My friend Jim Milkowski loves nature and creates beautiful pieces of artwork with various types of wood that he finds in the wild. How exciting! Where I merely copy what I see with paint, he creates art with actual nature itself!
Here is how Jim describes his art:
"My work begins with an unfinished wood picture frame. By using natural twigs, Mother Nature provides an unlimited palette of color and texture to apply to the frame. The amber hues of weeping willow, the ivory-speckled deep-brown of birch, the olives of common willow, the brilliant magenta of dogwood, and the grays and browns of basswood are what first catch our eye. In most cases though, the original color is not retained. After a 3 month drying period, the twigs usually take on subtler, more subdued hues. Other times, the color change is striking. This can be either exciting or frustrating when the colors I sought to capture have changed.
Though tedious and time consuming, peeling the bark from the twigs is well worth the effort. It opens a whole new avenue of color and texture. It affords me the option of applying stain for color and leaving the inherent character of the wood unchanged."
I love how he tells which colors come from which type of wood. Just fascinating!
I met Jim at the Little Red Schoolhouse Art Show, where we were both participants. I really respect and admire his work and dedication to nature. Jim has shown his work throughout Illinois (including the Morton Arboretum), Wisconsin and Michigan. In May, he will receive this year's schedule, to which I will keep everyone posted. If you're a local, I hope that you can visit Jim and view for yourself such wonderful pieces of art!
I try to make it a point to encourage and promote any artist dedicated to nature and our Creator.
Thank you Jim for allowing me to use your photos and share your talent!