Venu (
Venu by Heather Miller

Title: Venu
Year: 2011
Size: 16″ x 20″

Venu was created using acrylic paint and polyurethane on canvas

The Story:

I’m writing this story in 2016, the piece was created in 2011 so I’ll do my best to remember.

Venu is a pretty straightforward piece.  I’m not a painter so there wasn’t some fancy technique used here.  Basically I painted the entire canvas black.  Once that dried, I dripped gray, black, and white acrylic paint on the canvas and roughly brushed it back and forth to create angular stripes.  It’s very easy to do and super fun.  For those reason I highly recommend everyone create an abstract painting or two in their lifetimes.

After the acrylic paint was dry, rather than coat it with just an acrylic finish, I decided to try something different.  I did use an acrylic matte finish on canvas.  When that was dry, however, I dipped a large artist’s paint brush in polyurethane and ran it along various strips.  I made sure the brush was overloaded with polyurethane so that it would leave drip marks.  The trick was to make sure it was too overloaded, otherwise the drips would run down the entire canvas.  I just wanted some short shiny drips in a few places.  The canvas was hung vertical for this part; normally I paint on a flat surface (even though I own an relatively nice easel).

The name Venu comes from a list of names I created several years ago.  I was going to try my hand at creating my own video game.  I started out by creating the names of characters, places, plants, animals, etc.  That’s when I discovered I suck at storytelling.  Rather than confine the names to the dustbin, I keep them on spreadsheet.  When I get stuck for a title for my art, I use one from the list.  Venu (pronounced VAY-new), if you’re curious, was the name of a planet.  It honestly just occurred to me (Jan. 3, 2016)  after all these years that all I did was chop the ‘s’ off of Venus.  When I invent names, I normally run through various letter combinations until I find one that is pronounceable.  Sometimes the obvious escapes me.