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".


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.


Finishing a Portrait of Tiff

Working on this little portrait of my awesomely awesome wife, Tiffany. I’m just about done with it, I’ll get a solid photo soon, but first I want to paint portraits of my beautiful girls too.


Grosse Pointe Peepers!

THIS SUNDAY AFTERNOON!

Come to the Grosse Pointe War Memorial. The 79th GPAA Members Show. 2-4pm.

GPAA SHOW POSTCARD

I’m lucky to have two pieces in this show. Thank you GPAA.

An acrylic landscape painting by Steve Miller of a floating island with bigtop stripes, a catfish dragon swimming, clouds floating, a bird peeking, and a volcano popping.
Unexpected Expedition, 60 x 40, acrylic on canvas, © Steve Miller 2017

Acrylic landscape painting by Steve Miller of a bluff overlooking a beach, a plateau, a ball, and a small building on a hill.
Just Bluffing, 36″x24″, acrylic on canvas, © Steve Miller 2017

Unexpected Expedition hanging in the 79th GPAA members show at the War Memorial in Grosse Pointe.


Just Bluffing

An acrylic landscape painting with the view of an imaginary beach… have a ball at the beach!

Just Bluffing, 36″ x 24″, acrylic on canvas, 1/11/17

This painting was a valley before it was a beach. Fabricating Daydreams!

landscape painting in progress
Work in progress

landscape painting in progress
Work in progress


Post Election Painting

Eleven Eleven Make A Wish is something people say when they happen to look at a clock and it’s 11:11, and then they both make a wish. I felt two things after the 2016 election, how the hell did this happen, and we’re doomed. So I made this little painting of a person digging a big hole in the dark, at sunset.

It’s humor dude, don’t get all bent outta shape.


Blue Moon Event

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Live Painting Demo

This past Friday,
[highlight]I was one of a select number of artists nationwide hired by Blue Moon[/highlight]
(the beer owned by MillerCoors Inc.) to perform a live painting demonstration at a Sports Bar (Art and Jake’s in Shelby Township on 23 mile road) where patrons got to experience the thrill of watching yours truly recreate live a Blue Moon painting for their 20th anniversary celebration during which was a real blue moon event (the second full moon within the same month).

 

Thank you Joe Lafata, for choosing me as one of the select artists.