Elizabeth Miller was born in 1929 in Lincoln, Nebraska. She grew up in the Lincoln area with a brother and a sister and her parents. At the University of Nebraska, she was president of the Delta Phi Delta, the honorary art association, and graduated in 1951 with a B.F.A. in painting and printmaking. After a summer teaching art at a girls' camp in Minnesota, she worked at the Des Moines Art Center and in Waterloo. She taught art at Drake University in Des Moines, where she met her husband, a music professor. They were married in 1958, and they have two daughters. She earned her M.F.A. from Drake in 1969. Before retiring in 1995, she taught painting and drawing at Iowa State University for 24 years, earning the title of Distinguished Professor. She painted in oil and watercolor. Elizabeth died in November 2013.Statement
"I always hope that my paintings will give somebody pleasure. I'm not thinking of that as I’m doing them, but I hope they will give some people pleasure. And I think they have. I hope that the paintings will have the essence of what I saw. I don't try to paint things just as I see them. They might appear rather realistic, but they're not always the way I saw them. I hope people will appreciate nature more—wanting to look at nature in a different way, or just appreciating that hill and that tree and the plants....
I have really kind of limited the work I do the last, say, twenty years to landscape. Because I started becoming very, very interested in the natural landscape. I did a Faculty Improvement Leave to visit natural landscapes all over the state and did a lot of research, studying the prairies and the natural formations of the rocks and the rivers and everything, and spent a year doing that. And from that point on, I have really kind of limited everything I do to sort of natural landscapes. It's a great desire."