Shayna Miller

Shayna Miller


Rituals are a set of actions, often orderly, regular, and with purpose. The studio is the site of my personal investigations into ideas related to rituals. While creating boundaries and rules to make these paintings is important, chance becomes an equally important part of making. Rules allow for chance to occur; often, my search for a solution in the work comes in the form of chance.

I find myself in close proximity to the painting surface. My eyes are inches from the surface. The painting ground is smooth, sanded down, but it also contains crevices and craters, imperfections in the surface. The building up of the surface, and the cavities and imperfections that come with it, are the drawing, the skeleton for the painting.

Working primarily in oil paint, forms can easily be manipulated, subtracted, and altered. I drag rags across the panel surface, wiping away previous layers of paint, a ritual washing. Multiple paintings may have existed on the same panel surface that have all been wiped away. Sometimes, traces of previous forms remain.

Actions of scrubbing and dragging paint across panel surfaces become an intimate and physical action of embodiment; the painting becomes body. The forms are diagrammatic and bodily, internal and external, and capsules or cross-sections.

The paintings need to come together in one day, a record of a specific time and of a sustained focus.