Monday, December 5, 2011

Second Blog of the Day - Our mailing address

Dear "All of You",

Just opened our mail, and there was a nice Christmas card addressed to our Culver address with a message inside that they "hoped we would receive this at our new address", so thought some of you might like to have our new mailing address.  Here it is: 

Ward and Esther Miller
1415 Avalon Court
Winona Lake, Indiana

Back to unpacking just one more box.  Fortunately, we have an attached garage with room along one side for open metal shelving and several roomy metal enclosed cabinets.  Those areas are fast filling up and many of the boxes are simply labeled "memorabilia".  I feel as if it will take us 5 years to sort all of this out, but it is comforting to know that we can take our time, to pitch, save, give away or sell. 

I'll tell all of you a secret (and I guess then, it will not longer be a secret):  Some of the memorabilia boxes were packed when my mother died in 1988 (24 years ago).  Wow!  Our Painter and Poet journey began in 1989, and I've been more fascinated by enjoying our wonderful art "trip" with all of the hard but enjoyable facets of envisioning, then making the painting and poetry come to life, then marketing, traveling, etc. etc., than I was by delving into the contents of those boxes  - they moved along with us -
to our first condo, then to our peaceful log cabin, then to our recent beloved Culver home with attached gallery, and now on to our retirement condo - a peaceful and secure haven.  I'm sure this new spot, without the gallery, the matting and framing, and with other people responsible for many of the tasks we tried to do for ourselves, will give us an easier life with more time to create and to relax.  So the journey goes on..........

Ward hung a Christmas wreath near our front door, and our 45 year old nativity scene (from Marshall Field's catalog) is in its year round place,  an antique commode right next to our front door.  Later this next week, we will put up a few old favorite Christmas decorations. 

from  Esther

Still in the Midst of our overwhelming move!

Hi friends -

Had hoped to be posting by now, but realty has set in, and we continue to pack, tote, and unpack - with an occasional half day off to recuperate.  Shortly before Thanksgiving, I tore a tendon in my left wrist (the good news, -it was not my right hand), so am being careful and doing lots of sorting but very little lifting.  Am in a fiberglass cast (waterproof) and very light weight.  Relatively comfortable.   

We had planned to be moved before snowy weather - the furniture and heavy boxes in our final major load was put in place about 20 minutes before Warsaw's first snow of the season - no snow in Culver.   Excellent accidental timing.

Most people here seem to be kind and friendly.  Our next door neighbors dropped in several days after we began sleeping here - they brought some good cookies, and a warm welcome.  Tomorrow we are going to a Christmas dinner at the community building for Robin Hood Condos - dinner is being catered by Grace College.

My drawing table is still buried in boxes, but our limited edition prints are safely in order on shelves along the back wall of my studio - thanks to expert and careful handling by Chris Chambers.  As soon as that area is in order, I'm determined to get a brush in my RIGHT hand- I can feel it twitching now.  We'll soon take some photos of our condo to share with you.  Trying to port our 842-8888 land line to our "waiting to be programmed" cell phone.  As of now, the safest way to call us is on our home land line - 574-372-6339 - or email  a message to us at

After we have our new cell phone set up, we will disconnect the Painter and Poet land line in Culver, and will have the cell phone programmed to receive messages.  We'll then immediately post our correct and active phone number for Painter and Poet.  Thank you all for your patience during this transition. 

Hope you all are on schedule to welcome Santa.  Peace.   from Esther

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday evening - BIG SALE is progressing!

We are still having the BIG 50% OFF SALE on all prints!  New extended hours:  1 PM till 6 PM, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, & Sun.  Our sale will continue until Nov. 12.  The walls are getting more and more empty, but many nice bargains remain.  Christmas is coming!
After we move, Gail's Shop here in Culver will be selling our prints.  And we also will be selling un-matted prints on line.  

Ward and I are sad to close our little Painter and Poet Gallery and will miss our wonderful friends and neighbors in Culver, an amazing small town.  But we do look forward to our new home at Robin Hood Condos., where we will have a more stress free life and the help we are likely need as we age.   If curious, check out their web site: 

After we are settled in our new digs, I will be setting up my membership in Daily Paintworks, a  very active site where many artists sell their originals. And I am looking forward to working on many of the commissions some of you have requested - I will have the space and the time to paint, paint, paint!  For the next few weeks, our email address and phone number will remain the same, and we will be posting on this blog to let you know of changes.

