Allegorical Narratives: Paintings and Drawings by Paton Miller
Staring at a shark, deep under the surface of the ocean, Paton Miller relaxed in fright. He know sudden moves were pointless. So he waited. He watched.
The shark turned as if on a dime and glided away in the murky underwater seascape.
Sitting amidst his large canvases, Miller tells this and other tales of adventure. He grins and journeys from place to place in work and thought, at once sitting in front of you and traveling miles away. His stories are signposts that mark his life and its memories. “A time splashed with interest, wounded with tragedy, crevassed with joy” as Steinbeck wrote, “that’s the time that seems long in the memory.”
A painter of canvas, copper and board, Paton Miller forges broader narratives out of personal adventures, allegories with in which one meaning, story or image is doubted by another. A house, a mule, a dog, a boat, his imagery is distinct and subtly touches on the fundamental elements of our existence such as our personal journeys, life’s hardships, or family. Through these insistent motifs, Miller’s painted spaces refigure his life history, his adventures, and his sense of connection to others. His allegorical narratives are endless, as well, holding past and future in a spiraling cycle of regeneration. They describe a puzzle with an unknown number of pieces, assembled by the songwriter of an eternal ballad.
We must lister and play along.
Edward M. Puchner