“Every market person I ever painted I got to know first. I then asked permission to photograph and paint them and gave the first portrait to them.”
How fortunate for the newly opened Mango Tango that the Miller family of four from Canada was cruising the Caribbean in 1989, a family that included a young mother, Anne Miller, who painted daily. When she visited the gallery with two youngsters in tow, she asked the owner Jane Coombes to look at some of her watercolors.
The intitial appraisal surprised Jane. The works, some no larger than 6″ by 9″ presented delicate detail of island life, rather than a polished expertise. Jane recognized the potential in this budding artist. She bought ten of the charming works on the spot. Thus began a working relationship that lasted from 1989 to 2000. Each grouping of works she brought to Charlotte Amalie a couple of times a year was better than the previous set. Her works were never loose in brush strokes. She exalted detail; painting daily in different locations with new subject matter that helped her become a master watercolorist.
Throughout the islands from Puerto Rico to Trinidad, Anne Miller would deftly use her paint brush. She paid homage to the market women from whom she bought her fruit, the guys relaxing while playing dominoes, the elegant details of gingerbread houses or the starkness of a wooden shack, and the lively nature port side of both fish markets and boat builders.
After enjoying several years of an annual solo show at Mango Tango, health concerns, now conquered, led Anne Miller, her husband, and three children to return to Canada in early 2000, where she paints her surroundings in the interior of British Columbia. She paints Okanangan Valley scenes in which she celebrates the beauty of the lush vineyards.