Lewis Miller is one of Australia’s greatest living portrait artists. He won Australia’s most famous portrait award, the Archibald prize, in 1998 and has been a finalist 17 times.

As well as winning and being shortlisted in many other art awards, his works are held in numerous public and private art collections in Australia and internationally. He has had 30 solo shows and his work has been included in over 90 group shows.

Painting from life, he has masterfully captured the likeness of notable sitters including High Court justices, a Nobel laureate, the first man to climb Mount Everest, as well as many artists and friends. In addition to his portraits and nudes, he paints exquisite still lifes which glow from the canvas.

He was appointed by the Australian War Memorial as a war artist in the Iraq conflict in 2003 and another commission saw him travel the globe to draw and paint over 60 portraits of scientists and technicians involved in the Human Genome Project.

In this episode of the podcast, Miller talks about his Archibald win, why he doesn’t seek to flatter his sitters, what appeals to him about painting oysters, fish and pomegranates, as well as providing many insights into his materials and methods.

To hear the conversation press ‘play’ above and scroll down to see the works we talk about on the show.

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Links to people and things we talk about in the show


‘Small Self Portrait’, 2011, oil on copper, 17 x 12cm

‘Portrait of Allan Mitelman no 3’, 1998, oil and charcoal on canvas, 213.4 x 183cm

‘Self portrait in 20 panels’, 2015, oil on Belgian linen, 205 x 155cm

‘A self portrait in 54 panels’, 2015, oil on Belgian linen 216 x 65cm

‘Portrait of Bernie Teague’, 2016, oil on Belgian linen, 138 x 108cm


Portrait of Susan Crennan AC QC is in the feature image above

‘Two Sardines’, 2014, oil on Belgian linen, 13 x 36cm

‘Blue swimmer crab’ 2014, oil on Belgian linen, 30 x 51cm

‘Pomegranate, lemon and oyster shell’ 2017 oil on Belgian linen, 28 x 41cm

‘Still life with oyster shells II’, 2015, oil on Belgian linen, 25.5 x 56.5cm

‘Still life with prawns’, 2016, oil on Belgian linen, 50.5 x 100cm

‘Arrangement with Spoons II’, 2013, oil on Belgian linen, 35.5 x 76cm

‘Nude in Yellow Chair’, 2013, oil on Belgian linen, 102 x 132cm


3 thoughts on “Ep #24 Lewis Miller

  1. Nick Stathopoulos

    Another brilliant insight into a superb artist’s world. I think I share Lewis’ hatred of mobile phones. I also have a cheap Nokia ‘dumb’ phone! I do love how his work is so textural and free.

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