For decades I’ve been inspired by non-representational art, often incorporating found materials, metal leaf and other mixed media to capture light, and movement on canvas. Dating back over thirty years, my work has been a constantly moving target, developing and shifting as I’ve moved around the country, started a family and experienced moments in my life which have impacted me as a woman and as a painter.
After my artist residency in Arezzo, Italy followed by weeks of travel around the Italian countryside in Spring 2022, I furthered my work by incorporating terracotta and 18-23 carat gold leaf. My canvases now rely on the texture and color that terracotta adds, while adding the warm, rich tones that only genuine gold can bring, as inspired by ancient traditions of Etruscan gold manufactury.
The canvases I create are a modern take on centuries old art traditions of Italy, connecting back to the land and the very marrow of the ancient hills - precious metal and earth used to depict simplicity and reverence, telling a story older than the olive trees and terracotta rooflines that dot the landscape.
My abstract, color-based work consists of layers of terracotta, acrylic paint, metal and gold leaf, gouache, crayon and ink on canvas; they glow from the inside, emitting a light and energy from a now long-gone moment in time. They are deceptively simple in composition, while bringing complexitiy through layering of materials and textures; each piece is left to the interpretation of the viewer to understand and create a personal connection.
My work has been shown across the United States and throughout Europe.
© 2022 by Heather Milliman