Mills’ Painting Blind exhibit on display at University Place
An exhibit titled Painting Blind, the recent works of artist Charlie Mills, will be on display at Francis Marion University’s University Place Gallery through Feb. 21.
Mills, who turned 80 on Jan. 14, worked in commercial design for 48 years. He now focuses his time on abstract painting. His interest in non-literal expression is fueled by his focus on accessing the intuitive mind or the subconscious. Mills' large-scale paintings express clearly defined shapes and edges, calligraphic shapes and pin-striping. They are a result of the artist finding a balance of the analytical and the intuitive.
The exhibit features some of his recent paintings as well as design work from his lengthy professional career. The show will conclude with a closing reception on Feb. 21
According to Mill’s biography on www.charliemillsart.com, his artistic talent revealed itself early in life. At about age four, he would spread scrap paper on the floor in order to make drawings. His mother would sharpen a pencil for him with a kitchen knife and he would draw planes, guns and tanks – the theme of the day.
Mills painted all through childhood and later attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., to study commercial art. He became aware of the innate urges of working abstractly with paint and began such works.
He attended graduate school at the California College of the Arts in Oakland and the University of California at Santa Barbara. In Santa Barbara, Mills spent seven years designing graphics which included brochures, logo design, technical drawings and prize winning slide presentations—some of which were shown at the Pentagon.
While in California, he met his wife Linda. Wanting some land of their own, they moved to West Virginia and purchased 25 acres of meadow and woods where they built a shop and cabin. His commercial art career converted to sign painting. This simple lifestyle provided a 10-year retreat and an opportunity to mature and experiment with various artistic directions.
After relocating to Myrtle Beach, Mills spent over thirty years creating murals and painting portraits. This experience rounded his five decades of artistic expression and out of that emerged his abstract painting in full maturity
The Painting Blind exhibit features some of his recent paintings as well as design work from his lengthy professional career. Mills will visit University Place Saturday at 11 a.m. for a talk/discussion on his work led by Gallery Coordinator Coleen Crichter.
The show will conclude with a closing reception on Feb. 21.
University Place Gallery is located at 142 North Dargan St. in downtown Florence. Visit the gallery at www.fmarion.edu/universityplace.