Besides collecting and providing hundreds of vintage or antique treasures for hundreds of happy clients these 30+ years...
"I take painting daily seriously. It becomes more and more a source of personal triumph and bliss as I venture out less."
While living out West I retired as an ICU RN at a young age to return to creative pursuits by starting my first gallery of fiber artwear and jewelry.
At 19 and on my own, a choice was made between my two great loves: the study of art and history or that of the natural sciences. The former would not have readily earned a self supporting living that the latter could.
Art had to wait.
Unfortunately there is not a list of BFAs and MFAs earned, nor a litany of master smiths under whom I have studied, as I am self taught by trial and more trial. Not by choice but by circumstances that have foisted a rather reclusive way of life upon me after closing my third and last store in 1999. Fortunately for me a love of art has been with me since childhood.
My creative interests have always been so numerous, pushing me to experiment and to see "what can I do by myself" resulting in a few decades of trials and errors to achieve the look that pleases me.
As my career and travels took me from South Central USA throughout various Western states, finally arriving here where I have resided with my New Englander husband for > 25 years, I sketched, photographed and noted what would become many future paintings.
Upon arrival in New England it was easy to see why so many painters have painted here for more than a century. Only one or two of those have managed the glorious, expansive Western vistas. Still, both backdrops are like beautiful fraternal twins providing so many artists so much inspiration!
My workaholic nature, running my last store store alone 60 - 70 hours a week, left no time for oil lessons. There were no art instructors giving oil lessons at 10 o'clock at night! The creative output occurs in a vacuum often with only the collecting patron providing the feedback.
This "art training" nor the circumstances that inhibit my outings can keep me from painting every day, as I study, although alone, by reading, sketching, practicing and painting again and again.
"My wish is that if the collector enjoys my works only half as much as as I enjoyed creating them, then I am indeed blessed."
STATEMENT: Current trends are of little interest to me preferring usually the quirky and odd look. That many, many patrons have shared my affection for my pieces is the ever coveted icing on the cake.
I have absolutely no desire to produce shiny, commercial jewelry store looking work, instead preferring to create naive looking yet more soundly sculptural pieces. My jewelry may appear naive yet be a well constructed heirloom.
By the same token, my metalwork jewelry is not named. For others it is so cute, but for me it would be the silliest thing that I could do!
You may not find me describing the meaning of my metal work, because that too could be tedious. Of course once the piece is acquired, when asked by the collector, what fun to share my possible inspirations and we can name the piece together.
Paintings: my wish is to provide archival painted work occasionally playing with some academic rules, except for the "fat over lean" rule which is sincerely observed. Much fun can be had with proportion and perspective. Experimentation with reversals by placing cool hues in the foreground and warm in the back along with less detailed foregrounds can be noted from time to time.
Although the painterly style has produced some of my past paintings, currently this method is less pursued as the dab, dab, dabbing of the canvas makes me feel a bit unsettled. Slapping a painting together in a couple of sessions is just not for me. The more languid stokes leaving those more "defined" edges, give me the sense of order that I consciously seek. After all I paint to please myself!
My paintings, were it not for the fact that they are portraits or more frequently of places that I have visited, would probably not be titled. Pieces that have been or may be entered in art show exhibits are titled to facilitate the jurying and program process. Currently there are over 100 oils that have never been made available for viewing.
The pieces may develop as a result of the journey that my passion, my heart and my hands take or just because that is what is.
Regarding my paintings: there may be hints, questions or hidden symbols. Thank you in advance for allowing me my musings...
PS: You will Not find me on any social sites. The only authorized sites are www.mimideeartwear.com; mimideeoriginals.com; Trocadero.com; modernsilver.com; chicagosilver.com, & readingart.org. That is it! Any other info found elsewhere is incorrect and unauthorized.
Perhaps because of my inner restless nature, I seek to paint placid, serene locales to find comfort.
JEWELRY: To create hand fabricated, one-of-a-kind, somewhat primitive looking, signed studio sterling or fine silver jewelry sculptures, sometimes using Mother Nature's own pearls and semi-precious gem stones, not as an afterthought but to add a splash of color to what one hopes to be known for, and that is the generous use of precious metal.
