The gift that keeps on giving

MAGIC Carved plate 3.5
MAGIC Carved plate 3.5″ Lilianne Milgrom

I won’t deny that selling my artwork is rewarding, but the real value I get from having my art out there is knowing that it is appreciated and that I have enhanced people’s lives in some way. In the past two weeks, thanks to unsolicited and unexpected feedback, I have been amply reminded of just how much satisfaction and joy this gives me. Art really is that magical gift that keeps on giving.

It began with a recent trip to my gynecologist’s office.  As my doctor breezed into the exam room to perform my annual checkup she told me that she thought of me every day. This sparked a dreaded moment of anxiety – was she referring to  some ominous test results I was unaware of?

gyno office

I need not have worried. She was referring to a hand made ceramic mug I gave her a year ago when I learned that she had completed her yoga instructor’s course. I had totally forgotten about that mug, aptly decorated with an image of a cross-legged woman meditating. It turns out that she drinks her morning joe out of that cup every day.

A few days later I received an email from a woman in Australia who identified herself as the person who had purchased my small, award-winning portrait Le Parisien about five years ago.

5x5in_acrylic_2013 (2)

She took the time to write the following words and, bless her, it made my week:

Dear Lilianne, Just wanted to touch base and let you know I purchased a tiny painting of yours from the Mortimore Prize in 2010. For such a tiny painting it fills the room. It was a Christmas present to my husband after he expressed it was his favourite painting in the show, it was also a stand out to me, we love it! Just wanted to let you know it came to a good home. 

And then, to top it off, I received another email from another total stranger who had come across my contributing artwork in the Women of the Book project currently on exhibit at the Jerusalem Biennale.

womenofthebook illustration (9)

This gentleman really understood what I was trying to capture with my visual expression of the Torah portion Ki Tavo. He wrote:
Dear Lilianne, It looked like simplicity was a prime virtue of the work until I looked more closely and realized the skill and complexity. It really does convey the sense of a deeply willing offering. What excellent work! Would you mind if I used it as a screensaver, reminding myself to be in that place of acceptance and offering?

It’s been a gratifying couple of weeks in the life of this artist – I have also been commissioned to paint a series of portraits for the AARP and just found out that Dreamtime, the work I featured in my last blog, received an award at the opening in NY.

awardIf you have any comments about art that has touched people’s lives or art that you cherish, that inspires you or beautifies your home or simply makes you feel good, I’d love to hear your story.

BEWARE: Working with clay may be addictive!

April Felipe 'She was as lost to Them as They were to Her'
April Felipe ‘She was as lost to Them as They were to Her’

Ceramicists know something others don’t: Once you sink your hands into an earthy, moist ball of clay and realize that its creative possibilities are virtually infinite, you may just become addicted; I’ve seen it happen and I also speak from experience. The 2015 Clay National exhibition at the Workhouse is a prime example of the medium’s vast potential to express the maker’s vision.

Mariana Baquero 'My Cup Runneth Over'
Mariana Baquero ‘My Cup Runneth Over’
Jamie Bales Slone 'Pathogenisis 5'
Jamie Bales Slone ‘Pathogenisis 5’
Annie Campbell 'Downstream'
Annie Campbell ‘Downstream’
Douglas Navarra 'Green Faceted Container'
Douglas Navarra ‘Green Faceted Container’
Sara Morales Morgan 'Virginia'
Sara Morales Morgan ‘Virginia’


I have just completed a new series of decorative ceramic forms entitled Disneyland Revisited. The forms incorporate vintage crystal decanter tops that I found in a great junk shop in Melbourne, Australia. My underglaze illustration takes female characters from Disney movies and translates them into the ‘real’ world. Below are images from two of these new works.



Jasmine (Aladdin) Revisited:


SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI would love to hear from all you clay heads out there – any feedback is always welcome! More of my ceramic work here

The Clay National runs through September 13 at the Workhouse Art Center, Lorton, VA.

Drink up! (Ceramic cup mandatory)

Lauren Karle 'Connectors'
Lauren Karle ‘Connectors’

The first gallery opening I attended in the new year was DRINK this!, a superb international show of ceramic cups held at the Workhouse Arts Center that boasts a state-of-the-art ceramic department.

The exhibition exemplified yet again the boundless versatility of clay. There were humorous cups, serious cups, stunningly poetic cups and narrative cups. It was like going to a dog show where you can hardly believe that all those different looking animals actually belong to the same species.

Jillian Blackwell '46th Street Living Room Cup'
Jillian Blackwell ’46th Street Living Room Cup’
Nicole Aquillana 'Going Home'
Nicole Aquillana ‘Going Home’
Ray Chen 'Snow'
Ray Chen ‘Snow’
Theo Uliano 'Mug 1'
Theo Uliano ‘Mug 1’
Jess Carter 'Leaf mug'
Jess Carter ‘Leaf mug’



















Ceramic art is hot right now. I would venture to say that the ceramic arts are no longer regarded as the poor second cousin to painting and sculpture. The cover of the latest issue of ARTnews magazine features an article entitled Ceramic Art Gets Serious. The eight page article starts off by claiming that ceramics has come out of the closet (we ceramicists have known this for years), and expounds on the wonders of the new crop of ceramic artists.

But let’s get back to the international cup show:

Carol Tripp Martens 'High Tea'
Carol Tripp Martens ‘High Tea’

There’s nothing quite like drinking tea or coffee from a one-of-a-kind cup that has been so lovingly and creatively crafted to engage all the senses.

Suzanne Wolfe 'Romantic Interlude'
Suzanne Wolfe ‘Romantic Interlude’

If you’re still not convinced about ceramics as a fine art form, check out my own article in the recent issue of Ceramics Art and Perception, page 92 🙂

Behind the scenes at the Workhouse Arts Center ceramics department
Behind the scenes at the Workhouse Arts Center ceramics department