John Miller is an iconic painter of the Cornish landscape. During his forty year career, his idyllic beach scenes of Cornwall’s Penwith peninsula and the Isles of Scilly have established him as one of the county’s most popular painters, and his distinctive images of glowing white beaches and deep blue skies are so widely recognised as to have become synonymous with the county of Cornwall itself.
John Miller was born in London in 1931. He studied and worked as an architect before relocating to West Cornwall in 1958 in order to become a full time painter. In 1961 he was elected to the Newlyn Society of Artists and served as chairman for a number of years, planning the first modernisation of the Newlyn Art Gallery in 1968. In 1964 John was awarded a fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1975 he held his first solo exhibition in London at the Anthony Fortescue Gallery and went on to show regularly at The Brotherton Gallery, Walton Street. From 1982 to 1999 John exhibited with David Messum Fine Art before moving to the Portland Gallery in 2000. Exhibiting regularly in London, New York, Vancouver and Europe John began to acquire a huge following, and popular reproductions of his work showcased both his talent and the unique beauty of West Cornwall to the wider public. In later life John travelled widely and produced a body of work inspired by the landscapes of Venice, Italy and Goa, India. Alongside his passion for art, spirituality was a central theme of both his life and work, evidenced most notably in his collection of deeply personal ‘interior’ paintings. Having considered at one time becoming a monk, he was a committed third order Franciscan and in the early nineties became a lay canon of Truro Cathedral. After a short illness, John died on 23rd July 2002 at his home in Penzance.
I moved to Cornwall from London in 1958 to celebrate a land I had already come to love. Now I am joyful that after forty years of painting, those celebrations of Cornwall are in collections in many parts of the world.