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Artist paints with passion for nature

The wispy snowflakes, the snow-blanched landscapes, the quaint cottages and the pine-draped mountains in Mim Meakin’s watercolors prove her mastery over her medium.

Meakin, 73, has been a life-long painter, using art as a refuge from reality, she said. Her one-story house in Grass Valley is packed with her work, ranging from a life-size portrait of her father standing in his garden in Mississippi to dainty winter landscapes in Nevada County.

“Painting is my passion in life,” Meakin said. “It cheers me up.



“When I paint, I can be by myself and not think about the outside world, connect with my painting and forget all my troubles. I think most artists feel that way,” she said.

Thirty-seven watercolors by Meakin are on display at the Nevada City Winery throughout this month. The paintings are mostly of flowers and seashells, Meakin said.




Over the years, Meakin has had more than 61 solo exhibitions in California, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, she added.

Meakin finds much inspiration in western Nevada County.

“How can you not be inspired living here?” Meakin said. “I’ve painted the Yuba River, mountains, snow scenes, flowers, the Bridgeport bridge and the Buttermilk Trail.”

Meakin is a prolific artist who can work for as long as eight hours a day, she said.

A new studio stands in her backyard, though Meakin confessed she’s accustomed to painting in her house.

“When I first began (drawing), I used charcoal,” Meakin said. “I’ve used almost all the main mediums.

“I started studying watercolors in the Bay Area in 1964 and it became my passion. I gave up all the other mediums and concentrated on watercolors.”

Today, Meakin offers watercolor workshops a few times a year to adults at Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, Meakin said. And on every first Saturday from May through October, she teaches art to children for free at the Grower’s Market at the fairgrounds, she added.

Meakin was born in Mississippi and spent nearly 37 years of her life in various southern states. She studied art at the Memphis Academy of Arts in Memphis, Tenn., and at the Columbus School of Fine Arts in Columbus, Ga., she said.

Her 41-year-old son lives in Magalia, Calif., and her 44-year-old daughter lives in Grass Valley, she said.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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