Artist Profile: Miriam Colman

Person with dark hair and pale skin in blue and pink  outfit

Miriam Colman (pronouns: she/her) is a queer Buddhist artist hailing from the Pacific Northwest. Best known for her intricate abstract drawings, Miriam has displayed her work on the set of Season 8 of Portlandia.

Usually working with fountain pens on paper and occasionally felt tip pens on wood, Miriam’s art features mainly birds and flowers as the main actors in each scene. Self-taught, her characters are hidden in cascades of vines and other natural elements, creating scenes that explore topics arising from living half in the closet. Currently, Miriam lives and works in Redmond.

Two Birds Passing in the Night

J. Herbin “Emerald of Chivor”, “Rouge Hematite”, and “Stormy Grey” inks on Rhodia paper on black paper with white gel pen. 11″x14″.


This is one of my all-time favorites. I was feeling so depressed about never finding a partner, so I decided to draw some hope for myself in a scene reminiscent of the most peaceful memory I have- sitting in an open hot spring in Japan at night, surrounded by snowy mountains, steam, silence, and stars.

The birds are separated by a mountain motif, and while they are turned away from each other, they’re still connected by a red thread of date under the night sky.

Two Birds Meeting in the Night

Two birds drawn in an ornate style against a black backdrop with white flowers

Sailor “Kiwa-guro” and BUNGUBOX “First Love” and “Lycoris” inks on Borden & Riley paper


This was a companion I drew to “Two Birds Passing in the Night” when I was celebrating the relationship that I was in a few years later. It represents just how joyous, in love, and loved I felt.

It’s Raining Again

Black and white ink drawing of birds under rain blouds

Sailor “Kiwa-guro” and Iroshizuku “Takesumi” inks on Borden & Riley paper. 12″x16″.


TW: Domestic and child abuse, suicide

When I was little and unaware of the interpersonal context that I was born into, I loved my dad more than anyone else in the world. I knew he could yell loudly, slam doors, punch walls and people, but that angry man felt like someone I didn’t know. Just a stranger who would rudely interrupt car rides or leave me to bring my dolls to comfort my crying mother.

I didn't realize the anger in him could turn on me...

Black Sheep

A bird drawn in black ink in a detailed, decorative style against an ornate background drawn in red ink

Iroshizuku “Yamabudo” ink on Tomoe River paper and white gel ink on black paper. 8″x10″.

$150. To purchase, contact

TW: Homophobia

When the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast came out in 2017, I was still living with my parents right after college, and I overheard my stepdad banning my younger brothers from seeing the movie purely because Gaston’s sidekick had a crush on him and that was too explicit for my teenage brothers.

I was furious, but...

More work by Miriam

Instagram: Garden of Birds

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