ABOUT ALYSON MILLER ARTIST
Through her art, Alyson Miller offers a fresh take on the natural world that engages the imagination. She creates striking mixed-media bas-reliefs (Organic Abstracts, Landscapes, and Botanicals) and quirky Beaded Knit Baskets.
"As I travel through the American Southwest desert or up and down the Pacific coast, I see around me the beauty of the natural world—its rich colors and textures, the play of light and flow of water, the shapes and patterns of organic form—and I’m inspired to capture my sense of it all through mixed-media art," Miller explains.
Her work explores these influences in three dimensions, with intricate detail and unexpected materials that draw you in. Through form and material, her pieces invite you to participate. Sometimes playful, sometimes serene, Miller's one-of-a-kind handmade pieces are intricate, tactile, and engaging.
"Creating art is a meditation for me. My process—the experience I have in making each piece—is as important to me as the final outcome,” she says. “I want you to see my hand at work in each piece, even if you wonder how I went about making it.”
Miller’s eclectic style is unique and appealing. She arrived at it from an extensive Fine Arts education, followed by years of design work in high-tech while raising a family, then back to creating her own art with renewed sense of purpose. She has returned to her roots as an artist—fulfilling the promise she made to herself of one day finding her way back to her dream.
PROCESS AND MATERIALS
Each of Miller's bas-reliefs starts with a bespoke eco-friendly clay, infused with recycled fiber and paper, that she sculpts into a bas-relief “canvas.” She air-dries each piece, seals it against moisture, then paints it with layers of colored pigment suspended in translucent acrylic glazes which she wipes off, layer by layer, to reveal the underlying textures.
She fell in love with glass, semi-precious stone, and clay beads, and natural yarns while making her Beaded Knit Baskets, shaped by a framework of malleable wire. These materials make their way into her bas-reliefs as well.
Her Organic Abstracts often feature a section of beaded crochet or knitting that lets background color show through, along with additional beads and wire to catch the light.
Her abstract Shield series takes inspiration from native Southwestern art, incorporating geometric forms, patterns, and beads strung on leather cord.
Her Landscapes and Botanicals are stylized to evoke a sense of place or plant through flattened perspective that focuses the eye on shape, color, texture, and pattern. Many incorporate wired-in beads and rest in recycled cabinet doors or on wooden plaques or boxes.
"I hope my work makes you smile or wonder and that it sparks your visual imagination. If it awakens your own connection with the natural world, I’m happy."
— Alyson Miller
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND EXHIBITIONS
Miller is a Juried Member of the Sonoran Arts League, with work showing regularly at the Sonoran Arts League Gallery in Carefree and Desert Foothills Art Gallery in neighboring Cave Creek, AZ.
She is Chairperson of the Sonoran Arts League's Jury Committee, which arranges for art by League members to be judged once a year by a panel of independent art professionals, based on criteria established by the Jury Committee. Members whose work achieves this standard of excellence become Juried Members of the League, its highest honor.
Miller's work has been juried into the well-established Art & Wine Festivals mounted by Thunderbird Artists and Vermillion Promotions in the Carefree/Cave Creek area. She was asked to participate in an Invitational Fiber Arts Exhibition at the Holland Gallery of Fine Art in Scottsdale, AZ.
ART BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION
Born and raised in New York City, Miller grew up in an arts-friendly family, with the opportunity to explore New York City's many art museums and galleries. "As a child." she says, "I was frequently given presents of colored pencils, pastels, paints, and origami paper." Life drawing classes she took at the Art Student's League in Manhattan cemented her desire to pursue art.
Miller completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Queens College of the City University of New York and a year of graduate work in Fine Art at the University of California at San Diego, on full scholarship.
Life interrupted her plans to be a full-time working artist, but Miller kept her creative energy alive by pursuing a career as a visual designer and writer of user manuals, software user interfaces, newsletters, and websites for the high tech industry in the San Francisco Bay area and then in Portland, OR, where she raised a family. Outside of work, she made jewelry with beads and worked with yarn, designed gardens, oversaw home renovations, and did interior design projects in Portland and since moving to Carefree, AZ.
She is happy to have found her way back to original calling as an artist.