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 Keith Miller  (1949 - )

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Lived/Active: Ontario / Canada/Mexico      Known for: marine, still life, landscape, cityscape and botanical painting

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Ad Code: 3
Keith  Miller
Mason's Island, CT, Oil on Canvas 2012
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is a review by Nance Race in The Artfull Mind, March 2000

"The Lush Flower Paintings of Keith Miller"

Seductive, Erotic...these are a few of the descriptive words people associate with the floral paintings of Keith Miller. Miller is a Canadian artist now living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He studied at Toronto´s Ontario College of Art and later taught painting at nearby Sheridan College, School of Visual Arts. The intense detail in his botanical paintings creates the impression of incredible energy in the flowers. His ability to reveal the play of movement using light and shadow, adds to the impression of natural energy in his botanical subjects. When asked if he deliberately sought to create the feeling of sexual energy in his paintings, Miller replied, “Other people see them that way. I´m just looking at the forms of the flowers, trying to paint in a robust and lively way”.

His rendering of the Cymbidium orchid and the Calalilly depict in brilliant detail, the convoluted, writhing petals and erect pistils, alluding to a sensuality and eroticism.

It has been said that Miller´s work has been strongly influenced by the work of the 19th century American painter, Martin Johnson Heade. Heade was associated with the luminist school of landscape painters. Miller admits, “I frequently looked at Heade´s work. He was definitely an important influence”. Heade´s luminist perspective is most evident in Miller´s paintings with flowers, birds and vines in the extreme foreground, as mountains, lakes and forests disappear into the mystical distance.

One critic noted: “Miller is a virtuoso painter and his flowers, especially, are beautifully realized, shot through with stormy light and sexual energy” The hint of eroticism is manifest in every painting. Looking at the paintings, one can almost see the flowers breathe deeply. The hint of carnality in the succulent, luxurious flowers is almost tangible. When referred to as a virtuoso painter, Miller states, “I think that relates to the older techniques I use. I pay attention to light and shade and that depicts volume which relates to the traditional nature of oil painting on canvas”.

His older techniques with the use of light and shade serve to increase the sexual mystery of his paintings. Miller says that his paintings are always based on observation and drawings done on the spot. He has spent a lot of time drawing while traveling throughout Europe and the Orient.

Keith Miller´s paintings can be found in the collection of the U.S. Dept. of State and in a number of Museum collections in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

United States Dept. Of State.
Museum of the City of New York.
South Street Seaport Museum, New York, NY.
Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto, Canada.
Philadelphia Maritime Museum. USA.
Office of the Mayor, City of New York. USA.
Smith Klein Pharmaceutical Co., Canada.
Private and corporate collections in Canada, United States, Europe and Mexico.

Online Source:

Biography from Friedeberg Fine Arts:
Keith Miller is a Canadian artist, formally educated in the arts of drawing and painting - first at Toronto’s Ontario College of Art and later at Sheridan College, School of Visual Art. Much of his adult life has been spent abroad.

After a long period of travel, he finally settled in San Miguel de Allende - an historic colonial town in Central Mexico. For nearly twenty years, using San Miguel as his base and with occasional forays back to South East Asia, he evolved his own painterly response to the world around him.

Intimate and coolly objective at the same time, his realism is both a critical examination of that world and a kind of love affair with it. Whether in the high desert of Mexico or on the southern islands of Thailand, direct observation informs his work. Nature provides the sustenance and the impulse is always to see, to record and to remember.

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