Artist of the Month: Dan Miller

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Feb 03, 2017 / 0 comments

I've never seen anything like it - and am so grateful to the internet for the discovery! When first seeing our Artist of the Month, Dan Miller's art, I was stunned. Every time I see something by him in my feed, I am happy, pause, reflect, breathe. He has an unusually calm and detailed way of sharing the natural world with viewers - one for which I am grateful. His medium? Colored pencils! His art enhances our lives...and brings joy - and the outdoors - into them. Here, without further ado, Colorado artist Dan his own words.

Zion Canyon. Artist Dan Miller
Zion Canyon

I'm a colored pencil artist settled in the Front Range foothills near Evergreen, Colorado. I have a marked enthusiasm for exploring remote locations in the Rocky Mountains while at the same time observing how nature works in the wild. During the past few years, I've devoted much of my life to documenting intimate impressions of the local landscape and wildlife through art, photography, and writing. My purpose on earth is an eternal quest for truth and beauty that currently finds me striving to discover a middle-ground between realism and abstraction.

Yellow Pine. Artist Dan Miller
Yellow Pine

How long have you been an artist?
I've been an artist my whole life. My father is a western artist and my two younger brothers are artists, as well, so it's kind of a family affair. We grew up in a liberal environment and we were strongly encouraged to pursue creative endeavors.

Winter Light. Artist Dan Miller
Winter Light

Is your art your full-time career?
Yes, I studied Fine Art at Chadron State College in Nebraska, where I learned to draw and paint. I try to plug away on my personal projects every day whenever I have the chance.

Upper Bear Creek. Artist Dan Miller
Upper Bear Creek

Trout Lake. Artist Dan Miller
Trout Lake

Where do you work? How long have you been there?
In order to pay the bills, I work as a graphic artist for a printing company down in Denver. I've been in the printing industry for about 30 years now, mostly working on an Apple computer setting up files for press.

Snowy Bergen Peak. Artist Dan Miller
Snowy Bergen Peak

Sneffels Range. Artist Dan Miller
Sneffels Range

Do you have favorite places you like to create?
I take reference photos out in the field, but I like to complete the drawings in my home studio. I'm happy being a night owl, as it's nice to stay up late and work when things are peaceful and quiet.

Pikes Peak. Artist Dan Miller
Pikes Peak

Moraine Park. Artist Dan Miller
Moraine Park 

What does a typical day look like?
My typical day begins with a morning hike, then off to work. I'm back in Evergreen by four in order to shuttle kids to practices. I get in an evening workout, then supper and finally, usually after dark, I get to process photos, draw, or write.

Last Dollar Road. Artist Dan Miller
Last Dollar Road

What materials do you prefer?
My favorite materials are colored pencils on medium weight, textured drawing paper. With such a busy schedule, I like the convenience of being able to pick them up or put them down in an instant.

Laguna Beach. Artist Dan Miller
Laguna Beach

Where/how are you inspired?
I'm inspired by the local landscape and wildlife that I see every day. I have a great respect for nature's beauty and I can only hope my spiritual reverence for the mountains shows through in my work.

Fillius Ridge. Artist Dan Miller
Fillius Ridge

How do you know when your piece is done?
I've been creating artwork for so long that knowing when a piece is finished has become a gut instinct. Nowadays, I just know it. I've learned my lesson from ruining too many drawings by overworking them after they were actually done.

Early Spring Evergreen. Artist Dan Miller
Early Spring Evergreen

Do you work on one or more pieces at a time?
No, I usually only work on one piece at a time. Sometimes if a drawing goes bad, I'll put it away and start a new one. Later on, I'll resurrect the failure and work back into it. Often times the finished piece turns out surprisingly well.

Dillon Reservoir. Artist Dan Miller
Dillon Reservoir

Wasatch Mountains. Artist Dan Miller
Wasatch Mountains

If you were not an artist, what would you do?
If I weren't an artist, I'd probably be a high school history teacher and basketball coach or a mathematician or a fantasy football guru.

Colorado National Monument. Artist Dan Miller
Colorado National Monument

How can our readers find and purchase your art?
I've published an illustrated story every week for the past five years on my nature blog so if you'd like to see more of my work, please visit -

Blue Lakes. Artist Dan Miller
Blue Lakes

Glacier Gorge. Artist Dan Miller
Glacier Gorge

Would you like to share anything else with us?
My best advice for younger artists is that it's important to keep working and to never give up even when things go bad. You will experience criticism and rejection but don't give in and imitate others in order to please patrons. When you discover your natural style, embrace it and don't fight it. Be at peace with who you are, create in a manner that feels honest, and always be true to yourself.

Bergen Peak First Snow. Artist Dan Miller
Bergen Peak First Snow

Lake Isabelle. Artist Dan Miller
Lake Isabelle


Follow Dan online:

and of course, on his site:

All photos courtesy and copyright Dan F. Miller