Original Artwork: Paintings and Works on Paper

The paintings of Joan Milsom are beautiful reminder of why art exists in the first place, that is, to enrich our lives by creating innovative visual experiences for us.† This is what Paul Cťzanne preached and what artists through time have attempted to achieve.† It was Cťzanne who reminded us that nature is the greatest of teachers.† One need only to examine Joan Milsomís work to understand that she has heeded Cťzanneís words.† As a student of nature, her work reveals a wonderful understanding of the relationships which exist within the visual universe.† One need only to examine her use of line to appreciate that she is an artist who knows how line can either define or amplify a shape or exist on its own as a beautiful mark.


Joan Milsomís work clearly salutes the Abstract Expressionist giants Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell, but it does so on her very own terms.† The spontaneous process is clearly drawn from them, but the final result is arrived at through methods that are totally hers.† Her life experiences, what she has seen and what has attracted her, are found throughout the work.† A good example of this are those paintings completed near the ocean which are a unique departure from those accomplished in her Pittsburgh studio.† In these works, line is illuminated and form is subtly stated.† The Pittsburgh works are more about the interplay of color and form, whereas the ocean works seem touched by the narrative of the land and sea.† One is reminded that so many artists from Turner to Munch to Matisse, were touched by the power of the ocean and the shore.† This series of works by Joan Milsom reveal an artist who will never be satisfied with the statue quo.† Her work continues to grow and her search for the perfect combination of visual elements will never cease.


So many artists today can learn a great deal from Joan Milsom.† While she searches for the aesthetic ideal, far to many artists are satisfied with the concept at the expense of the aesthetics.† Joan Milsom continues that quest for the purely beautiful, and so very often she returns victorious.

Louis A. Zona

Director and Chief Curator, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngtown, OH

Comments on Breaking Free, art exhibition in 2008

One of the great benefits of seeing an art exhibition is that for a limited amount of time, the viewer is able to see the world through the eyes of an artist.† Great sweeping vistas of color, fascinating shapes, interesting textures, elusive forms, dramatic contrasts, riveting patterns, and provocative landscapes - this is the world that Joan Milsom sees and portrays.† Her well-trained eye sees a compelling beauty in the visual world around her, and she uses her formable talents as a classically trained painter to create innovative abstract paintings with a high degree of finish.† Their polished look reflects her mastery of the elements and principles of design, and the dexterity with which she arranges her compositions.† Displaying her agile versatility, she employs a variety of mediums to depict and reveal her subjects.† She moves effortlessly from the realistic to the abstract, revealing a deep comfort level with the alphabet of visual expression.† The result is an eclectic, mesmerizing series of paintings to inspire and excite the viewer.


A true Abstract Expressionist, Joan Milsom is very definitely an ďaction painterĒ who feels the naturalistic representation of objects or forms is less important than her feelings about them or the aesthetic experience she receives from the act of painting itself.† The fresh, spontaneous quality that all her paintings possess lends an impressive richness and variety to her body of work and reflects her independent, restless nature.† Her paintings possess a universal appeal, and whether they are realistic or abstract, they all attain a compelling beauty of visual expression.


Utilizing all the elements of her highly refined and very personal style, she paints with an explosive energy, using pure, vibrant color and a wide range of tone and textures.† With a flare for the dramatic, she applies the paint gesturally and channels her emotions into a rich color pallet for a powerful visual impact.† The paintings in this exhibition are a testament to the great range and depth of Joanís artistic vision, her great talent and technical skills that she has mastered over her long and award-winning career.

Janet M. Bucciarelli

Former Museum Coordinator and Exhibition Curator, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Ligonier Valley, PA

Comments on Breaking Free, art exhibition in 2008

Comments about J.C. Milsomís work

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