

I've scanned the front and back covers, plus the forward, written by Jon Calame, and the introduction. (Click to enlarge and read!)

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Portraits from My Father's Chair, you can e-mail me @!

Portraits from My Father's Chair: A Collective Portrait of the Maine College of Art Creative Community, Martha Miller, 2006
$48 each, includes tax and shipping

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jay York

And speaking of Jay York (see previous post) here he is!

Jay in his May Green Kitchen, 2005
pastel and colored pencil in Rives BFK, 22" x 30"
collection Jay York

A Portrait Returns

My Mom has moved from her assisted living apartment to the Alzheimer's unit in the same building and has had to downsize a bit. Consequently, some drawings that I had given to my parents years ago are now coming back to me. This one is a portrait of my daughter Lisbeth that I drew when she was in Boston Children's Hospital in 1992 undergoing surgery for Invasive Monitoring . It is in a nice frame. I need to take it over to Affordable Photo and have Jay York photograph it for me - he has a great set up for shooting pics under glass.

Lisbeth, May 18th, 1992
conte crayon on paper, 15" x 18"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cement Mixers

My sons Andrew and Alec mixing concrete to pour into the 12 Sonotubes that will form the foundation of Andy's workshop in the woods. Andy is building a house for his family on a parcel of our land that we gifted to him and our daughter-in-law. Quite the undertaking! Forgetting that these are my sons, I love these images of two men, two brothers, at work. I'm thinking of making linoleum prints using these photographs as reference...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Maine Backyard

There's no place like home. Heading back to Woolwich and the garden for a couple of days. Have a great weekend, everyone! With some luck we might see the SUN. After a week of heavy rain, we are waterlogged here in the east!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

MOB Continued...

I am working on finishing this self-portrait before the 30th. I want to submit it to a portrait competition at The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (check it out, all you portrait artists!) I am making a frame that will include all these photos of my daughter trying on wedding gowns. The frame will be quite ornate - I have a picture of a Mexican retablo with a beautiful frame - I am going to copy the shape of that frame and fill it with these images of Kaitlyn and some flowers, birds, and leaves...and I think some images of me when I was younger...
You know, Mirror Mirror on the Wall, and All.
This piece is quite a bit about letting go of EGO...

Mother of the Bride Wears Beige/Self, in progress...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Ten Minute Portrait Study

...of last night's model in my Life Drawing class.

Ray with Haircut, 2008
charcoal and pastel on Rives BFK, 15" x 22"
For Sale.

Porch Angel

I found a spot for my angel baby in Woolwich - over the doorway leading to my kitchen on my porch. If you would like to purchase an angel print, they are for sale!
Angel Baby, 2008
hand pulled linoleum block print with or without glitter, approx 4' x 2'
For Sale.

Shower Favors

Silver and gold brides and grooms. I made these little linoleum prints, added some glitter, then laminated them to give as favors at my daughter's bridal shower. They can serve as ornaments, or bookmarks...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I haven't been posting as regularly as usual because I hosted a large Jack & Jill wedding shower for my daughter Kaitlyn and her fiance Cory at our home in Woolwich this past weekend. Plus, my son Alec is home from California for a 2 week visit - he hadn't been home in 3 years! My husband and I have been working quite a bit in our big vegetable garden as well. So it's been a full and busy time here at Miller Mountain. I'll be back in my studio tomorrow with work to share.

Hope that you are all enjoying High Summer!

Amadeo Modigliani
Bride and Groom

Friday, July 18, 2008

More Otto

Newborn Baby on Hands. 1927

At the Mirror. 1921

Nelly with Toy. 1924

Dr. Heinrich Stadelmann. 1922

Pregnant Woman. 1919

Moon Woman. 1919

Some less familiar paintings by Otto Dix. Less familiar to me - I'm acquainted mostly with Dix's grizzly WW I paintings. It's fun to see these last 2 magical and whimsical images of women - they are quite reminiscent of Chagall.

Dix Drawings

Gebert. 1914

Kind an der Brust, dazu Studie des rechten Beines und der Hande. 1924

Essende Frau. 1922

Hansi. 1921

Liegende. 1929

Scherzo. 1915

Schlafende. 1914

I bought an old catalog of drawings by the German expressionist Otto Dix in the used and for sale section at the MECA library. They routinely sell off their old art books for cheap. I always enjoy seeing artists' drawings, especially artists whose most well known work is their paintings. This catalog is entirely in German. Have fun translating!