THE ARTISTS: Margie Miller
What is your career and current job title?
I work as a painter and an art teacher.
Describe your art in a sentence or two.
I use brilliant acrylic colors captured in many layers of glaze to create bold, eye-catching pieces. These paintings reflect my own heightened awareness of color, my general optimism and hopefully, some of my sense of humor.
How long have you been working in this discipline?
I became serious about painting as an art student at the University of California at Davis in the early 1970s. I had the good fortune to be able to study with some of the most exciting painters in modern California art history.
Why do you do it?
Painting makes people happy. Creative work is play. An old friend once advised me to “Never do anything unless it’s fun.” I try to live by those words, even when the going gets tough.
What do you hope to accomplish?
That’s a big question for anyone in the arts. People active in creative work have very busy brains. We’re all standing at the smorgasbord of life, and we want to try everything. Staying focused and bringing projects to a satisfactory completion is always an accomplishment.
Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive?
All art has some sort of message. It can be spiritual, political, commercial or emotional. I’d like viewers to spend time with my paintings and see what the message might be in there for them. I’m delighted if a person cracks a smile when they look at one of my paintings.
What’s your favorite part of your endeavors?
I am very fortunate to be teaching in different institutions such as the Nevada County juvenile hall and the Sierra Nevada Cancer Center. I get to teach fine art to children and adults who really want to learn how to paint. Watching others experience the bliss of making art is the most gratifying part of my work.
Any other comments you’d like to include?
It is one of my goals to make art more accessible to everyone. For hundreds of years, art has had an off-putting effect on the average viewer. Museum curators, art dealers and artists themselves have perpetuated the idea that only those benefiting from divine guidance (or a special relationship with a muse) can make art. What a bunch of baloney! Unfortunately, as a result, most Americans have a vague fear and loathing toward the world of fine art. In my teaching, I try to gently dismantle those old belief systems and to get people to relax and enjoy making and looking at fine art.
Margie Miller will be one of the artists opening their studios in the 2002 Western Nevada County Studio Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the next two Saturdays and Sundays. Her studio is 14522 Lava Dome Way in Nevada City.
“The Artists” appears each Friday. To suggest a person to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.
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From all the residents of Grass Valley Senior Apartments, thank you to the firefighters, police department air support and everyone who responded to the Bennett Fire. God bless you all. You are all heroes.