Dr. Robert Miller

Today I found out that my High School Art Instructor had passed away on November 2.   For years I’ve been trying to locate him, my old high school didn’t have any forwarding info, and any internet searches always came up empty.  I’m feeling a little heartbroken that I will never get to see him again.

Dr. Robert Miller more so than any other person had such an immense impact on my early art career.  He really did care about helping his students succeed, and if you put in the effort he would help you to become a better artist.   His classes were not for the weary, or for the students thinking they were going to get an easy grade.

I always marveled at his drawing skills. That first demonstration he gave on how to draw a skeleton, I wanted to draw like that.  His pencil renderings were a thing of beauty. Every mark he made on the paper had it’s purpose.  ‘No Chicken scratches were allowed’. Something he’d say about those short little wispy lines he’d see us drawing.

Doc Bob got me into Art Competition, I still have my ribbons, they are packed away at my parents house.  I really enjoyed it and it was something I really missed once I was out of High School. I will always remember him saying (when we’d get the exacto knife from him to cut mats) ‘count your fingers’ and you’d count them out loud, he’d hand you the exacto and say ‘I want you to have that many when you’re done.’

Doc Bob also got me my first scholarship, a week of ‘Art Camp’ at the University of Illinois.  He gave me a bunch of supplies I would need and told me, as long as I used them, they were mine to keep.  I still have the watercolor palettes, some of the paints and I think I still have a brush or two.

Senior year I spent so much time in the Art Department it felt like home. Even now when I looked through the pictures I had taken so long ago, nearly all of them were taken in the art department.

I’m sad that I will never get the chance to tell him that his guidance and instruction in those early years helped mold me into the artist I am today.

For what it’s worth –
Doc Bob, Thank you so much for being an excellent teacher and mentor. I am deeply grateful and you will forever be remembered.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/aurora-beacon-news/obituary.aspx?n=robert-miller&pid=182468331&

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