Colette (de Batz) Miller is a painter and filmmaker in Los Angeles who takes her dreams to the next level by creating a world within mediums that express personal philosophy, memory, and honesty.
The daughter of a mother who grew up in Indonesia and a father from the USA, Colette Miller is drawn to travel and has lived in multiple countries including South Africa, Tanzania, parts of Europe and the Middle East. Rather than attaching herself to America, this artist allows herself to be connected and influenced by many other cultures.
She is a devoted humanitarian with feats that include film-making in Africa. A recent success documents the lack of access to water in Burkina Faso, an area in West Africa where the lack of wells in remote villages force residents to walk for miles with 5 gallon buckets on their heads everyday – just to survive.
When painting, Colette describes her work as “childlike yet sophisticated”. In the past, she had received criticism from other artists surrounding some of the innocent images of her pieces but Colette embraces that disparagement as one of the strongest aspects of her work. Authenticity or honesty in life and art seems paramount to good art and Colette allows this outlook to manifest itself through her work, making the sincerity of her art crucial to the soul of her pieces.
“We are all still that child, without being childish”, Colette states, “ without deceit or malice. When you love the world and still have faith in it and humanity. Not jaded. Its the ability to be strong and vulnerable at the same time.”
Most of Colette’s art reinforces the good in humanity and opposes the material world of distractions, capitalism, hate, war and anger that mislead people to believe civilization runs on greed. One of her most beloved pieces includes one called “Snow in Africa,” an oil painting in blues and lavenders that depict a monkey riding an elephant in the snow. This piece is a representation of the expansion of miracles: when something unlikely happens, such as snow in Africa, all impossible things begin to transform into wonder.
Each artistic concept is a representation of a different experience in Colette’s life. She describes her art as a “personal journal made visual”.
“I look back at my work and remember what I was going through, where I was living, and where my mind was.” Says Colette.
In her process, Colette strives to practice non-attachment, letting her work mutate and evolve as necessary. Each work of art is unique, but Colette feels particular strength of late, in her depiction of the Interactive Angel Wings, which she displays around the world. These pieces begin as broad strokes of paint and become more detailed as they come into completion allowing anyone standing in front of the wings, (which make great memento photos), to get in touch with their inner angel, something she believes very strongly should be embraced by each and everyone of us.
Though most of Colette’s work is drawn on the wonder and innocence of the world, she does not deny the other places in the human experience.
In her process; pain, confusion, irony, and corruption are also themes. In particularly, the current film shots in Kenya, she states, “The whole breadth of human experience is valuable and can be something to reflect on through creative forms.”
You can find Colette’s work throughout Los Angeles. Her public street Angel Wings in downtown including three on Main Street (covered temporarily by a construction wall), a piece near Art Share, at Angel City Brewery, in Koreatown, South Central, and a set of wings in front of the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard.
Aside from LA, Colette’s Wings are displayed in West Virginia, Kenya, and Nairobi. Her art has been sold in New York, DC, Crete, South Africa, the Middle East and other outlets around the world. For immediate viewing, check out her site at www.colettemiller.com.