150 color plates, 70 color photos

Melinda Miles

By Elizabeth Cook-RomeroSarah McCartyEric ThomsonMonty Phister



Melinda Miles (1944–2009) belonged to a generation of artists who settled in Santa Fe around 1980. She had a career spanning nearly forty years. Her painting included portraiture, a series of interiors, a major body of still life that she was best known for, and a late series of train imagery that became a summation of her life’s work. Influences from Hopper, Hammershoi, Peto, and the Luminists are evident. Yet she would develop a distinctive voice that allowed her to treat themes of passage and life’s impermanence with what she once called a “sweet sadness.”

Miles developed a painting technique that rivaled the realist trompe l’oeil style of William Harnett, but adapted it to hint at transcendence rather than materiality. Of the motif of passage, recurring in each of her thematic periods, she said, “I find a kind of beauty in that ongoing stream of loss and newness.”

Subjects: Art

Contributor Bios
Elizabeth Cook-Romero, former art critic for the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper, is currently a bookstore owner and citizen activist.
Sarah McCarty is an artist and a garden designer.
Eric Thomson is an artist and owner/director of Argos Gallery in Santa Fe.
Monty Phister was husband to Melinda Miles and is a retired engineer.