Once we are settled there, we will be sending a card to each of you on our active mailing list, giving you our new address and phone number and details on how to contact us.  

Now I must get back to packing.  Looks like many of our "memorabilia" boxes will be unopened and transferred to shelves in our new garage.   To you who have moved in the last few years, does this sound familiar?   

From  Esther and Ward

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Working toward our Big Move!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HUGE SALE! Exciting news from Painter and Poet

Change is in the wind!  Ward and I want to let you in on our plans.  We  are 98% sure that we will soon be moving to a condo  in Robin Hood Condominiums, associated with Grace Village Retirement Community at Winona Lake, Indiana- right next to Warsaw.   While we are both "young at heart",  Father Time has a nasty habit of sneaking up on us, and this move will make it easier for us to continue to pursue our creative life and our personal life.  All exterior maintenance will be done by someone else, and our lives will be easier and simpler.  Grace Village is lovely, and a very friendly and helpful place, and we are looking forward to happy, productive and safe years there.  It is very hard for me to leave Culver - I have had a home or property here for 58 years and I appreciate all of the amazing generosity and kindness that people in this town have given first to me and my children, and then to Ward and me.   Grace Village is only 45 minutes from Culver and we plan to return  often!!   

While living in Grace Village, we will not have a retail outlet, but you may purchase our unmatted prints,  cook books and Ward's books  online through our web site .  We are delighted to report that Painter and Poet prints will be available  here in Culver at Gail's Shop.  And Culver Academies' Bookstore will continue to carry our Culver Academy Series of prints.  

Ward and I have worked hard and lived our dream  for the last 14 years operating our own small gallery housed in several locations along Main Street in Culver.  It has been such a pleasure to share our artistic work.  We will miss the many customers and friends we've met through our painting and poeting, but all good things (and fortunately also - all bad ones) end, and we look forward to the next chapter.  Our move to Winona Lake will allow me to concentrate on painting originals, and  plugging away on long delayed commissions.  My studio there will be larger  than the one in our Culver home.  And after we are settled in our condo, I will be  joining Daily Paintworks site online and posting small originals on that site.  Fear not - the art gene is still strong and urgent in my innards!   Ward continues with his poetic musings and years back he wrote a wonderful poem called "My Indiana Home" - I am looking forward to finishing the small watercolors needed to illustrate this poem which will then morph into a poster.   That will be my first project after we settle in our new home..  

We want to reduce our inventory before we move, and so are having a whopping 50% off sale only on all the framed and matted prints now in our gallery.   This sale does not include unmatted prints or any of our other gallery inventory.  While we plan to stay open as much as possible, our "for sure" hours will be Fridays and Saturdays from 10 till 5.  To come at other times, check our open sign or call ahead.  574-842-8888. 

We will accept phone orders with credit card payment, and will be glad to mark your purchases and set them aside for pick up.   If you want to pay by cash or personal check, we will mark your artwork,  set it aside and hold it for up to 5 days so you can arrange to pay for it when you get it.  We will accept credit cards and personal checks.  All sales will be final.  Sorry,  because of the confusion of this move we cannot arrange shipping.   More details on how to purchase items from Painter and Poet will be posted later.  We hope to be settled in our new Grace Village home before Thanksgiving.    
As soon as our condo lease in Robin Hood Condos is finalized, our Culver home will be for sale.  I'll blog again and give you more information on our Mission style brick bungalow, a house that struck my fancy for many years before we purchased it about 13 years ago.   We have loved  living in this house and hope the new owners will enjoy it as much as we have.

from  Ward and Esther


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Painter and Poet's Family Cookbook-fresh from the printer!

A few months back, I wrote about a small edition of this cookbook, which I printed.  Since I am a painter and not a printer, it was a struggle - and also way too time consuming.  About a month ago, we found an outstanding printer  - Brinkman Press in Indianapolis.  They are knowledgeable, careful, and precise in their work - and willing to produce smaller editions.  They were patient with me and helped me through the process of providing them files much better than I could ever have done without their expertise.  The front and back is laminated card stock and the spiral binding allows the book to lie flat - making it easier to read as you search for ingredients.  Also, we have a very good friend in Plymouth, who offered to proof read - and boy oh boy, what a good job she did ! - finding an embarrassing number of goofs made by yours truly.   The bottom line is, we were able to provide a more professional cook book and/or coffee table book, at a low price of $39.00. 

