Even though Gary is no longer with us, we feel this page will help you understand the special man he was and the love he had for art.


Gary's Thoughts

I would like to thank you for viewing my website. I hope you enjoy my art. I have had great pleasure in creating these paintings.

As a man gets older he tends to reflect on what he has done in his life and where life has taken him. I have found that memory has shaped the body of my work to a greater degree than I had realized. It's amazing how much the early experiences of a child affect the thoughts of an adult. The influence of the places where you live and the people you meet can surface in the most unexpected ways.

Living in the West has enabled me to paint the story of a sprawling, changing nation: from the Lewis and Clark expedition to the pipelines of the Energy Age. As I reflect on my work, one incident stands out. Perhaps this will allow you to view my paintings from a perspective now fading from the American consciousness.

I was involved in painting the old house featured in "Weathered Memories" when a gentleman in his eighties slowly approached me. After watching me for awhile he asked me why I painted. I told him that it was how I made my living. He pondered my words then asked me if I enjoyed painting. I said I certainly did. He then asked if I had ever done anything else for a living. When I replied I had been a foreman at an oil refinery, he asked if I enjoyed that. I said it was okay, but that painting was my true love in life. He then gave me food for thought as he said, "You know young man, you're extremely lucky. You found something you love to do and it provides you with a livelihood. You'll never have to ‘go to work’ a day in your life."

The gentleman then said, as his thoughts drifted back in time, "This house you’re painting was once mine. When I was a young man I loved farming the way you love painting. It's weathered now, but once it was a happy sight after a day in the fields. My wife is gone, but we had our children and shared our love here. Sometimes I think I hear her singing while hanging our wash."

Then he drove away, leaving me to ponder my own memories.

I was born on the plains of North Dakota in 1935. I grew up in Idaho, in the areas of Coeur d’Alene and Boise. The Rocky mountain peaks, piercing through the clouds, were the backdrop for my childhood sketches. When World War II ended we moved back to the prairie wildlife and glowing sunsets of Dakota. There I spent my teen years, married and raised a family. In 1975 my lovely wife Darla opened Gary’s Gallery in Bismarck, ND. My career in art later took me to Arizona where Darla and I opened Gary’s Gallery II. The mystical canyons and desert, etched by time, provided new memories and inspiration.

We are now back home in beautiful North Dakota with family and friends. The geese in their flights tell us of the coming of Spring and Fall. The sun glows in its setting over the Missouri River. Again I think of the old man. I've painted many memories, and God willing, I will paint more. I've been blessed with many awards in my career, but I treasure most the "Peoples Choice" awards. Those awards tell me that people are enjoying my art of memories.

When you look at my paintings I hope you see not just an old house, but the story of lives past. As you view the mountain man’s world I hope you experience his sense of freedom. I trust you too have treasured memories.

May the work I’ve done speak for me,

Gary P. Miller