In this discussion with artist Deborah Miller, we hear more about how her journey as an artist began, how her process and work has evolved, and what she hopes to see next for her artwork and practice.
Read on to hear about Miller’s work, and be sure to visit her at the 2023 Open Studios event happening April 29 & 30. You can find her at New Art Center at Trio at 245 Walnut Street, Floor 2.
Tell us about your work and your process. What do you make and how do you make it?
My journey as an artist started when I was very young. I was talked out of becoming an artist back then as I didn’t want to be the “starving artist” so I went to college and studied graphic design. For over 10 years I worked as a graphic designer and art director. I decided to commit to my creative process over 5 years ago after attending a gallery visit in Cape Cod. The work in the gallery inspired me to paint.
Tell us about how your journey as an artist started. What is your background and what inspired you to commit yourself to a creative practice?
My art practice has evolved over the years into more abstract images. By applying acrylic paint, graphite, charcoal, pastel, etc I build up the canvas surface with many layers of paint creating an outcome that intuitively speaks to me. An image may appear that is familiar but loose and layered with texture.
Tell us more about how your practice has evolved. What are some creative accomplishments you are proud of or milestones you have reached along your way?
My creative practice has evolved over the course of 5 years, as I started with photography, where I manipulated my photos to look like paintings. I was very encouraged as I started selling these works at Open Studios and at retail shops. I then started painting the scenes I was photographing. I took some painting and drawing courses to get into the flow of painting again. I started again to sell, only this time, I sold my painting which was so validating and encouraging so I continued taking online painting courses to add to my practice.
Tell us about your creative community. Are there any friends, collaborators, teachers, patrons, or organizations who have supported you along the way?
My creative community continues to be artists I have taken online courses with, as well as local art courses at New Art Center and the MFA.
Describe a particularly significant artwork you have created. Why was that piece significant to you and how did it impact your art making practice?
One piece of art called, Beach Daze, was significant because it was one that I started early in my art making and continues to sell as prints to this day.
What’s next for you and your artwork? What can we expect to see from you in the future?
My hope for the future is to continue to practice painting and get my work in front of a larger audience, perhaps in a gallery or store. I would love to collaborate with more interior designers as I have my art in one of their shops.
Casey Curry is a writer and curator guided by the belief that the transformation our world so desperately needs can only come from deep cultural shifts sparked by visionary artists who make fundamental change irresistible. Her research is rooted in thinking creatively about arts administration to uncover what is possible when visionary artists are not just supported by administrative allies, but truly understood and valued by co-creators with complimentary skills that level bureaucratic barriers to societal impact through art.