Miles W. Mathis is an anachronism, a romantic artist who feels he doesn't quite fit into the modern age. He describes his work as unabashedly unmodern and completely antithetical to the concerns of modern art. Mathis took great care to establish a link to the past in his art education. Using the now out of style method of copywork he learned techniques from the Old Masters he admires.
But Mathis strives for more than technical skill in his work; he wants to create more than a literal or decorative rendering of a subject. He considers his work a personal expression of the aesthetic. For Mathis the human figure, more than any other subject, has the power to engage the viewer. He delights in the subtle play of light and shadow on reflective surfaces such as hair and skin to suggest mood.
Over and over he can paint the same model, varying the experience by using pencil, pastel, watercolor, charcoal, and oil.