Since childhood, Miller has loved creating art and has never veered from her desire to be an artist. Starting with Saturday morning classes at the Maryland Institute of Art, and then more in-depth courses at Carnegie, Miller took as many art classes in college as was possible. Although her major was English, and Miller graduated Magna Cum Laude with her degree, her true passion and focus has always been art.
After college, Miller got married and taught art her local elementary school. Starting a family slowed her teaching career, and for a while she had to put even her personal artistic endeavors on the back burner. While raising her four children, Miller worked hard to maintain her creative abilities. Whether she had to set up her easel in a bedroom, a basement, or in a studio, Miller painted whenever she could find extra time. Her husband, an attorney, supported her as well as he could.
Even though you can learn a lot from teachers and taking organized art classes, Jean believes that the main bulk of learning and tuning your artistic capabilities comes from practical experience. “Trips to museums, art studies in books and magazines, as well as many trials and failures, brings expertise, maturity, and eventual competence,” Miller says. “Art is not a hobby for me; it is an absorbing passion and a wonderful joy!”
Subject-wise, Miller focuses on nature in all of its forms. Every season, weather, and lighting has been portrayed through Miller’s talented brush. She has also done portrait commissions in the past, as well as abstracts and gold leaf oils. From time to time, the urge to paint with watercolors strikes her, and she turns to her garden for inspiration.
Miller’s style is usually impressionistic, but this too may vary as the seasons go by. Miller uses every color of the rainbow to complement and shadow other colors. This can create very interesting lighting effects, which really bring a painting to life. A tall pine shadowed in a cool blue, or a vivid lime green to show off the moss on a wet rock: Miller uses color to its fullest extent.
Miller has won numerous awards at local and national shows, including those that are juried. Miller will always gratefully accept compliments on her work, but always refuses to answer one question she is frequently asked: “How long did this take you?” Her reply: “About 70 years!”