Order Through Paypal


















Henry Miller Biography, 1891-1980

Henry Miller and Ernest Hemingway are regarded as the two most important writers in twentieth-century American literature. Little known to most, Henry Miller was also a formidable painter.

Seven years before Miller published the Tropic of Cancer he held his first watercolor painting exhibition, but his fame as an author eclipsed his reputation as an artist.

He painted over 2000 watercolors during six decades and had over sixty international exhibitions. His paintings are in museums and private collections in Japan, Europe and the United States.

Despite his acclaim as one of the world's most famous authors, history may remember him more as an artist. Miller's wife Lepska once remarked that "his paintings have withstood the test of time".

"When I write, I work", Miller said, "but when I paint, I play". His paintings are filled with childlike images full of play and color. Some have called his paintings "picture stories" but, unlike his writings, there is no message.

Henry the writer wrote passionately about everything, but Henry the painter traded his pencils for brushes and used colors and shapes instead of words and sentences. With his writer's mind at rest, his artist's spirit soared and he dared do what most only dream to do--to try to be as free as a child.

"To paint is to love again and to love is to live life at its fullest", Miller wrote.

He sold very few paintings during his lifetime; he often traded them for painting supplies in New York, for a glass of wine in Paris and for food and clothing in Big Sur, but mostly he gave away his paintings to friends.

Author Lawrence Durrell wrote "those lucky enough to collect Miller's paintings while he was still alive will treasure them now that he has left us".

The Centennial Collection of Henry Miller Prints commemorate his passing and remain behind as the gift of a great American artist whose spirit still soars today.

A Perspective by Valentine Miller

Henry V. Miller was born December 26, 1891 in Yorkville, NYC. His parents were from Germany, his mother from the north, his father from Bavaria. He lived in Brooklyn during his school years. Tried working in his father’s tailor shop, here he developed his love of fine clothes. He was always a dapper dresser. His life is chronicled both by himself through his books & by his fellow authors. I think his life was remarkable in so many ways. He had to fight mediocrity and poverty, working at many mundane jobs. He started to write in his 30’s, late for a writer. When he discovered Europe, particularly Paris, he became friends with writers like Anais Nin, Alfred Perles, Lawrence Durrell. In the 1930’s he wrote & published “Tropic of Cancer”, “Black Spring”, “Aller Retour New York”, & “Tropic of Capricorn”. The floodgates were open, he was a WRITER…

A young Henry Miller

with his parents and
his sister Lauretta.

Dad lived in France, Greece, NYC, Beverly Glen, Big Sur & Pacific Palisades. He was a prolific writer, disciplined & driven to create. Painting watercolors was his way to relax, he didn’t consider himself an ‘artist’ but loved to paint. He made thousands of paintings, gave most of them away. He also learned how to etch & make silk screens. Nuns from The Immaculate Heart School came to the house in LA & taught him how to make the silk screens.

Dad balanced the cerebral with the physical. He loved riding bicycles, he would ride out to Coney Island and he raced in the Velodrome. He was still riding in his 70’s in the Palisades. He was a great walker, walking all over New York and the wonderful arrondisements of Paris. In Big Sur he would trek down the road to get the mail & groceries, hauling it back up the hill. My brother & I would run to his studio in the afternoons, Dad was always happy to take us up in the hills for long walks. Sometimes he told us stories, one I recall about a little rich girl who lived in the city, a fantasy which fascinated us, being country kids.

I only knew my Dad for 35 years, the last third of his life. But am so fortunate to have the legacy he created. In my home I am surrounded by his wonderful paintings, they are a pleasure to look at. His books are an endless source of knowledge and enjoyment in self discovery. One can open to any page & find some phrase or passage that rings true. Even his book titles are inspiring, he definitely had a way with words - “Stand Still Like The Hummingbird”, “The Devil in Paradise”, “Remember to Remember”, “The Wisdom of the Heart”, “The Air Conditioned Nightmare”,
“The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder”.

Dinner conversations were always lively. There was a constant stream of friends and fans, also the women who would come to the Ocampo house & prepare special meals for Dad. I liked it when just the two of us could talk, Dad would recommend the latest authors he was reading, or writers he thought I might like. His taste in literature was eclectic, from obscure Marie Corelli to Knut Hamsun, Hermann Hesse to H Rider Haggard. He gave me the Modern Library collection of authors whom he admired, Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, Carson McCuller… He loved Walt Whitman, Nostradamus, M Proust, Rimbaud, Balzac, Stendahl… He had a great memory & could pull favorite passages out of the air. His “Books in my Life” is a good read & source of novels & authors. My admiration, respect and love for my father grows as the years go by.

Your daughter,