Milescapes Art – Gifts, Original Artwork and Photography [Blog]

January 29, 2013

Ongoing Adventures in Pastel Art

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 11:04 am

Mary Kate


I guess I haven’t written about my artistic endeavors since I did the Cooper portrait. I am often busy with other creative activities during the late spring, summer, and early fall, so I do most of my pastel work in the cold weather.

The subject I chose to work on after two-year-old Cooper was the Baldwinsville Judge, the Honorable Elijah Huling. Judge Huling has hired me to photograph his staff and his swearing in ceremony so I had a lot of good model photographs to choose from. Sometime last year my husband suggested that maybe if I were to do portraits of locally well-known individuals I might be able to become better known as an artist. Things are going pretty well in the photography arena as the Town of Van Buren just purchased several pictures for their town website. That means I still have the village covered, with five websites (Village of Baldwinsville, B’ville Chamber, Town of Lysander, PAC 98 Cable TV, and now Van Buren) using my photographs on their homepages. But I really want to do more painting and it would be nice if I could earn decent money doing it.


Working on the Judge’s portrait was a very interesting change from the toddler. It brought a few challenges, one being that His Honor is now shaving his hair off and my model photograph showed him with a lot more hair. Fortunately, he attends services at the church where I am the organist/pianist so I get to see him often. Here is the finished portrait. I’d like to remind you that this is NOT actually, the finished portrait, but a photograph of it. There are differences when reproduced this way. The original is always a little softer and smoother – less contrast-y. Maybe the photographs have a narrower range of contrast…whatever. I am never as happy with the reproductions as I am with the originals.

Judge Huling

August 16, 2012

Wemple & Edicts Craft Fair 2012

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 10:19 am

The Wemple & Edicks Crafts Fair

Coming this year on September 15th & 16th, 2012. 9-5

Wemple & Edicks is an old fashioned ice cream parlor owned by my husband’s cousins, Bob & Laura Channell and this year’s event will be the ??th annual. There usually are about forty booths with steady traffic. I have a little difficulty fitting into the crafts fair category  because my handmade gifts all feature my photographs and I ask myself if maybe I should be in art shows instead. Be that as it may, I find my things are always welcomed with smiles as people recognize their hometown sites on coffee mugs, clocks, paperweights, etc… More than once I heard someone browsing say, “what I like about these things is, they’re local”. Where I referred to the glacial pothole in Canajoharie as just that – a glacial pothole – everyone else stopped and exclaimed, “the boiling pot!”. I guess I’ll just have to re-label a few things.

The Milescapes Booth
Anyhow, for a small venue, I have done very well. Even more importantly, were the many contacts I made. Re-stocking the business cards kept me busy and gave me a good feeling inside. Hopefully, I’ll hear from all those folks in the future.

May 5, 2012

My Little Buddy, Cooper

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 8:47 pm

I’m still working with the Pan Pastels. In fact, this portrait used them almost exclusively. I did only Cooper’s hair with Sennelier soft pastel sticks and a few of the harder NuPastels.

Cooper turned two early this year. He comes to church every Sunday with his Auntie Linda and they sit down front in a pew right next to the piano. He always comes over to say good morning to me and hi-fives me at the sign of peace. When I was thinking of working on another child’s portrait, Coop seemed the obvious choice. I love these Pan Pastels

March 6, 2012

A Portrait of My Good Friend, Sharon

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 6:33 pm

So even though we didn’t have much snow in Upstate New York this year (I love working on my pastel paintings while the snow is softly falling outside my windows) I have so far managed to get four new paintings finished. I have to confess that I trashed two others. I have a tendency to overwork my pastels and sometimes it gets out of control and the painting becomes irretrievable. I wish I could tell sooner when a portrait is just never going to make it – it would save a lot of pastel and hours of my time! Here is a picture of my dear friend, Sharon. As typically happens when I photograph a painting, it is more contrast-y looking here than it really is. It is my favorite portrait to date. I am hoping to get one more little boy named Cooper finished before the season is over. And yikes! I have to get working on the tax return!

My friend, Sharon, in pastel

And here is the photograph I used as a model:

Model Photograph of Sharon

February 7, 2012

Continuing Adventures in Pastel Portrait Painting

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 10:05 pm

Well, it’s the dead of winter again and I have not only broken out the pastels, I have invested a bundle in Pan Pastels – the softest pastels available. I do so want to learn how to handle them! Unfortunately for me, they go on with these wonderful Sofft art sponges and I am just not good with tools. I am willing to put a lot of time into practicing because I believe the results will be worth it. To begin with, I was extremely cautious. I was doing a landscape and building (Plumley Engineering, here in B’ville) ordered by the employees there as a Christmas gift for their boss, and only used the Pan Pastels for the sky, lawn, some foliage, and the daylilies. Here’s the finished painting:

Plumley Engineering


As soon as we returned from celebrating Christmas in Massachusetts I got back to working on portraits of people.  (more…)

June 19, 2011

Leah & Scott’s Wedding

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 5:08 pm

June 11th, 2011

April 6, 2011

Jen & Jess, best friends

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 10:55 am

Well, I’ve been at it a couple of weeks but I finally managed to complete another pastel portrait – double-portrait, actually. And while I was working on it I actually got the tax return finished and filed :)   Here is Jen with her beloved friend, Jess.

Jen & Jess, best friends

Jen & Jess, best friends

While working on this picture I learned something new. (more…)

March 16, 2011

The Hunter Portrait

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 8:01 pm

It would be really great if I could complete one portrait a week! Here is Hunter. I can see I still have a lot to learn, but his grandma liked it :)

Hoping for better skin tones next time. I loved his cheeki smile - which was even broader than it looks here.

Hoping for better skin tones next time. I loved his cheeky smile - which was even broader than it looks here.

March 3, 2011

Giving up on Graphite

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 7:02 pm

Adventures in Human Portraiture

Oh, no. People don’t have fur on their faces! – and I’m used to doing pet portraits . However, I am just not happy with my shading in graphite. I’m going back to trying people in pastel. My friend Lizzie was kind enough to sit for some photographs I could use as models.

My friend Lizzie

My friend Lizzie

I realize my skin tones need work but I really do think this looks like Lizzie. The photograph I used as a model is below.

Lizzie's photograph

Lizzie's photograph

Last year I bought a set of Sennelier pastels (very soft) for portraits so I should have all the colors I need. I guess I just have to keep practicing.

In all honesty, I should post my first attempt… Here is a picture I did of my granddaughter, Emily. The photograph I used apprears below the pastel.


Emily's photograph. Isn't she a cutie??

Emily's photograph. Isn't she a cutie??

November 29, 2010

Baldwinsville Rotary – Charter Night 2010

Filed under: Posts — Marianne Miles @ 4:01 pm

And a great time was had by all!!


Pictures of everyone who attended! click on the “more” tag: (more…)

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Phone: 315-638-4190; Email:

Marianne Miles   20 Downer Street   Baldwinsville, NY   315.638.4190