Amelia Midori Miller
Where is your studio?
My studio is in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
What’s around the corner from your place?
Bushwick is very industrial still, so there aren’t that many places to go eat or shop in the immediate surroundings. Rather, there are wholesale spice warehouses and paper and strap factories.
Art school or self-taught?
I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York for both my BFA and MFA in Fine Arts.
Favorite material to work with?
Oil on linen stretched over a panel—it maintains the same absorbency of fabric and the panel makes a very stable support.
Sketchbook — do you use one? What type?
I make very quick sketches to plot out where things are going to go, then the rest is decided upon painting. I also draw on photographs I took to figure out the various layers in the paintings.
Traditional or conceptual?
Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I always listen to music. I rarely get into a zone without headphones. It allows me to be carefree in my shared space.
If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
I probably would have tried out culinary school if I didn’t attend SVA for my MFA. My secret dream job is also to be a florist. It seems like such a peaceful and calming profession.
I have worked as a studio manager for an artist for the past five years.
What do you collect?
I don’t buy art but I trade with my artist friends and I have built up quite the collection over the years.
Favorite contemporary artist?
Charline von Heyl is my idol.
Monet or Manet?
Figurative or abstract?
I used to be a figurative painter, but now I enjoy looking at abstract paintings more since I started simplifying and abstracting forms in my own work.
Yes, even though my works seem completely abstract to some, all of my paintings are loosely based on the layering of something I have seen. I am always taking photographs when I’m out whether they are fences, windows, or random found objects on the street.
Painting inside or outside?
Definitely inside. I need consistent lighting and I like working on a flat wall.
Is painting dead?
Not at all— I feel painting is one of the only things that is alive and well, because it’s so different from all of the technology taking over our lives. People need a break from everything and that’s why people still love to look at paintings. At least that’s the way I feel.