Henry Miller Online
by Dr. Hugo Heyrman

a tribute to his work and life, books, art, loves & friends,
with an excellent collection of hard-to-find-Miller items


Henry Miller’s paintings    
    An avid water-colorist, Miller's writing feels as though he is painting pictures in words rather than telling a coherent story. The result is that his prose is poetry of a quality rarely attained. The words leap off the page, away from your eyes and mind, and you are left only with the events that Miller so colorfully relate. The event becomes a part of you, not something read but something felt, something experienced, something shared. There are few other writers who transform the art of writing into so powerful a means of personal expression.

Henry Miller had always loved art, he began painting in the 1920s (before he began writing), after seeing some Turner prints in a Brooklyn department-store window. There was only one minor drawback: he couldn’t draw. It wasn’t long before he realized that what he lacked in draftsmanship, he made up for in color and composition sense. Henry Miller painted over 3000 watercolors in his lifetime.
Henry Miller, ‘Lips’, 1952 (watercolor and ink)
    The Angel is my Watermark

"The object of these pages is to relate the genesis of a masterpiece. The masterpiece is hanging on the wall in front of me; it is dry now. I am putting this down to remember the process, because I shall probably never do another like it."

"Well, begin! That's the thing. Begin with a horse! I have vaguely in mind the Etruscan horses I saw in the Louvre. (Note: in all the great periods of art the horse was very close to man!) I begin to draw. I begin naturally with the easiest part of the animal —the horse's ass. A little opening for the tail which can be stuck in afterwards. Hardly have I begun to do the trunk when I notice at once that it is too elongated. Remember, you are drawing a horse —not a liverwurst! Vaguely, vaguely it seems to me that some of those Ionian horses I saw on the black vases had elongated trunks; and the legs began inside the body, delineated by a fine stenciled line which you could look at or not look at according to your anatomical instincts. With this in mind I decided on an Ionian horse. But now fresh difficulties ensue. It's the legs. The shape of a horse's leg is baffling when you have only your memory to rely on. I can recall only about as much as from the fetlock down, which is to say, the hoof. To put meat on the hoof is a delicate task, extremely delicate. And to make the legs join the body naturally, not as if they were stuck on with glue. My horse already has five legs: the easiest thing to do is transform one of them into a phallus erectus. No sooner said than done. And now he's standing just like a terra cotta figure of the sixth century B.C."

—Henry Miller (Black Spring)
"When I write, I work", Miller said, "but when I paint, I play".
'Shaking Cobwebs Out of the Sky'
Henry Miller, 'Shaking Cobwebs Out of the Sky'
Watercolor, (from Insomnia Series #3 of 12)
    Henry Miller's Paint Box

“To paint is to love again. It’s only when we look with the eyes of love that we see as the painter sees. . . To see is not merely to look. One must look-see. See into and around.”
—Henry Miller (To Paint is to Love Again)

“I remember well the transformation which took place in me when first I began to view the world with the eyes of a painter. The most familiar things, objects which I had gazed at all my life, now became an unending source of wonder, and with the wonder, of course, affection.”
—Henry Miller
(To Paint is to Love Again

“The watercolor has affinities with the sonnet, or the haiku, rather than the jeremiad. It captures the flux and essence, the flavor and perfume, rather than the substance. Ambience, that is what the watercolor renders par excellence.”
—Henry Miller (To Paint is to Love Again)
    Henry Miller painted for pleasure, enjoying the process of creating.
His paintings were shown in exhibitions in the U.S., Japan & Europe.
Henry Miller, 'Always Merry and Bright'
“You can look at things all your life and not see them really. This ‘seeing’ is, in a way, a ‘not seeing,’ if you follow me.
It is more of a search for something, in which, being blindfolded, you develop the tactile, the olfactory, the auditory senses —and thus see for the first time.”
—Henry Miller, The Waters Reglitterized

Henry Miller also wrote about painting watercolors, and the very titles of some of them reveal his excitement about painting:
* To Paint is to Love Again
* The Angel is my Watermark
* The Waters Reglitterized
* Paint as You Like and Die Happy

Miller sold very few paintings during his lifetime; he often used his paintings for barter and traded them for watercolor supplies in New York, for cups of coffee in the streets of Paris, and for food and clothing in Big Sur, but mostly he gave away his paintings to friends and fans throughout the world.
(Photo: William Webb)
    Henry Miller 'To Paint is to Love Again'
Few people know that the famous author of Tropic of Cancer was an accomplished and respected painter. In his own words and persona, and through rare and never before released footage and audio, this film offers an unprecedented glimpse into the mind and heart of one of America's greatest authors and artists. Painting, like his writing, was a metaphor for living life to the fullest. And few people have lived with as much zest and passion as Henry Miller.

Settling down in California, Miller concentrated more on his other two passions: water color painting and Ping-Pong. Steadily painting about 150 water colors a year, Miller exhibited his work in California and on occasional trips to Europe. But even after painting for several years, Miller considered himself "a beginner", according to New York Times contributor Peter Bart, who quoted the artist as saying: "That's what fascinates me about painting. As a writer I know I can do what I want to do. As a painter I'm still going. There's more of a challenge."
    In his own words and persona, and through rare and never before released footage and audio, this unfinished film by Robert Snyder offers an unprecedented glimpse into the mind and heart of Henry Miller.
Henry Miller's Paris Notebook


"Painting is a game to me. I only know that I want to paint; I don't know anything more than that, really. I like the feel of the brusch in my hand. But what it is that I am about to paint, happens, I never know."
—Henry Miller (My Life and Times, Painting)

“The practice of any art demands more than 'mere savoir faire'. One must not only be in love with what one does, one must also know how to make love. In love self is obliterated. Only the beloved counts.”
—Henry Miller (To Paint is To Love Again)

Henry Miller lived his final years alone pursuing his lifelong interest in watercolor painting. When Henry Miller died in 1980, at the ripe old age of 89, he hadn’t held a steady job for almost 50 years.

Miller's Paris Notebooks from 1932-1936, with manuscript, drawings, paintings and typed notes on ideas and resources for his writings.
    Miller's List of Exhibitions
  1927 Exhibited water colors in June Mansfield's roman Tavern, Greenwich Village.
1943 Made two to three hundred water colors. Exhibited at Beverly Glen (The Green House), American Contemporary Gallery, Hollywood, with success.
1957 Exhibition of water colors at Gallery One, London.
1944 Exhibited water colors at Santa Barbara Museum of Art and in London.
1954 Traveling exhibition of water colors in Japan.
1957 Exhibition of water colors at Gallery One, London.
1962 Went to Berlin where I made ten copper plate etchings and more water colors at home of Renate Gerhardt.
1963 Began making silk screens with nuns at Immaculate Heart College, Hollywood. Made 115 water colors from March to end of July.
1965 Water color exhibition at Westwood Art Association, Los Angeles.
1967 Water color show at Daniel Gervis Gallery in Paris. Water color show in Uppsala Sweden.


  ( ( ( motions of the mind ( ( (  

eXTReMe Tracker