  1. "Uncle John's Barn"  The inspiration for this barn rumbled through my  mind, for quite a few years before I finally painted it.  In the meantime, the barn deteriorated to the nth degree -one section after another, until it finally collapsed!  Located on 9th Road, west of Plymouth - the barn always drew my attention  and I photographed it in different seasons, on sunny days and on shady days.  I grew up on a dairy farm in northeastern Ohio, and the small herd of a hodge podge of heifers reminded me of my early home.  So - I finally painted it, and named it in honor of my father, John Henry Scobie.  And this watercolor is on the cover of our cookbook with  over 100 of our favorite family recipes, almost 90 small full color illustrations from a wide variety of my watercolors, and the "icing on the cake" (pun intended) is some nifty poems by Ward.  
Title Page with Ward's verse

Beginning to recover more from an annoying recurrence of shingles, I feel able to get back to active blogging.  And the plan is to include info on some of the individual pages of this book. It'll be fun for me to go back into Memory Lane and share some of the details with you..

Now - let's get on with the show! After the detailed dedication, copyright,  index, etc. etc. etc., here is the beginning page of the first chapter -  Appetizers:

Note:  Colors will vary with different monitors.  They appear very saturated on my monitor, but while bright, the actual colors are not garish.  These balloons are from photos taken at Plymouth's Blueberry Festival at least 15 years ago.  Most of them belonged to balloon enthusiasts living within 60 or 70 miles of Plymouth.  Ward and I used to get up early on the Saturday morning of "Blueberry weekend" and rush to Plymouth's municipal airport, to get there for a fund raising pancake breakfast and to watch the breath-taking sight and listen to the exciting roar of the fires igniting the gases to get those balloons up and away.  Weather conditions had to cooperate and there had to be enough wind to allow them to drift away, but not too much to be dangerous.  What a thrill to watch and listen to all of this.  I still get goose bumps remembering.

Here is a link to our website:
Gallery Hours:  10 till 5 on Fridays and Saturdays, and by chance or appointment.  At other times, when we're available, we put our open sign out.  Our gallery phone number is 574-842-8888
Our gallery email is:
Here is a link to our blog address:

For cookbook orders,  Shipping is $4.00 for the first book, and $2.00 more for each additional book.  Please call or email us to place your orders.   Please don't leave any credit card info on the phone or in your email.  We accept all major credit cards and personal checks.   With varying shipping costs, we can't set up our web site to accept book orders.  If we aren't here, I'll call or email you back.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chairs for Charity - 2011

Painter and Poet's Front Yard with two "Chairs for Charity - 2011"
"Chairs for Charity" is a local project 
Close up of two Chairs for Charity - 2011
where any interested Culver resident can volunteer to paint (decorate) a chair of his or her choosing, and submit it to  be auctioned to raise money for a variety of good causes.  The auction is this coming Sunday evening, at Culver Academies Dining Hall, and this promises to be a lively enjoyable occasion.  Since we are very visible on North Main Street, with a prominent front yard, we were asked to host two chairs.  This was our pleasure, and Ward was glad to carry them in and out (depending on whether or not we were open and more importantly, whether or not it was raining.)  I'm attaching a second "close up" photo.   Note the bar stool on the right which features memorabilia about the Indianapolis COLTS football team, and the back of the stool is symbolic of a horse shoe.  Very clever,  Rhonda Anderson is the "chair artist" who thought of and created this stool.  The other chair is a very attractive rocker, called ANCHORS AWAY, and decorated by Colleen Denham, who also happens to be president of Tri Kappa, the organization that sponsors this popular fundraiser.  I thought each of these chairs terrific, and am sure the winning bidder of each will indeed be delighted. 

It's been a long time since I've posted a blog.  Had a relapse of the dread shingles, but am now on a medication that is making it possible for me to get back into creating and doing.  Very grateful for that.  We are almost through with our final cookbook revision and will soon be posting details.
In our last blog I wrote about our inclusion in Northern Indiana Art Earth Trail, with listings of over 150 studios, galleries, farmers markets, quaint lodging, & specialty shops across Northern Indiana.  Go online   for easy details on inventory, open hours , locations, etc.  There are seven loops in this routing map - each for a different county.  Using this guide will help you map out your own trip in your own car - whenever you wish, and you can check out info on different possible stops.   We are in the Marshall County tour, which is called "Time to Unwind".  And our definite open hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 10 till 5, and also by chance, or appointment.  Call us at 574-842-8888 if you want to come at another time, and we will try to be here for you.  Let us know if you are on the tour, and we will be glad to invite you into part of our home to see some my watercolors in our private collection, and I will be happy to show you current "in the process" paintings - I usually work on several at a time.  Remember, we have some originals and other items in our gallery, not available on our web site.  

