GREENVILLE — One of Fiona Miller’s favorite paintings, “In the Wildflowers,” is of her two children running through a field of wildflowers, in the San Francisco Bay area.
“You get the California bloom, and suddenly the entire hillside just bursts forth with golden flowers,” she said. “It’s really a spectacle to see.”
Darke County Center for the Arts (DCCA) kicked off its season’s first art exhibit Saturday, September 9, at the Anna Bier Gallery, in Greenville, Ohio. A reception took place honoring artist Fiona Miller, of Xenia, with her architectural renderings in ink and watercolor.
To a crowd gathered around her, Miller described the painting “In the Wildflowers,” as a favorite for a few reasons: some artistic and some personal.
“I enjoyed the composition of this painting,” she said. “My style is quite loose, as I don’t capture every minute detail. I think a good painting has a way to lead the eye through it, and this trail automatically takes you through the landscape. Also, I love the contrast between these very rigid structural lines of the pylons and the soft flowers and shapes of the landscape. I love brightness – it makes me very happy. These colorful flowers were just such a sight to be seen and I wanted to capture some of that. The painting also captures a really happy moment. I love watching my son take off on trails. He does this every time we go hiking, and the rest of us have to try to run and catch up with him. We had a picnic, sat out in the sunshine, watched the hills, played in the sandbox and this was a part that we went exploring. It brings back all of those memories for me. Paintings can freeze a moment in time. Every time I look at this, I get to experience that moment again, the way I felt that morning. The act of painting has reminded me to be thankful of what I have and also just to find the beauty.”
Miller said while her style is loose, it is important that she reveals details of the architecture, the culture and the history during the time the structures were erected. Each of the paintings on display have a special meaning for her, symbolizing part of her life experience, while revealing different places she has lived and visited. Some of her other paintings include: “St. John’s Gatehouse, Cambridge”; “Cincinnati Skyline from I-75”; “Financial District, San Francisco”; “Derelict Short North”, Columbus; “Battery Row”, Charleston, South Carolina; “Piazza San Pietro, Rome” and “St. John’s Gatehouse, Cambridge”, her painting of the portal through which she passed each morning on her way to classes.
“I find the space around me, people’s lives, and the buildings we inhabit to be worthy of reflection and celebration,” Miller said.
Miller said she has been creating art since she was a child. She is originally from Norfolk, a county in East Anglia in England, and moved to the states in 2010. She earned a degree in Architecture from Cambridge University as well as a postgraduate diploma in the field. She moved to Xenia about a year ago, where she paints in her home studio. While she loves painting and does it as much as possible, she describes herself as mostly a mom to her two children. She said her artistic side is making an impression on them.
“My son is much more technical, but my daughter is quite free in her style,” she said. “I really enjoy getting to teach them some too, and watch then develop.”
In addition to being the first exhibit in the DCCA season, it is also a first for Anna Bier Gallery ‘s new Director Tamera McNulty. She was very impressed with the number of guests, in spite of the many other competitive activities offered throughout the area. McNulty said she has a free hand in choosing the exhibits.
“I am excited to explore a lot of different genres – I want to show all kinds,” she said. “Our next show, in October, is an artist from Bowling Green who does glass mosaic guitars. We are aligning that with our Memphis show. It is going to be super cool.”
The exhibit of Miller’s work will remain on display at Anna Bier Gallery located within Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall through September 30. The Gallery’s hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment, and during special events at Memorial Hall. For more information, or to arrange a tour, contact Anna Bier Gallery Director Tamera McNulty at 937-564-5863. For more information about Miller’s work, visit www.fionamiller.net
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