Caroline Millar is a Scottish mixed-media artist. She creates intuitive abstract paintings at her studio in The Hidden Lane in Finnieston.
I am inspired by my surroundings. When I walk around the west end of Glasgow I find myself drawn to the details in the age-worn surfaces—peeling paint on a lamp post, patches of verdigris on a railing, lichen creeping across damp masonry—and I can see miniature landscapes within them. It’s the same on a desolate beach in Orkney, or on a walk through the ancient streets of Medina—anywhere with a sense of history in its surfaces is intriguing to me. While others take in the ‘view’ I trail along behind with my nose to the ground or up against the flaky paintwork and come home with a hundred photographs of rock surfaces and old doors! I am fascinated by the way the micro reflects the macro which means I am also captivated by satellite images and the aerial view of a land or cityscape.
My art is an expression of the memories I have of the places I have been and weaves together both the micro and the macro perspective. I work quickly to begin with. I apply paint just for the sheer pleasure of it—building layers which will most likely be covered up but which do help to create depth and a sense of history in the finished piece. At some point a feeling of intention takes over and as the painting begins to emerge I start to consider the design and all the other elements that need to come together to make a strong piece of work. Throughout the process I build-up layers and sand back to reveal what lies beneath. I scratch into wet paint and use pencils, glazes and collage elements which may be extracts from my journal or newspaper clippings from articles which are significant to me. My background is in design so I feel more creative when there are certain restrictions in place and always work with a limited palette.
Caroline’s work is also exhibited in London at the Brownsword Hepworth gallery. A solo show is scheduled to take place there in July 2021.
Caroline Millar (b. 1964, UK) Lives and works in Glasgow
Chelsea College of Art and Design, BA (Hons), 1994
Wild Landscapes with May Byrne, House for an Art Lover, 2019
Art2Life Creative Visionary Programme, 2020
2019 Threads, Dundas St Gallery, Edinburgh
2020 Autumn Show, Brownsword Hepworth, London
2020 Winter Show, Brownsword Hepworth, London
2020 A Cabinet of Curiosities, Brownsword Hepworth, London
Artmag, Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh: Threads, 11 March 2019