Saturday, 24 March 2018

Open Studio unframed Friday april 6th 2018


See my studio in action pick up a bargain or work fresh from the artists easel or discuss a commission

www.robmillerartist.org





Friday, 23 March 2018

Landscape and belonging.

I think that it is good sometimes as a painter to sit back a little and take a second look at what how and why I paint. A sort of refocus or re assessment. This is my second blog entry that looks at Landscape and belonging. I was influenced by a discussion that I heard on BBC radio 4. The English word landscape comes from the 5th Century anglo saxon word landscaef  and was used to  describe a place where human action had changed a location ie field systems or strip linchets, drainage etc. The term Landscape as in landscape painting came along much later in the 16th Century  borrowed from the Dutch Painters, landchap. I also see landscape as a cultural geographic name. Influenced by a couple of excellent teachers at St Mary's College Blackburn  I became engrossed in the subject, especially geomorphology from my mid teens. Now, looking back I can see why I have always been reluctant to put figures into my landscape paintings and instead I have tried to focus on the meaning of the Land itself and how it has been shaped if at all, by animals or humans or the weather. For me the Land is an entity, a living thing, for it to exist and grow and prosper it doesn't need humans in fact I have to say we humans are the lands worst nightmare. 




Largely humans are an irrational complex and wasteful enemy of nature. We wage war against the defenceless, glorify in our conquest of weakness and rape the land for profit.. We celebrate killing the means of our survival on this planet and trivialize the slaughter of our own. But you only have to stand in the cold winds of winter  on the open moor to realise that we need land more than it needs us.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Distant Shores Britains West Coast

The west coast of Britain, the rocky shorelines, beautiful wide sandy coves and beaches whether Im looking directly out onto the North Atlantic or into the Irish sea, hold a fascination for me. I've sat and sketched and painted their topography on solo walking holidays from Lands End to Cape Wrath. Walking is a wonderful way of exploring the geography and sense of a place,  coastal walking with the moving shining sea on one side and hard rock or rolling meadows on the other is in a different league. The rhythm of one's stride and the rhythm of the surf, the passing of the sunrise  to sunset and a night packed with stars is a joy. I always took these days as a holiday from landscapes but now and over the last two or three years I have begun to take my coastal experiences seriously, the walks have made a deep impact in my visual memory and years later I like what I see emerging in the paint. The brightness and movement of large areas of gas and liquid give feast of freedom and light, birthing gestures and marks unknown to a world more solid. The watercolour below one of many memory sketches in pencil and watercolour..............



Saturday, 3 March 2018

Landscape and Belonging . A Painting of Broad Meadow farm Edgworth Bolton artist Rob Miller medium Oils on linen board


Writing this in March 2018 when the country has been in its coldest in Pennine terms it was in 1929 when Hadraw Force pool last froze in Teesdale and Ice climbers climbed on Kinder Scout downfall in Derbyshire. My studio at Falcon Mill was not quite as cold as Siberia but it was certainly getting closer with temperatures reaching a low of -6 Centigrade. I found myself rooting around in the storage part of my studio and came across a group of landscapes that I had been working on in 2015 . They were all a set of paintings sketched during walks I made with my partner. I had niotions at this time of running with a series based on a Pennine theme of  Landscape and belonging. After getting the offer of a commision and residency at Lingholm I needed more working space and revisit my acrylic techniques as I was due to use Pip Seymour paints and  I had put the oil on board Pennine works to one side. 

I particularly like the way that oil paint colour and texture in this work and its sisters. Having painted mostly in acrylics over the last decade I was somewhat impatient at the drying time of oil. Experimenting with different mediums from a variety of sources I was becoming increasingly frustrated. 

It took a week of  this Siberian weather to reawaken my joy of a summer spent painting and dodging the rain showers above Egerton Village near Bolton. Heres "Summer memories Broad meadow Farm" Edgworth, Bolton Lancashire. Finally completed after a 4 years wait. 

Summer memories above Bolton
oil on linen board

Summer memories above Bolton
oil on linen board detail

Summer memories above Bolton
oil on linen board detail

Summer memories above Bolton
oil on linen board detail

Summer memories above Bolton
oil on linen board detail

Summer memories above Bolton
oil on linen board detail

Summer memories above Bolton
oil on linen board detail

Summer memories above Bolton
oil on linen board detail