December 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
I am an oil painter of still lifes. My goal is to capture the light and local color of my subjects and maintain a freshness in my work by painting from life and working alla prima. The object of my painting is to simplify the form. This allows me to focus on those qualities that attract me to the subject. Painting fills me with the visual excitement of what I see and the challenge is what drives me to work harder. I hope to share these experiences with those who view my paintings.
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September 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
Miller has always had an interest in the play of light on objects, and the strong illusion of three-dimensions on two-dimensional surfaces. Highly resolved paintings encourage the viewer to consider the subtleties of the images, and slow down and take the time needed to make associations.
Her recent work uses miniature toys as actors and backyard gardens as stages, creating enigmatic scenarios for the oil painting series, Garden Stories. These paintings combine a long-standing interest in dioramas since her childhood in Chicago, with preoccupations about current events, especially environmental and geo-political tensions.
Past series include portraits of chairs, and, daily life in China. Chairs were paired with historical and modern artists who seemingly share or reinforce each other’s personality and even mood. Flowers are included to provide a visual bridge between the subject and representation of a well-known work of art. With a nod to early daguerreotype portraits of family members, the backgrounds are kept plain, and the subject looks directly at the viewer. The gouache paintings on paper were inspired by Miller’s experiences and various travels to People’s Republic of China, where, as Visiting Skidmore College Professor, she taught Western-Style Oil Painting at Qufu Teacher’s University. Miller also served as guest curator of “Beijing Now: Oil Paintings by Twelve Chinese Artists” at First Street Gallery, and faculty curator for “Brushing the Present: Contemporary Academy Painting from China” at the Tang Teaching Museum.
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September 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
Artist Bio: Landscape and figurative artist Mary Ellen Riell is a recipient of top awards in both watercolor and pastel, most recently Grand Prize in the Cooperstown Art Association’s 79th Annual National Exhibition and Best in Show at the Laffer Gallery’s competitive Annual Upstate Artists Exhibition. A former professional illustrator and college instructor, she received her art training at the Art Students League in New York City, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Brooklyn College, where she studied with painter Sam Gelber and sculptor Sylvia Stone, before receiving her masters degree from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Now a full time artist working in her upstate NY studio, Mary Ellen is a current member and former co-director of the Oakroom Artists, a long established membership-by-invitation artists’ association. Her work is included in both institutional and private collections.
Statement: I am always looking for new ways to see the traditional subjects of garden, sea,landscape and the human figure. Viewing a scene from a variety of vantage points and times of day, often with a camera, is a key first step in finding the presentation that best suits the visual and conceptual ideas I want to convey. Working en plein air, I enjoy emphasizing the rich color and sensuous grace found in the curves, tilt and sway of plants and trees set against the hardscape elements of houses, barns and sheds. Looking closely, staying focused and going with the flow are essential methods for expressing a subject’s mood and capturing a sense of place.