Inspired by the city. Drawn to nature.
There is a good chance you’ll find Mimi Kvinge in the mountains. While this emerging artist’s hometown of Seattle is an important part of her identity, and she loves the culture, diversity, colors, and stimulus of the city, she finds solace in the mountains. “Being outside is where I feel most like myself,” she says, and this is evident in her art, which vividly captures the wonder of the natural world.
When you first meet Mimi, it is impossible to miss her paint-stained clothes, hands, and feet, which have become something of a signature look. Her love for her work is infectious as you get to know her, and the paint stains personify her grit and passion. “I kind of think of creativity as being almost the approach more than the product,” she says. She lives her life with this mentality, and her paintings become a stunning byproduct of this worldview.
Mimi attributes her deep appreciation for the outdoors to her upbringing. Her parents, both former ski bums, instilled in her a love for camping, skiing, and climbing. “My parents were nomads most of their lives,” she says. “That was just the culture of my family growing up. When we did stuff for fun it was always outside.” She also attributes her work ethic to her father, a commercial fishing captain, and she believes that this work ethic allowed her to be successful once she committed to making a full-time career as an artist.
Her art captures the beauty and magic of the natural world; it is vibrant, colorful, and full of life. “My art is very Pacific Northwest,” she says. “All the greens and blues that I use are because I live in a really green and blue place.” As a self-taught artist, she is continually developing her technique and style. She is eager to bring new ideas and concepts to life, constantly mining her creative depths. “To be creative takes a lot of bravery,” she says, “because sort of by definition you’re going about things in a unique way.”