My name is Eunice Miller of Folsom Mill Studio and I’m from Epping, New Hampshire. As a young girl, I loved Girl Scouts and creating all kinds of art. It was about the age of 11 or 12 my parents sent me to private art lessons with a local artist, Tony Estrella, who had had an accident as a teen and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
He was a sought after painter in our area and he did amazing pieces. He had me work with Charcoal and Oil and in art class in school we formed copper into bowls and did a lot of drawing.
By the time I got into high school, I knew I was not interested in college, the 12 years in what I called prison was enough for me. I hated being trapped in a building so I went to the brand new trade school where I tried Culinary Arts, Electronics, Technical Illustrating, Drafting and Secretarial Sciences. It was the last one I chose to follow for my path in 1974.
I was not cut out for sitting in an office and my first job sadly ended after just two weeks when I asked for my check.
Fast forward 4 years and I signed up for a tractor trailer driving school where I was the only woman in 1978. I ran coast to coast with my ex-husband and then ran loads all over New England in my own trucks. I have a total of three million miles in a rig as well as them being accident free.
There were no women doing what I did back then and if there was, I never ran into them. Driving America’s long lonesome highways with just a CB and music always playing was enough for me.
You name it, I hauled it, except for fuel and livestock. I found something I loved and was so good at it. These were just 2 of the 5 trucks I owned. In the tanker I hauled spring water and in the covered trailer I hauled rubbish and demolition debris. I was a heavy hauler always weighing out over 100,000 lbs.
I was in my van one morning the day after Thanksgiving in 2000 when I was rear-ended by a tour bus hauling gamblers from New York City to Connecticut. Left with bad injuries and just about 44 or 45 years old, I had to find something else to do with my 18 hours a day. It was very hard and not once did art ever cross my mind. Artists are poor, or so I always thought, so I picked up beads, fused glass and took photos to fill my time and to make some cash on the side.
I do OK selling items with my photography but I miss my rig.
Then I saw a ad in a local paper saying there was a $25 intro to Watercolor just 10 miles away and I said why not. It would be just 2 hours one evening and I needed some fun.
The teacher was from Russia and she was a hoot! She was so jazzed about art she ignited something deep inside that I had long forgotten about.
I went home and art just poured out onto my wet paper, no photos involved no looking out the windows either. It seemed like a type of meditation. I wet the paper, made puddles of pigment usually working with a very limited palette and began to let the magic happen, colors mixing on the paper adding a bit of seasoning to the wet image or scraping or splashing even more water. It felt good to just let go.
No longer in charge and no need to be a control freak as you had to be out on the road full of crazy drivers.
Even though I had never walked through a gallery before I walked into a local one joined and entered my first piece. It sold in 2 days, I miss it. I had titled it simply Maine.
I then set out to try to enter at least one per month for their Theme Shows.
I did not know what I was doing but I didn’t care. I just kept painting mostly wet into wet and never as things appear in life. Who knew that was called abstract!
The following painting I titled Birds of a Feather and during my first solo show this past May, someone fell in love with this and then it was also gone.
I still have this next one. It is one of my favorites.
Just two colors and always leaving my whites. Can you tell I love watercolor?
My furry companion through this new journey, JT, did not care that I was busy making a masterpiece as long as I had a free hand while painting. I tossed her toy and we would play.
Landscapes, one after another, come from nowhere or maybe the miles and miles I viewed from the driver’s seat. I cannot explain it really, except to say I have given God the wheel this time, and what a trip it has been.
You can find more of my work at my website (link below) as well as links to all the places I sell my art. And there’s also a link to my blog as I will also write my memoir.
Thank you Charlie for asking me to join you here at Doodlewash and share a bit of my story. Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for sharing your work and your interesting story! Best wishes for more and more paintings!
Thank you so much I appreciate the time you took to read it 🙂 As long as I have water I shall paint 🙂
May there never be,a water shortage. Your work and,story are inspiring!!
🙂 thanks so much I have been blessed in many ways now trying to build a place for artist’s to come teach their followers as a way to give back and carry on.
What beautiful art! I’ve enjoyed learning about you and your artistic journey.
Thanks Sandra I really appreciate your taking the time. I had no idea what to share but Charlie was a big help.
Thank you Charlie again for asking me. HUGS
Wow! Eunice, this is so cool. I love the way you leave the whites in your paintings.
Thanks I always thought you had to 🙂 I try to get 10 on the gray scale but need to work on shadows as at 70+ miles per hour I was the one casting a shadow lol I never saw them.
Very nice! I’m inspired by your story and your art.
Thank you so much Lois if I die tonight I tell my family I had an amazing life 🙂
Wow Eunice, I love your story, and your work is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it!
I can not wait till I finish my book many want to read it 🙂 trucking was not glamorous but for me everyday was fun! I paint every day I have a lot of time to make up for so thank you very much.
Interesting story and wonderful paintings. I especially like the snow scenes.
Oddly enough I really dislike moving the white stuff as we just were hit with another almost 20″ not sure why it is I paint it 🙂
Beautiful art and awesome story. Thank you for sharing.
