Michele Maring Miller

At five I knew that I was an artist. My kindergarten teacher held up my drawing and announced that there was an artist in the class. I thought that was a wonderful thing to be and have studied and practiced art ever since.
My parents encouraged me by taking me to art shows and museums. They bought me books and supplies. They set up a studio for me in the basement. It was a wonderful place behind the warm furnace. It had a big overstuffed chair for reading and a drafting table fashioned from an old bed.
Today my studio, home, and gallery are in an 1871 sandstone church in West Amana, Iowa. It is open to the public May to December.


"South Amana Granary"


I paint mostly in watercolor, but also do oils, pastels, and inks. I bought a stack of sketchbooks, when I retired from teaching. I sketch a minimum of 15 minutes a day.
Watercolor is my favorite medium. I don't have 100 percent control. It is like a partnership. You have to coax water, paint, and paper to do what you want. My paintings are painted in my head before they ever reach the paper. Every moment my eyes are open I am seeing a painting.
I feel an obligation to record our regional and national treasures, from the most beloved natural wonders to the lowly falling apart houses left behind with just a hint of past lives. I like to honor forgotten bridges, churches, and farmsteads by painting them as lovingly and beautifully as I can.My goal as an artist is to create luminous images that touch happy feelings from our past.