For years Mills has painted in the Italian catacombs where he is the only non-archeologist with permission to explore and work alone. What does he find underground? Miles of tunnels that are so silent that he hears his heartbeat. Skeletons embrace one another in tombs; paintings and carvings form mysterious, iconographic hybrids of an emerging language. Worm-like creatures with millipede-like legs coexist with 10-inch phosphorescent mantises that glow with green light. Blind spiders the size of his hand make clicking sounds as they traverse the walls of the silent tunnels.
His dreams, which he documents in sketchbooks, are harbingers of where he needs to explore next. All of his underground sites are transformed into one world – one cosmology – on a threshold where the seen and the unseen co-exist. Time is elastic, continuous and circular. This is his preferred world, the shadow world of memory, time and dreams. From RISD’s Faculty page.
He uses many materials: watercolor, acrylic, oil, conte crayon, charcoal, marker, wood cut!!!