Friday, April 22, 2011


Portland Delivery, oil & pencil on linen, 9 x 12, 2009
Bicycle is the theme today at Illustration Friday. I have only once painted a bicycle, and here it is! It's very uncharacteristic in style as well as in execution. I was so worried about depicting the bicycle accurately that I traced it carefully in pencil onto the primed canvas before "coloring it in", not at all my usual slap-happy style!

I had been showing at a gallery in Portland Maine (Susan Maasch Fine Art) and was dropping off some work one late afternoon when I saw this bicycle delivery guy sailing slowly past on his red bike. There was something about the light and the balanced motion of the scene that caught at my heart. I happened to have my camera in hand and click: almost unbelieveably I managed to catch the moment. I don't usually work from photos, depict action, work from tracing or even do any drawing at all before painting, but I did this time and was somewhat pleased with the result. Something to revisit in future perhaps.

I felt later, looking at the scene that it had a faint whiff of Christen Købke about it, which must have unconsciously caused the initial attraction. I have had a postcard of this painting on my studio wall for years.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Last Autumn, Bottled

Green and Yellow, oil on gessoed ragboard, 8 x 10 inches, 2011
Bottled is this week's prompt at Illustration Friday. I love this little brown bottle which once held a nutritional supplement we were giving my son with autism when he was younger,  and I use it over and over again in my work. I think it signifies a simpler time, when we were full of hope and energy. Still have lots of hope, but less energy! ;-)  The coreopsis blossom and nasturtium leaves were from my late autumn garden. They lasted a long time in my chilly studio. The apple on the left only went into the compost bin a month or two ago...very long-lasting! This recently completed piece is on the invitation card for my upcoming show:

Nancy Bea Miller: recent work
May 4-29, 2011
Artists' House Galley
57 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA

First Friday:
May 6, 5 - 8:30pm
May 8, 1 - 4pm

Friday, April 1, 2011


Joined, oil on linen, 12 x 9 inches, 2011

DUET is this week's prompt at Illustration Friday. This is a painting I completed about a month ago and I think it fits the bill. I am in the Philly area and we sure do love our soft pretzels here! I am originally from NYC and we loved our pretzels there too, but the NYC pretzels are an entirely different configuration. In any shape, soft pretzels are best bought from a street vendor on a cold day,  eaten warm with a zigzag of mustard. If you get a blob of mustard on your cheek and someone kisses it off...all the better!