Our web address is   -   We accept orders by phone or email ( and you may pay by paypal, credit card, money order or personal check.  

Lots of rain here, and some severe storms, but the worst ones have skipped over or around us.  Looking forward to writing more later. 

Note:  I'm checking on details on chair submission to be sure my info is accurate - will revise if necessary, so check the final details  


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Art and Earth Trail

A view of the front of our gallery as it will appear in late spring!
We are thrilled to have been invited to be part of  the Northern Indiana Art and Earth Trails.  This is a planned "drive yourself" tour with suggestions for destinations - easy, free, and fun to follow.  The photo on the left is included both in the  current brochure printed by that group and on their wonderful website.  There are seven Northern Indiana loops in this trail, and we are in the Marshall County segment, known as Time to Unwind loop.  The web address is
Inside view of Gallery - spring, 2011   Go there to find out more about these trails, and when you visit our gallery, be sure to tell us that you are following this trail.  When you get on the web site,  click on "stories" - we are honored to be featured on our loop -  (TIME TO UNWIND).  

Milestones in our lives like special reunions, weddings, graduations, etc. inspire us to undertake major and minor changes - in our bodies and in our homes.    Well!  Being included on this tour is a similar catalyst for us.  The prospect of opening our gallery, our studio and a section of our home to visitors from this tour - has encouraged us to freshen up our gallery - we've bought some spacious baskets to hold most of our prints, rearranged some of our space, and hung more of our personal collection of my  originals in our home for easy viewing.  And we've gone high tech, with a wifi radio, and will have wonderful music in the gallery when I can figure out how to program the sucker. 

Our kitchen has just been repainted- cabinets inside and out - utter chaos.   In about a week, I hope to finish pitching and sorting - in preparation for a few minor furniture moves in the studio (the final step in readying our home/studio/gallery)  Then, I myself will be planted - painting in the studio.  Which reminds me - in front of a south window are twelve little glass jars containing healthy starts from our beloved old Christmas cactus.  Earlier this week, we bought clay pots and saucers.  And as soon as we get the right potting soil mix, I'll plant them. 

Have finished proof reading our family cookbooks, and will print a short new edition.  Will keep you posted on that.

Remember we have definite gallery hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 till 5, and other times whenever the sign is out, by chance or appointment.  Call us at 574-842-8888 for an appointment and we'll do our best to be open when it is convenient for you.   

Remember to check us out at our web site; 

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Winter Wonderland" -almost spring....

It's good to be back blogging and I'm pleased to present this new painting.  It's my watercolor of  the wonderful view from our front door looking east across the street, and I was enthralled by this winter scene.  Worked on it cautiously - putting it aside frequently to "think hard" about the next brush stroke.  Watercolors are not as forgiving as most other mediums - so, enough said- I hope you enjoy it.  Kay, the owner, is purchasing this original and we will be making some prints for her family, and I will enjoy mailing cards with this image.

Have been feeling below par (lingering shingles symptoms) but better now and "rarin" to go.  We've had our kitchen cabinets painted inside and out and only some of the contents are in place.  Soon we won't have any good excuse for eating out.

Most of our snow is melted, but a few packed piles linger in shaded areas.  And our Lake Maxinkuckee is still covered with thin ice.  

Here's the image from one of my most successful spring flower paintings.  - "Crocus, the Butterfly Flower" thus    named because my quirky artist brain saw the petals of these flowers resembling the wings of tiny butterflies, and it's fun to  think about both of them together.
This small watercolor is in our dining room, and prints are available on our web  site: httm/ 

All for now - I'm alternating between studio time and organizing cabinets time, and  always happy to pause to answer the buzzer when any of you enter our gallery door. I'll be back soon to share paintings and news of our artistic journey.         

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yesterday's Blog-What happened to the turtles?

