Gulf Coast artist Milton Williams recently exhibited more than 40 of his impressionistic landscapes at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Library in October and November.
“Marshes to Island, an Adventure in Textures” includes several creations from his earlier series such as “Beneath Our Islands” to his most recent “Arcadia Bayou Scenes.” Paintings will show the various techniques he uses to get the texture effects that make his work unique.
Subject matter will include fish, crabs, nets, flowers, marshes and trees. Also on display will be several sculpture pedestals and low relief paintings.
According to Williams, “Texture is used in most of my paintings and can be very subtle to almost three dimensional,” said Williams. “I use a palette knife to apply paint and often add sand, marble dust or pumice to the fluid paints to re-create an impressionistic landscape.”
Williams notes that this texture helps enhance the viewing due to the light reflecting off the various angles of color and delicate surfaces. Experimenting in art mediums and techniques over the past 40 years and exploring ways to render the subject matter led to other series of paintings, “Roof Tops”, “Wood Grain Primitives” and “Flower Studies.”
In his “Beneath Our Islands” series, begun about 25 years ago, Williams points out that the visible part of the islands above the surface, with their indigenous flora, trees and man’s structures or boats, represent the traditional landscapes. The hidden part of Mississippi’s barrier islands, with the mix of sand, shells and buried wood, have multiply layers that anchor these islands in the coastal water ways. This part of the painting represents the imaginative abstract design. Thus the abstract and traditional are combined in one work of art.
Williams received a commercial art degree from Mississippi State University in 1975, practicing his vocation as a graphic artist at the Naval Construction Training Center for 22 years. Currently he is serving as an art specialist for the Armed Forces Retirement Home where he both teaches and studies art techniques with the veterans.
Williams is hopeful that his art works bring a moment of pleasant joy to the viewer and an awe of God’s creation. On the back of his works, one is likely to find these words: “To God Be the Glory.”