The Aha!

As a visual artist and teacher in subtle pursuit of that ever elusive yet fully satisfying, spontaneous Aha! I have come to discover an avenue (or two) of coax. I share with readers, students and the curious alike possibilities for  bringing the Aha! forth-always an adventure.

In the page galleries you will see my paintings in a variety of mediums and styles. I work in cycles, focusing a few months at a time on one medium/concept. This rotation keeps me on my toes, fresh, out of ruts and always exploratory, never bored.

I associate different media with different sensorial experience and quality of attraction. For example, when I need to process or observe through touch, I use wax. Wax remains stable with build up and it is malleable with heat (not like acrylic impasto or oil). I can carve and gouge, scrape, embed and pick away at it, literally touching and feeling the painting with my fingers.

Jujubes - Original Size - 10 x 10

Jujube, Encaustic, M. Milstead

Oil is excellent for depth and light and useful for deep space landscapes, sunlight and luminous subjects.


Levitate (When a Tree Falls), Oil, M.Milstead

Acrylic is a more flexible and versatile medium. I use it for it’s own sake often just to explore the potential of paint, but also to express joy of life, spontaneity and depth of feeling, which is why my acrylic paintings are energetic and abstract.


Dew, Acrylic, M. Milstead

Pastel is very pigment saturated. Pastel gives quickly and directly. Drawing is a challenging and rewarding pursuit, pastel is drawing with color.

Milstead, Ironwood Pastel

Ironwood, Pastel, M. Milstead

The information I glean from these different ways of working, looking and processing informs each and every work, so it is not as compartmentalized as it seems.

My paintings are an exploration of connection between observer and observed, often referencing tangible subjects/objects (people and things), but, I am essentially a Painter exploring paint modes of communication. Content is catalyst.

Thank you for visiting my site, I am delighted to share with you my process.


Meredith was educated in Europe where she was exposed to art ranging from Grecian antiquity to the contemporary avant-garde. She studied art, art history, and literature in Italy, France, Egypt, Russia, Germany, Norway, Poland and England. After returning to the U.S., she settled in the southwest where she continues to travel the region, paint, teach, serve art communities and explore connections between art, culture, and science.

Teaching Philosophy

In teaching I try to meet the student where they are to help them get where they want to be. I provide students with the fundamental building blocks and systems of drawing, painting and color, guide them to self motivate to maintain regular studio practice and nurture their creative expression through skill building and technical support.

Artist’s Statement

I utilize painting techniques with limited technology (hand, body and brush-tool) to talk about the subjective influence of environment on the psyche of an individual (me). I use graphic and textural drawing and paint to document sense experience of place on location and make studio paintings referencing place with added psychological and intellectual content. My interest in in how environment plays on psychology, how biography influences biology. My first thoughts where painting is concerned are not centered around illustrating ideas…or of making “pictures”.


plein air painting in Monterey, CA

Milstead draws

sketching birds at the Sonoran Desert Museum, AZ


3 thoughts on “About

  1. Lovely work Meredith. I’m visiting my mum in Victoria B.C. and we were just talking about all of those good times in Norway. I remember what great art you were making even back then. Nice to catch up if you have the chance.

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