Born and reared in Hesston, Kansas, Doug spent his early childhood running free on his Grandfather Miller’s farm.
“I asked for a camera for my 9th birthday. I roamed along the creek beds, lined with cottonwoods and willow, and photographed creek scenes and sunsets. When I wasn’t doing that, I was playing basketball or sandlot baseball. I loved sports.”
Doug played baseball for both Hesston College and Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, where he graduated with a BA in Art.
“I actually painted hard-edged abstract in college; two of my paintings were featured in the Senior exhibition; this honor and the encouragement of my parents influenced me to pursue an art career. My love of the landscape and the breathtaking beauty of nature’s detail affected the development of my realistic style. I often feel as if I’m recording history; sand dunes that I’ve painted are now covered in vineyards. Old barns I sketched no longer exist. Vacation homes are planted where I once explored along a river bank, surprising a whitetail or a great blue heron.
The Kansas sunsets weren’t enough to keep Doug in Hesston. Post-graduation, he relocated in Washington state.
“I didn’t think I could make a living as an artist in Kansas, so I packed up my Ford Maverick and headed to Eastern Washington, where my uncle was row-crop farming with a large family corporation. I had an opportunity to farm and still pursue my painting in the off seasons.”
Doug farmed a year, married his wife, Ann, and then returned to Kansas to work as a draftsman.
“My wife’s father, who lived in Eastern Washington as well, offered to lease 70 acres to us if we’d return to the state. Seeing little chance for advancement as a draftsman, I returned to farm for the next five years. This venture funded our trip to see the work of the ‘Masters’ in Europe and to build a house with a working studio.”
Then, in 1980, Mount Saint Helen’s blew its top and covered most of Eastern Washington in an inch of volcanic ash.
“I went through a divorce, sold a condo in Newport, Oregon, to finance my endeavor, and moved to Leavenworth, Washington, a quaint tourist town which is modeled after an authentic Bavarian village; this move launched my career as a full time artist.”
During the next 35 years, Doug remarried, welcomed his daughter, Amanda, into the world, and opened four galleries in Leavenworth. He exhibited in other Northwest galleries, including the following:
*Simic Gallery in Seattle, Carmel and Beverly Hills, CA.
*Hildabob’s Gallery in Winthrop,WA
*Das Meisterstuk Gallery in Leavenworth, WA
Doug also attends Northwest Art Festivals in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Texas, Arizona, Kansas, and Washington.
Even after 35 years as a full time artist, Doug continues to perfect his technique. He attends various workshops and the annual national Plein Air Convention. He currently resides in Oracle, Arizona with his wife, Barb.
"Often, clients refer to my paintings as serene, peaceful, and inspiring. I love the simple things in life—great music, nature, and my family. I am grateful to do what I love most in life and share my joy through my artwork.
born 1950 Newton, KS
Landscape, Western, Animal, skyscapes
1970-1972 Emporia State University-Emporia, Kansas: Bachelor of Arts—Art
1970-2013 Nancy Glazier; Stephen Quiller; Ralph Oberg;Jim Wilcox; Jim Lamb; Scott Christensen;
Plein Air Convention (National-3x)
Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):|
2009 Plein Air Competition-CleElum, Washington- (Third Place Award)
2000 Plein Air Competition-Livingston, Montana
1985-2015 Ellensburg National Art Show-Ellensburg, WA-Best of Show 2000; People’s Choice 2000
Best Wildlife 2007
2000-2015 Western Heritage Art Show-Great Falls, MT-Best of Show 2007; People’s Choice 2013
Best Oil 2013
1988-2006 Spokane Western Art Show—Spokane, Washington
1995 National Art for the Parks Competition, Jackson Hole, Wyoming-Top 100 Award
1990’s Tubac Festival of the Arts
1990 National Art for the Parks Competition-Top 100 Award
Exhibition Record (Galleries and Art Shows):|
2015-Present Filsinger Gallery, Palm Desert, AZ
2006-2015 Doug Miller Gallery—Leavenworth, Washington
1990-2005 Hildabob’s Gallery---Winthrop, Washington
1985-1989 Simic Gallery-- Seattle, WA; Carmel, CA; Beverly Hills, CA
1996 Clymer Museum—Ellensburg, Washington
Arizona Plein Air Painters, 2016-present, Member
Society of Marine Artists, 2001, Member
Oil Painters of America, 2005. Member
Magazine and Media References|
2016-present Robson Publishing/ Saddlebrooke Progress/Saddlebrooke Ranch Roundup/
2006-2015 Doug Miller Gallery, Leavenworth, Washington
Publications-(Advertising): Southwest Art; Fine Art Connoisseur)
As a landscape artist, the most thrilling times in my life are discovering spectacular scenes with dramatic lighting and nature’s perfect composition, merging momentarily for my private pleasure. That’s why I live to paint! One of my favorite times to scout is right before or immediately after a rainstorm. Clouds rise and twist in abstract shapes and the sun breaks through, highlighting a meadow of wildflowers or the foliage lining a riverbank. Nature seldom provides trees or rocks exactly where I want them; so, artistic license allows my creativity to intervene and design my own spectacular moments in the studio.
The locale of art show exhibitions and galleries influence my choice of scenery to pursue. I’m especially drawn to aspen groves, red rock canyons, Arizona desert scenes, and the waterways in remote mountainous regions. Painting Plein Air allows me to capture the immediate values and colors on- site. I photograph to record landscape detail. My paintings evolve from on-location sketches, photography, and several thumbnail pencil sketches, which insure a powerful composition.
Water-soluble oils have been a lifesaver for me. Acrylic dried too fast, and fumes from traditional oils caused health problems. Plein Air painting in the rain with water-soluble paint is challenging though; the paint smears easily, even in a light shower. Drying time is within a day.
I enroll periodically in workshops from artists, whose work I admire, including the following: Jim Wilcox, Scott Christensen, Jim Lamb, Ralph Oberg. All of these artists stress the importance of design in a painting. As a result, I am more conscious of the design of each element in my paintings-a rock, tree, or cloud, as well as the negative space in the entire composition.
If there was one word to describe my artwork, it would be entitled, peaceful. I hear this often from both former and prospective clients. As a counter-reaction to our stressful world, my clientele appreciate the serenity and light play in my work; it provides them with a quiet escape into nature. That’s exactly how I feel when I’m sketching the moment on location.
My studio paintings have metamorphosed from extreme, realistic detail to a much softer, looser approach. Plein Air sketching has greatly influenced my style and increased my enjoyment immensely. As I ease into another stage of my life, appreciating every moment of work and play is of keen importance.