When life gave Millard lemons he made much more than lemonade

Wayne Millard with one of his many drawings.

When one door gets slammed in your face, another is often opened. That is the case of Wayne Millard of Eagle Point. Driving 500 miles per day on a long haul truck was everyday life until he couldn’t do that anymore. Back surgery prevented him from re-entering the cab of his truck, so he took social security and started pursuing some other rather interesting work.

Inside the garage of the Millard home on Teakwood Drive are several prints scattered around the perimeter, testament to the work this 64-year-old is doing on a daily basis. Prints of horses, elk, a cougar making ready to have a meal on some rancher’s beef, a big-horn ram painted on the tail feathers of a turkey. Amongst the piles of work are cartoons, works he’s been drawing since serving in the armed forces in the late 1960s. Many of those are people that he knows well and has a good enough relationship with to be able to tease them.

Animals are his favorite subjects, but he likes people too. Drawing people was once a way of getting out of some of the less desirable duties in the service. Millard says that he got to do two weeks of drawings while the rest of his company was doing tear-gas training.

But it wasn’t there that his love of art began. He used to watch his mother painting when he was much younger. So he really grew up with either a pen, pencil or even brush in his hand. Wayne admits that acrylics are much easier than oils, so he prefers that medium for some of his work. But the majority of it is done with pen and ink, and some coloring is done before the original is made into a print. Each drawing is meticulously copied to the computer for storage in a smaller place. From a disc, the work is easily sent to the publisher and they will do one or more at a time, as the orders come in.

One particular thing that Wayne Millard does special for each of his works is the frame. He spends about a day choosing just the right theme for the picture, then carefully accessorizes it into a one-of-a-kind work. Some of these are best described as breath taking.

A team of draft horses is framed with barn-board, then decorated with parts of harness, with an old mule shoe or hames. Each is unique, each is different, and each is beautiful.

Such outstanding examples of a person’s work should be expected to take a great deal of time and meticulous effort. But not so with Millard. He can crank out a work in two days and have it framed in another. The smaller cartoons take just one day. Some of these he sells in places like Arizona, others just from word of mouth. One of his works is in the El Corporal Mexican Restaurant north of Eagle Point on highway 62, near the intersection with highway 234.

This self-taught artist is also a musician who seems to have no trouble learning a new instrument in a week. Of course, most everyone knows that he does saddle repair and some rather crafty belts and other leather pieces.

The work of Wayne Millard is a sight to behold. But to see it you would have to contact him at (541) 973-4883. He works from his home garage where he knows every piece of scrap leather laying around.



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