Featured Artist Susan Miller-Havens

Artist Susan Miller-Havens presents a collection of paintings that capture human relationships with humor and insight. Find more of her work by visiting her website.


Painting of a Zoom meeting by Susan Miller-Havens

“Zoom Pages One to Two of Ten ” Zooming Out Series, oil/wax on board, custom silver metal frame, 28″ x 12″ x 2″


As I enter my eighth decade I am reflecting on where my thirty-year art career has been and where it is going now. I have always been fascinated by human nature. Most all of my paintings are about relationships. Some portray complex individuals whom I got to know.


portrait of Pedro J Martinez by Susan Miller-Havens

“El Orgullo y la Determinación“ (detail) Portrait of Pedro J Martinez, oil/wax on mahogany, custom indigo blue wood frame, Permanent Collection National Portrait Gallery Washington D.C., 21″ x 57″ x 3″


Some are strangers whom I did not get to know.


painting of two women speaking by artist Susan Miller-Havens

“We Are Not Privy #9” oil/wax on board, custom Dutch black frame, 18″ x 18″ x 1″


Some are people from my imagination.


Painting of a Zoom meeting by Susan Mller-Havens

“Rush Hour Morning Meeting ” Zooming Out Series, oil/wax on board, custom black frame, 25.5″ x 19.5″ x 2″


Four years ago, during the Pandemic shutdown, many of us began to conduct business and social life on Zoom.  What I noticed was, for those individuals who were isolated, there was a yearning for connection. Boxes on a computer were not the place to find comfort, but it was one avenue we had in order to be in the company of others.


painting of a Zoom meeting by Susan Miller-Havens

“Wanting To Meet That Woman In Orange ” Zooming Out Series, oil/wax on board unframed, 14″ x 11″ x 2″


The “Zooming Out Series“ comments on that longing for connection with a splash of the surreal. Many years ago, I became fascinated by Salvador Dali ‘s Surrealism. I am a fan of the first late night talk host, Ernie Kovacs, a great inventor of visual effects.

Hands reaching out, birds flying into picture plane, people losing their name labels, participants trying to leave through the back of the computer, are my salute to the surreal. Actually, wanting to leave, feeling unsafe or feeling that things are out of control has been a reality for many of us in these past four years.


painting of a Zoom meeting getting out of hand

“Comings & Goings On Your Laptop” Zooming Out Series,
oil/wax on board custom silver-grey wood frame,
15″ x 12″ x 2″


I use paint to speak about what I see and what moves me. I love the lushness of oil and wax. I am a colorist who enjoys defining space through color, rather than line. Here Matisse, Manet, Albers, and Diebenkorn are a few of my influences.


Zoom meeting painting by Susan Miller-Havens

“Working From Home The Best We Can” Zooming Out Series, oil/wax on board, custom black wood frame, 25.5″ x 19.5″ x 2″ Private Collection California


For instance, grey, depending on how cool or warm it is, changes the way we see the images in the painting.


Painting of a family Zoom meeting by Susan Miller-Havens

“Family Meeting Falling Apart” Zooming Out Series, oil/wax on board, custom silver wood frame, 15.5″ x 12″ x 2″


I came late to this second career, but am glad to have been able to use my understanding of human nature and love of art to convey some of the subtleties in life. Over the last three decades I have worked on different size images and series. I am humbled that some have found their way to museums and personal collections.

As I think about what is next, I am seeing that some of the harsh effects of the pandemic showed up in the tightness of my strokes in “Zooming Out.”


painting of a Zoom meeting by Susan Miller-Havens

“Time To Escape From Zoom!” Zooming Out Series, oil/wax on board, custom brushed metal frame, 18″ x 14″ x 1.5″


There was also another indication that I needed to stop. It is something that Jackson Pollack taught us when he went as far as he could in abstraction at the end of his white paintings: overworking the image. I saw this and the tightening up in this last painting. Time to stop this series.

Whatever I paint next will be a continuation of my goal to bring to the viewer some of the subtilties in human nature that I see.


Susan Miller-Havens invites you to follow on LinkedIn and Instagram.



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  1. What a terrific writer as well as a very interesting and original painter! Fascinating series with art expressing an important social commentary. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Claudia
      Thank you so much for writing .
      Your work is very rich.
      I’ve noticed that I ve not been able to get this series shown . Some people don’t get it without reading the statement
      Also figurative work is not not as popular as abstracts around here at least!
      Would u be ok with my adding your comment to my website acclaim section?

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