Still life paintings of fruit
Nancy Bea Miller, "Ripening Pears," 8 x 8 in., oil on museum board, 2022

Landscapes and Still Life Paintings on View > From April 1 through April 29, 2022, the F.A.N. Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) will present a one-person exhibition of works by painter Nancy Bea Miller. The first solo exhibition in several years of Miller’s still life and landscape paintings in oil, “Nancy Bea Miller: New Paintings” showcases the artist’s thoughtful and affirming representational work, at a time when we all need a little lift.

Still life paintings of fruit
Nancy Bea Miller, “Two Lemons and a Leaf,” 8 x 10 in., oil on cartón mounted to panel, 2022

More than forty oil paintings comprise the exhibition in sizes ranging from a few inches to a few feet. The majority of the paintings were created during the recent pandemic and are described by Miller as “the expression of ideas and feelings that have been forming in my mind for many years. Having a long period of enforced downtime meant that I finally had the time to focus more intensively on what I have been wanting to express.”

Still life paintings of fruit
Nancy Bea Miller, “Scone and Green Apple,” 6 x 8 in., oil on linen mounted to panel, 2022

The paintings merge techniques of alla prima (all in one go) painting, bravura brushstrokes and expressionistic knife work, with the delicacy of layered glazes and close attention to detail. The artist’s decades of exploration of the medium of oil paint show through in the confident fresh handling of paint texture and colors.

Still life paintings of fruit
Nancy Bea Miller, “Blue and Orange,” 6 x 8 in., oil on linen mounted to panel, 2022

“This is Nancy’s first solo show with the gallery, and she joins a long history of extraordinary Philadelphia artists that F.A.N. Gallery has championed over the decades. This exhibition will reveal the technique and spirit that is integral to Nancy’s artistry,” said Fred Al-Nakib, F.A.N.’s Director. “I am extremely pleased to share what will be an unforgettable and enjoyable exhibition of contemporary representational painting. Viewers will never look at a block of butter from their refrigerator the same way again!”

Still life paintings of fruit
Nancy Bea Miller, “Red Onion,” 5 x 7 in., oil on linen mounted to panel, 2022

Miller graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied English Literature and Art History. She went on to attend Tyler School of Art, and then received her 4-year certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). She worked as an art conservator’s assistant for over ten years ultimately leaving to concentrate on developing her growing painting career, raising her family and teaching. (Miller is married to furniture designer Paul Downs, and they have three sons.) She earned her MFA from PAFA in 2014 and now teaches at various colleges and art centers in Philadelphia and its suburbs.

Still life paintings of fruit
Nancy Bea Miller, “Quiet Moment,” 12 x 9 in., oil on canvas mounted to board, 2021

Miller’s deeply felt still-life work is representational and painterly in style. Critics have said, “A suburban Chardin: she brings subtle technique and a wry peacefulness of spirit to bear on her canvases.” (Gerritt Henry, The Village Voice), “…warm, appealing paintings” (Victoria Donohoe, The Philadelphia Inquirer), “The works are lovely and imbued with a kind of restraint.” (Roberta Fallon, ARTblog).

Miller says, “I paint the world around me that I know and feel, with all its infinite richness and possibility. The artist and poet William Blake wrote:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

It’s my belief that a whole world can also be seen by looking closely into the heart of a block of butter, or a gleaming red onion.”

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  1. The artists that you’ve done articles on have incredible taste as far as their use of colors, depiction of lighting…etc. these choices of images and overall interpretation of the subject matter that was chosen by these soon to be recognized masters have a wildly vivid explosiveness to the eye, an expressiveness that I’ve found to be unmatched, just these simple images display a beatific mastery that’s endlessly fascinating to view as well intensely enriching to write essays on, thank you once again, Bravo!


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