Milton Trice


"One day in the late ‘80’s I went downtown to paint the beautiful cityscapes of Oklahoma City, but there, in its shadows, I found the Homeless. They became my subjects. It was as if the Lord was looking back at me through their eyes. I could not turn away. For the next 3 decades, I recorded their poverty and misfortune, while realizing my own good fortune. We are all created in God’s image.


When I was a 10-year-old kid on my way to buy some candy I saw a store window displaying a pocket-size book about the Renaissance artist Botticelli. I walked in and I was hypnotized. I brought that book instead of candy, and took it home and started drawing from it.


I couldn’t quite get my mind around it in the beginning because my eyes were telling me something other than what my pencil was doing. The painter is a prisoner of two dimensions, oil or watercolor on a flat canvas. For more than a half-century I have worked within that structure in order to break free from it. If you combine multiple surfaces, bend and break them, you can give a bigger jump to your figures. You feel like you can pick them up or be there. I call it, ‘Being There.'

I prefer to work from life, using drawings to develop large scale works in oil on canvas in my studio. Urban Oklahoma City has a wealth of interesting scenes along with unique and colorful personalities from which to draw inspiration.

My large scale pieces, like the street scene from the old Deep Deuce District in Oklahoma City, are designed to walk into. Walking into a life-size portrait is something people can only accomplish by being there."