Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Participating in Members Exhibit

I am thrilled to be selected to participate in the Artists Registry Members Exhibit on display from November 21st through December 13th in the Kiene / Quigley Community gallery at City Arts Factory. My oil painting "Sweet Magnolia" will be displayed alongside over 80 other art pieces.

Please join me at the Artists' reception on Nov. 21st from 6-9 pm. There is no fee for entry.

The address is 29 S. Orange Ave, Orlando, Florida. City Arts Factory is located at the intersection of Orange and Pine Street. There is a parking garage across Pine Street in the Plaza building. There is limited on street parking available. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Motivation: for when you are too.. whatever.. to make art

I like sports analogies to describe our struggle against consistently creating art. Some of the greatest struggles can be found pushing yourself out in the sports arena, either against yourself or against a competitor. Maybe that's why we love watching competition so much.

Have I been creating since my last post? Yeah.

But I won't ever let that get me too comfortable. One slip, and I'm back out of the game and on the sidelines questioning what has happened. Where's my mojo?
Do I still have the eye of the tiger? Questioning yourself destroys self confidence leading to more inactivity, spiraling downward to ever increasing bouts of substandard art. See the beginning of the death spiral?

As in sports, practice is everything!

This video can't not get you going! Watch it until the finale.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quiet Drama Unfolding and Death

What Real Life Drama Unfolds While We are Unaware of It?

Yesterday I logged on in the early morning hours, trying to get a head start to my work before my family awoke. It was Patriot Day, commemorating the 12th Anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and aboard the United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. Checking my email, I couldn't believe the huge alert signifying that I had malware on my website and it had to be fixed within 72 hours or I'd lose my safe security status. You can bet my heart was pounding, what was going on? 

Checking further, the virus wasn't on my site exactly but on a linked badge I'd proudly place there - to that of Veteran Owned Business.  It was on my blog page, too. They were under attack by some cyber cowards on the anniversary of 9/11! How many businesses that had linked to them now had linked malware to deal with? Google Chrome wouldn't let me see the page to remove it, it successfully blocked the offending garbage. I had to go to Firefox to remove the badges. 

I checked this morning and while Veteran Owned Business site is now up and running their server West Host is experiencing massive issues and has been working 'round the clock for hours with "all hands on deck" (from their Twitter feed). Unfortunately, not all of West Host's clients are understanding... How will this affect their business and their client's business? 

As unfortunate as all of this cyber bullying has been it is nothing compared to the news that I woke up to this morning. 

Stunningly, on September 9th Winter Park artist Berto Ortego was found dead at the Grand Teton National Park, apparently by his own hand. What sort of quiet desperation was he living with to have carried this act out? I want to cry for the loss of such a warm, generous, talented spirit! 

I met him several years ago during the very first time I ventured out as an adult to try "art" again. I went to a live model session at the Maitland Art Center; the idea being that you could draw or paint from life without any instruction provided. Berto was there, walking around talking with people. He saw one of my sketches and said, smiling, "Oh, you like to draw faces!" I remember being so surprised. I had felt like an out of shape new mommy in sweat pants, not like an artist, and here was a real working professional being friendly and acknowledging something that he saw in my work. I gave a quick back story and he encouraged me to keep coming (I didn't). I wish I could have told him how much I appreciated his warmth and how much it touched me, but I didn't see him again. 

As beautiful as his work is, I prefer to remember him happy and working at his art. May he rest in peace.

Berto Ortego, Winter Park Paint Out, ©Polasek Museum

Monday, August 19, 2013

Barriers: How Many of Us Don't Even Enter the Race?

It's time to talk about barriers. Not just any barriers, and not the kind where other people are keeping you from your art (whole other topic). I'm talking about the kind of barriers you throw upon yourself. Some people call it self-sabotage but I'm keeping it simple.

