Tamar Miller was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Boston and Philadelphia. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from Brandeis University and an MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale School of Art. She lives in Denver, Colorado, and in addition to her studio practice, she is a catalog librarian at the Denver Public Library, where exposure to a kaleidoscope of ideas and images provides endless inspiration.
My work is based on observations of how weather, clouds, and light shifting across the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains changes the appearance of the landscape from moment to moment, demonstrating impermanence, and our contingency on the passage of time. I look for a realization of some aspect of those observations, while embracing the unpredictability of the drawing process and the changing landscape itself, along with my unreliable memories of it. Not being able to "keep up" with time passing is a conundrum in my life, both in and out of the studio.
Some ink drawings are created in layers, investigating how negative space can simultaneously suggest space and light, form and the absence of form. The shifting of form to emptiness, at times unsettling, resonates with my tenuous awareness of impermanence.
The graphite drawings grew out of a response to ink drawings that are made very quickly and spontaneously. Wanting to slow things down, they are made with lead holders and graphite pencils, and often utilize the texture of the paper to inspire form. I find inspiration in sculpture like Michelangelo's "unfinished" pieces, and ancient Middle Eastern bas-relief, where forms emerge partially from the stone but are not separate from it -- and Chinese ink wash painting, where just enough line and shape create landscape and light, where the absence of marks hold as much form and tension as parts drawn.
The graphite and layered ink drawings are on-going in the studio, and the two materials and processes inform each other, often pushing experimentation in one material based on something discovered in the other.