Artist Spotlight Series: Miriam Durkin

My latest artist talent was spotted locally in Charlotte at Slate Interiors.

Her work captured me with the abstract figurative technique with a bold color palette.  I also adore her charcoal drawings of the nude human form.

Enjoy getting to know 

Miriam Durkin

Charlotte, North Carolina

What is your training? 

I wanted to learn to draw and paint the human figure as well as famous classical realists. That means studying artistic techniques, but also studying human anatomy. If you don’t know how the skeleton is put together, you really can’t draw a human figure. For a while I kept a human skeleton (a medical specimen loaned by a friend) in my studio. I learned from the teachers at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia.

Am I as good as the classical realists? I’m still working on it.

What inspires you and your designs?

Honestly, I love interior design magazines because they show artwork in living spaces, and I love to see what artwork people like to live with. My art is personal and on a human scale. It’s not a park sculpture or a train station motif.  It’s an intimate image you might pass on the way to your bedroom every night. I want you to walk by it over and over and be moved by it.


What is your favorite piece?

I’m currently working on a series of figurative paintings that use the figure only as a simplified silhouette. These compositions emphasize color, lines and shapes. They are contemporary and restful. I’ve included photos of “Imagination” and “Reader in Pink and Gold.”


How has the your area influenced your work?

It’s the other artists in town. I am constantly stunned by the creativity around me. Seeing how other artists break boundaries always challenges me to push harder.


What is your favorite restaurant in Charlotte? 

300 East. A friendly place with good food.


What is your favorite cocktail?

Chardonnay. I know. It’s not a cocktail.


How do you balance personal life and work?

Life is really just too busy isn’t it? I can’t survive unless I make lists and prioritize. Our busy-ness is another reason I try to making my paintings restful.


Dream trip?

A beachfront house where I can paint.

Dream commission?

I just finished it! A woman in Miami saw a painting of mine that she wanted to buy, but it already had sold. She gave me carte blanche to create something similar. I love it when someone trusts me to do what I do best. Then I knock myself out trying to be sure the client loves it.


Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

A bouquet of sunflowers.


Who is your style icon? I have to pick just one?

OK, today it’s choreographer Bob Fosse (think “Chicago,” “Cabaret” and “All that Jazz”) He led a messy life, but he turned classical ballet on its head with sexy, jazzy, dance moves. Would love it if someone said my art did that.


Your favorite up and coming artist?

Holly Keogh. She’s a figurative artist who is daring in her perspective. I don’t think anything past or present is influencing her. She just has her own singular extraordinary vision. How often can you say that about someone?


What is your most treasured possession?

I treasure my family most. But in the realm of possessions I treasure my early drawings.


What are you reading?

With so much crazy stuff going on in the world I can’t stay off the news feed on my phone.


What are you listening to?

Madeleine Peyroux. She’s sultry. I paint to her music. I hope it makes my artwork sultry.

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

The New York Times. It has everything. All the good reporting a person should read to navigate this complex world, and all the delicious stuff we want to read. The Sunday Times lasts me all week.

A look at Miriam’s beautiful work…


Be sure to subscribe to THE ENGLISH ROOM for extra news, giveaways and discounts.

 Let’s get friendly on Facebook,  Twitter,  Pinterest,  Tumblr & Instagram.

 Please feel free to contact The English Room if you are interested in our interior design services.






Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.