HomeMedford News'Natural beauty' all around us

‘Natural beauty’ all around us

Perkins Center displays work of landscape artist Jim Militello

Special to The Sun
Landscape painter Jim Militello’s “Pine Barrens Lake” on acrylic. The artist’s work is inspired by his love of spending time in natural spaces.

Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown is showcasing Medford resident Jim Militello’s work through Friday, April 26, with the exhibit, “Following Trails: The Heritage of Landscape Painters,” a look at the beauty visible in the state.

“We all talk about getting to the Grand Canyon and going to see the Rocky Mountains, but how much time have we ever spent walking through the Pine Barrens on a quiet afternoon and hearing the birds …?” Militello asked. “My hope is that people will come away with the same love and awe of our own environment and realize that sometimes you don’t have to get on a plane and travel to all these postcard places to see a lot of natural beauty.

- Advertisement -

“It’s right here.”

Militello paints landscapes and nature, and he credits the many teachers and artists from whom he’s learned by attending workshops, reading or watching their videos online. His work is inspired, Militello says on his website, by a love (need) to spend time in natural places: forests, lakes, mountains, bays or beaches. For him, the time spent hiking, camping or painting is therapeutic, but also brings him joy.

Art is something that Militello has always had an interest in and something he found his way back to over time.

“I think it almost forces you to develop your own voice or your own style,” he remarked of being a self-taught artist. “I don’t think you could be a landscape painter and not think about or be fascinated by the work of Monet or Van Gogh … But I find the biggest challenge of being an artist is, you almost become so enamored or obsessed with those images that you just find yourself trying to recreate them and be them.

“I think being self-taught, it gives you the ability to figure out a lot of different things on your own,” Militello added. “I think you develop your own mediums, your own voice, your own process.”

Militello paints en plein air (French for “in the open air”), which also means painting on site in real time. Some of his work is created in his home studio during the evening, when being outdoors isn’t possible. On his website, Militello notes that while there are many challenges to outdoor painting, there are also rewards, and that there is life in the work that just can’t be matched when working from a two-dimensional photo reference.

“Certainly, finding interesting perspectives and compositions is key,” Militello explained. “My work is representational; I try to evoke the feeling I get from walking in the woods on a hot summer day or that winter morning when the sun breaks through the snow and it’s that amazing myriad of colors and ice and snow in the trees …

“It’s much more of trying to evoke a feeling of a place than it is trying to be photo realistic.”

Militello is excited to see a few of his pieces in one place at one time.

“It’s almost a different viewing of it for me,” he said of the Perkins Center exhibit. “I have some at home in this room, some at home in that room … Having the opportunity to see them all, there’s no real way I ever get to view them quite that way, except when I do one of these events.

“And it’s something I’ve spent a lot of years on.”

For more information on Militello’s exhibit, visit www.perkinsarts.org. To view a gallery of his work, visit www.jimtheartist.art or his Instagram page.


Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issue