I had the opportunity recently to sit down with artist Wanda Miller and chat about art, inspiration, and life in general. I’d already become familiar with her work, hanging in Club Car, inventive pieces painted and collaged on various surfaces – cabinet doors, pieces of wood, plastered burlap. Her pieces draw the viewer in, because the more you look, the more you see – hidden gifts and details that seem to appear before your eyes.

Wanda is the kind of woman you wish you were related to somehow, like a favorite Aunt whose kitchen you might sit in sharing smiles and laughter over a cup of tea. Except in the case of Wanda, you might share cups of words, of which she has plenty. I’m talking about actual clipped out words from books that she, with both a chuckle and an air of intent, says “no one ever needs to read”. Wanda frees these words from their original context and gives them new meaning, taking time to spread them out on the table, allowing her mind to travel where the words take her. If you look closely enough you will find that some of these words have made it into her paintings, tucked away within the architecture of her pieces.

The style of many of Wanda’s paintings is whimsical, and the words suggest deeper sentiments that exist within the work, perhaps seeds of inspiration. However, it’s Wanda’s desire for every viewer to find their own meaning in her pieces, and sees the words as a thought provoking element that each viewers mind may take in its own direction. She shares, “I have an urge to integrate provoking thoughts stressing play, imagination, magic – all written on ‘my walls’.”

Wanda attributes much of her creative inclinations to the influence of her extremely inventive and curious father. In addition, having grown up in a family of ten has given Wanda a wealth of experiences to draw from. And, she adds, her position as an after school director at St. Joseph’s School in Auburn has been another source of “constant imaginative inspiration!”

She shares that when a spark of creation or intention holds back, she takes her long stick with paintbrush or charcoal taped to the end, closes her eyes, and makes random marks for a great surprise start to a piece. She says that she rarely paints the same way when brush or utensil finds its way on a surface, and no surface is safe from being altered. She paints plasters onto wood, walls doors, windows, and even burlap. She uses many layers from substrate to substrate, adding textures, paper, metal, and any other objects that delight her senses.

Wanda Miller’s work is currently showing at The Club Car.

Link to Wanda Miller’s facebook!

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