North Carolina artist NANCY HUGHES MILLER


Inspired by beauty in the landscape, I seek to capture a bold yet quiet impression of everyday nature — as the colors of sky, earth and water converge on the horizon.

I graduated from North Carolina State's College of Design where I studied both design and fine art fundamentals. In 2007, after working as a graphic designer for more than 25 years, I fulfilled a dream and became a full-time painter. Now residing in Cary, I grew up in Tabor City, a small town in southeastern North Carolina near Sunset Beach. The vistas of this region are reflected in my landscape oil paintings — beach and marsh scenes derived from familiar places. I work from observation, memory and imagination, painting glimpses of everyday nature — homages to the fragile yet resilient coastal environment. 

My contemporary landscape paintings are exhibited at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, NC and All About Art on Bald Head Island and are available online at UGallery and here in my Art Shop. I am a member of Raleigh’s ArtSpace and donate to their annual Gala fundraiser. Other groups which have benefitted from my painting donations include Cary Visual Art, Raleigh's Visual Art Exchange, Alzheimer's Association of Eastern NC, Project Coming Home, Habitat for Humanity-Orange County, The North Carolina Museum of Art, Wake County SPCA, NCSU Vet School, Cary Academy, Durham Academy, Hospice of Wake County, Durham Art Guild, Prevent Child Abuse NC and the NC Children’s Hospital.

about my art

Ancestral lands, coastal settlers

Contemporary coastal landscape oil painting by Nancy Hughes Miller, modern seascapes and marshes

My connection to the coast goes way back and is in my bloodline.

In times before high-rise bridges and condos, unspoiled landscapes were experienced by Native Americans and explorers. My ancestors were early settlers of the Coastal Carolinas region. Sometimes I feel I am channeling these kindred spirits when I paint my landscapes — recreating views seen long ago.


The marsh landscape and mood

Contemporary landscape oil paintings by emerging US artist Nancy Hughes Miller colorful and soothing

I hope my scenes of inlet waters winding to the ocean or those with large clouds on the horizon are a calming influence on the viewer.

As a North Carolina landscape artist, I have a love for my state's barrier islands— but not just for their sandy beaches. To me, relaxing and soothing to view are their tidal, salt marshes separating the islands from the mainland. I find them especially inspiring in mid-summer, when the marsh grass turns brilliant yellow-green. I feature this chartreuse-like color in many of my marsh paintings, combined with varying colors in the sky and water. 

Memories of the beach

Quiet Beach Morning 20x40 oil painting by Nancy Hughes Miller, North Carolina USA landscape artist

I hope my art connects with people and evokes fond memories of a family beach vacation. 

A lot of families have traditions around their annual week at the beach. They'll rent the same cottage the same summer week at the same coastal community for years and years. Some say my art takes them back to special times and places — a reminder of being carefree and relaxed.

The landscape and feelings: Luminism

Nancy Hughes Miller paints contemporary landscape paintings of the coast, beach and marsh paintings

As the Luminists, I strive not to paint the reality of the landscape but 'the state of feeling’ which the landscape produces.

I share some of the practices and goals of 19th century Luminists, as do other modern landscape artists, exploring light and its colorful effects on a scene. Elevating everyday nature, I favor compositions with large skies and reflective waters— rendered in a smooth finish without visible brushstrokes. Luminist landscapes emphasize tranquility, depicting a poetic experience of nature or a contemplative perception of nature.

solo exhibitions, juried shows and art events


Curated auction artist, Boots and Blues, Cary Visual Art gala fundraiser, March 30, Cary, NC 

Live auction artist, February 16, VAE, Raleigh, NC 


Live auction artist, November 17, Collectors Gala, Artspace, Raleigh, NC 

Painting Demonstration, June 16, 11-2 pm, Sunset River Marketplace, Calabash, NC

Coastal Moods, opening reception May 19, 3-5 pm, Little Art Gallery, Cameron Village, Raleigh

c o a s t s c a p e s, February-April, Liquid State, 1908 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC

Live auction artist, For the Love of Art Gala, Visual Art Exchange, February 10, Downtown Raleigh Marriott


Live auction artist, November 18, Collectors Gala, Artspace, Raleigh, NC 

Affordable Art Fair NYC, UGallery artist, September 13-17, 2017

Corridor Gallery featured artist, August-October 2017, Artspace, Raleigh, NC 

Cloudspotting, April-July 2017, 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 

Art Ball Gala, February 11, Cary Visual Art, NC Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC



Live auction artist, November 19, Collectors Gala, Artspace, Raleigh, NC 

Guest solo exhibition, February 26- March 22, Cary Gallery of Artists, Cary, NC 

For the Love of Art Gala, featured artist, February 20, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC 


Corridor Gallery featured artist, December 2015-February 2016, Artspace, Raleigh, NC 

Community Exchange Exhibit, August-October, AJ Fletcher Foundation, Raleigh, NC 


Colorscapes, solo exhibition, Little Art Gallery, Cameron Village, Raleigh, NC 


59th Annual Member Show and SCAPES juried, Durham Art Guild, Durham, NC 


Featured artist, August-September, Little Art Gallery, Cameron Village, Raleigh, NC 

Landscapes Reinterpreted, 2-artist exhibition, Town Hall Gallery, Cary, NC 

Scope: The NC Landscape, juried, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC 


Coastal Color, solo exhibition, Sunset River Marketplace, Calabash, NC

Art of the Auction, juried donor, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC 

Emulous, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC


For the Love of Art, juried donor, The Road Show, 2nd Place, Exchange Gallery Artist, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC


Here & There, solo exhibition, Sunset River Marketplace, Calabash, NC 

Saving the Places You Love, invitational exhibit, Mahler Fine Art, Raleigh, NC 

Landscapes, etc., solo exhibition, Jordan Hall Arts Center, Cary, NC


Picture This, Prevent Child Abuse NC art gala, Raleigh, NC 

Emulous and Scope: The NC Landscape, juried, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC


Carolina Color, Junior League sponsored exhibition, Raleigh, NC 

n.e.w. show and Travel Scenes, juried, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC