FORTUNA — Having loved art since a child, Glenda Miller prepared to work on an oil painting Friday morning in her rural studio near Tipton.

The large painting, 24-by-48-inches, was being painted from a photo of Crater Lake, Oregon, that her son Eric and daughter-in-law Blair Miller took on their honeymoon.

Miller, treasurer for the Sedalia Visual Art Association, said oil isn’t new to her although much of her work takes in watercolor with the subject being flowers. She has a nature-based exhibit of watercolor and monotype collage showing at the Sedalia Municipal Building along with SVAA metal artist Chester Lux. The show will be up for two months.

Her love for creating art stems from childhood when she and her sister Joyce Harrison, now of Springfield, would make paper dolls together.  

“I’ve been drawing since I was a little girl,” Miller said. “My sister and I whenever the Sears catalog came out, we got the old catalog. And, we would go to the baby section and we would find a picture of a baby and cut it out.”

Miller added they would then go to the women’s section of the catalog and cut out clothing and tailor it to fit the paper doll baby.

“I think I was about 8 and my sister was about 6,” she said. “We would spend hours doing that. When we got a little older, I think I was 10 and she was 8, we started drawing comic book characters and we would make clothes for them.”

The sisters also began to dabble in clay.

“We would go to the bookcase and we would pull out books and make little rooms,” she said.

The girls would make furniture and small dolls from clay and entertain themselves.

After graduating from Cabool High School, Miller said her ambition was to become a commercial artist. She worked briefly as a drafting trainee for McDonald Douglass in St. Louis before eventually beginning a career with Pittsburgh Corning in Sedalia.

It was after her retirement as a program analyst nine years ago that she began to take art classes at State Fair Community College. She and her husband, Joe Miller, also began traveling by motorcycle and taking photos of interesting places. Those photos would soon become works of art.

“I see something I like and I want to paint it or draw it,” Miller said. “That’s the way I’ve always been. I don’t know how else to explain it, it’s just something you want to do.”

Since getting back into art, Miller has explored photography, painting, ceramics, textiles and stained glass. Flowers remain her favorite subject. She’s had work accepted into the Missouri State Fair Top 50 Exhibition and has been the artist-in-residence at the fair.

Miller will exhibit her artwork with other SVAA artists in the Christmas in October show Oct. 18-19 at the Hayden Liberty Center Association for the Arts. She will also have two quilts in the International Quilt Festival Houston show in November in Houston, Texas.

For more information, email Miller at

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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