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Sarah Milteer's sea change 

Love Letters Home

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During her first interview ever, in a thick Scottish accent through intermittent belts of laughter, artist Sarah Milteer describes one of her fondest memories.

Milteer's submerged in water, loosening a boat from some rocks. While there, she notices various sea animals and insects illuminated beneath. She's experiencing phosphorescence, which occurs when the sky is clear, no moon is present and the light hits the water a certain way.

In describing the memory, she's also describing "Sea at Night," her painting (pictured below) of the boat trip that brought her and her brother back from a pub to her tiny Scottish village of Badachro.

Her encounters growing up on the northwest coast of Scotland and, more recently, raising a family in Colorado, have given her plenty of inspiration for the images appearing in Love Letters Home.

"[The title] refers to the place where I grew up, which I miss like crazy," she says. "But it also refers to my family here, who I totally adore."

Milteer moved from Denver, her home for more than a decade, to the Springs in August with her husband, Blake Milteer (the curator of the permanent collection at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center), and their two young boys.

But when she paints, in what she calls a "Scottish-colorist" style, she often depicts people from her life back overseas.

For instance, "Rebecca and the Hens" shows a statuesque picture of Milteer's albino sister Rebecca, in the foreground of a lush coast.

"I preserve people I don't get to see a lot and people who've passed away," she says. "I paint what I love and who I love."

Love Letters Home
Smokebrush Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., #102
First Friday Art Walk Reception, Dec. 7, 5-8 p.m.; exhibit runs through Jan. 16.
Free; gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the Saturday following First Friday Art Walk Receptions. Smokebrush is closed for the holidays, Dec. 22 through Jan. 3.
Call 444-1012 or visit smokebrush.org for more.

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