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 constant exposure to ideas and images provides endless inspiration.
My work is based on observations of how the weather, clouds, and light shifting across the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains changes the appearance of the landscape from moment to moment, highlighting the reality of our impermanence, and contingency upon the passage of time. I search 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.
The more recent 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 and back, at times unsettling, circles back to my tenuous awareness and acceptance of impermanence.
The graphite drawings grew out of a response to older ink-wash drawings that were made very quickly and spontaneously. They are made with lead holders and graphite pencils very slowly. I am inspired by 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.