Wells is perhaps the most exciting and prolific watercolor specialist
in the State of Florida, and has earned membership in the American Watercolor
Society - a distinction he has enjoyed since 1966. He is the only Florida
Keys artist to have earned this prestigious recognition, one that is
second only to membership in the Royal Watercolor Society of England.
From his longtime home and studio in the Florida Keys, he records his
impressions of his spectacular surroundings. As owner and operator of
the Wells Studio-Gallery in Islamorada, Mr. Wells is considered to be
one of the country's foremost watercolorists, a fine demonstrator and
an inspiring teacher.
by Millard Wells captures the rich hues he sees all around him and celebrates
the land, water, and sky of the Keys. His method of watercolor painting,
which requires fast location painting, lends itself to portraying the
interesting characters, birds, water, lighthouses, boats, and buildings
as he sees them in that moment. Through his paintings, he calls attention
to the sensitive resources of the Florida Keys and recognizes the interconnectedness
of the natural environment with the community, without losing the charming
ambiance of the old-time Florida Keys.
Mr. Wells was born
in Arkansas, reared in Michigan, educated at the Flint Institute of
Art and a student of Joroslav Brozik. He also studied under Maholy-Nagy
at the Chicago Institute of Design following his discharge from the
Armed Forces after World War II. Mr. Wells first paintings in the south
were done during a stint in service in Charleston, South Carolina where
he won a first place award in the National Soldier Art Competition and
exhibited with that show in the National Galleries in Washington, D.C.
This was followed by a succession of shows and awards all over the country.
Millard is an active member of several state watercolor groups and is
one of the founders and Past President of the Florida Watercolor Society.
He has been active on the Board of Directors of that society and has
recently seated on the Executive Advisory Board. He is actively participating
in exhibits across the country and his paintings may be found in many
public and prominent private collections.
Millard is adept in any media, his personal challenge is watercolor
and his handling of this media is acclaimed in Florida as one of the
finest. Since 1968 when he moved from Chicago to the Florida Keys and
began to devote all his time to painting, Wells has painted in the subtropical
areas surrounding the Keys. He is also familiar with Grand Cayman, the
Dry Tortugas, and has spent time painting in Cozumel, the Yucatan Peninsula,
Colombia, Haiti, and El Salvador. His singular ability brilliantly brings
the viewer closer to the true feeling of the fantasia of lush greens,
vivid blues and rich hues of native color predominating these still
untouched areas of the world.
"I am constantly
being made aware of the beauty and the inhabitants of the waters of
the Florida Keys. Fly fishing has allowed me the best opportunity of
seeing intimately this unique area and its citizens at a closer range.
This intimate acquaintance has enabled me to transfer my inmost feelings
in the language I know best...watercolor. It is my way of sharing, yet
protecting, our ecological heritage."
Wells is also a published author. The illustrated journal, Florida
Keys Impressions, is a journey around the Florida Keys highlighted
by his original watercolor paintings. In addition to three yearly workshops
which he conducts on the Keys, Mr. Wells has taught drawing and painting
on the faculty for the Florida Keys Community College.
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