Monday, May 23, 2011

The Truth about Painting with Stan Miller

Stan Miller will be teaching a five-day workshop at Whidbey Island FineArt Studio (WIFAS) next month. He has been a professional painter in watercolor and egg tempera for more than thirty years. His theme will be “Painting the Portrait and Landscape.” Stan will demonstrate the landscape and the portrait, using a variety of styles and approaches, from realism to impressionism to abstraction. Stan recently shared the following information about himself and his painting in this interview.

Q: When did your interest in art begin and how long have you been an artist?
A: My interest in art began when I was a young child.  I've always loved art. I've been a professional, full time artist, since 1973.

Q: What do you seek to communicate through your art or your art instruction?
 A: I try to communicate through my art, first of all, peace and quiet, and then the sacred space.  I also like painting things that have a feeling of character and history: old people, old things, Venice, etc.  I think this is in part why I love to visit with old people.  I like Europe because of its character, its history.  

In my instruction I try most to teach students this truth, 'that all people can learn how to paint....painting is a language that everyone can learn if properly instructed'.  Once a student understands that painting is a learnable language and that they can learn to paint, I then try to teach each student to be true to their character and paint the subject that moves them, in the style that matches their temperament.  Whether, abstract, impressionism or realism...all these styles can be learned.  Like poetry, the short story or the novel...  Then, I warn them...that if they really want to be good, they have to have passion and work very hard for a long time...  I also remind them that the arts make life worth living; art opens our eyes and ears to the deeper beauty of our world...

Q: What drives you as an artist?
A: Every soul wants to he heard, and understood.  To do this, they must choose a method of communicating.  The artist uses their instrument, mine is painting, to express the deeper aspects, beyond our daily language, of what they want to share.  To want to share, be heard, what drives not only me, but all of humanity...

Q: What advice do you have for artists seeking to improve their work?
A: For artists who wish to improve their work, paint more...paint harder...and enjoy it!

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