© Genrommel | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images

Let me give you a personal example. Last month, I decided on the last day possible to enter an online art competition. It just so happened that the competition, on botanical and floral art, was very suited for a series of paintings that I had completed. Any of you who have ever entered competitions realize how much stuff you have to put together in a package and follow exacting instructions (or be disqualified), including bio, artist's statement, artist's information, images (saved in certain specifications), etc. Again, I waited until the last day possible. I did this on purpose. I was lucky I had my images prepped. This entry had a very happy entry, I went on to receive a Special Recognition award and it forever changed my skewed perception of entering competitions.

Getting through the barriers in my mind had been much trickier. One of my worst ideas was that as an artist, the paintings or work should just stand on it's own and shouldn't need awards or ribbons to showcase it's value. I can speak from experience at outdoor festivals (actual rubbing elbows with humans) that people like to see that your work is valuable to panel of experts too, as unfair as that may seem. Is that the end all goal? Of course not, just like in sports the process and progress is important. My idealism was just a cop out designed to keep me from the fear and pain of possible rejection. My brain is exceedingly brilliant in protecting little ole me. It also connives to keep me from seeking larger venues, and to ask for sales!

There are more insidious ways to throw up barriers than by missing competition deadlines or declining to enter out of idealism. Back in May, I attended a one-hour marketing seminar with none other than Alyson Stanfield from "I'd Rather Be in The Studio" while she was in Lake Mary. It was a great work session! Alyson nailed me down to a terrific to-do list, my top list of things to accomplish. Have I held myself accountable to the list? I think we all know the answer. It is easier to let other pressing issues take over (family, school, etc) than to place my art/ career/ business in a prioritized time block. If I did that, then I would have the courage to expect more from others' and to ask for business rather than - hoping for word of mouth, hoping to be discovered, hoping to be contacted. That's a lot of hope to hang your hat on.

So I am guilty of not entering the race, too. It's not too late though. The great news is that going forward I can accomplish my task list. I am sensitive now to some of the ideas that I have accepted as gospel for whatever reason, that aren't working. I question them now. If there is some inner dialogue or a vague feeling that inhibits action, I try to pinpoint that feeling and drill into the core. I find these are old ideas, and I need to sweep them away and replace them by freeing ideas!

Now, instead of saying "I don't enter art competitions because my art should speak on it's own"(limiting); I visualize a broom sweeping my mind and say instead "I enter art competitions because I want my art to have a greater voice"(freeing).

I would love to hear what sorts of ideas have or are still holding you back. I believe you are not alone. Share below in the comments so can all benefit, and move forward!

© 5xinc | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Special Recognition Award in Light Space and Time Botanicals Competition!

I am so very pleased to announce that I received a Special Recognition award for my oil painting titled "Sweet Magnolia", in Light Space and Time online's 3rd Annual Botanical competition.

Victoria Page Miller with her oil painting "Sweet Magnolia", holding Special Recognition award

The theme for the gallery's July art competition was botanical and floral art. The gallery received 704 different entries from 26 different countries and 41 different states and the District of Columbia.

I was inspired to paint "Sweet Magnolia" by watching the magnolia trees bloom in Central Florida. I drove around with a ladder in my van for several days until finding the perfect field specimen to study. I am delighted to be both a first time entrant and winner in the gallery's recent competition.

The "Sweet Magnolia" oil painting and my other works can be viewed at my website .

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Getting my Group On - Finding Tribes

Yesterday, I was fortunate to have secured an hour-long spot with Alyson Stanfield from Art Biz Blog. She is to artists what the dog whisperer is to.. well, dogs. If you don't know her book "I'd Rather Be in the Studio" you really have some catching up to do in artist marketing. She is a guru and she is fun!

We artists kicked it up

After the hour, many of the artists that consulted with her came back for dinner and a little bonding. We completely debunked the stereotype that artists prefer to be alone! Someone commented during our evening that it was great to be with her tribe. We had all just met, but we shared similarities and felt connected (tribe). It was glorious to be in each others company for a few short sweet hours.

My point is that seeking supportive tribes is important to your growth and having many overlapping tribes, like ripples in a pond, creates a supportive network.

