Pamela M. Miller Paints a Story of a Fun-Loving Party Cat
It’s been about 10 years since Bucks County landscape painter and portraitist Pamela M. Miller first became acquainted with a certain fun-loving feline who loved to hang out at the Phillips’ Mill during opening receptions and other special events. The cat, affectionately known as “The Party Cat of Phillips’ Mill,” captured the artist’s heart and imagination. Pam tells the story of the cat in the painting that was selected as the Signature Image for the 94th Annual Juried Art Show at Phillips’ Mill.
“I once followed the cat to see where it would go,” recalls Miller, describing her inspiration for the painting. “The cat would sit by the side of the road and listen for traffic (to know when it was safe to cross). It would then come strutting into the Mill to get its chin scratched and to socialize. I now realize how much I like telling stories with my work, especially about the people and places I have seen in Bucks County.”
Raised in Flushing, New York, Pam came to Pennsylvania 52 years ago as an intern at George School in Newtown. It was there she met her future husband, Dave Miller, who is also an artist but was a member of the grounds crew at George School at the time. They were married in 1972 and moved to New Hope in 1977. They have been living in the same house ever since.
Together they own and operate Moon Arbor Studios, also in New Hope, focusing on pottery, woodworking and painting. “Art is a very difficult thing to do,” she acknowledges, “because it can be very haphazard. Yet I have had some nice success.”
Some very nice successes, among those numerous acceptances and awards in the Annual Juried Show at Phillips’ Mill. “Phillips’ Mill has the reputation (for excellence), but the show is open to everyone. Even random cats.
“I love going to the opening. We laugh and do silly things. I can remember a couple of years ago, a sewer (pipe) broke on opening night and was draining into the field. So I just stuck tissues up my nose,” she recalls. “I was just having fun.
“Of course, my interest in the Mill has always been about history and artist stories, and how this historical building spawned the New Hope art scene. That is precious to me.”
About the Artist
Landscape painter and portraitist Pamela M. Miller was born in New York City and raised in Flushing, N.Y. She received a teacher’s certification from Northland College in Wisconsin. Miller has supplemented her painting career with various jobs over the years, including owning a clay mixing business with her sister, driving a school bus and teaching in local schools. She and her husband Dave currently own Moon Arbor Studios in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Pottery, woodworking and painting are the focuses of the duo’s production.
Miller is known for her landscapes with hay rolls, which she wants to capture before they disappear from the Bucks County scene forever. In the 1980s, Miller began to work with pastels, finding joy in the immediacy of that medium. She has developed her own technique of sharpening her sticks and using them like finely pointed brushes. Miller is also a portrait artist for children. She exhibits regularly at the Phillips’ Mill Annual Art Exhibition in New Hope and at the Coryell Gallery in Lambertville, New Jersey. She was part of the Phillips’ Mill 75th Retrospective Invitational Show in 2005.