Mary F. Miller

Since childhood, she knew she wanted to be an artist. As of 2020, Mary has been a member of the Taos Artist Collective. Mary’s work is in collections all over the United States.


About the Art

I received my BFA from The University of New Mexico in 1984. Color, shape and shadows are my inspiration. Ideas percolating often are fleshed out through photographing things around me. I often have my cell phone handy and snap photos anytime I see something that intrigues me. The end result is then distilled down to its basic elements, which ultimately become my paintings. I start with black gessoed canvas, I then sketch my composition onto that, followed by a red underpainting, and then I start adding the lighter colors. Because I am working in oils, each layer has to dry, which takes about two weeks (water soluble oils dry faster than traditional oils) depending on the thickness of the paint. During that time I make adjustments to the composition, even wiping paint off and starting over. An additional tool I like to use is photographing the painting to take a step back from it so that I can spot any issues. These can include jarring colors and compositional problems that stick out like the proverbial “sore thumb.” Finally, I put it aside for a few days and don’t look at it. This is so that I don’t “knit pick” or overwork it, which is my tendency. If I have the urge to alter any aspect of the painting, I ask myself “if I change this, will it improve the painting?” If the answer is no, then I don’t do it. My influences are my mother, Vincent Van Gogh, and art professors from college Nick Abdalla and John Wenger. My mom, herself an artist, encouraged me to draw from an early age. I would ask her to “draw me a body” and then I would fill it in. During my travels in Europe, I had the privilege of visiting the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, which was life-altering for me. My artwork became more vibrant and bold after that. My favorite professors taught me discipline, and honed my drawing skills and brought fun into the “classroom”—that classroom was often the great outdoors ,in a class called “Outdoor Studio Art.” Alas, through the years, I’ve become less comfortable working outdoors. I like having more control over my environment without time constraints and weather to contend with. I did join the “Quick Draw” event held in Red River and while I enjoyed being serenaded by blackbirds at a beaver pond, I wasn’t happy with my efforts to paint with acrylic paints on a windy day! EXHIBIT HISTORY New Mexico juried shows include “Taos Select” in October of 2016, January 2019 “9th Annual TCA Self- Portrait Show,” Encore Gallery of TCA, Taos, New Mexico, and in March 2019 her paintings “Fence” and “The Mystery” were selected to hang in the show titled “Fences” at the Fuller Lodge Art Center in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Her painting, “The Mystery” was featured on the show invitation. In September, 2018 and 2019, Mary was apart of the First and Second Annual Local Artist Exhibition at The Red River Community House in Red River, New Mexico; as well as participating in the Questa Studio Tour in August of those same years. In September of 2019, Mary joined two other artists, Karen Trythall and Gloria Sharp, for a show titled “Three Unique Talents” at the Los Alamos Mesa Public Library Gallery, and then in October of 2019, Mary participated in the “5X5 Art Show and Sale” featuring artists of the Enchanted Circle benefiting the Shuter Library in Angel Fire, New Mexico. 2020-22 The years during the height of the pandemic were a period of introspection and percolation. When art show opportunities started opening up again, Mary’s image “Totems” was one selected for the Town of Taos and Taos Arts Council Banner Competition July through November of 2022. In late 2022, Karen Trythall, Curtis Salazar, and Mary were featured in an online article titled “Taos Artists Share Their Inspiration and Talents” 2023-24 Mary took part in the first Annual “Questa Quick-Draw” event June 24, 2023 in Questa, New Mexico. Two of Mary’s paintings were juried into an Art Competition titled “VIVID” at Art Mozaik Gallery on 713 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM. in November of 2023. Mary’s image titled “Linea” was chosen in the Taos Arts Council Winter Banner Competition to hang on a light pole from November until spring, 2024. From November 2, 2023 through January 28, 2024, Mary’s painting “Shelter” hung in the Harwood Art Museum’s “Harwood 100: Open Wall” exhibit. Mary joined four other artists for an art show and sale on August 25 and 26, 2023 at the Red River Community House. 2024 Mary’s painting titled “Shadow Dance” was juried into the OmniHum Gallery exhibition “Architecture As Art—Inspirations from Pueblo Style,” which ran from March 2 to April 27. “Architecture and Art have always had a symbiotic relationship and OmniHum is showcasing art across a wide array of mediums to reflect housing and design elements. While historical Pueblo buildings serving as the main inspiration for the show, we have peppered in OmniHum’s community spiritual appeal. Past, Present and Future. We have selected several pieces of art that emphasize housing’s connection to the community in this collective show of over 20 inspired artists who have an appreciation for of architecture and how it influences our human environment.” From April 5-May 11, Mary had three paintings in a show titled “Building Blocks” at Village Arts Framing in Los Alamos, New Mexico. From May 3-June 16, Mary’s painting, “Desert Highway” was juried into the show “Devotion,” also at OmniHum Gallery. Mary participated in the Questa Creative Council-Red River Mayfest in the Mountains “Quick-Draw” event on May 26. UPCOMING Mary will join the Questa Art Tour August 10-11, 2024. For the month of September, Mary will be a featured artist at the Taos Artist Collective Gallery, where her work can be found 24/7.


Mary Miller grew up in the quaint mountain resort town of Red River, New Mexico. She always knew she wanted to be an artist and enrolled in the arts program at the University of New Mexico. In the summer of 1982, she cultivated her talents in an Art Studies Abroad program with the University of Georgia in Cortona, Italy. In 1983, Mary graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico. From 1989-2008, Mary lived in the Seattle area of Washington State where she was active, showing her artwork in a variety of settings. These included solo shows at Seattle University Wismer Women’s Center Gallery (juried), Boston Scientific, and various cafes, as well as juried shows that included Bumbershoot, “From Here to There: Public Art Ideas.” In 1997, she completed a commission for the city of Redmond, Washington “Volunteer Arts Awards” and also participated in shows entitled “Salon Refuse” in Vancouver, Washington and “The Garbage Show, Found Art, Fashion and Things People Keep,” at Gallery OK in downtown Seattle. These shows featured art made with recycled materials. In 2008 she returned to New Mexico where she reacquainted herself with its beauty. After a long hiatus from painting, due to chemical sensitivities to most paints, she returned to painting in 2015 (upon discovering water-soluble oil paints) and has been painting up a storm ever since.


Mary F Miller

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Since childhood, she knew she wanted to be an artist. As of 2020, Mary has been a member of the Taos Artist Collective. Mary’s work is in collections all over the United States.