Henry Miller is one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, but this talented American was actually a watercolor painter long before he was a writer. In fact, Miller created over 2,000 watercolors throughout his lifetime and held shows in more than 60 major international exhibitions. Today, collectors all over the world are hungrily collecting Miller's paintings, hoping to own a part of his artistic legacy.
Born in 1891 in New York City, Miller had an oppressive childhood, but at an early age found great solace in painting. Unlike his writing, Miller didn't intellectualize when he painted. He let his instincts take over, letting joy flow from his paintbrush as though dreaming with his eyes open. His free-spirited style is whimsical, bright and overflowing with love.
Miller himself even said: “To paint is to love again,” and this is no more evident than in his vibrant use of color, for color is Henry Miller’s story.
Although he didn’t like to sell his paintings, Miller did trade them for watercolor supplies in New York, cups of coffee in Paris, and for food and clothing in Big Sur, California. The rest he gave away, and only recently have they begun to surface from flea markets, estate sales and auctions.
If playfulness and joy are to be Henry Miller’s legacy, then we are all the better for it. From Miller’s unique perspective, he created a body of work that enables us to see the world through, as he hoped, “eyes of love.”