Artist Mira M White creates expressive abstract mixed media paintings that incorporate storytelling. Visit her website to see more of her portfolio.
I was born into a middle-class working family. My father served twenty-two years in the marines, and when he retired he returned to his main love—art. He became a student at the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.
Although he never got his degree as his education was interrupted to take various jobs in the graphic arts, he became an expert brush calligrapher.
I was fully involved in artistic activity from the time I was five. At thirteen, I wanted to be a fashion designer. At sixteen, I was enrolled in fine art classes held on Saturdays at the same college my dad attended.
Although I spent my freshman year at the University of California at Berkeley, the following summer I took art classes at the Art Student League in New York. I concentrated my artistic focus in a very large drawing class that met three hours a day, five days a week for one month.
By the end of that month, I had a personal epiphany. I understood what my hands could do and what my heart was dictating. I transferred to the California College of Arts & Crafts, and got my BFA with High Distinction and my MFA with Distinction.
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For the last fifty years I have been developing and refining my artistic practice. My visual toolbox has, over the years, come to include encaustic, oil, watercolor, acrylics and all graphic media—sometimes all in the same piece. My way of expressing my thoughts and feelings was, for many years, representational. I often used these images to tell a story, whether the narrative was literal or symbolic.
I’ve always thought of my art practice as my yoga, and have been a spiritual student for most of my adult life.
There came a point in my practice when I was no longer satisfied with representing specific images. My work became more process-oriented. I developed a visual structure and atmosphere using layers, with a special love for excavation, spontaneous mark making and abstraction.
I’m often asked about my images and my content. I find that I need to take a journey when I work, often beginning by making marks, pouring color or using any method that allows me to make an entrance into an evolving journey.
An integral part of my process is forming narratives in my mind as I work; these often tell the story behind the piece. The titles I use are like poetry to me, representing a summation of the journey I am taking during the evolution of the artwork. In this way, I reveal a story through my images, with or without incorporating text.
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