I savor time with my tribes, even if they aren't in person as often as I would like.

If you are shy I encourage you to go out to different groups and meet people across a wide variety of interests. Some of my longer friendships are from both non-artist groups and artist groups. One of the most helpful group has been for me has been the FSU Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans-Families group.

How many different tribes do you have and have been the most helpful or mentoring to you? Please share in the comments below.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Auction Benefits Red Cross, NFAC Heron at DeLeon Springs

Finally entering the Nibblefest (Themed) Art Contest! It's held on Ebay every month.. Just do a search for this month's theme "Trees" take a look around and then come back. I'll wait.

So I've entered... it's exciting because every auction starts at $0.99! (Those of you who didn't search eBay for NFAC, go on, do it now!) Click on this direct link for my auction!

"Heron at DeLeon Springs", Giclee,©VictoriaPageMiller, eBay auction
Okay... so there are a lot of entries! They all can start on the 20th of the month but must complete by the 27th. That's really it. I've entered a reproduction of my "Heron at DeLeon Springs" oil painting. Before you get all persnickety about it being a Trees theme versus a Bird theme... might I just say that the heron is walking amongst the trees. Well he is! Looking for his breakfast. It could have been a Breakfast theme. Or an Omelet theme and I would have been fine. He could be having it his way. Or he could be lovin' it.

The important part is that any money (even if it is $0.99!) raised by my auction will be directly donated to the American Red Cross. They've been busy lately. They are always busy and I want them to continue to do the important work that they do.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Lasting Impressions" Oil Painting Full Reveal

Lasting Impressions, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30", ©Victoria Page Miller

You can see some of the progressive steps to get to this final stage here, here and here. This is a close up of the two figures in front. This is the most complex scene I've attempted so far. I wanted to push myself and this painting is the result of that effort.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Lasting Impressions" Close Up Oil Painting Preview

My former work in progress painting ,featured progressively here, here and then here has been finished, dried and titled "Lasting Impressions"! It is currently sitting in the 1350 West Art Gallery waiting to be installed for the Americana Realized opening this Friday night. I do hope you will come and enjoy.

I'll reveal the complete complete painting once post-processed.. but in the meantime, here is a closeup of a key portion that was previously in undertones.

closeup detail in Lasting Impressions, oil, ©Victoria Page Miller

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Untitled Work in Progress Oil Painting Day 3

I worked on developing some of the dark values, over which mid- and light values will go. You know, working from back to front. You can see this playing out in the hose, little structure, and the foliage to the right in the mid-ground. I also adjusted some of the dark values in the background.

Work in Progress, Untitled, Oil, ©Victoria Page Miller

Link to Work in Progress Untitled Oil Painting Day 2

Link to Work in Progress Untitled Oil Painting Day 1

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Untitled Ranch Oil Painting Part 2 Work in Progress

This is how I started this early afternoon. I got off to a later start than usual, but I was reacting to unimportant emergencies. You know, the house wasn't burning, but I had to put out some fires in a manner of speaking unrelated to art. Since Part 1, you can see that I worked mainly on deepening values in the large shadow in the foreground and developing some more depth in the main tree. I also started laying in beginning washes for the girl and the dog.

Work in Progress, Untitled,Oil, ©Victoria Page Miller

Link to Untitled Ranch Oil Painting Part 1

"Americana Realized" Exhibit at 1350 West Gallery Save the Date 4/12

Pleased to announce that I will be exhibiting at the "Americana Realized" Exhibit at the 1350 West Gallery at Carey Hand Ross Parker in Orlando, Florida. The opening reception to meet the Artists, enjoy live music and Hors d'hoeuvres will be on Friday, April 12th from 5pm to 8pm. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Work in Progress (Underpainting) Oil Painting Untitled Ranch

This is where I started from this morning.. Usually, if I share I like to take photos throughout and reveal the process all at once after the painting's completion. This is a wee bit scarier and keeps me honest. I've been at this painting awhile and it's starting to take form.

