The landscape of the Northern Countryside has always fascinated Rob Miller, who gained a Distinction in Painting from the University of Bolton. Miller is particularly influenced by the Lancashire and Lake District landscape, its raw climate, beauty and gritty history. Walking and climbing through it is always a joyful experience. As an artist, being still painting within it is almost meditative.
Entitled ‘Landscapes with absent figures’ this new exhibition, opening Tuesday 16 July 5.30-7.30pm, presents Miller’s most recent landscapes and coastal paintings. In these scenes the human presence has been stripped away, making them absent, unimportant, except where they have left marks or rigid shapes which have survived enough to have a visual purpose in a found composition.
Whilst painting, different things attract and hold the artist’s thoughts. Scenes that exude a passage of light, whether in the corner of a bright field, high in the mountains or by the sea under stormy skies, are a frequent source of inspiration for Miller. Working outside or painting from his notes makes this a direct experience for the artist as he aims to portray the sublime.
Back at his Falcon Mill studio, the work finishes somewhere between abstraction and figurative: depending on the nuances of the paint, techniques and the making of colour. Miller see each colour range as a ‘stanza’ and each brush mark as a part of each painting’s arpeggio: “Instinctively certain colours please me as I mix them. The paint feels good and tactile sometimes as it slides around the palate. Visually, moving in and through the geometry of a place as I draw freehand frustrates and engages me fully.”
Through the exhibition the artist hopes to share his sense of awe that he feels in nature with others: “For me, a painting is like making a poem, both an expression of a feeling and an impression of a place”.