Milton Avery was born on the 7th of march 1885, and grew up with his parents, two older brothers and his sister. After an accident at his job- his father died suddenly leaving Avery desperate for a job and a source of income. This is how he eventually became an artist, after seeing an advert promising that money could be made in commercial lettering, he enrolled in a lettering class and became an art student. He was dedicated to his art and took the night shift in his job with an insurance company in order to make his sketches and practise his painting during the day. In 1924, aged 39, Avery was offered free studio space and accommodation in Gloucester, where he met his future wife, Sally Michel. He travelled a lot, sketching landscapes on his adventures, then bringing them back to his studio for painting. He moved back to New York where he met Mark Rothko. In 1929, for the first time, his painting "Winter Riders" was purchased by a museum. He spent his summer months in his studio in Gloucester, sketching and painting, until 1932 when his daughter March was born.
in March 1935 his first solo- exhibition was held in New York in the Valentine Gallery, which represented high profile artists such as Matisse and Picasso. During the Great Depression, Avery worked for a programme which helped sustain employment for artists. he spent the summer at Petite-Rivière-au-Renard on the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec, Canada, and his paintings were influenced by the beautiful natural white light of his surroundings. His home became a place for friends and artists to come and share their ideas, artwork, poetry and paintings, and sometimes to sketch from live models.
Throughout his life, Avery's paintings were influenced by his surroundings, you can see this clearly in his landscapes, such as his painting "Landscape and Rolling Hills " from 1942, when he was living in New York. His paintings were also strongly influenced by the people surrounding him, especially in his later life- including Rothko's bold style of expressionism which we can vaguely see in some of his pieces, and some even name him Rothko's Guru.