Marianne Millar is an acrylic painter from Southern California. She dedicates herself to conveying a great deal of the depth of human feeling possessed by the Native American people, the elegance and beauty of Native American decorative arts, and the spiritual aspects of Native American culture. Marianne paints realistic works of the people, their clothing and artifacts, costumes -sometimes with a rug hanging behind them, using its geometric pattern as part of the overall design of her paintings. Marianne’s connection with her subject matter is in her blood; her great-grandmother on her mother's side of the family was half-Indian who married a French fur trapper. However, Marianne doesn't place much emphasis on such a link. She feels like Native American heritage is part of their American culture. It's part of all of them as Americans. Instead, Marianne credits the formative influence upon her own love of the subject to her father's passion for Native American life and art.
When Marianne was growing up in the 1970s and '80s, her father was a collector of pottery, weavings, baskets, and he brought the family along on frequent trips to reservations in Montana, New Mexico and Arizona. She was also influenced by Marion Millar, her paternal grandmother who consistently did arts and crafts projects with her and her two older brothers. At first, Marianne did not take her talents seriously, that she didn't even consider art as a career, and when she entered the University of California at Davis, she enrolled for a course in International Relationships. However, she signed up for a painting class as an elective. When she walked into the art building and smelled the oil paint, she felt that she was at home, and that’s how her artistic journey began.