mauve woods

mauve woods, 9
mauve woods, 9″ x 12″ oil on board, © Anita C. Miller

The solvent ran in the background creating ghosts of trees… a happy accident.

fall woods

fall woods abstract, 9
fall woods abstract, 9″ x 12″ , oil on board, © Anita C. Miller

palette : titanium zinc white, cad yel light, cad red med, quin mag, ultramarine blue, burnt umber.  panel tinted a rose color before starting.  Browns made by combining (yel + red) + (ultra bl + quin mag).  Burnt umber + ultra bl combo just for darkest.

oil study on paper

I tried a new product today… a paper made by Arches that is for oil painting.  I enjoyed it and look forward to trying more with it.  My only slight problem with it is that you can’t wipe paint off completely like you can with gessobords.  The paint soaks into the paper.

oil study

reference photo
reference photo


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

walk in the park 9″ x 12″

walk in the parkYesterday’s painting with photo used, my set up in the studio, and stages of the painting.

Palette: the usual (cad. yel. lt., cad. red verm., quin. mag., ultra blue, sevres blue, burnt umber, tit. zn. white)

Total time: about 1 1/4 hr.










walk in the park

Windward Coast

I used Gamblin’s Portland greys (light, medium and dark) and Chromatic Black.  The Ampersand gesso board is sometimes lightly brushed with Gamsol solvent before starting the painting.  I’m using fine sable hair brushes (and sometimes my fingers) for these little paintings.

"Windward Coast", 6" x 6", oil on board, © Anita C. Miller
“Windward Coast”, 8″ x 8″, oil on board, © Anita C. Miller

Trail To The Summit

This little monochrome painting from yesterday is based on an Oahu hike my husband and I took this past winter.  I’ve included the reference photo this time and the link to my previous post on this hike where you can see the summit views.

"Trail To The Summit", 8" x 10", oil  © Anita C. Miller
“Trail To The Summit”, 8″ x 10″, oil on board   © Anita C. Miller

I could have kept working on the painting, but decided I liked the ambiguity and stopped.  No clear view of the trail ahead.

my husband leading the way.  I had the figure in the painting initially, but then took him out.
My husband leading the way. I had the figure in the painting initially, but then took him out.


“Fin”ale – Aloha!

Things are moving at a turtle’s pace in the studio this past week.  I am wiping off paint after spending many hours putting it on, and that is not a good thing…So I thought I would share this last bunch of photos from Oahu (I promise it’s the last).

Hope you enjoy them.  Click on them to see very large.


The aquarium just south of Waikiki is one of the best I’ve ever seen.  The fish are amazing and the tanks are beautifully designed.


Hanauma Bay is THE place to go snorkeling.  I now wish I had looked into getting a prescription lens for snorkeling (I am very near sighted) so I didn’t go in.


My husband had a great time and was able to get inches away from the fish. The great thing about this place is that they severely limit the number of people here.  The parking lot fills up early and then they turn people away.

IMG_3791Waikiki Beach from the top of Diamondhead.

IMG_3786Every evening the sunset was spectacular and people would just hang out on Waikiki Beach for the show.  The pink hotel is one of the oldest — the Royal Hawaiian.


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

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

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.


Quiet Place

“Quiet Place”, 9″ x 12″, oil on board, © Anita C. Miller 2012

There are muskrats beneath these waters.  I’ve seen them, but they are elusive creatures!

Rain and Riptides

“Rain and Riptides”, 8″ x 10″ , oil on board, © Anita C. Miller


 strong winds

thousands of white caps

–one very brave (crazy!) windsurfer


lonely windsurfer far offshore on Lake Michigan north of Chicago – click on image to see large

#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