Dawn Miller found 2020 was a great year to work on her art.
Miller treated the downtime this past spring as a time to reflect and create paintings for her show, Replenishing Qi, showcased in Parkside Gallery in 100 Mile House in October. Before that, she hadn’t had a show until since she held one in Lillooet three or four years ago.
“It’s humbling to have stuff up and it’s almost like you’re opening your soul for everyone to look at what you’re trying to capture and put energetically onto the canvass. It’s very revealing, painting, actually,” said Miller, a 108 Mile residents and practitioner of the Chinese medicine acupuncture.
Art is a hobby Miller has dabbled in since childhood. In her youth, she focused on detailed sketches with pen and ink but later traded them in for acrylic and oil paints.
“I really love those mediums because they’re so rich and more dynamic in colours. It was almost like learning how to paint and draw all over again, they’re such a different medium for watercolour and ink,” Miller said.
She’s worked with acrylics for around nine years now and her skills are only now starting to “come to fruition” and be more consistent. Switching to acrylics forced Miller to stop being so detailed in her work and focus more on the overall imagery and energy of the piece she was working on. Finding the right balance of colours, space and lighting is an ongoing theme throughout her work and something she always strives to achieve.
Painting for her is a “super zen” experience as she’ll usually put an audiobook on, have her dog sleeping beside her and just relax and pass a few hours painting. Miller said she likes painting a variety of things and enjoys challenging herself by stepping out of her comfort zone of painting landscapes and animals, such as trying to paint more buildings to work on her perspective skills.
“I’ll pick an image and it’s just magical, I want to capture the essence of it, so I almost become obsessed with it. I want to paint it before this fleeting feeling (fades),” Miller said. “When I worked out of town lots, I’d have to leave the canvas for a couple of weekends and then I’d come back to it and ‘Ah it’s lost’.”
If anyone is interested in checking out more of her artwork they can do so at her Facebook group the Firehorse Gallery for a taste of both new and old work or swing by Integrated Elements Wellness Clinic where she works and hangs samples of her work. She encourages the whole community to not only check out Parkside Gallery but also to embrace their own art and creativity, no matter what form it takes as she feels it’s very important for our society.