Work in Progress, Untitled, Oil, ©Victoria Page Miller

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Portable Phone Art Gallery Portfolio Dropbox Hack

I was sitting at a table recently with business colleagues that I had just met, when one asked, "Can I see your art?" Well.... uh....fiddling around... I didn't have any prints, or portfolios on me! I just had my business cards (one extremely tiny image) and that wouldn't suffice. I'd never given it thought.

Afterwards, I checked out the current offerings for portfolio apps on smart phones. There weren't many for artists/photographers and they weren't free. But I didn't give up.

I have a really easy, elegant solution. I tend to favor those.

Did I mention that it was free?

1) First you must already have photographs of your art work. This tutorial doesn't cover that. Get the highest quality possible, and make sure the digital file is on your computer. You can have it in any photo format file you choose.

2) Sign up for and install Dropbox. If you don't have it already, it is free file storage to sync between your computer(s), the cloud (or Dropbox website) and your phone. It is private, but you can enable sharing. Once you've installed it in another window or tab, come back to here step 3. By the way, it works on both Windows and Mac systems.

3) Connect your smart Phone to Dropbox. You can do this two ways. A. You can go into Apps first, and search for Dropbox and install it, or B. You can open an internet browser on your phone and go to Dropbox and sign in. The Dropbox App should appear on top of the Sign in Page, prompting you to Install.

       3.5) Note- I chose to not enable automatically saving each photo I took from my phone to Dropbox. I take a lot of pics and figured this would be a great way to burn up my storage. You may choose to enable it though. Think about what your needs are, you can change your settings later.

4) Back on your computer, Create a folder under the Photos Directory in Dropbox. I named mine "Victoria Page Miller Art". Name yours something like "Joe Smith Artist" for example, to keep it separate from your personal photos.

Sub Directory "Victoria Page Miller Art" under Photos in Dropbox file on Computer
5. Now you can copy the photos of your artwork into this sub directory. Keep in mind that whatever you have titled your artwork will be visible to your prospective clients. You might want to name them all in the same format, for example "Joe Smith Purple-Abstract 1" or "Joe Smith Walking Dog". 

Contents of Sub Directory "Victoria Page Miller Art" under Photos in Dropbox file

6) After the photo files in your sub directory (in my case, in "Victoria Page Miller Art") on the computer sync go back to your phone. Go into your Dropbox App (not via a browser). First tap on the Photo folder, then tap on the first photo in the folder. You will have a full screen gallery image of your photo. You can then swipe all the images backwards and forwards in the within the sub directory! A bonus is that all of the images are surrounded by gallery, piano black. Not too shabby for free.

"Mystic Rhythms" ©VP Miller, on Cell Phone via Dropbox App

I will never be without images of my portfolio again, and you shouldn't be either! The bonus is that your art or photo images are backed up. If you are squeamish about having them out "in the cloud" then simply don't put your full sized images in the folder. Down size them to what would be best viewed on the web (for example, 72dpi). Other artists like to trade mark over their images, what do you think?

I hope this has helped.

The link to install Dropbox with my referral code is here. Once you download and install I'll receive increased storage in my account (thought it was fair that you know)! You don't have to though, you can google Dropbox and install it the old fashioned way.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Art "Peacock Orchid" Now on Sale at FineArtAmerica

I've partnered with the world's leading art fulfillment website FineArtAmerica to enable you to purchase fine art reproduction giclĂ©es on paper, canvas, acrylic and metal of my original oil painting "Peacock Orchid". These are available in numerous sizes, and framing options.  Perhaps the coolest feature for you is that the site allows you to try the image out with various matting or framing options (or framing free, also known as the gallery wrap) so you can see what would work with your decor. They also come with a money back guarantee so you can shop confidently. Buy my open reproductions of "Peacock Orchid" here.

