Art Helps Him Cope With Tough Times (VIDEO)

By Eric Olson

May 21, 2013 Updated May 21, 2013 at 10:44 AM EDT

OSSIAN, Indiana-Doug Miller’s life has sort of been on hold recently…

“I had a growth underneath my arm, it was malignant,” he says, “and here the cancer spread into my right lung.”

Doug’s been locked in a battle with cancer and the news hasn’t been good. But he’s been fighting back with some old friends, his paints and brushes…friends he put away many years ago.

“When I got ‘em out last July or August I had to start all over and learn. Of course like riding a bike it comes back to you pretty quick.”

It didn’t take long for Doug to find his artistic footing; he’d painted for years before putting the brushes away. Farm scenes are his favorite…he never lived on a farm but he says the work and the solitude of farm life always appealed to him. When he got tired of canvas he’d cover the kitchen walls with murals, and though he likes farm scenes he isn’t tied down to them…he paints muscle cars, does great action scenes…sublime floral arrangements….and he loves portraits…this is his wife and stepdaughter...this is his nephew.

“I did one of my mother and I did one of my father,” he says, “and I did one of my lawyer.”

Here’s Doug in his National Guard uniform, he did two tours in Iraq. Doug says painting helps keep him motivated, helps him focus on life as he deals with the greatest challenge in his life. In March the doctor said no more chemo or radiation, the cancer had spread too far. He’ll find out more in June, but until then he’ll paint farm fields and animals and family and all the other things he loves in life, working on a legacy he knows will outlive him.

“I’ve got some more I want to get done I enjoy portrait work….that’s why I give it to my family a lot of ‘em, because maybe they’ll remember Uncle Doug.”




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