Maxinkuckee cottage watercolor - the turtles must have jumped in the water.  Seriously, they are still in the painting, but my attempt to add close up views of the turtles failed.  A good friend of mine emailed to say she didn't know where to click to look at the turtles.  The culprit is my limited computer skill.  I don't dare even think about pulling off something like that!  Sorry I goofed - here's my alibi - "my little close up photos of turtle 1 and turtle 2 decided they didn't want to be in the blog."

Now it's almost 4 on Sunday afternoon, and I'm going to peel potatoes to go with our pork loin roast which is on the menu (that means thawed out) for tonight's meal.  And when it's in the oven, I'll wander back to my little studio and work on the winter scene of "the house with candles in the windows."  How's that for a plan?

We have serious winter weather here.  South Bend - about 40 miles north of us - has had 30 inches of snow within the last day or so - that's a record!  We're fortunate to have much less snow here, but one must still be very careful walking and driving.  Stay warm!

Remember, comments are welcomed. I hope to have a new blog ready for you by next weekend.    from  Esther

Web site:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Family Fun on Lake Maxinkuckee

Am posting my most recent finally completed "house portrait." This family has many wonderful memories of time spent in this Lake Maxinkuckee cottage.  The elevation from the water is ideal.  Such an appealing spot with extensive porches, a yard with a large fire pit and plenty of seating for all.  Welcome!

The patriarch of this family is a thoughtful man who follows his dreams with action.  Admirable respect for the environment is evidenced by  this  fieldstone sea wall that provides easy turtle access back and forth between land and lake.   It was fun for me to plant two of these critters  on the sea wall.  I've cropped two turtles from this watercolor, and enlarged them so you can view each of them " up close."

From our studio - After the huge Thanksgiving crash of the "Grandmother Christmas Cactus",  the baby cacti  are looking healthier each day.  About a dozen of them are in glass jars, with their  roots in the water and on a table in the south window of my studio where natural lighting is ideal. 

Today, we put away Christmas ornaments, and I worked for several hours on a snow scene of another inviting home with candles glowing in its windows - which I hope to be able to finish and photograph  for the next blog.  We plan to use this watercolor for our belated 2010 "holiday" card.  Am sorry it is emerging late, but grateful that I'm still able to share my art with you.  Ward and I thank you  for your many thoughtful holiday messages, and we wish you continuing peace and joy in 2011!

Winter hours:  Fridays and Saturdays from 10 till 5, and whenever the open sign is out, or by appointment.
Esther Powers Miller and K. Ward Miller
Painter and Poet Gallery, 307 N.. Main St., Culver, IN  46511
Phone:  574-842-8888

Web site:  http//
Most of our prints are available on this web site.  Paypal and free shipping within US.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Sixteen years ago, I painted this  watercolor  of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, of Wilmette, Illinois.  This was a gift for the New Year's Eve marriage of a young couple - John Anella,  (son of our good friends - the Steve Anellas of South Bend) and his fiance,  Margie Pelton (her family is very active in this Wilmette  church).  John and Margie and their five children now live in South Bend.

Each New Year's Eve, I think about that wedding, and remember the trip several weeks before the wedding, when Ward and I drove over 100 miles from our home - then in Plymouth - to Wilmette, to search out this church, and photograph so I could use the pictures for reference while working on this painting.    It was early December and we were fortunate to find that an early snow had recently fallen blanketing the ground white and leaving a fluffy snow trim on nearby trees and roofs - a simple classic scene. 

On New Year's day in 1994, carrying the completed watercolor with us, we again drove to this church in Wilmette and found the wintry scene almost identical to our photos.  We attended the wedding and Ward and I had fun presenting  this painting to the happy couple.

The hustle and bustle of  the holidays is subsiding, and now we are shifting gears and thinking about the year to come.  I'm still working on the yearly holiday note card, and when we are ready to mail it, I'll post it here for all to see. 

Greetings to all!  May you have a joyful, peaceful and healthy new year!   from Esther and Ward

Remember, many of our Painter and Poet prints  (including Wilmette Church) are available on our web site: 

Winter gallery hours:  Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 till 5, by appointment, or whenever the open sign is out.   
Phone: 574-842-8888.  Address:  307 N. Main St., Culver, IN 46511

Remember - it's easy to subscribe to this blog, and also easy to unsubscribe.  Follow the directions here.  And if you have comments, I'd enjoy hearing them.  -  Esther