“I began by doing pet portraits, but I also paint for myself. Often I’ll use photographs as a starting point and composite them digitally until I get an arrangement I like.”
She has worked extensively with watercolors, favoring them over acrylics for their instant gratification. “I’ve even done watercolors on canvas, which is a totally different experience because canvas absorbs color differently from paper.”
One of her unusual watercolor techniques is to begin with the darkest color in an image. “That’s the opposite of what you’re supposed to do.” She also uses very little water in her watercolors because she is trying to achieve the deepest, darkest hues possible.
Miller found American Frame online, which is a huge time saver. " No matter where you live—or how difficult it may be to get out of the house—you have at your fingertips a huge selection of top-quality framing materials at affordable prices".
For our featured piece Miller chose “Breeding Plumage-Great Egret,” a stunning watercolor whose 16”x20” original is for sale. “I like this piece so well because the egret really pops off the page, and a lot of people mistake even the original for a photograph. I like that. That’s often my goal when I paint, to make it so vivid and faithful to the material world that it looks like a photograph.”
Done in her unique “dark-to-light” technique, the dramatic piece needs little embellishment, so we framed “Egret” with one of our most affordable solid-wood frames from the Basics collection and three mats from our Crescent Berkshire line, economical mats recommended for non-archival framing.
Color and focus are the keys to this treatment. Two green mats, one darker than the other, echo the greens and yellow-greens in the print, a classic strategy done artfully here. The trick? Don’t exactly match the dominant print color. This allows the mat to punctuate the image instead of blending into it. The step-down from darker to lighter is another notable strategy, as is the antique white top mat, which ensures that the green mats don’t become more dominant than the image they are framing. The frame itself, with its matte black finish, simple profile and ¾” wide face, corresponds to the image’s unusual background color and offers enough presence to accentuate without over-powering. Total cost of this frame treatment: $102.00.