15 février 2018
This time, it’s Natasha Miller’s turn to tell us more about her artwork “Home sweet home they say”. She shares her inspiration and technique. Welcome to Canada!
It is not hard to be inspired here with all of the water, islands, boats and birds. Winters are long, hard and tucking up by the woodstove. Painting is the perfect remedy.
This is a very classic scene that I like to paint.
Everyone hangs their laundry out to dry here. It is part of why I fell in love with the area and it inspires me daily. I grew up on the west coast of Canada (Vancouver Island) where we have so much rain it is almost impossible to use a clothesline. I had to learn the "proper way" to hang and use the line when I moved to the east coast.
We have a laundry line attached to our house and an old apple tree. There is nothing quite like the smell of laundry that has dried on the line outside. I try to convey that simple joy in these pieces.
I paint the stripped type of blanket a lot. It makes me think of a famous blanket here in Canada, called a Hudson's Bay 4 point Blanket. The Hudson's Bay Company is one of Canada's oldest companies and most family's have one of these blankets or had a grandparent that did and it stirs some type of memory. They are often passed down as family heirlooms. I grew up with one as well and it's the only thing that we would hang on the line to dry, usually after a camping trip so it has a special meaning for me. The blanket and iconic stripes that are on it has seen a recent resurgence in popularity here in Canada over the last few years. The company recently expanded to Europe as well, so the blanket and it's stripes may soon be in a shop near you!
The East coast of Canada (And a lot of fishing communities around the world I have noticed) has a lot of colorful houses and buildings. I have heard that they do this so that people can find their way home when it's dark. I have also heard that some people would either paint their boats with leftover paint from their houses and vice versa.
I paint with a technique and medium that I invented myself. It took me three years to perfect and it is still evolving.
The medium I use is a mixture of homemade raw charcoal and ash (that I get from my Italian wood fired pizza oven), soot and acrylic paint and various sealers.
There are between 40-60 layers of my medium on each piece and they each take almost a month from start to finish. I work on several pieces at different stages at the same time. I am very protective of my technique and style so that it is all I will give away. It is a bit like sculpting really. It is also really messy.
When I first started painting this way, the pieces were mostly black and white and grey. One day I added red as I noticed around our island how the colors pop in the winter time and in the fog. I started adding more and more colors recently.
I have a lot of people ask me what is the symbolism of the single boat moored or anchored in almost all of my pieces.
The truth is, I don't really know. I feel like one of my pieces is naked if it doesn't have it.
I want people to come up with their own ideas and feelings about the solitary boat, and whether it is a sad or foreboding thing or something else.
Home sweet home they say