great blue — 6″ x 6″

ww 4

Most of the orange grasses in the background were made by scratching through the paint (sgraffito) back to the orange undertone.  I also scratched through in the water in several areas.  My new favorite palette now is:  titanium zinc white, cadmium yellow hansa (or light), cadmium red vermillion, quinacridone magenta, phthalo blue (new – I eliminated sevres blue), and ultramarine blue.  I like the simplicity of just 5 colors plus white.

Great Blue Heron, photo reference
Great Blue Heron, photo reference

Denali caribou 8″ x 10″

The driver of our tour bus shouted “Caribou ahead!” and we all reached for our cameras!  What a stroke of luck that I was sitting on the left side of the bus and had THE perfect view as the beast ambled by!  Denali caribou



10 Alaska sketches

same caribou -- antlers are a challenge to draw!
caribou — antlers are a challenge to draw!
abstract spruce forest
abstract spruce forest
ridge line in fog and rain - looks a bit like watercolor but is really water soluble graphite
ridge line in fog and rain -water soluble graphite which looks like watercolor a bit.
the top of a glacier
the top of a glacier
a glacier
another glacier
a small glacier
a small vertical glacier — these glaciers are receding fast as I’m sure you already know.
a lone tree -- there were lots of puffins flying around here, too!
a lone tree on a cliff–  lots of puffins flying around here, too, but I couldn’t draw them!
sled dog in training
sled dog in training
moose -- a weird animal to draw -- trying NOT to make it look like a horse!

moose skull arch 9″ x 12″

A very quick sketch.  I’m not sure how to depict these antlers – they are so interwoven.  This was my favorite thing in Fairbanks.  I just did not find the town that interesting and we were sorry we spent an extra night there before meeting up with our group to begin the trip.  Our hotel was a little ways outside of town and not near anything in walking distance.  We had to take the hotel shuttle everywhere.  The driver was very nice but, a bit down on the place and said that alcoholism is a real problem.  He was not a native, though, and I can see where winter would drive you crazy in this place.  We had long days there — it didn’t get dark until 11 PM!  If you talked to the shuttle driver who was native, you got rave reviews for the place.  I still don’t understand how they survive the cold and dark of winter, though.

moose skull arch

me and the mooses -- we did get to see some live ones, too.
Yours truly doing an awesome moose impression : )  There may be caribou antlers here, too, not sure.

Green Sea Turtle ~ 6″ x 6″

green sea turtle

oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013


When my husband and I visited Oahu recently, this gorgeous Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle came up on the beach.  We were about the first people to see him and I got a few photos before the naturalist roped off the area.  It was interesting to learn that this particular turtle often comes ashore to rest on this beach.  Such a special moment to see this creature in the wild!

silver serenity

(click on photos to see large)

view from Diamondhead
we hiked up the trail to the top of  Diamondhead –the view was so worth it
Hanauma Bay snorkelers
Hanauma Bay snorkelers
green sea turtle
green sea turtle coming ashore at Hanauma Bay

This beautiful creature inspired my most recent painting.  We got to see him up close

before an area was roped off to keep people away.


silver light off Waikiki Beach
silver light off Waikiki Beach

Small Things

“Barn Swallows and Bugs”, 8″ x 10″, oil on board, © Anita C. Miller

There is a small delay sometimes between when I push the camera’s shutter button and

when I hear the shutter activate.  The swallows (maybe 50 of them) are flying around

very fast trying to catch bugs.  All photos then, are purely accidental… I like that.


#30 — untitled (Great Blue heron)

9″ x 12″ study– oil on canvas

click on photo to see large– this guy is so beautiful!

the dead trees (snags) give nice diagonals

photos are from Middlefork Savanna forest preserve in Lake Forest, IL 

all content and images © Anita C. Miller 2012


This is a small quick oil sketch I did some time ago.  I’m thinking a big canvas with many repeating bird shapes might be fun…a migration theme.

That reminds me, a few winters ago, I was fortunate to travel to New Mexico to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  My husband and I witnessed thousands of migrating sandhill cranes, Arctic geese  and other birds.  The birds travel here and stay through the winter.  When they come in to land or take off–huge numbers of them all at once–the sight is awesome.  This is a magnificent place to visit if you are a nature lover.