Enjoy the beauty of artwork that illuminates life.
“To paint is to enter a state where time stands still. The only thing that exists is what happens on the canvas. I open up my heart, and then I just follow the flow.”
– Marilyn Miller
WAS THERE A PIVOTAL MOMENT WHEN YOU DECIDED TO FOLLOW YOUR PATH AS AN ARTIST?
“I have been creative all my life. My painting came as a strong driving force from nowhere.
At the start, my moments with the paintings took place in a small room behind the garage, always all by myself.
A big step towards daring to show my art publicly came in 2013 when I, together with two friends, climbed Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekajse. I had been asked to exhibit my art shortly before but declined, but when I stood at the top of Sweden’s highest mountain, I thought that if I could do this, I could also show my art. So when I got back home, I made contact, had my first showing, and sold my first paintings.
It was then I understood that other people really liked what I did. One of the first buyers made me promise to never stop painting. I carry those words with me to this day.
Then I feel this way that it’s not really me who decides. This is something I just have to and must do.”
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK FOR US?
“I paint with acrylics, often with elements of structure, different materials from nature, but also from the pantry, for example paper, putty, and that kind of things. I vary thick and thin paint, often letting parts of the paint run/pour and spraying the canvas with a lot of water.
I like to paint big but sometimes challenge myself to paint smaller. My paintings emerge in the process, and I am still determining where I will end up.
Sometimes it feels like “someone else” controls which direction I should go with the painting. If I try to control myself too much, there is often no result.
I have to have trust and just see what comes, embrace, and make the results as nice, clear, and eloquent as I can.
In the process, I feel what it is leaning towards and understand that it is often a message. That’s when a stanza or verse comes to me.”
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK AIM TO SAY?
“I want my art to arouse curiosity, for us to open our eyes and see everything around us. Make us aware of our smallness but still part of the great.
I want the viewer to feel something and to be able to connect my paintings to their own life experiences. One of my messages is that you can do more than you think and that we should enjoy the beauty and become more aware of what we have around us.
I want to convey an important message: “Stop, enjoy, do important things, prioritize, feel, breathe, love, and be more in the moment.”
I often have a quote or a verse for the paintings buyers are drawn to; they feel that’s exactly what I want, think, need to do, or take hold of.”
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR WORK FITS WITHIN SOCIETY IN OUR PRESENT TIMES?
“Today, we all have stress and pressure on us to constantly perform, it’s a fast pace, and the expectations, even from ourselves, are increasing.
My art brings peace, faith, hope, and love. We need beautiful things around us to increase our well-being, strengthen us, and give us energy.
My art increases positivity and gives new perspectives, empowering and giving courage to people to dare.
We need to slow down and be reminded of what is important. Don’t let the days just pass; live. Life on earth is a limited time.
Nevertheless, we have made it evolve, reach higher in our consciousness, and come to new insights.
Art is to share a message, get a message, arouse feelings and thoughts, comfort, and give courage. The news often comes from another dimension.”
WHEN LOOKING BACK, WHAT ARTWORKS COME TO MINDA THAT MOST RELATE TO YOUR LIFE STORY?
“In many of my paintings, some pieces come from experiences and events from my upbringing, both difficult experiences, and excellent experiences. Understanding and accepting decisions that shaped me made me who I am today.
Recently I gave a talk about role models and told the story of an important role model in my life, my grandmother. A fantastic process where I took the time to pay tribute and tell the truth about parts of my upbringing.
In that process, I picked up an empty canvas and decided to try to interpret features of my upbringing with my grandmother and grandfather, the painting I call “She who went before” in the painting, there are many parts that have been important to me, words, stanzas and prompts that come to me when I need them, even today when I’m a grown-up woman.
In my paintings, nature, forests, mountains, and the sea are often important places around me.
I visited places to refuel, strengthen myself when I felt weak, think and make decisions, or just need peace, quiet, and breathe.”
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
“No one specific. I do my thing, follow my feelings, and get inspired by what’s around me.”
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
“I use acrylic paints, which suits me as I like to vary my paintings with thin and thick paint. The paint dries quickly, and I can paint several layers, as I often do, without waiting too long.
I like to experiment with different kinds of structures, often materials from our nature.
Places close to my heart and areas associated with many memories. I like to collect sand, moss, or other things, which means a small part of my memories is included in some of my paintings.
When I start a new painting, I never have a thought or a plan; I just take the color I feel for the moment.
In the process, I am very spontaneous and experimental.
My focus is not on WHAT it will be but on HOW it will be if I do like this? I often turn and twist my paintings and look up close and from a distance. Turning the painting over can make me move on because then, all of a sudden, I have a new starting point, another painting to work on.
I often go by feeling. What do I like? What do I not like? What bothers me? What do I need to change, remove or paint over to move forward?
In different periods, I can focus on, for example, light contrasts or getting depth in the paintings.
It often takes a long time before a painting feels ready. So I have several in progress simultaneously, so I have time to feel in and look at the painting for a while to ensure it is now ready.”
“In Uncertainty But With Trust” Acrylic Painting by Marilyn Miller – Star of the Week.
WHAT VISUAL REFERENCES DO YOU DRAW UPON IN YOUR WORK?
“I don’t paint figuratively.
I want my paintings not to be too clear. There should be room for your own interpretations.
Some of my paintings are abstract, but usually, you can see something clear or more diffuse, like people, small people, a woman (often a woman), views, mountains, valleys, forests, and the sea. But essence, wets, gobbling’s, trolls, and spiritual forms.”
ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS?
I have been awarded “The International Prize Donatello” in Florence. The ceremony was on January 21, but unfortunately, I could not attend due to family reasons.
Then an upcoming exhibition, “Firenze Contemporary, 4–18 February,” in Florence. Rossocinabro gallery from Rome represents me and my art during the show.
In the coming years, also be different exhibitions in my country Sweden.”