I used to draw and paint a lot when I was a teenager and young mother. Many of my pastels, watercolors, and drawings covered the walls in my kids’ rooms, along with my handmade rugs, curtains, and stuffed toys. But in the turmoil that became my life after a divorce – caring for three small children, working, and going to school – my art suffered and simply stopped. It was as if my creativity buried itself. It did not resurface until many years later during another life change: being a single person again and moving back to Palm Springs to start over. My art became my refuge, my antidepressant, and it soothed all the things that hurt me. My art means a great deal to me. I have given pieces away in the past and done some personal things for my girlfriends and family, but I have never sold anything. I honestly cannot bear to part with them because of what they represent to me at a time when I was in need. Creativity is a balm for the soul. Usually, the only time anyone sees these pieces is if they walk into my living room. It was interesting to post some of them and see the reaction. Most gratifying!!

The ones that are being displayed are done with India ink and the tiniest little pen you have ever seen. You cannot put the pen down for any length of time as it clogs, and then you have some cleaning to do to get started again. Once I get started on an idea, I generally work for hours and hours until I have the sense that it is complete. They are not planned beforehand; they are created in the moment. One exception is the “sea creatures” piece that my daughter, Randi, asked me to do for a friend’s wedding present. It was an ocean-themed wedding and she wanted something special that reflected that. It was hard to actually compose something because, for the most part, I go by the seat of my pants. Once I have an outline started, the insides sort of flesh themselves out on their own and I try to hide as many things in the body as I can to make it more interesting. Each piece tells me when it is finished!

Jude Eileen (Jenne) Miller is a graduate of Coronado High School Class of 1964. She has three adult children, all delivered by Dr. James “Dmitri” Mushovic. Randi Miller Garcia, Jude’s firstborn, and her husband, Rene, are parents to Kara Garcia (22) and Joe Garcia (21). Kara’s daughter Avery is Jude’s first great granddaughter and the baby of the family. Jude’s second born, Matthew Miller, and his wife Crystal are parents to Joshua McLeod Miller (10). Heather Miller Carter is Jude’s youngest and she has three grown children, Matthew Navarro (22), Roxanne Carter (20), and Jennifer Carter (18). Jude’s family means the world to her, and she has much to be proud of.

Jude worked in the hotel/hospitality industry for over 30 years, starting at the Hotel Del Coronado in 1980. Seeking advancement in the sales department, she asked for and got a position with Larry Lawrence’s small resort The Racquet Club of Palm Springs. She relocated to Palm Springs in 1985 and stayed until 1992, when she moved to the Midwest and got a terrific job at the Mark of the Quad Cities, a state-of-the-art 12,000 seat arena that rocked the QC with top bands and artists (lots of free rock and roll for Jude). It also played host to the Ice Capades, Ringling Brothers Circus, arena football, and ice hockey. John Deere exhibited their newest farm equipment there, which made for an interesting experience for a beach girl to come face to face with a 12-row combine.

Moving back to the desert in 1994, Jude bought a home and got back to work in the local resorts. It has been her physical home ever since. “I say that because home is Coronado. My closest friends are still my Coronado friends.The beach is where my heart is and my folks are up on Fort Rosecrans always looking down on that beach I grew up on.”

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