In painting and sculpting, Vel concentrates on the more emotional view of the West. Vel says, "The most rugged and strongest people I've known have also been the kindest and most loving. This is the feeling I try to portray. I want the person who views my work to see something they have experienced themselves, or to feel a mood that brings them happiness."
Vel attended the Art League of Los Angeles, studying under Hal Reed and Max Turner, and she later taught there. An important mentor, Joe DeYong, a protege of Charlie Russell, encouraged and inspired her with stories and love of the Old West. She taught six oil classes a week for almost ten years until the demand for her art became so great she stopped teaching to devote her time to her work.
Vel Miller's house/studio is a chest of treasures that sits atop one of those rolling Central California hills that meander down to the Pacific some 20 miles away. The house, like the artist, is filled with memories of the most important things in life . . . people. Mementos of family, friends and mentors who have enriched her life. Paintings cover the walls and sculptures sit atop antique tables draped with cowhide. Your eye can't travel an inch without encountering some richly patinaed artifact of the Old West . . . the things of which Vel's life is made!
Participating in numerous exhibitions, Vel has earned over 40 "firsts", "Best of Shows" and purchase awards. She has completed several corporate commissions and her work is displayed in museums and public and private collections internationally.
New Sculpture by Vel
OUR AMERICAN LEGACY is a bronze sculpture Vel was commissioned to do for a Paso Robles ranch family who were friends of Ronald Reagan. The sculpture was taken from a photo in 1965.
Reward For Valor
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Vel and her husband, Warren, own a ranch on the Central Coast where they raise Texas Longhorn cattle and American Quarter Horses. They are members of the TLBAA and the California Association of Texas Longhorn Breeders.