Wildlife and Portraiture – Costa Rica to Tampa, Florida

Five Years in Costa Rica

Nosara, Costa Rica, is where I began my journey as a professional artist and, after nearly five years of focusing on my art, I decided to take what I learned in the small beach town of Nosara, Costa Rica, to Tampa, Florida, in the United States. During the last couple years, even though I was living in Costa Rica, I noticed that more people from the United States were commissioning me to be a portrait painter for them. And so, it made sense to consider moving back to my birthplace to see where I could take my art. Now that I’m back, as a Tampa portrait painter I’m eager to learn more about the Tampa Bay art scene where I plan to continuously strive to take my work to the next level.

The Circle of Life

Before moving back to Tampa, I painted one last piece The Circle of Life, a large painting that featured eighteen animals that can be found throughout the forests and jungles of Costa Rica. Since I always loved animals and nature, it was a real treat for me to be so close to such a rich and beautiful biodiversity. My nearness to the wildlife in the region impressed upon me the urge to protect it, and, through my art, I hoped to, at least, inspire a greater appreciation for the other residents of our planet who don’t have the same rights that we do. Now that I’m back in Florida, I hope to join others in the fight to protect wildlife here as well.

Costa Rican Art by Nathan Miller

Figure Drawing and Painting

Other than wildlife paintings, I’ve always been fascinated by figures and portraiture. I attended the University of Florida where I majored in Graphic Design, but, I have to admit, I enjoyed my life drawing, sculpting and painting classes more than anything else. And, throughout my life, however much I was inspired by wildlife, I never stopped returning to figurative work. In fact, while living in Costa Rica, I even gave figure drawing classes and offered studio sessions for artists to draw from life under a beautiful pavilion in the jungle.

A Portrait of a Young Woman

Art by Tampa portrait painter - Nathan Miller

After returning to the U.S., it was easy to find inspiration for my first piece. I decided to do a portrait of someone who is both stunning and close to my heart? I decided to do a large 30″x40″ portrait, slightly larger than life, and reminiscent of my earlier work that combined realism with patterns. After finishing this piece, I looked back at my earlier work, and, although similar in content, stylistically I noticed a clear evolution. And that’s how it should be. I never want my work to get stuck. I constantly want to improve and evolve.

Commissions and Original Paintings

Every time someone commissions me or purchases a painting I have already done, it gives me a chance to grow. Every single painting an artist does is a product of those who have supported his or her work from the beginning. I’m grateful to those who have encouraged and supported my work. Nosara, Costa Rica, will forever be the birthplace of my professional career. And now as I begin this new chapter in the United States, I can’t wait to see what happens next. Whether I become a Tampa portrait painter, Florida wildlife painter or something else entirely, I’m just glad to be painting.

If you are interested in a painting or have any questions regarding my work, you can reach me at [email protected] or 813-452-8963. You can also follow me on Facebook at Facebook.com/nathanmillerfineart.

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