Margie Miller opens studio doors to public |

Margie Miller opens studio doors to public

Creating watercolors and acrylic paintings for 25 years, Margie Miller is used to viewers visiting her art studio on a weekly basis.

That doesn’t mean she takes the visits for granted. In fact, she has spent several months preparing for the Western Nevada County Open Studios Art Tour held the next two weekends.

“One of my favorite quotes I live by is when you’re making art, even though the horse is blind, you keep loading the cart,” the Nevada City artist said. “Even though you don’t know where you’re going with a painting or a series, you have to keep making them and have faith it will go somewhere. That’s why I think it’s important to be on the studio tour and put your work out.”

So while she has her usual teaching responsibilities and painting commissions to meet these past few months, Miller added chores such as photographing new works, updating her Web site (, framing the pieces and cleaning her studio to her workload.

“The time getting ready for the Studio Tour is absolutely worth it,” Miller exclaimed. “It’s part of building your reputation as a painter, it’s about being consistent and reminding people that artists should never expect meteoric rises in their reputation or prosperity. But making art is something you have to keep doing and changing and trying new things and experimenting.”

This tour is Miller’s fifth, and, she easily interjects, “My studio is on top of Banner Lava Cap Mine Road, number 30 on the Open Studios brochure.”

Even without the studio exposure, Miller is well-known in the community.

In 1999, she was designated the Art Educator of the Year for Nevada County. Miller taught art at the Nevada County juvenile hall for six years, is on her seventh year at the Sierra Nevada Cancer Center and gives private lessons at her studio. In addition, Miller leads teacher-docent workshops at Crocker Art Museum and teacher workshops for the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools.

With the four-day Studio Tours, Miller will continue to talk about her favorite subject, this time to an expected couple of hundred residents.

“Part of the beauty of the Studio Tour is it invites the public to come and look at the art studio and get to know the artist, actually see them, get to hear their voice and to listen to the artist talk about their own work which really creates an intimacy with the artist’s work,” Miller said.

“There’s no other experience like it. When you go into a gallery or museum, you have this very cold and flat experience of who that artist is. When you’re in the studio, the artwork becomes more interesting and richer. It has greater depth because you’re getting to know the person who made it.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User