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8 Months as a Studio Artist

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In May 2016 I completed my BA in Studio Art and began transitioning my lifelong art practice into a career. Over the past year, my greatest challenge has been accepting and anticipating that each new project will always cover new territory: exploration, iteration, learning and growth. In other words, time.

Art takes time. It takes as long as it takes. And often it feels like it takes me even longer than that, because I can't settle down to one medium or style. I spent the year cycling between painting, sculpture, and installation, and I loved every minute of my work.

Surfacing - octopus watercolor painting by Emily Miller Cape Arago Lighthouse watercolor painting by Emily Miller

I revisited my studio watercolor practice, traveled and painted the landscape, experimented with abstracts in encaustic wax, and completed a two-story acrylic mural.

Kites at Cannon Beach - Oregon watercolor painting by artist Emily Miller Artist Emily Miller painting en plein air on the Oregon coast Encaustic wax painting by artist Emily Miller Lincoln Pier mural

In the ceramics studio, I worked with slipcasting, wheel throwing, and hand building abstract and figurative objects.

Urchin Rice Bowl in Cornflower Blue by artist Emily Miller Wanderers porcelain tea set Lava Pots - ceramic artwork by artist Emily Miller Beaver Family, ceramic sculpture by Oregon artist Emily Miller

I created indoor and outdoor art installations.

Wanderers interactive art installation by Emily Miller Beams - forest string art installation by Emily Miller

I discovered a connecting thread between all my projects: a playful exploration of the mystery and beauty in the natural world, centered around the ocean. But I also acknowledged that this subtle theme is the only thing holding my different bodies of work together. My style, medium, subject matter, presentation, and palette are all over the place. My work does not have a single, clear voice that is shared between my abstract and figurative work, or my painting, sculpture, and photography.

So in 2017, I will be asking myself: how can I consolidate and create consistency across my range of work?

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