by the huge oaks 6″ x 6″

big oaks

palette: cadmium yellow light, quinacridone magenta, cadmium red vermillion, ultramarine blue,  sevres blue and white.  Initial warm tone of vermillion plus some sevres blue (applied as a wash).  This one was not quick like yesterday’s.  I had to scrape a lot off at one point because I was painting too many details.

red Hobie cat 6″ x 6″

red Hobie cat

oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013

After spending an hour on this, the painting was accurate, but lacked movement.   So, I started taking “swipes” at it pretty much out of desperation to make something happen.  I think it has some energy to it now, so I’m happy.

red sails

afternoon sail 6″ x 6″

afternoon sailoil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013

I’m continuing to experiment with color (a different palette) and brushes.  Palette used: cadmium yellow light, cadmium red vermillion, quinacridone magenta, ultramarine blue, sevres blue and zinc titanium white.  Painted alla prima in about 45 minutes.   The brushes used are my new Silver Bristlon (brights) which I am loving.

Also, before starting the painting, I brushed a thin warm color over the entire panel, then wiped most of it off.  This toned the surface so that I wasn’t painting on white.  I left some of this color show through on the sails and the right side of the hull.

sailing in the shadows 6″ x 6″


oil on archival panel

© Anita C. Miller 2013


Yesterday’s photo of Trump Tower reflecting the afternoon sun inspired this little painting.  I painted only a very small part of the photo and took  some liberties — which is pretty much always the case : )

Palette used:  titanium zinc white, cadmium yellow light, cadmium red vermillion, quinacridone magenta, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue and graphite grey mixed with some white to make a light cool grey.

endings and beginnings

“Fall Woods”, 24″ x 30″, oil on canvas, © Anita C. Miller

Whenever I finish a painting, I often play around with it to get ideas for new paintings.

I take pictures of it, upload them on my Mac and fool around in iPhoto.

I crop, flip and change color and contrast, etc.  So below are some “sketches”

for possible future paintings all based on “Fall Woods” above.

flipped image and cropped
played with color; misty feeling, reminds me of Pacific Northwest forests
lots of sky; color less saturated; feels like spring a bit to me

All images © Anita C. Miller

Two Versions of Fall

“Fall” (version 1), oil on board, 6″ x 6″, © Anita C. Miller

This version was painted over and ended up as the following (which I think I also painted over).

I will use them as studies for a larger piece, perhaps.

“Fall” (version 2), 6″ x 6″, oil on board, © Anita C. Miller

Painting Horses

cave painting from Altamira Cave in northern Spain

When I was in college I got to see these cave paintings firsthand and I remember being in awe of them.  I was a Spanish major for a brief time (art came much later after college) and I was very fortunate to take a month long trip to Spain with others at my college.  It was my first trip abroad and so exciting!

I also remember spending some time at the Prado in Madrid and seeing these HUGE Diego Velazquez paintings!  He’s always been one of my favorite painters.  This was in the early ’70’s and I have not been back since.  It’s definitely on my bucket list to go again!

The Count – Duke Olivares on Horseback, 123″ x 97″, Diego Velazquez
Equestrian Portrait of Prince Balthasar Charles, 82″ x 68″, Diego Velazquez

Last September, I traveled to London and saw this beauty in the National Gallery…another huge horse painting.  This was before I even thought about painting horses, but, I realize now that the seed of the idea was planted here.

“Whistlejacket”, 115″ x 97″ , George Stubbs

I’m a great Lucien Freud fan and he was very fond of horses and a good equestrian.  Here are a few of his horse paintings.  I also love how he painted dogs.  His paintings are so sensual and I feel that the animals come alive in them.

“Skewbald Mare”, Lucien Freud, from wikipedia
It’s tough being an artist’s model – that horse looks beat!

And even though I could show numerous other examples, I’ll end with a very recent show of Joe Andoe’s horses.

This last one is bordering on the sentimental, but is just quirky enough that I like it!


Here’s my latest horse and a detail of the eye.  The eye is like a mini abstract painting and I love painting it.

Finally, I should add that I used to have a horse, and horses were my first passion.  I no longer ride… and now my passion is painting.  As a young girl, I remember trying to draw horses but, I never dreamed I’d be painting them someday.

On a personal note, I wish to dedicate my horse paintings to my father who (for years) took me to the stable, horse  shows, watched me ride at an unheated riding stable (I still see him standing with a glass of blackberry brandy to keep warm!) and basically gave me an ideal childhood.