Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Martha Miller

Mummy of an Adult Female/Self
Graphite, charcoal, white pastel and collage on paper, 30" x 22"
Copyright 2003 Martha Miller

The making of art tends to be a pretty solitary occupation. One of the wonderful things I've discovered about blogging is the way it has helped me become aware of and build friendships with other artists all over the country and the world.

An intricate and energizing network of connections evolves. Here's kind of how it works: A few months ago I became aware of a really fine California painter named Susan Beauchemin when she applied for acceptance into the Daily Painters group. I was very impressed and put her link on my blog. Susan was quickly juried into the group and began posting. Some time later I happened to post a self-portrait, which drew a comment on my site from a Maine artist named Martha Miller. Martha, it turns out, also has a blog. I quickly discover that she is a tremendously talented artist who does extraordinary self-portraits. I also find out that Martha just happens to be Susan's sister. Small world.

A week or two ago Martha posted some of her drawings inspired by the work of the late nineteenth century photographer, Eadweard Muybridge (yes, I spelled it right.) Muybridge did the first human and animal motion studies, and Martha's post really perked my interest because back in the mid 80's I did a series of works that were also Muybridge-inspired. I left a comment about that, and Martha mentioned she'd like to see that work. So the other day I emailed her some images.

Tuesday I checked in on Martha and--HOLY MOLEY--she's done a feature on me! Check it out here. And while you're there be sure to explore Martha's blog--she is a dedicated and superb artist. Don't miss her main website either.

Thanks, Martha, for your generosity.


martha miller said...

Hi Don

You know, I never thought to ask if it was OK to post your work on my site - I just immediatly loved the images and in my excitement my knee-jerk reaction was to post them! I apologize for not checking with you first! Agh...the etiquette of the web is still new to me...

I love those paintings and drawings - it's a gorgeous series. I can see the Nevelson connection! I love where you were going with the vessel concept. Perhaps something from this series will trickle its way into your current daily practice? What goes around can definitly wind its way back around again, eh?

Beautiful Work.

Don Gray said...

Hi Martha,

It's no problem, I'm flattered that you liked them enough to post, though I didn't send them to you with that in mind. But what we're all involved with here is a process of sharing, and when that is properly credited and done respectfully, it's a good thing.

I hope to somehow pick up the thread of that more exploratory work before too long. They were transitional pieces, but I feel I never really completed the transition.

Thanks for your encouraging words.

Frank Gardner said...

Very cool stuff Don. I like the Joseph Cornell look of the top ones. The drawings are real strong. The charcoal ones are great.
I had a couple of Muybridge influences back in the day as well.

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Frank. Got any pictures of your Muybridge-related stuff? I'd love to see it.