Lee Mims

“For me, whether I’m painting in the studio or outside painting en plein air, it’s all about creating a mood or a feeling and stirring big thoughts. I work exclusively in oils supported by canvas or linen and prefer to paint large pieces which are simple in concept, but intricate in design. My work is a melding of wildlife and contemporary art. I like the juxtaposition of the tightly rendered figure immersed in a sea of color and shapes suggestive of something timeless and vast. Hopefully I can bring the viewer to contemplate the boundlessness of nature, the beauty of each and every creature no matter how great or small, and give them the hope that beyond us there are worlds and worlds too numerous to count with wonders impossible to imagine.” -Lee Mims

Read this artist's biography

Lee Mims was raised on a farm in Raleigh, North Carolina, and received her Masters Degree in Geology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Some might ask how she happened to become an artist after being trained as a scientist. She would attribute this phenomenon to her childhood. It was then, on a farm created that she developed a lifelong love of animals, the great outdoors and a desire to recreate the beauty she was constantly surrounded by.

Later, being a field geologist not only deepened her appreciation of the natural world but, by studying the elements, the chemistry involved in geology, she gained a deeper understanding of pigments and how to mix them. Lee would use these skills to achieve the effects she strives for today, an approximation of life.

Like many self-taught artists, Lee Mims started painting as a diversion from my career which changed after her children were born. Mims went from being a geologist to being a horse trainer. Soon requests from friends for portraits of their children, horses and various pets led her to start a small studio. That was twenty-five years and many portraits ago.

Around her twelfth year of painting primarily horses and portraits, she felt the need to expand her paintings to include other subjects. Lee started painting wildlife and landscapes. She studied for many years under the watchful eye of longtime Raleigh artist, illustrator and author of several art books, Bill Tilton. And, because all artists need to paint outdoors in the embrace of nature as much as possible, Lee Mims studied plein-air and studio painting with master artist, John Seerey-Lester of Osprey, Florida and plein-air with Heiner Hurtling of Milford, Michigan.

For many years Lee Mims took her art on the road and exhibited in wildlife and fine art shows across the country, some of which are listed below:

The East Carolina Wildlife Art Festival, NC
The Clearwater Fine Arts Festival, FL
The Federal Duck Stamp Contest, VA
Seaside Art Gallery International Miniature Art Show, NC
North Carolina Wildlife Art Show, NC
The Wetlands Institute Wings ‘N Water Fine Arts Festival, NJ
The National Aviary Wings & Wildlife Art Show, PA
North Carolina State Fair, NC
Florida Wildlife Exposition, FL
John A. Logan College Museum Wildlife & Nature Art Exhibit, IL
Arts for the Parks, Jackson Hole, WY
Indiana Wildlife & Fine Arts Exhibit, IN
The Bosque Conservatory Art Classic, TX

Lee Mims also exhibited work in solo exhibits in galleries as well as in the North Carolina Estuarium and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science.

Typically Mims paints exclusively in oil on canvas, linen or treated panels and uses only the finest quality oils with the highest amount of pigment available. This helps to create a work that she feels will endure for many generations to come.


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