Ann Graber Miller was trained as a watercolorist and graphic designer, and has worked professionally as an artist for the past 30 years. Before serving as an adjunct faculty member at Goshen College, she was art director and designer at Mennonite Publishing House in Scottdale, Pennsylvania, and a graphic designer for Communities Magazine in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 1990, she has participated in more than a dozen watercolor exhibitions in Indiana, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Over the last two decades, I’ve worked primarily with Caribbean floral, animal, and architectural themes, and I’m now also drawing on themes from 19th-century biological engravings. I spent my childhood and adolescent years in Puerto Rico, and with my husband and children have lived in Dominican Republic for two eight-month stints, in Puerto Rico for four months, and in Cuba and Costa Rica for four months. The exaggerated color and brilliant light of the Caribbean provide much of the inspiration for my work.
While growing up in Puerto Rico with my five siblings, our parents were consistently stimulating visual awareness, making us conscious at an early age of the effects of light and color, emoting about the sunlit evening sky or the intricacy and shape of light patterns on an ordinary houseplant. My mother, Esther Rose Graber, always encouraged us to draw and paint, and her own illustration work and later watercolors served as a model for us all. Five of us Graber children now make our living in art – as watercolorists, book illustrators, potters, designers, and teachers.
In my work, I often break images and colors into intentional warm and cool configurations, perhaps reflecting the more structural influence my graphic design training and experience has had on my watercolors.