"Peacock Orchid", 24x30", Oil on Canvas, ©Victoria Page Miller

orchids art floral art phalaenopsis art

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sat Nite Artist Way Group Event "Smoking" + Jazz

Looking for fun this Saturday night? Look no further, the Artist Way group is exhibiting "Smoking" one night only in the converted old Casselberry firehouse! Artists will be on hand to pour wine and talk art, music, and mingle! Just a few of the exhibiting artists are Cheryl Jones Evans, Shari Sherman, Brian Jones (no relation), Marla E, Deborah Umphrey, Sharon Omens, Lindsay N. Lyons, Wendy Cagen, and Kathy Furey Tran. Co-located with this event is the Jazz stylings of Euge Groove in the amphitheater at Lake Concord Park in Casselberry, behind City Hall.

All events run from 6pm-9pm. Free, thanks to Orlando's Smooth Jazz WLOQ 102.5.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

#Free Torrit Grey #Oil #Paint Now Thru End of April

Torrit Grey is created annually, each spring, by taking pigment particles from the Gamblin filtration system during production, and turning the remnants into a unique pigment. The filtration system protects the workers during the production process, and the remnants are saved and turned into yet another fine arts color. Each Torrit Gray production run yields a unique color, depending upon the particles collected. How cool is that?

The Torrit Grey in store promotion runs through the end of April to coincide with Earth day to bring attention to recycling, studio and environmental safety. Gamblin is giving away promotional 37ml tubes of Torrit Grey in your local fine arts retailer. Get yours now!

Monday, March 4, 2013

March Wine Art Wednesday in Lake Mary FL

Come to this Wine Art Wednesday on March 6th held from 5pm - 9pm in the Lake Mary City Hall park square. It's a wee bit early for St. Patrick's Day but that isn't stopping the organizer from bringing lively music and craftsman beer to help celebrate. Also on tap are fine artists, and we'll be lining the roads in front of the friendly retailers who are staying open for the event!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

FSU Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans' Families 2013

I am honored to share this video, it's a sampling of the past nine days I spent at Florida State University in the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans' Families program. It's a phenomenal program, open to family members of service connected veterans with disabilities and active members of the armed forces. I would strongly encourage anyone in those groups interested in starting their own business, or who have already started one to apply for this program!

Have you ever heard the term "drinking water from a fire hose"? You will work hard, learn much, gain new friends and have your life changed for the better.

Here's the link for the regular Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans' with Disabilities.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Peacock Orchid Oil Painting

Peacock Orchid, 24x30", Oil on Canvas, ©Victoria Page Miller

"Peacock Orchid" came out of the desire to apply dramatic lighting to a double blooming Phalaenopsis moth Orchid. The backdrop is a stained glass screen and features a peacock pattern, partially hidden by the flowers. The peacock is known to mate for life and the orchid blooms are joined, yet complementary.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Selected for Judging and Breaking Barriers

This past weekend at the Mount Dora Art Festival I was deeply honored to have my painting "Rebuilding Haiti" selected for Judging. This means that it was pre-screened and deemed worthy to be in the semi finals by the esteemed judges! Although I didn't win, having my painting selected was a huge honor and brought lots of curious onlookers into my booth.

"Rebuilding Haiti", Watercolor, Selected for Judging, VPMiller

One of them was a clinical psychologist, who said that the painting broke all the barriers and did I plan on that before painting it? "What do you mean", I asked? She explained to me that it broke barriers of race, culture, career, language and relationship. Did I plan to do all that with this painting? I laughed, explaining that I was moved emotionally after the earthquake in Haiti and just painted. I really wasn't thinking of it that way.
I like her version though!

It's incredible the interesting people that come to view your art, and some of the feedback they give. I wouldn't trade that for the world.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

38th Mount Dora Art Festival 2013

In less than a week I'll be exhibiting in the funky, historic and beautiful city of Mount Dora! This is the 38th Annual Mount Dora Festival of the Arts and falls on Saturday Feb 2, 2013 through Sunday, Feb 3rd. The festival is open from 9am to 5pm both days. It is one of the nations largest and a must see for arts lover.

Add caption

I'll be in booth DC-014 which is on Donnelly street to the east of 6th Avenue. See you there!