Very nice watercolours! Love it!
I have loved your work for some time and now, even more. Your talent is unmistakable and glorious. Charlie of Doodlewash sure knows how to pick a winner!
Thank you so much Dor you were there from the start watching one disaster after another but never did I give up 🙂 Mom asked before she died will you ever paint anything but trees I smiled and said I dig trees she asked that I paint flowers 🙂 so now and then I do. Thanks so much for your support and I hope you love the card in person xo
Eunice, your work is fresh, spontaneous, and so full of life – no wonder everything you make available sells. Leaving the white paper to make its impact is important and contributes much to each of your paintings. I’m glad you found something you love to fill your 18 hours each day.
Thank you Sharon I have taken 5 lessons with one locaL ARTIST/FRIEND 2 in all from the Artist from Russia and 4 with a local male artist here in NH but love all those painters I follow on Youtube and Facebook they challenge me in ways even they don’t know 🙂 The three I tried classes with you paint like them and I had that inner voice that pulled many times in a totally random direction but what I have learned from all I watched and listed to is to make puddle of light washes and gradually build upon them I do try to do this more now.
Thank you Laura and for stopping by.
Eunice, I was born and raised in Newport, RI, so we have the kinship of living in the northeast. I was also so fascinated and uplifted by your story and your gorgeous watercolors! I am new to painting (July), and would love to possess even half your talent. What a wonderful ride life has given you. Really loved your story and your innate art talent is astoundingly beautiful. Congratulations on your successes.
Thank you neighbor 🙂 Loved my trips in the 70’s for fun in R.I. and in the 80’s with my rig 🙂 Love that the Patriots used to practice in a little town there where I stopped for breakfast before heading to the landfill, so maybe you saw me 🙂
Newport is gorgeous as we all know the homes there and the sea as I adore our coast. I will check out your paintings and all I can say is play until you know what to do to harness it’s magic and thanks for reading my post I had no idea what to share how much to share not wanting to bore anyone.
Hi Eunice! I have thought about you every day since you first appeared on DW 2 years or so ago! I was so happy to read your story then, and now this updated version. And your art has gotten AMAZING!!! But then, given that we’re New Englanders, of course we never quit! You have always been my inspiration, and I always remembered your humble beginnings in art whenever I went to my dining table to paint. I have still never given up! After 3 years of painting flowers, ads from TV, magazine covers, anything just to paint, I’ve mastered that, and am bored, because it’s not my style. I found Angela Fehr, Canadian artist, and have now realized I am an abstract/loose painter, and have mostly let go of painting things that do not come from my own memory or muses. I’ve been painting much differently now, and I’m struggling, everything is awful, but as I said, I never give up.
I really enjoyed seeing ALL of your new pieces here on 2020 DW. WOW! You paint wet into wet like I want to, but I’m too heavy-handed to get it right. Your big rig stories resonate with me, as few women have done what you’ve done, and it was fascinating to read your entire life story, but more of it. You are my favorite DW guest artist, and I have loved reading your stories. You’re an excellent story teller too, perhaps you should do a bit of that in your life now too, because you have a great story to tell, and tell it well, simply, and interestingly. Story teller is just another form of art, and clearly you’re a natural.
I hope we New Englanders can connect. Should my humble little note here find you, maybe you have a new website or something to share our love of this beautiful medium.
Best of luck to you, Eunice. Thank you for being a inspiration in my head every time I go to paint at my table. And oh! I have a faithful furry kitty friend too, who loves to sit at my feet in the wee hours, keeping me company. You can take the girl out of New England, but you cannot take New England out of the girl.
Be well, Eunice.
I enjoyed reading your story and seeing your lovely paintings. Glad you discovered a new love…you are very good at watercolor.
Thank you so much I practise every day 🙂
Your work is lovely and is so full of life and love! I have painted in oils for many years, but not watercolor. I am even more determined to master some of the watercolor techniques and go that direction for a while. Your story shows your wonderful persistence and determination to meet your goals in life. The world needs more like you!!
Thank you Kathy. Watercolor is not hard don’t believe them wet a piece of paper and let the pigments flow across the paper let dry and paint what you find in the wash or just use it as a background for something you like to paint.
What an interesting story, and such beautiful art! I cannot believe how you came upon that watercolor class…and now look at your work! Just gorgeous.
Thank you Kim adult education rocks for trying something new just $25 and a fun teacher 😊 and you read it so you know I had very little use for the ones I had growing up guess I was ready to learn. Thanks again
Thanks for sharing your story and your beautiful art!
Thank you Susan for reading it I am glad others see what I do in Watercolor there are many I aspire to be just like but mine are truly one of a kind pieces but maybe if I start sketching I can do the same work over and over though I bet somehow it will not be the same 🙂
Both your art and your story are great. Thanks for sharing 🙂
🙂 Thank you and thanks for reading as well. I had no idea what to write.
Hello, That are absolutely stunning artworks! I love the colors!