About the Artist
Main studio: P.O. Box 775, Sparrowbush, NY 12780 (845) 800-2041
Winter studio: Ft. Pierce, FL
Susan Miiller continues the tradition of fine landscape painting that dates back to the early 19th century in America. Her distinct style builds upon the innovations of the past. Transcending the landscape as mere subject matter, her paintings explore artistic transformation and ways of making an age-old painting tradition fresh and original. Using a wide variety of rich painterly techniques, her work obtains a physical presence of surface that underscores the beauty of the painted surfaces. Rather than documenting a particular place, she seeks to distill the emotion, expression and essence of the landscape. Her highly evocative paintings invite her viewers celebrate the beauty of these moments by bringing their own emotions to the paintings. Miiller's paintings are included in numerous corporate, museum and private collections. Her work is represented in many Museums and galleries throughout the U.S.
Susan Miiller was born in NYC, NY. She received an M.F.A. in drawing and painting from the University of North Texas in 1992 and a B.F.A in painting from SUNY New Paltz in 1988. Miiller has been Fine Arts faculty at SUNY since 1999.
Miiller is included in National Association of Professional Women and Who's Who in America. She is the recipient of several awards including Award of Excellence, Middletown Art Group/ Community Arts Grants, 2019 and 2018: Orange County Arts Council/ Artists Fellowship Grants 2016/2017, Juror’s Award, Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Valley, 2013/ Artist in Residence Award, 2017: Catskill Conservation Center/ Orange Arts Grants, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2014 and 2009/ Outstanding Teaching Award, 2009 and Individual Development Awards, 2009-2006, SUNY New Paltz/ Artist in Residence Award, 2006: Catskill Conservation Center/ Special Opportunity Stipends Grant, 2003: New York Foundation for the Arts/ Faculty Development Awards, 2004 and 2002: SUNY New Paltz/ Artist in Residence Award: 2001: Weir Farm Trust/ Honorable Mention; 1999 and 1998: Susquehanna Art Museum/ First Place Award, 1996: SOHO Gallery/ Gallery Artists Series Award, 1995: Women and Their Work Gallery/ Artist in Residence, 1993: Vermont Studio Center/ and the Grand Purchase Award, 1991: Arkansas Arts and Science Center. She has participated in television interviews, lectures and seminars including the Fulcrum Gallery seminar: Artists Talk on Art, NYC, and the Dallas Visual Art Center seminar: The Business of Art. Miiller has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries throughout the United States including the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, Museum of New Mexico, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Austin Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Museum, and Longview Art Museum. Her work is included in many important public and private collections including The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Centex Corporation, Sterling Software, and SAP America Corporation.
Two recent series, In Search of a Landscape and Souvenirs bring to the forefront abstracted landscape elements in my work. From the beginning, I have challenged myself to confront the cliche theme of "easy listening" landscape genre. In order to make good contemporary landscape art, I believe my paintings must explore the subject of artistic transformation and ways of making an age- old painting tradition fresh and original. I make my landscape paintings a viable means of contemporary expression by tugging at the confines of landscape tradition.
My work has always been about an expression of the embodiment of a duality between technique and imagery. They are both important elements of my work. My plein-air paintings are thickly painted, direct observations of nature. Though representational in imagery, they have important abstract qualities that embody a duality between paint and imagery. In the studio, my paintings often begin as an
abstract color field with overpainted imagery that outlines classical landscapes. The technique is a subtractive one combined with additive painterly approaches. This subtractive painting method unifies disparate imagery and creates dramatic modulations of color and space. Through the use of oil paint, together with a wide variety of rich painterly techniques, my work obtains a physical presence of surface that underscores the beauty of the painted surfaces. My work exhibits a sense of fusion in that I do not make distinctions between paint and imagery.
The unexpected is important to me and parallels the hope that I will discover something new from my paintings. Blending the landscape with recognizable symbols, I strive to recreate meditations on perception, transcendence and what meaning these images could convincingly hold in our times.
The primary focus of my landscapes draw from an interest in relationships between multiple sources of imagery. The content of my work comes from my plein-air painting investigations, collaged photographs of the landscape that I have taken over the years, as well as my use of the medium of collage as a vehicle for exploring and inventing composition. I often group landscape-oriented images from a variety of sources to create fascinating relationships and meanings.
Format plays an important role in my work. My recent series draw from my interest in developing multiple works in series using common images that allow for a broad range of compositional and stylistic variations. The diptych and triptych oil on canvas combinations are an expression of this multiplicity. The small oils on paper and canvas, Souvenirs, are meant to be seen as a large, multiple installation of similar or repeating motifs. Painterly passages alternate with the hard-edged grids of the diptych and triptych formats. This sets up a dialog between the intuitive side of painting and the analytical presence of real space. The device of networks of interchangeable horizon lines has given way in my landscape series to an abstracted, atmospheric space. The landscape imagery moves through and exists in a variety of spatial environments created in multiple canvases. My goal is always to create a single work that has many different levels of accessibility.