about the artist

North Carolina artist, Nancy Hughes Miller paints contemporary landscapes inspired by the coast

Contemporary landscape artist, Nancy Hughes Miller

After graduating from NC State's School of Design, Nancy was a graphic designer for many years. Then in 2007 she switched gears to live her dream of being a full time artist. A native of North Carolina, she lives near Raleigh in Cary and paints in her home studio. Growing up in a small town near the beaches of North and South Carolina, Nancy developed a love for the coast. One of her favorite places from childhood and now is Sunset Beach, NC — it's a big influence on her art. The fragile beauty of the area inspires Nancy, especially scenes devoid of human activity and disruption — deserted beaches, tranquil marshes, colorful seas — vistas connected to the sky. Her subjects also include inland lakes and rural fields, views seen from her drives to the coast. From observation, memory and imagination, she explores color and light, shapes and forms — while creating a contemporary landscape in her unique style. And though derived from familiar places, Nancy's oil paintings are not usually of a specific location but an impression of everyday nature — where the colors of sky, earth and water converge on the horizon.


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.


about the art

The landscape and feelings: Luminism

Nancy Hughes Miller shares some of the practices and goals of 19th century Luminist artists as she explores light and its effect on the landscape. As they, she seeks to elevate everyday nature with compositions featuring large skies and calm, 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

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

The marsh landscape and mood

North Carolina landscape artist, Nancy Hughes Miller, has a love for her state's barrier islands— but not just for their sandy beaches. To Nancy, relaxing and soothing to view are their tidal, salt marshes that separate the islands from the mainland. She finds them especially inspiring in mid-summer, when the marsh grass turns brilliant yellow-green. Nancy features this chartreuse-like color in her marsh paintings, combined with varying colors in the sky and water. 

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.