My artwork is inspired by a deep love of nature. In my paintings, I hope to capture a moment in which aspects of nature come alive with heightened focus – the light sparkling on water. . . dark clouds foreshadowing a storm. . . reflections on a calm lake.
Often my travels are motivated by a desire to paint in a beautiful setting. I am drawn to different places because of the culture and people there, and a desire to open up to new experiences. Traveling with my sketchbook, pens and paint, I look forward to quiet times in which to observe and record what I see and feel.
One of the things I love about watercolor painting is the playful nature of it. I am fascinated with how the paint moves and flows, creating a sense of motion and energy. I find my most interesting paintings are those I don’t try to control, when I can remove the need to “produce,” and instead let my joy and a sense of discovery lead me into the painting.
With no “formal” Art Education, but with an innate curiosity and attraction to the world of Arts, I am a self-taught mixed media artist who sculpts low-firing clay and uses various post-fired techniques to create compelling works of art where organic mud joins different objects in harmonic balance.
Artists are storytellers. Whatever is the medium – painting, sculpture, music, words – we are constantly expressing the tale of who we are. I have always had the need to do something with my hands in order to “create” what is in my mind, influenced by the different cultures I have had the chance to live in.
My work is mainly figurative where color, love, longing, hope, emotions, humor, imagery, rhythm and balance are conjugated as a reflection of my experiences. I started out painting but quickly moved into the sculpture, a need for a three-dimensional expression that allows people to see and touch my creations, led me to this development.
My paintings are inspired by the love of nature, social justice causes and our common quest for connection. I do expressionist landscapes, abstracts and Judaica. I use oil or oil and mixed media on canvas with a palette knife. Color, movement and texture facilitate the emotional quality and intensity of my art. My mixed media paintings capture and transform with the light. They are best appreciated in person as you move around them. The spiral and circular motif in many of my abstracts and Judaica speak of the feminine in life and a yearning for completeness. Many of my paintings are heavily layered and suggest the viewer look deeper or from different perspectives.
I studied art and art history at Sarah Lawrence College where I received my B.A. I was stunned by my first visit to MOMA and returned to The City weekend after weekend to stand in front of some of the greatest art in the world. But I had to earn a living and chose to become a social worker. I received an M.A. in History from the University of California and an MSW from Denver University. I retired after 28 years serving the children and families in the Boulder Valley School District. I have served on many boards and commissions in our community where I raised my family and am helping to raise a grandchild. Throughout my life I have taken art classes and have painted when I could. I am now enjoying painting on a regular basis. I have shown my work in private homes, juried shows, such as Windows to the Divine at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and BAA, Barnes and Noble’s Senior Shows and Mountain Expressions. I had a solo show at the Boulder Jewish Community Center and have been featured at local synagogues. I produced a calendar of art work done by orphans of the Great Tsunami in Sri Lanka following several months of art therapy service there and have done art therapy with survivors of the genocide in Cambodia most recently.
My art may be viewed at my home studio by appointment.
I have always had a love for and fascination with movies. Directors reveal the true
essence of the characters within through dramatic scenarios, pain, and excitement. They capture private, embarrassing, and genuinely real moments that are not frequently witnessed.
The theatre allows us to view expressions of sheer joy, terror, fear, and insanity blown up to colossal proportions. These moments are the inspiration for my ongoing series of portraits.
In my portraits, I use bold color and expressions to transform the people who surround
me into dramatized versions of themselves. Contorted, bizarre, and extreme expressions
capture normally unseen aspects of my subject’s personalities. I aim to effectively glamorize the
uninhibited, animalistic moments of rebellion. Attention to personal appearance and
self restraint are put aside to reveal the raw, unflattering and yet stunningly beautiful core of the
Sydney Miller was born in Boulder CO in 1991. At the age of 11, Sydney spent a year living on a
sailboat with her family. On this voyage they spent time in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
This experience allowed her to see a vast amount of fine art at a young age.
Upon graduating from high school, Sydney moved to Baltimore, MD to earn a Bachelor of Fine
Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). While attending MICA, she majored in
General Fine Arts. This allowed her to acquire skills in a variety of different mediums. These
include but are not limited to chalk pastel, sculptural assemblage, photography, collage,
ceramics, sculptural textiles, electronics, drawing and painting.
Sydney graduated Cum Laude from MICA when she was 21. She then moved back to Boulder
where she now resides. Sydney is currently focusing on portraiture through the medium of chalk
I have had an immediate and long standing fascination with the American West. Upon publication of my book, Law of the Range; Portraits of Old-Time Brand Inspectors, a critic once described this fascination as an “obsession”. My interest in the West is with both the land and its inhabitants.
In 2010 I was artist in residence at Mesa Verde National Park where I photographed both park service employees and landscapes. In 2012 I was awarded an artist in residence by the Frank Waters Foundation. This foundation is based in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico northwest of Taos.
I was the first visual artist awarded a residency since the foundation’s inception. I have been a professional photographer for over 35 years.
As an artist I am, mainly, drawn to landscapes. Nature is a great model. It will stay posed for you as long as you want.
God has already made Nature beautiful so I don’t have to change it or give an impression of it. I can just attempt to show that beauty. It is my style of painting to always try to keep it as detailed as nature its self has. I like to think that people viewing my paintings can almost feel that they are at that spot seeing what I have tried so hard to show. America is a beautiful land and every where you go you can find spot after spot that should be painted. Then, hopefully, that spot can not fade away, if only in our minds, no matter what man decides to do to it!
With painting landscapes, you can view beautiful spot after beautiful spot and then you can either paint that spot for others to see or compose your own beautiful spot to paint and who knows – there could, maybe, be a spot(even close by) just like you imaged and painted. In the Rocky Mountains that’s probable, not just maybe!
Please enjoy my work!
My process involves applying paint and glazes onto recycled hardwood doors using my own hand cut stencils. Building layers of luminous color, pattern, and organic forms creates a complex visual weave and provides textural backgrounds for my acrylic paintings. Early in the process, I work more intuitively with paint, adding and subtracting many elements to experiment with imagery. I’m interested in recording the accidents and erasures in the process and I remain open to the unexpected, the surprising. I may start with an original intention of what the painting will be, but, at some point, the background informs me of what the painting wants to be. While not attempting a literal portrayal, I always include realistic images in the final layers.
I am fascinated by natural and organic formations – plant life, for example, inform and inspire designs within all societies, whether functional or decorative. I’m working with birds, plants and landscapes as elegant symbols of beauty, of fragility and impermanence. The birds and plants are idealized, not individuals. Their grace and vulnerability connect us with our deeper selves and beyond.
My intention is to cause a spark of imagination and emotional response in the viewer – allowing new interpretations and personal connections to the natural world. As an artist, I strive to bridge my painting with my concern for the environment. My hope is that by connecting the viewer with the subject, we will be reminded of our interdependence as stewards of this planet.
Margaret Donharl obtained her BFA in commercial art before pursuing her career path as a graphic designer and illustrator in Boulder, Colorado. She eventually returned to her foundation in fine art and now paints brilliant birds, flowers and landscapes on recycled hardwood doors. She participates annually in Boulder’s Open Studios and is also a member of the NoBo Art District.
I hold degrees in both Fine Art and Architecture, and draw on the two traditions equally. This creates a unique process and a unique product for each piece of art. While no two of my works share the exact same technique, they do share a common thread that runs through them all. This thread is also my inspiration: to connect myself and my viewer to an integrated world; where seeming opposites (like good and bad) exist simultaneously in all things.
I currently live and work in beautiful Boulder, Colorado where, when not working on my art, I enjoy playing the violin (badly) and spending time with my husband and son.
One of the most fascinating discoveries I’ve made as an artist is realizing just how much needed to be unlearned. To be sure, one must grapple with the history and techniques of art — but the real challenge for me has been undoing my rigid ways of seeing the world through fear and judgment and rediscovering long-lost joy.
That may sound rather cliché, for in art (as in life) each of us strives for a bit of originality, but for me, it has been a wonder, perhaps an epiphany, to discover at the innermost part of myself there wasn’t emptiness or dread, but a genuine curiosity that soon had me eager to travel and explore. I began to take risks —and enjoy them.
It was in Bali where I began to understand what this meant for my art and life. I gained confidence and discovered that art is really play. Painting need not necessarily depict a “thing,” but can actually become a “dance of color” that expresses how I feel.
I once saw a de Kooning exhibit of his most famous paintings and was most drawn to the final simplistic pieces that he created after the onset of Alzheimer’s. I was completely mesmerized because these loose lines of bright color were joyous and free, as if released from all influences, expectations and judgments. I wanted to paint from this place.
Art heals, and it does so by bringing the inside out. It’s certainly no great insight to say that life isn’t always easy — but art can bring light and joy and color to the darkness, the pain, the fear. As I began to untangle my life and view it as a journey, I allowed my love of bright colors to be expressed and to acquire a new healing purpose.
Passionate about celebrating life through painting, I find joy in experimenting with acrylics and mixed media.
Musicality is the undercurrent in my painting, and vibrant color the driving force. Together they allow me to express rhythm, harmony, tension, and contrast to portray the dynamic beauty I perceive all around me.
With curiosity and playfulness I embrace the chaos and unpredictability of dripping, spraying and slathering colorful paint on canvas. My brushes, sponges and gooey fingers tell stories inspired by nature, travels, dreams, and a child-like imagination. I allow my subconscious to guide my free-flowing process, as layer after layer I both obscure and excavate, until a narrative unfolds. My paintings often change quite significantly from beginning to end, which is an exciting part of the adventure, and the resulting tale of discovery.
I hope through my painting to share the wonder, beauty and gratitude I feel to be alive on this earth today.