Inspired by the “wise words” of her ancestors, Richmond-based artist Theodora Miller has used her time in quarantine to create unique Greek-inspired paintings.
The works incorporate textual surfaces, saturated color and fragments from works by late Greek poet Nikos Gatsos, whose writing often included themes such as evil, injustice and sacrifice as well as the pains of love and sorrows of exile.
In an email to The Pappas Post, Miller describes her artistic process in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I need to detach myself from the heaviness that I feel,” she writes. “I start with handmade paper, the prettiest kind that you save for a really special project — today, that project is me. I start by brushing solid blocks of color with gouache paint. As they dry, I get lost in research about Greek poets (connecting with my heritage makes me feel brave). I search for wise words for modern times. When I find the one that speaks to my heart, I memorize it and paint the words in the language of my ancestors, over and over in a meditative rhythm. My breath slows. My mind stops racing. For a moment I feel peace and hope.”
The virtual exhibit launched on April 15 and explores the tension between social connection and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It features works in a range of mediums created during, and inspired by, the uncertainty of the crisis.
About Theodora Miller
Miller calls herself an “abstract expressionist,” an artist who freely conveys attitudes and emotions through non-traditional or non-representational means.
“Painting is my sanctuary. It’s where I go to process my emotions and to lose myself in creative expression,” she says. “I love the feeling of freedom that washes over me, each layer and every brushstroke giving life to new possibilities.”
Her featured paintings, titled “Perseverance II”
All works are completed with gouache and acrylic on handmade organic paper with deckled edges, 9 x 12 inches.
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