I was recently asked by Renée Phillips, Director of the Manhattan Arts International, and the Curator of her successful The Healing Power of ART Exhibition, to be a Guest Judge and to provide a special award from the artists who were juried into this art exhibition.
I chose J. Michael Williams' landscape photography as my special award-winning artist due to his nuanced view of landscapes, the outdoors and nature.
His landscape photography provides an intimate voyeuristic vision of nature, rather than a large-scale panorama which is more common in today’s landscapes.
A floating leaf, a moss-covered rock, and a gentle waterfall evoke a closeness to nature and an appreciation for God’s creations. The foreground of his images and their separate details are key to the overall frame that he invites the viewer to inspect.
Though J. Michael Williams’s artworks appear to be simple everyday landscapes, they hold subtle details which delight the eye of the observer.
Below are his artist statement and 5 of his images of his beautiful landscape and nature photography.
Michael Williams’s Statement:
Michael Williams’s is a nature and landscape photographer living in Central New Jersey. Mike started doing photography in his early teens.
Using his grandfather's enlarger, trays, and safelight, he set up a darkroom and learned to do his own B&W developing. In high school, he photographed events for the school newspaper and discovered a love for photographing landscapes and architecture on a trip to Italy. Over the years since that time, Mike has continued to develop his skills as a photographer.
He is retired from a career in pharmaceutical research and able to devote more time to his photography. Mike now does exclusively digital photography and primarily makes landscape and nature images.
He works to give the viewer the sense that they are standing before the scene as he saw it. Mike’s images are recognized for their serene peaceful nature and have been selected for the healing art programs of several New Jersey hospitals and clinics.
His work has also appeared in juried exhibitions and New Jersey galleries including the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council Gallery in Newton, the Marie L. Matthews Gallery in Princeton, the 70 South and the Atrium Galleries in Morristown.
Michael Williams states this about his journey as a landscape photographer, “The challenge for a photographer is to breathe life into a two-dimensional image – to make it appear to the viewer that the original scene is before them. It is through the skillful use of light, contrast, color, and composition that an image takes on depth and dimension allowing the viewer to experience the emotion that compelled the photographer to make the image. I strive to create images that allow me to revisit places I found moving or peaceful, mysterious or enchanting. I want to feel that I could reach into the image and touch the leaves or feel the water rushing by. I am glad to be able to share these experiences through my photography.”
His website can be found here: www.jmwilliamsphotography.com
Also, please look and explore Renée’s wonderful The Healing Power of ART Exhibition.
Manhattan Arts International has been presenting “The Healing Power of ART” exhibitions for more than 17 years. “We believe that art has the power to heal, inspire, provoke, challenge and offer hope. It holds the power to ignite the flame in our hearts and transform our minds.”
This year’s theme is “Inspiring The Positive”: Art that serves as a catalyst for healing and raises awareness for positive change.