Friday, May 30

Graduation Exhibition!

The Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has only two more days to run! Last day to see it is this Sunday June 1, 2014. For those who can't make it, here is what I have hanging in the show:

"Presence" oil on canvas 18 x 24 inches 
"Young Man" and "Young Woman" oil on canvas 48 x 30 inches each

"Cheer" digital image 52 x 36 inches

"Signifier" oil on canvas 36 x 24 inches

"Veiling" digital image 18 x 22 inches

"Head Dress" digital image 14 x 20
"Angel Caul" digital image 14 x 20

"Emerging" digital image 14 x 20
"Laptop" digital image 14 x 20
"Push" digital image 12 x 14
"Stamp" digital image 12 x 14 inches
"Witchy Anne" digital image 20 x 14 

"Henry King" digital image 20 x 16
You can see a gallery showing a few pieces by every artist in the show by clicking here. If you wish to make a purchase, you can call the museum at: 215-972-7600

Wednesday, May 28

MFA Graduation!

On May 9, 2014, I graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with a Master of Fine Arts degree. 

photo: Alma Selimovic

Earlier that day I attended the awards ceremony where I was honored, delighted, and deeply touched to receive the MFA Faculty Award. The prize description reads:

The MFA Faculty Award is to be presented yearly to the student who, in the estimation of the MFA Faculty, has made a major contribution to the graduating class on the basis of the exceptionally high quality of his/ her work throughout the graduate career and who has exerted a positive influence over his/ her fellow students. First awarded in 2002.

A week earlier, when it was announced I was this year's recipient, I was completely taken by surprise, almost floored.  I had to brush away some sneaky ninja tears and take a few deep breaths. There were so many highly qualified students to choose from that I never even gave the possibility a thought! I am truly honored, and grateful for this encouraging vote of confidence from my faculty, whom I hold in the highest regard. I need to live up to it, going forward.

photo courtesy PAFA

Here's my entire MFA class, assembled on the grand stairway in the historic landmark building, one of the most beautiful buildings on earth. Nice place to be "from."

I'm embarrassed but delighted too. photo: Mike Manley

So, May 9th was also my birthday. When I got up to make a speech at some point in the graduation ceremonies, the Dean of the school, Jeff Carr, stopped me before I reached the podium and led everyone present in a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday!" What a moment. I was intensely embarrassed but it was also pretty cool to have hundreds of people singing Happy Birthday to me...can't image anything like that will ever happen again! Bizarrely cool thing to happen. Thank you Jeff Carr! 

Nancy Bea Miller, David Brigham, Jane Golden, Al Gury
photo: Darian Downs

I love this quick shot taken by my mother-in-law showing me, PAFA president David Brigham, Commencement Speaker Jane Golden (oh my god she was such a great speaker!) and PAFA Painting Department Chair Al Gury, right after the ceremony ended. It kind of makes up for the fact that I don't have a photo of my receiving the diploma or posed afterwards with my diploma. Not only was the official PAFA commencement photographer shooting at a weird angle (up and from the side?) but in addition he caught a transition movement in my face where it looks like I am wincing, eyes closed and mouth a grimacing rictus. On my way to or from a happy smile but not there. So, no, not going use that one! And my family and I didn't think to take the usual post graduation diploma and big grin shot though, I guess, though I do remember some photos being taken somewhere by someone....but NBD!

Amanda Mason and Maisie Moseley, twice, and me at the reception.
photo: Rick Moseley
I in fact took lots of shots of the day, and night, recording the event through my own eyes (yay camera phones!) and I posted the best of them to Facebook. If you want to see happy people and acres of art just go to this link:

So, now I am a Master of Fine Arts. I wish my Mom had lived to see it. She had the only other Master's Degree in our immediate family and she would have been so proud of me, following in her academic footsteps. Many thanks and love to all who helped me achieve this! And I promise to use my powers only for good. ;-)

Sunday, May 25

Beatrice Carlson Miller 1927-2014

So, it's been one month since my mother died. She'd been sick for a long time but still at the end, we were all surprised how it went faster than expected. She was on her own path, clearly.

This was in March, Mom was fading but still present to some degree

She had very loving carers. This was the day before she died.

Pall bearers of all sizes

It was the most beautiful spring day imaginable

Many kind friends brought us food which helped so much

She was an unusual and wonderful woman, intelligent, compassionate, appreciative and incredibly modest despite being hugely talented in many areas. She was a wonderful mother, a fond aunt and truly devoted wife. We were all of us so blessed, so lucky, to have her in our lives for as long as we did, but I greedily wish we could have had more time together. Maybe that's always how it goes. ♡ Mom's obituary can be read here: