You are hereARTIST'S STATEMENT - revised April 5, 2017

ARTIST'S STATEMENT - revised April 5, 2017


By gmiller - Posted on 21 February 2011

This site contains paintings, photographs and commentary. If you see something you like - or if you would like to say something about my art or writing - please email me at: gurdonmiller@earthlink.net.
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I 
have
 drawn 
and
 painted 
for 
as 
long 
as 
I 
can 
remember. My friend and fourth-grade teacher, "Lene," Arlene Washburn, taught me and her other students to draw and paint. 
I 
encountered 
Abstract 
Expressionism 
as 
an
 adolescent 
in 
the
 1950’s.
 This
 profoundly 
altered
 my 
understanding 
of
 art,
 and
 of what art 
is
 worth
while.



I 
majored 
in 
art
 at 
Berkeley. Erle Loran, Pat Tidd, and Alfred Leslie were helpful teachers. The work of 
Clyfford
 Still, 
Richard 
Diebenkorn, Alfred 
Leslie,
 and
 Edward
 Weston
 has inspired me. John Kasnetsis and John Richardson helped me learn photography. In recent years I benefitted from the encouragement and criticism of the painter Muriel Goodwin.

I have had a lifelong engagement with the field of Geography. At Berkeley I took courses with Herb Eder, Clarence Glacken and Paul Wheatley, all of whom addressed my fascination with the relationship between culture and environment and enabled me to understand landscape as a cultural artifact. I did graduate work in urban planning at Pratt Institute and Geography at Rutgers.





I make 
acrylic
 paintings ranging in size from small enough for a modest apartment, through somewhat large to impractically big. I also paint watercolors, and make 
large 
format
 silver
 gelatin photographs. Most of my paintings are non-objective, although in some way related to landscape or particular forms that occur in nature. I sometimes paint clouds. Recently I have been painting circular forms, related in some sense to Einstein Rings, lunar eclipses or rice cakes.

The format of this large painting is one of perhaps a half dozen recurring motifs in my work.

Recently, circular forms have provided the motif for several paintings.

Some time ago I went to Butte, Montana to photograph the Helsinki Bar, an establishment talked about and sung about by the late anarchist folksinger Utah Phillips. The Helsinki was not photogenic, but other buildings in Butte were. I was Artist in Residence at the Butte Silverbow Art Foundation during July, 2006. I still travel to Butte to take photographs.

I generally do not paint pictures of things. Clouds are an exception, perhaps because they are ephemeral and constantly changing. I have been looking at clouds since I could see.

I observed and sketched scrub oak on the slopes of Venado Peak near Cuesta, New Mexico. It was fall and the color was as intense as that of the fall leaves in the Northeast. This watercolor, made several months after the visit, is the result of the observation and sketches. The motif of three irregular reddish vertical lines recurs in my paintings. It picks up the form of the Madrone trees that I first saw in the Berkeley Hills and chapparal of Northern California.

A recent painting in a recurring motif.

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