Varnish Day

Gotta love Varnish Day!


Me and Tiff (re-shot)

I asked Larry at Fine Art Printing to reshoot these portrait paintings of Tiff and I, because my shots didn’t accurately represent the originals. As you can see below, the new shots are much better.

Thanks a bunch Larry & Tim. Glad to have your help.


Ben Jamin | painting progress animation

This repeating animated gif file shows the development of my latest painting titled, Ben Jamin.

The realistic landscape depicts the Benjamin Avenue Viaduct in Royal Oak, Michigan toward the end of winter.

There are several dilapidated 1930’s viaducts in Royal Oak. They are a point of contention with the residents of the city for various reasons, including questionable structural safety, potholes, trash, and graffiti.

A year or so ago, a friend of mine, artist Carl Oxley III, decided to call attention to the state of disrepair the viaduct near his place was in, and he painted a mural of his signature bunnies on the wall. Well, it turns out graffiti is illegal and someone complained about it to the city. The city responded very swiftly by apprehending Carl and painting over his bunny mural with gray paint. (See my rendition below) Carl learned a thing or two through this process about the city and how it has no control over railroad crossings, but plenty over covering up graffiti.

Anyway, to make a long story short, his story stuck with me. I found myself taking pictures of the viaduct on Benjamin Ave., near my studio, toward the end of winter/early spring. This painting is the result of my curiosity. I love the stains on the concrete, and the texture of the leaves and potholes. I like the subtle differences of the gray squares covering old graffiti and the peeling paint. I like the light, the shadows, and the perspective. Most importantly, I like the challenge it was representing this space accurately. On the sidewalk, I’ve included one of Carl’s bunny yard signs under some leaves, as an homage. He sold those yard signs to people who wanted to support his cause of calling attention to the problem.

Check out this painting in my portfolio.


The making of Stasis Hiatus

stop motion animation showing the development of the painting titled, "Stasis Hiatus" by Steve Miller.

I began painting "Stasis Hiatus" in November of 2018. This has been one of the most rewarding and  difficult paintings I've made to date.

Originally, I was open to portraying the interior loosely and painterly, inspired by an artist I stumbled upon on Instagram. However, as I went along, I found myself excited by the prospect of pushing the image realistically, and taming the visual chaos of the room.

I am portraying a moment I experience often when walking into my studio. The need to decide whether to get to work on a painting that I'm not fully invested in yet, or play the drums for instant gratification.

My father used to talk to me about the subject often. He felt the need for instant gratification was a real stumbling block in our society. I can see his point, however, procrastination can also lead to creativity.

Look At My Painting "Stasis Hiatus".


Zoe

small pet portrait by Steve Miller titled, "Zoe", completed October, 2018
8″x8″, acrylic on wood panel with 1.5″ profile, completed 10/8/18, © Steve Miller 2018

This small pet portrait was made for two dear friends in memory of their beloved little Pomeranian family member named Zoe.


Dress Makers

Image of a Painting by Steve Miller titled, "Dress Makers".
9″x12″, acrylic on wood panel with 1.5″ profile, completed 10/10/18, © Steve Miller 2018

Boredom leads to creativity. This small painting of my girls was made from a photo I took of them toward the end of summer 2018, after complaining about being bored.

I’ve posted some of the progress shots on my Instagram and Facebook page.

Dress Makers portfolio post


En Plein Air – Lake Michigan

Image of a Painting by Steve Miller titled, "A Day At Douglas Beach".
8″x8″, acrylic on birch wood panel with 1.5″ profile, en plein air 8/7/18, completed 8/13/18, © Steve Miller 2018 I worked on this painting while visiting a beach in Douglas, Michigan with friends and family.

Last week, I made a painting while visiting Douglas Beach on Lake Michigan with my family and friends.

I had a blast working en plein air, under shade, while everyone else played in the sand and water.

Studying the changing light and reflecting surfaces of the water was mesmerizing, but I had to work quickly laying in compositional and color choices before my acrylics dried or the light changed too drastically.

The finished painting took approximately 2.5 hours on site, and a couple more hours in my studio.

Here is my FB Post about painting  “A Day at Douglas Beach”.

To comment, and stay informed, Like Steve Miller – visual artist  on Facebook. Or, follow me on Instagram at SteveMillerArt

Visit the portfolio entry for “A Day at Douglas Beach”.


Rocky Climb

It’s hot, humid, very bright. Keep moving. Almost to the top. There’s an offshoot with shade. If only these damn horseflies would leave me alone.

This is one narrative I consider when thinking about my latest acrylic landscape painting titled, “Rocky Climb.”

Rocky Climb, like a lot of my paintings, is not based on a real place. It’s a fabricated daydream I explored for fun, through trial and error, and months of pushing paint around.
I enjoy painting imaginary landscapes because it reveals more about me than if I were to paint what’s in front of me. On the surface, Rocky Climb expresses the beauty I find in organic forms, and rugged environments. However, when looking a little deeper, this painting suggests that I have more hill to climb before I feel accomplished or satisfied. Therefore, this painting says a lot about my inability to appreciate where I am at the moment. I guess I should work on that.

To see progress shots and details of my painting process, follow me on instagram @SteveMillerArt.

See Portfolio Page of Rocky Climb.


Trail Painting Progress Gif

Just finished this big trail painting today.

I took several pictures, so I could make this little animated gif and look back at the work in progress.

Trail Dreams, 60 x 40, acrylic on canvas, © Steve Miller 2017

This painting was inspired by mountain biking in SE Michigan, but is not an actual place. It’s just a daydream built on good memories of getting out there and contending with the trail. Feeling the exhilaration of moving through the trees, and finding all these great things to look at, if only for a moment.


Painting The Trails

Small imaginary, acrylic landscape painting titled Into the Woods, by Steve Miller featuring a wooded trail.
Into the Woods, 8" x 8", acrylic on canvas, completed 11/28/17, © Steve Miller 2017

Just completed these two imaginary trail paintings, part of a new series inspired by mountain biking in Michigan.

Painting imaginary trails is just as fun as riding real ones.

Small acrylic imaginary landscape painting by Steve Miller titled Out of the Woods.
Out of the Woods, 8" x 8", acrylic on canvas, completed 11/28/17, © Steve Miller 2017


Portraits of my girls

Painted these portraits of my little ladies the other day. Magenta highlights and smiles.

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