About Jennifer Miller


Background

   My name is Jennifer Miller and I live just outside my home town of Olean, NY, where I am surrounded by all I love most: a natural setting of eastern deciduous forest and wildlife, where visiting birds are a special delight. In addition to the company of wild birds, I happily keep a flock of chickens and am entertained by their individual personalities. Indoors, my home is made more lively by the companionship of four parrots. The wild and domestic birds are endless inspiration for my work, even finding their way into my fantasy art, where the imaginative creatures are given the same attention to detail, anatomy, and behavior as their real counterparts. I share my life and adventures with my husband, Brian.

   I've had no formal training; instead, I have studied under the vast canopy of nature and delight in the smallest details of a mossy rock all the way up to grand, sweeping landscapes. Other artists also influence my translation of nature to paint. Even as a young child, I was buried in borrowed library books of wildlife artists. I've since had the great fortune to have supportive artist friends to grow and learn alongside.

   Deeply concerned about conservation issues, I've regularly painted threatened and endangered species to raise awareness, in addition to donating work and time to groups dedicated to saving and restoring flora and fauna alike. Being involved in the Federal Duck Stamp program comes as an immense honor and supports issues close to my heart.



Artwork

   In creating my art, I usually attempt to express my feelings for the subject; rarely do I paint animal subjects that I have not observed in person. I feel my most successful works are those that are inspired directly from life and things that I've been able to experience myself. I combine these experiences with the emotions I felt as an observer, and take them back to my studio, often accompanied by field sketches. I also take reference photography to help with details, and combine these with other resources such as study skins to create the most accurate paintings that I can while remaining true to my experience. These invaluable levels of research into real animals also allows me to translates into creating engaging and believable fantasy creatures. For my digital art I use Corel Painter with a Wacom tablet, and for my traditional media art I use many mediums, with a main focus on acrylics, watercolors, and sculpture.


Interests

   My interests are very similar to the artwork I create; I love exploring the natural world and enjoy learning about both flora and fauna. Hiking and geocaching are activities I enjoy, and for me, every walk outdoors is a nature walk. I am a greatly enthusiastic about birds, and have many in my daily life, which I adore. I treasure my chickens and parrots as they are endlessly entertaining and surprisingly affectionate. I love learning about and applying permaculture ideals to my property both in gardening and also in restoring native habitat. As part of my interest in conservation of our natural world and a reasonable level of sustainability, I am also interested in ethical hunting.


Achievements

My greatest achievement and honor to date was having my artwork selected as the winner of the 2015-2016 Federal Duck stamp, on September 20th, 2014.

   The transition into painting duck stamps was only natural since the program mirrors my love for birds, art, and conservation. Along with entering many state-level competitions, I first entered the Federal contest in 2010. I chose to paint Ruddy Ducks for my 2015 entry (which became the winning painting) out of love for the personable little diving ducks. I first encountered this charming species in the wild some years prior near Batavia, NY, where they captivated me, and I vowed to paint them someday. I've observed them several times since in my home state, on a trip to the U.S. west coast, and in captivity at various aviaries.

   The Federal Duck Stamp Program has played a critical role in the preservation of wetlands and entire ecosystems for flora and fauna alike. Started in 1934, the program has since generated more than $850 million, which has gone on to purchase or lease over 6.5 million acres of wetlands habitat in the United States. Best known are our National Wildlife Refuges, over 500 of which were partially or entirely funded by the Program, and into which a current Federal Duck Stamp may also be used as an entrance pass.

   Purchase duck stamps at many national wildlife refuges, the U.S. Postal Service or online at http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/stamps.htm.

   For more information on the Federal Duck Stamp program and contest, please visit www.fws.gov/duckstamps.

   For more information about my duck stamp design, print, and stamps with my image, visit the Duck Stamp section of my website.




"Awards and Honors
 * Winner of the 2015-16 Federal Duck Stamp Competition, 2015
 * Awarded "Distinguished Artist of the Year", Cattaraugus County Arts Council, 2015
 * Awarded with Solo Exhibition, "Featherdust", JCC Center Gallery in Olean, 2015
 * Granted Solo Exhibition, Great Swamp Conservency in Canastota, NY, 2015
 * Awarded with OHS Fine Arts Wall of Fame, 2015
 * Juror's Choice, Art in the Park, Olean NY, 2013
 * 5th Place (Hooded Mergansers), North Carolina Duck Stamp Competition, Washingting NC, 2013
 * Best in Show, Art in the Park, Olean NY, 2012
 * Artist Guest of Honor, MFF, Chicago IL, 2012
 * Solo Exhibition, Wellsville Creative Arts Center, Wellsville NY, 2011
 * 
Best in Category (Swan Lake), "Share one Planet" International Wildlife art Competition, 2011
 * 4th place (Gadwalls), North Carolina Duck Stamp Competition, Washington NC, 2011
 * Various Best in Show, Director's Choice, Guest of Honor's Choice... ribbons, Anthrocon, Pittsburgh PA, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015


Select Clients
 * Nickelodeon/MTV - Artwork for splash page, Nickelodeon Magazine
 * Windstone Editions - Custom painter
 * Baen Publishing - Artist for numerous e-publications
 * "Song of the Summer King" by Jess E. Owen, Five Elements Press - Cover Artist
 * "Skyfire" by Jess E. Owen, Five Elements Press - Cover Artist
 * "A Shard of Sun" by Jess E. Owen, Five Elements Press - Cover Artist
 * "In the Crook of the Oak" by D.S. Foster, Shadetree Publishing LLC - Cover artist
 * "Swords of the Six" by Scott Appleton, Flaming Pen Press - Cover Artist
 * Corel Painter Magazine - Various Artworks and "how to" article
 * Dragon Art (Flame Tree Publishing) - Various Artworks
 * How to Draw and Paint Dragons (Barron's Educational Series) - Various Artworks
 * The Flight of Dragons-Storyboard art, website graphics
 * San Con - Various shirt designs
 * Lucid Raven Productions - CCG Art Card Artwork
 * Masters of Fantasy 2004 - Various Artworks
 * ImagineFX - Various Artworks
 * Deep Magic Magazine - Various Artworks
 * Elf Fantasy Magazine - Various Artworks