By Johanna M. Blume, curator of Western art, history and culture
Denis Milhomme (American, born 1954)
Sierra Splendor, 2010, oil on board
Collection of Eiteljorg Museum, Gift of Steve and Jane Marmon
This September, in conjunction with the 17th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, the Eiteljorg Museum will present a special exhibition of works by longtime Quest artist Denis Milhomme, winner of the 2021 Quest Artist of Distinction award. The exhibit of Milhomme’s work opens in the Paul Gallery on Sept. 9 and Eiteljorg visitors can see it through Oct. 16.
Milhomme has painted a variety of subjects over the course of his career and started out painting fantasy subjects, but he found his true calling in landscape painting. He is best known for depictions of the desert Southwest and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, where he and his wife, Lorene, make their home. He is known for the realism and incredible detail of his paintings, each of which is a labor of love. Milhomme spends significant time in the landscapes he paints, hiking and enjoying the environment. He also paints plein air in order to capture the light, color and sense of a place in the moment. Back in the studio, he works from reference photography as well.
Born in 1954 in Lowell, Massachusetts, Denis Milhomme grew up loving both the outdoors and art. He spent much of his childhood exploring his surroundings and playing in nature. At the same time he was pursuing his love of the natural world, he also had several early opportunities to take art classes, which helped to sustain his love of art throughout his youth. He moved to California after high school, where he met Lorene. She has been an important source of encouragement and support throughout Milhomme’s career and was the one who inspired him to take the leap into pursuing a career as an artist. Milhomme studied art at the Ultimate Yellowstone Art Symposium, the Scottsdale Artists’ School, and Santa Ana College in Orange, California.
A lifelong learner, Milhomme continues to hone his craft by attending workshops and drawing inspiration from the world around him. Having won numerous awards, he has been the subject of articles in major publications including Art of the West, Southwest Art, and Wildlife Art. At the 2021 Quest for the West®, Milhomme was honored as the Artist of Distinction by the museum’s Western Art Society, which led to this year’s exhibit.
Natural Wonders: The Art of Denis Milhomme will feature approximately 20 paintings borrowed from the artist’s loyal collectors. His love of nature will be on full display in the wide range of paintings. Both exhibit and artist will be celebrated the evening of Friday Sept. 9, as part of Quest for the West® opening weekend festivities.
NATURAL WONDERS: THE ART OF DENIS MILHOMME
SEP 9-OCT 16
Gerald and Dorit Paul Gallery
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the June 2022 issue of Storyteller magazine.