For the last seven years local Ontario painter Sue Miller has been chasing her muse between her native Southern Georgian Bay region and the rugged coast of Perry's Cove, Newfoundland, captivated by the Atlantic Ocean and the people who live there.
It comes, therefore, as no surprise that ocean and sky are two of the three principal elements in her richly textured oil paintings (the other being land, "for groundedness"). Driven by a lifelong passion for the environment, the ever-present water, land and sky - elements that dominate in both locations - prevail in many of her landscape paintings, and lead the viewer to a quiet inner world, layered in mystery and complex emotion.
While her work is reasonably well known in this region, it has also been very successful in attracting a much broader audience. Many of Miller's pieces hang in private collections across Europe and North America, as well as in galleries throughout Canada. She is, in fact, in high favour offshore at the moment. As one gallery owner describes her art: "There's an incredible warmth to her work, an emotional realism, and people are drawn to it."
Suffused with metaphor, Miller's dream-like landscapes stimulate the subconcious (we feel like some part of us knows this landscape) while embracing the universal connection between nature and man. As Bonnie Leyton, owner of Leyton Gallery in St. John's, Nfld., which exhibits Miller's work, puts it: "Her style is emotional and easily readable," adding, "There are no hard lines in it. There's a kind of movement throughout her canvas from one corner to another that keeps your attention." Leyton sums it up while underscoring Miller's appeal, "You really feel you can move into her paintings."