Kentucky Tourism

Miller, Dan L. — The Backroad Artist

Munfordville, KY


paintings on feathers

Originally from an Amish community in Northeastern Ohio, Dan L. Miller moved to Kentucky with his family in 1992 to find more affordable land and live with the Amish community of Hart County, Kentucky.  He and his wife and seven children live a rural lifestyle raising chickens, cows, and most of their own food.


Dan says that he has been drawing with a pencil since he was a child. He began experimenting in paint at age 16 and has painted on almost every surface imaginable from barn tin to saws to slate. In 1999 a friend showed Dan a small black painted feather and he decided feathers might be a good surface for his paintings.


Using the tail feathers of wild turkeys that he gets from local hunters, Dan prepares the feathers by spraying both sides with a thick coating of clear acrylic. This coating helps to keep his paint from bleeding and seals in any hidden insects. He then uses acrylic paint to depict a wide variety of outdoor scenes, animals, birds and portraits. Working from drawings or photos, Dan enjoys creating art on this unusual recycled material.


Works by Dan L. Miller can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea , Berea, KY.