Tracy Miller Expressions
Category: Special Projects
| 15 September, 2017 11:25
You may have heard that on September 30, 2017, the Tracy Miller Gallery will be putting on an art show – The Great American Bison. The show will focus on the art of the New West, and the artists who are participating will be putting a special focus on the bison. One Nation Film Festival is hosting the show – and I’m thrilled!
This show is near and dear to my heart – primarily because of my deep love for the bison. To me, they represent everything that is the New American West. They’re majestic and graceful – and in nature they’re honestly a site to behold. But it’s much more than that.
American Bison Portrait by Ezra Tucker
Over the course of Western American history, the bison has been a key player. They were hunted by Native Americans and settlers alike, and they often were the reason that communities formed and settled. They provided food, but they also provided clothing. They provided a sense of security, which contributed to the settling of the west – and the evolution of it to be an area that we know and love today.
Growing up, I always admired the bison. They’ve played a large role in my personal work. I’m drawn to animals who exist so well in their natural surroundings, and exhibit a life and a personality all their own. The bison is amazing to me because they’re so strong. Size-wise, they’re huge. They’re stocky, made of muscle. Yet they manage to exude this sense of kindness, grace, and peace. To me, they represent freedom and strength – and that ties so well to the nature of the American West that I’m drawn to.
Bison with Blue Sky by Ray-Mel Cornelius
Having an entire show dedicated to this magnificent animal means a lot to me. I think it’s important that we show them respect and reverence through our tribute. More than that, though, I’m always excited to see how other artists perceive and represent the bison. We all connect with nature in such different ways, and I love to see the energy of those connections in everyone’s individual work. Appreciating that we all approach the same figure – the great American bison – in different, unique ways says just as much about the great American bison as it does about us as artists.
This show is going to be amazing, and I hope to see you all there!
| 22 August, 2017 10:58
Everyone has goals and dreams. For me, I always dreamt of being an artist and owning my own studio. However, I also had a dream to refinish a vintage camper trailer and to use it as a travelling artist’s studio. Recently, my dream was realized!
My husband and I bought a 1967 Trailmaster in 2015. It’s a traditional “tin can” type of trailer, and I loved it immediately. I named it Dimples, and my husband got to work on one of the biggest renovation projects we’ve ever undertaken together! It took almost a full year to gut and renovate the trailer, but the result was absolutely worth it. Inside the trailer it’s primarily cowgirl or Western themed, but we added some elements of a traditional fishing lodge, as well.
Although I love my trailer as it is, I dream of travelling in it more often as the years go by. My big goal with this trailer is to travel and promote myself and my artwork wherever and whenever I camp. The trailer will be used as somewhere to stay while my husband and I travel the country, but also as a travelling artist studio! I’ll be able to gather inspiration from my new surroundings wherever we choose to stop, and sell my work as I go. The logo for my gallery is a decal that we placed on the back of the trailer, and we had a decal of one of my trout paintings created for the door.
As someone who grew up fishing and camping, I love having the opportunity to fully relax in my camper and to take my painting with me wherever I go. It truly is an excellent stress reliever – I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world!
During the last week of August, I’ll be showing off Dimples at the Denver Modernism Show (and of course I’ll be showing off some of my artwork as well). In the future, I’d love to travel with Dimples whenever I go to different shows out West. Keep your eyes out for us!
| 21 June, 2017 12:56
Recently, I went on a trip to Creede, Colorado where I was fortunate enough to paint with Stephen Quiller and several other fantastic artists during Taste of Creede. Taste of Creede is an annual Event where they celebrate the fine arts and dining, and it’s a lot of fun. This year it was held over Memorial Day weekend and the turnout was great! I was so excited to participate, and I’m even more excited to share my experience with you here on my blog.
The artists who attend Taste of Creede are set up on the street to do painting demonstrations. Finally, on Sunday, we all participate in a “Quick Draw.” This is such a unique experience, and one that I loved participating in. We’re given an hour and during that time we paint anything that we believe reflects Creede, Colorado. Some artists choose to go with landscapes, some choose to paint the quaint downtown area, while others choose to paint portraits.
I decided to paint something relevant to the trout paints I've been working on over the course of the last 3-4 years. Creede is at the headwaters of the Rio Grande, and fly fishing is a huge pastime for those who are from the area or who come to visit. I decided to get creative and paint fishing flies – a totally new concept to me (and the people at the event!). I was excited to put my work out there, but to complete it within the allotted hour took some seriously vigorous painting. After all was said and done, I was honored that someone bid on the painting. What an incredible validation of the effort you pour into your work!
The “Quick Draw” at Taste of Creede raises money for the Creede Chamber of Commerce, which is an added benefit to participating. Overall, it was a wonderful weekend and I was thrilled to paint alongside some truly excellent artists such as Frank Fancese, Coni Grant, David Montgomery, Charles Ewing, and (as mentioned before) Stephen Quiller.
The weekend was only made better by the fact that my husband, Roger, and I camped in our recently renovated vintage camper – who we have dubbed Dimples. We saw some incredible wildlife – we actually spent Sunday morning in the presence of wild sheep! If you get the chance to attend Taste of Creede next year, or just to visit the area at all, I highly recommend it. Such a stunning pocket of Colorado’s natural beauty!
| 16 May, 2017 09:34
If you’ve been following my work for a while, you may know that I create these colorful dog and animal portraits. I grew up around animals, and I love painting them in true abstract expressionism. As I paint, the animals I’m working to capture reveal themselves to me slowly. I use bold brushstrokes and vibrant, charged color schemes to capture their personality and spirit. From there, I refine their key recognizable characteristics – capturing them as we see them.
I strive to create a unique portrait of the animal subject every time I start working on a new piece. Every animal, after all, has a unique personality. I feel that by capturing them in such a primal way, I can help represent the special space they take up in this world. Through bright colors and lines that capture their quirky, individual expressions, I’m showcasing them as exactly what they are – individual, happy, creatures who add value during their time with us.
Originally, these portraits were a way for me to interact with animals – which I love. Living in Colorado, I have a lot of opportunities to see and visit with western wildlife in a way I might not be able to if I lived elsewhere. As my paintings gained some traction with collectors who were familiar with my work, I started to receive commission requests. Painting someone’s pet, whether they’re living or deceased, is an important way that I can help them remember their beloved furry friend and capture that special relationship.
As commissions became increasingly popular, and my originals started selling on Ugallery.com, I started opening myself up to the prints market. As an artist, I strive to be realistic. Not everyone can afford a commissioned piece or an original, and that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to access art that moves them. If you’re connected to a piece on an emotional level, as many people are when you’re dealing with animals as a subject matter, you want to have access to that art.
For me, there’s a huge difference between the originals and commissioned paintings world and the prints world. Getting involved in having my art created for mass-printing has been a game changer for me. I feel like my creations are now accessible to a broader public, and that’s an incredible feeling. In many ways, this feels like my calling – making people happy through my work. Being given the opportunity to cast a wider net and bring that joy to more people through my art has been an enriching and rewarding experience.
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Calendar Of Posts
- Painting Time Lapse
- The Great American Bison: What This Show Means to Me
- Dreams Realized
- Owning a Gallery as a Solo Artist
- My Trip to Creede
- The Story of My Dogs
- Painting at the Plein Air Fest in Jackson WY
- Wildland Wildlife
- A Visit with Alyson Stanfield
- Making the Rounds at the Shows here in the West