Most pieces be they pendants, bracelets, pins, rings, etc. are hand fabricated, in a private USA studio, from beginning to end from ONE piece of precious metal without cutting or soldering. Almost like making a sketch without lifting your pencil.
Also find signed 14K or 18K Gold, 99.9% fine silver, occassionally with high standard14K heavy clad goldfilled and even less frequently hand hammered copper, also at very fair competitive prices.
To create these pieces completely by hand , just as primitive jewelry was made centuries ago, without the use of modern tools. In fact, just like the Arts & Crafts period jewelry makers of 100 years ago disdained the use of modern tools, none are used here. Look for tiny tool marks capriciously left behind as a testament to the proud wearer and serious studio jewelry collector that one pair of hands, not machines, made this very special, collectible piece!
Search for this Maker's Mark: HANDMADE MIMI DEE
STERLING on the studio pieces, more recently
.999FS (purest silver) and the HANDCRAFTED
IN USA MIMI DEE STERLING tag on the other usually
handknotted jewelry, which is sure to make your pieces quite
collectible, as a book is in the plans of this artist's
CLOTHING: Now less frequently
and for established apparel clients only:
To create artful jackets that never go out of style, that
'forgive' the wearer when weight is gained, and that
are un-lined so that they may be worn 10 months a year.
To create them with natural fiber such as silk, linen,
cotton, tencel, etc., using designer fabrics, such as
Lauren, Ungaro, Buchman, Tracey, to name a few.
To create these wearable art pieces with pre-washed
designer fabric, that can be hand-laundered or
dry-cleaned. To create & embellish these happy pieces
using 100 year old buttons or to handpaint them using
...lastly, as each piece is made, to 'send'
good intentions to the collector:
Mimi, an American, signed
sterling silver studio metalwork jewelry
artist, art to wear apparel artist, and painter is
completely self-taught. A "Southcentraler",
she retired as an RN at a young age to pursue
her creative dreams. While living out West,
she (born, remains a girl) met & fell in love with her
"New Englander" husband (born, remains a boy).
They married here and still live in New
Miss Dee operated her third and final store/gallery/studio for several years until 1999. The philosophy always being to create one-of-a-kind, signed pieces and give the best, courteous customer service one can give. It was not uncommon to spend 3-4 hours with one client, seeing most on an appointment only basis to provide this "Southern Style" service complemented with snacks, beverages and fine chocolates.
A psychologist - customer use to come in to the store between patients for some "retail therapy". More recently, sadly, while viewing a December 2012 tragic event on TV, the superintendent of schools being interviewed is none other than a client who in 1996 visited, collected and commissioned work from the once open Mimi Dee Artwear studio store.
On one occasion, a suitcase was packed full of newly commissioned art to wear apparel for a busy Reading, MA physician, who was on her way to Logan airport (6AM) to show at a televised dog show. This physician had commissioned this multi faceted artist to create a large suitcase full of wearable art apparel. One plastic surgeon wears Ms. Dee's artful jackets to her busy office. Why not, aren't they as comfortable as lab coats, but far more stylish?
A couple of attorneys wear this
artist's signed jewelry to the office & court, although
the ornate clothing not to litigate in! A well
known Boston sports writer wears MIMI DEE
ORIGINAL fiber art apparel when she appears
on T V while covering the Boston Red Sox and New
England Patriots. One client who had been ill,
"threw" on her Mimi Dee hand-painted denim duster for
her Dr.'s visit only to be
told, 'you look fabulous!'...even "curb delivery
service" was provided for wheel
chair bound clients.
Alas... This brick & mortar business no longer exists, but signed pieces continue to be created for the many clients, who reside in three continents. The sounds of their happy shopping voices are sadly missed. Current and commissioned work is available to interested select galleries and for this internet business of www.mimideeartwear.com. Keeping in touch by 'real' mail with many established clients and art patron jewelry collectors who continue to support and collect this work is a continued practice.
Ms Dee still creates and finishes all the work alone in this USA studio (not open to the public) and has never out sourced.