Monday, 14 May 2018

Paint Padiham 2018

My intention today was to make some work of Gawthorpe that would be based around the Garden paintings off the Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla. The  formal gardens at Gawthorpe with their sculptures and style should I thought give me a style to emulate that would be close. Joaquin  painted bright foregrounds of flowers, red paths and pale stone urns against a shaded backdrop of blue and mauve trees. Gawthorpe Hall on a spring sunshine day is not quite as hot climate wise but is ornamental enough to give me a taste. After the winter we had had the light from a northern sun seemed just as bright.  I like the thought of a European culture were traditions of the north and south are shared and celebrated. But, things didn't go as planned. With the benefit of hindsight  when I started this plain air painting I now recall that the morning light was the amazing. A growing sun sending shards of bright green and yellow glancing past the dark frontage of the Hall before shattering into shards on the yellow private. My first modello or trial shows that I was firmly on the right track but instead of a quick success, I wasted time and effort  following a shifting light throughout the afternoon. Hence the shaded blue and mauve and green background was lost. In my defence I lost track due to all the conversations  with all the nice people who stopped to chat. But despite making the smaller model which largely went ignored. I carried on. Nothings wasted though, people still liked it and importantly I’ve been taught a valuable lesson.
Rob Miller  Paint Padiham  2018

Thursday, 10 May 2018


I'll be in the Painting Padiham event on Saturday along with 55 other painters. Its a great day out. If you would like to support the day (It costs naught)  come along for a chat I will be at Gawthorpe Hall and the rest in Padiham Town Centre and everywhere visit the Storm Gallery in Padiham Town Centre for more details.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The endless journey to abstraction

Pennine Farm Rochdale 30x20cm oil on board

I've been painting this particular group of farm buildings for years on and off. I noticed them the first time when I glanced to pull in front of a lorry looking North whilst driving on the M62. It was a quick glance that left a visual memory that needed to be challenged. As soon as I could I drove over the moor and walked down to the buildings though I couldn't re capture my previous fleeting moment the structure  and place of the farm captivated me. I heard or read somewhere from another artist  that artists spend their time trying to recapture a moment of interest that was presented to them in their formative years. Visual memory when connected to emotion is very strong. Looking back through my sketch books there is some evidence that this could be true.

For me this moment of  memory is connected I think to my relationship when I was young with white farms especially Farms with white Gable ends. This links to Raven Flat Farm, Bell Busk where I enjoyed a few summers haymaking as a kid, as well as a morning cross country  run that I did from Brownhills up past Upper and  Middle Mickle Hey farms to Heights House and back. All the farms mentioned had a white Gable end at the time. White because the farms had to lime wash their walls in line with public health and animal care. and white because they were visual targets that I had to attain whilst running up and down muddy fields and country lanes.  Its this narrative that I need to unpick and its is this that has led me slowly down a road to abstraction.

More of this to come.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

New paintings and totally new work in progress new abstracts Eyjafjordur

I've been pondering and musing for some time now about a new body of work  that will help me to get to grips with the way I was moved by a trip to Iceland a couple of years ago. Here is the first attempt at abstraction titled Arrival Eyjafjordur Iceland, I imagine we are going to get through multiple stages...below the abstract is a painting maybe half way down the fjord looking at Hrisey the cliffs are tall in the4 painting we were sailing quite a few miles distance from them. As you sail closer
you see that the sea cliffs are topped by ice and snow. They are amazing steep, dark, bastions, dangerous places with the occasional glimmer of light, a remote habitation, or waterfall. I know I've said this before and its not happened.....but I hope to keep you posted on developments over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Low Tide Treshnish Isle Mull Oil painting on canvas .

Low tide Treshnish Isles  oil on canvas 61cm x61 cm
The beautiful unspoilt Treshnish Isles are off the coast of Mull on Scotland's West Coast Great Britain.. This oil painting captures the rugged coast line at low tide when the colour of the kelp adds an extra dimension to the already clear colours on the beach.