Photorealist Oil Painter
Born March 28, 1959 in Boston, MA. Raised as a child on Martha's Vineyard, MA, his family moved to Walpole, MA as a young teen though he has continued to summer on Martha's Vineyard.
Every child drew when young, though Mills requested a pencil over crayons to get better detail. This fascination with detail became his calling card. He sold his first drawing at the age of 11 and has been selling ever since. He even helped pay for his college degree by drawing yachts as a summer job on the docks of Menemsha on Martha's Vineyard. Having never taken an art class in high school, and studying to be a musician, of all things he began college as a meteorology major. Things did not work well for him in this regard and worked in a factory for a year, which brought him to a new reality and resumed his education at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. He became an art major and embraced the art program, finally realizing his talent through his painting professor, William Kendall, graduating magna cum laude, and receiving his BA in Art in 1982.
His first solo show in 1983, just a year out of college, was a smashing success selling 33 of 35 originals at the Granary Gallery on Martha's Vineyard. This started his journey on a successful career, including gallery representation with Gallery Henoch in 1989 in New York City. Between the 2 galleries, Mills has sold almost every piece he has ever painted. Producing and selling over 500 paintings in his first 20 years has collectors literally waiting in line outside the gallery before a gallery opening - creating a frenzy, which resulted in one show selling out in 10 minutes. However, with the time it takes to paint in the photorealist technique - some paintings taking over 500 hours - it has proven difficult to do more than one gallery opening a year.
His early paintings were mostly of landscapes, which were influenced by the works of Andrew Wyeth. Photorealism really became his interest through the work of Richard Estes after seeing a show in Boston, MA. Since then he has pursued this passion, having studied, met and even displayed with some of the great masters of photorealism. Today his interests are somewhat varied though his main focus is on the "extraordinarily-ordinary", taking your eye to a place that most would need a magnifying glass to get the same perspective. Getting in so tight as to see the stressed metal in a bottle cap or the texture of newspaper.
Living in Florida since graduating college, the proverbial bachelor finally married in 2001. He and his wife Leigh developed a small print business and are now marketing giclée prints of his work.
1982 - Bachelor of Arts, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, Massachusetts,
Graduate Honor - magna cum laude
2003 - 1st Recipient of the Dr. Adrian Tinsley Award for achievement in the Arts awarded by the Bridgewater State College alumni association.