What Miles Said

“It is strange that I’ve always sort of revelled in obscurity. There is a certain charm in first plugging away with the satisfaction in the work itself and with a certain comfort that some day recognition may come to me without seeking for it. But that will come when I’ve proved to myself that I’ve done something very great and that,  you know is not very easy. As I’ve told you, into every masterpiece there must be no end of passion and intense feeling and so I’m lured on to greater effort and try to keep up my enthusiasm. The elements of great work come from within. So until I have really exhausted everything within me I can’t expect to reach the lofty goal that brings fame.”

Letter to Polly Romero 1930

“When I left Australia, [1898] a characteristically Australian school of artists seemed to be coming into being. If art had developed here naturally and free from academic restrictions, it would, I think have taken the direction taken by the painters whose work matters most in England today… and by the direction taken by the French post-Impressionists. Not only do [they] appear to have had little influence… but the galleries contain practically no examples of their work… An Australian student who gains his conception of the art of today from the Sydney gallery is in the position of the science student who is asked to ignore the work of Einstein and Edison.”

Interview with Gavin Long as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald c1934

“Returning to Australia after so long an absence, one is impressed less by its newness than by its age. There is a depth of tone and a primeval strength in the Australian landscape which can never be captured with a technique so new or so pretty as Impressionism”

Interview with Geoffrey Hutton as reported in The Argus June 26, 1937

“You ask, can anyone else but yourself tell what you put into your pictures? I can only answer by saying it rarely happens that a really good picture is entirely understood, and only when the onlooker puts as much intelligence into it as the painter.”

Letter to his great-niece Marjorie Pizer 14 March 1938