KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
White Pine resident Aaron Miller works on a painting on one of the windows downtown.

The Ely Times

Several windows were painted during the summer to add some charm to downtown, and give the empty buildings a more appealing affect. Summer has come and gone and several people wanted to keep with the window painting charm, so it was decided to paint the windows with a autumn theme.

William Sanford, a local resident, has volunteered to head up the window project for the fall.  Sanford stumbled upon a native of White Pine, Aaron Miller.

Miller said he had a great interest when the window painting began in the summer, but he didn’t know who to get in touch with.  It wasn’t until Sanford and Miller had a connection with the same mutual acquaintance that Miller got on board with painting a window in the downtown area.

The idea of painting the windows downtown is to give people an opportunity to paint whether its students from the schools, clubs, individuals, organizations or friends and families, taking a minute to display their community pride through their artistic abilities.

Miller painted his first window within a day, noting it was the biggest painting he has ever completed. Sanford was so impressed, as well as other locals, that Sanford asked Miller to paint another window, right next to the other one he had painted.

So who is Aaron Miller? He grew up in White Pine through his tenure in High School.  He has moved away, and come back several times…something about White Pine keeps drawing him back. Is it his family? Maybe? Or is it now his desire to be part of the movement on making the downtown area of Ely better?

When asked if he had any type of school courses in painting, art, drawing? His answer was no. Miller said he has had 20 years of practicing drawing and has been painting for the past two years.  He contributes much of his knowledge through research and you tube videos and google.

Miller explained that for the last two years he has been trying to make it his profession and its been hard to do. He had a booth in the Art in the Park festival here last year but wasn’t very successful. Miller notes he has a lot of his print sales online. He has approached the Art Bank, but he does not have any art displayed there.

Miller said he likes to paints portraits, graphite is his best for portraits he notes, but he enjoys acrylic, water color, and now tempura.

“I got tired of working a 9-5 job, but I don’t mind painting 9-5, it’s my passion,” Miller said.

Before this, the largest painting Miller said he painted a 4-by 4-foot painting. After painting the first window, Sanford asked him to paint a second, and now there is talk of Miller painting two more windows. White Pine is big for being the city of murals, and when asked if he’s ever painted any murals? Miller answered, “No, but most of these were done within a day or so or work, so I’m starting to think maybe I could do murals.”

Miller’s passion for art is strong. His future ideas include wanting to hold painting classes. “Maybe even hold a class in the upper level of the Art Bank to teach people how to paint,” he said.

Another idea of his? Get together with some artists and paint the smokestacks down by the railroad with train, and railroad depot scenes.

Miller currently has at least 10 prints on his facebook page at facebook.come/acm86art

When Miller was asked what  type of art work does he enjoy the most? He answered, “Depends on the style, I study and look at a lot at impressionistic paintings.  The paintings on the window are impressionistic style.  I looked at some photos and super imposed the mountain behind the trees, and free handed i.”

And, as Miller was putting the finishing touches on his paintings, several cars slowed down to check out the windows, one local, John Lampros rolled his window down commenting “That is beautiful, nice work.”

For the other two windows Miller plans on painting Miller said he’s in the design phase of it, researching photos and deciding what will work best. “I’d be very open to getting together with a group of youth and painting a window, maybe even a pumpkin patch them, something the kids would enjoy doing.”

Paintings must be completed by Oct. 19. For additional information contact Sanford at 775-293-5590 or via email at williamsanford54@gmail.com