Boston artist Steve Mills has been drawing and painting since he was a child. He sold his first drawing at the age of 11 and has been selling ever since. He helped pay for his college degree by drawing yachts as a summer job on the docks of Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard. Still, he chose meteorology as his major in college but realized quickly that it was not for him. After working in a factory for a year, he returned to Bridgewater State College as an art major, and graduated magna cum laude in 1982.
Mr. Mills found he had an extraordinary knack for capturing details in his paintings. "I fell in love with it," he says.
A year out of college, his first solo show in 1983 was a smashing success, selling 33 of 35 originals at the Granary Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard. In 1989 he began his affiliation with Gallery Hencoh in New York City. Between the 2 galleries, Mills has sold almost every piece he has painted. Producing and selling over 500 paintings in his first 20 years has had collectors literally waiting in line outside the gallery before an opening. However, with the time it takes to paint in the photorealistic technique — some paintings taking more than 500 hours — it has proven impossible to do more than one gallery opening a year.
Leigh Mills, his wife of 10 years, explains, "Steve takes something people see every single day and focuses in on it. Then he takes your eye and helps you to zero in on the details."
"All I paint is an illusion," Mr. Mills says, "that is the fun part. I enjoy the game of the mind-bend and people enjoy the ride...Art is a great equalizer, and we have been blessed by the experiences it has brought us."
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