My name is Eunice Miller of Folsom Mill Studio and I’m from Epping, New Hampshire. As a young girl, I loved Girl Scouts and creating all kinds of art. It was about the age of 11 or 12 my parents sent me to private art lessons with a local artist, Tony Estrella, who had had an accident as a teen and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
He was a sought after painter in our area and he did amazing pieces. He had me work with Charcoal and Oil and in art class in school we formed copper into bowls and did a lot of drawing.
By the time I got into high school, I knew I was not interested in college, the 12 years in what I called prison was enough for me. I hated being trapped in a building so I went to the brand new trade school where I tried Culinary Arts, Electronics, Technical Illustrating, Drafting and Secretarial Sciences. It was the last one I chose to follow for my path in 1974.
I was not cut out for sitting in an office and my first job sadly ended after just two weeks when I asked for my check.
Fast forward 4 years and I signed up for a tractor trailer driving school where I was the only woman in 1978. I ran coast to coast with my ex-husband and then ran loads all over New England in my own trucks. I have a total of three million miles in a rig as well as them being accident free.
There were no women doing what I did back then and if there was, I never ran into them. Driving America’s long lonesome highways with just a CB and music always playing was enough for me.
You name it, I hauled it, except for fuel and livestock. I found something I loved and was so good at it. These were just 2 of the 5 trucks I owned. In the tanker I hauled spring water and in the covered trailer I hauled rubbish and demolition debris. I was a heavy hauler always weighing out over 100,000 lbs.
I was in my van one morning the day after Thanksgiving in 2000 when I was rear-ended by a tour bus hauling gamblers from New York City to Connecticut. Left with bad injuries and just about 44 or 45 years old, I had to find something else to do with my 18 hours a day. It was very hard and not once did art ever cross my mind. Artists are poor, or so I always thought, so I picked up beads, fused glass and took photos to fill my time and to make some cash on the side.
I do OK selling items with my photography but I miss my rig.
Then I saw a ad in a local paper saying there was a $25 intro to Watercolor just 10 miles away and I said why not. It would be just 2 hours one evening and I needed some fun.
The teacher was from Russia and she was a hoot! She was so jazzed about art she ignited something deep inside that I had long forgotten about.
I went home and art just poured out onto my wet paper, no photos involved no looking out the windows either. It seemed like a type of meditation. I wet the paper, made puddles of pigment usually working with a very limited palette and began to let the magic happen, colors mixing on the paper adding a bit of seasoning to the wet image or scraping or splashing even more water. It felt good to just let go.
No longer in charge and no need to be a control freak as you had to be out on the road full of crazy drivers.
Even though I had never walked through a gallery before I walked into a local one joined and entered my first piece. It sold in 2 days, I miss it. I had titled it simply Maine.
I then set out to try to enter at least one per month for their Theme Shows.
I did not know what I was doing but I didn’t care. I just kept painting mostly wet into wet and never as things appear in life. Who knew that was called abstract!
The following painting I titled Birds of a Feather and during my first solo show this past May, someone fell in love with this and then it was also gone.
I still have this next one. It is one of my favorites.
Just two colors and always leaving my whites. Can you tell I love watercolor?
My furry companion through this new journey, JT, did not care that I was busy making a masterpiece as long as I had a free hand while painting. I tossed her toy and we would play.
Landscapes, one after another, come from nowhere or maybe the miles and miles I viewed from the driver’s seat. I cannot explain it really, except to say I have given God the wheel this time, and what a trip it has been.
You can find more of my work at my website (link below) as well as links to all the places I sell my art. And there’s also a link to my blog as I will also write my memoir.
Thank you Charlie for asking me to join you here at Doodlewash and share a bit of my story. Thanks for stopping by.