Lewis Miller

16th May 2015


On May 16th, Lewis Miller gave an artist talk in the Zelman Room of the Hawthorn Town Hall Gallery.

The event was well attended and Lewis Miller was particularly generous with his answers on technical issues. As one of Australia’s leading artists and well known portraitist, his advice on everything ranging from composition to how to achieve flesh tones was extensive and took us well past the usual one hour time slot allotted for artist talks. One of the fascinating features of the afternoon was a viewing of Lewis’ sketchbooks when he was Australia’s war artist in the Middle East in 2003.

In addition his audience was entertained by recollections of stays in the Emirates as well as in Iraq. Lewis Miller’s highly skilful draughtsmanship combined with great sensitivity for his subjects made for a highly engaging visual display. Lewis Miller is an Archibald Prize winner, and continues with a very active commission program. He entertained his audience with the peculiarities of the artist engaging with his subject. As he distilled it, it’s a matter of keeping up some form entertaining conversation with the sitter, while fighting a difficult passage in the painting - as he put it “not always easy to do when you are in trouble”.


Lewis Miller was born in Melbourne in 1959 and trained at the Victorian College of the Arts, where he also completed his post graduate studies. He exhibits regularly at Australian Galleries in Melbourne and Sydney and at Heiser Gallery in Brisbane.
Miller was awardedthe Hugh Ramsay Portrait Prize in 1981, and having been shortlisted for the Archibald Prize sixteen times, won in 1998 with his portrait of fellow artist Allan Mitelman.
He was awarded the 2000 Sporting Portrait Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with his painting of sporting identity, Ron Barassi.
Other awards include the James Farrell Self Portrait Award at the Castlemaine City Art Gallery in 2007 and most recently in 2010 was awarded the Belle Arti-Chapman & Bailey Art Award. He has been a finalist three times in the Doug MoranNational Portrait Prize.
In 2003, Deakin University’s Stonnington Stables Museum of Art curated the exhibition, Lewis Miller : selected portraits 1983-2003.
Commissioned portraits include Nobel Laureate Dr James Dewey Watson,
co-discoverer of the double helix, Everest explorer Sir Edmund Hillary, Sidney Baillieu Myer AC, the Honorable Justice Kim Santow OAM and Robert French Chief Justice of the High Court.