An Interview with Mimi Wiggin
Category : In Warner Arts - Joanna M
An Interview with Warner Artist, Mimi Wiggin.
I have loved Mimi’s work since my first glimpse of one of her chickadee paintings – so alive, in its feathery splendor with just a hint of whimsy. Mimi generously agreed to provide answers to my questions about her artistic journey.
When did you start painting, and when did you first consider yourself an Artist – or did they both occur at the same time?
I started painting totally for fun in 1993, mostly Primitive Folk Art . About ten years later I started painting birds in earnest and was accepted into my first gallery. Since then, I have been accepted into several galleries and do some outdoor art shows during the summer. My art has expanded into animals and wildlife as well as the birds.
How long have you lived in Warner (or has you Family history always been tied to Warner)?
My family’s ties to Warner started in the 1920’s. My grandparents purchased the old farm (where I now live) as a summer home. The original house burned down in the early 30’s and the current home was rebuilt on the old foundation.
Who are your artistic influences? Any particular painters or painting styles?
My artistic influences are varied. I love the murals and style of Rufus Porter (19th century itinerant muralist) as well as the impressionists and tonalists. I have taken some workshops with nationally known tonalist painter Dennis Sheehan as well as the late Diane Rath , who was a representational painter specializing in painting peonies.
How do you choose your subjects – what are you attracted to, and why?
My subjects are the birds and animals that evoke some kind of emotional response from me. Like a Rose-breasted grosbeak that appears each May, the turtles out warming themselves on a log, the fox kit sunning himself by the den or the bear sauntering across the yard after he has taken out the bird feeder. Also attracted to cast shadows and sunsets. The impact of the light, regardless of my subject, is very important.
Do have any humorous anecdotes about particular situations when painting?
I just remember the very first workshop I went to. The French Easel is the most common portable easel that some painters use when going to workshops. Mine was brand new and I had never set it up before. I just could not figure out how to set it up. Thanks goodness for the painter next to me who took time out from her painting experience to show me the how to set it up. If she hadn’t been there, I think I still would be trying to figure it out today.
Where can people see/purchase your work?
My art can be seen/purchased at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner or from me directly. The two other galleries I am in are much further away. I have prints and notecards at the Warner Pharmacy and prints at Sugar River Bank. I am at the Warner Farmer’s Market during July and August selling marble coasters/tiles imprinted with my work. I also set up at the Fall Foliage Festival and the Winter shopping Event in downtown Warner.
Any other interesting thoughts or perspectives you’d like to share?
My mission with my art is to encourage all of us to take note of the beauty that is in our backyards, neighborhoods and country and to learn to live in harmony with nature.
Mimi Wiggin will be having a one time show at the Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn Aug 20 to Oct 1 2016. To prepare for that she challenged herself to complete one painting a week for sixteen weeks and post on Facebook. This is a totally personal challenge for Mimi and she has completed it. This past week was week number thirteen. Mimi notes that the challenge has helped her focus on painting and not get distracted with other things.
To see more of Mimi’s work, visit her facebook page