Mimi Proctor Games
people in my family painted. Dinner conversation at home was often
about art and, as a child, I posed regularly for my grandmother’s
painting classes. At the University of Richmond I studied all the
art history available, but studio art classes emphasized abstract
work, and that wasn’t how I wanted to paint, so I got a BA in
Philosophy. Later I earned a MSW at the University of South Carolina
and worked in the field of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment,
frequently using art as an aid in therapy sessions. Eventually I realized
I had to focus on painting.
in rural western Massachusetts, I enrolled in a foundation studio
program in Greenfield Massachusetts Community College where many of
the faculty were involved in the New York art scene. Frequent class
trips to NYC and Boston galleries enlarged my my understanding of
art. Local artists Barbara Johnson, Jamie Young and Sue Gordon Hillier
Travel impacted my art journey in many ways.
I travelled to painting workshops in New Mexico (John Encinias) and
Arizona (Kevin McPherson) and to see the original work of the early
During the nine
years my daughter lived in Florence, Italy, I visited her often while
she studied classical Italian art history. I attended a landscape
workshop with Maddine Insalaco in Tuscany and loved visiting the many
in Italian Byzantine art led me to discover that Byzantine art was
alive today in the form of Russian Orthodox iconography. I studied
with the late Ksenia Potrovski, a Russian chemist who discovered the
methods of the early iconographers. Marek Czarnecki, a gifted iconographer
who taught with Ksenia, allowed me to become his student. My husband
and I went to Russia with a group of international iconographers to
experience, first-hand, the technique and contemplative spirituality
of icons and see the original prototypes I had been studying.
We were fortunate
to live in Bermuda for three years when my husband was hired by a
Scottish company to establish an office in Bermuda. We travelled frequently
Scotland, Ireland, England, Belgium and France. While in Bermuda,
I taught watercolor classes, painted with international painters and
exhibited and sold art at The Bermuda National Gallery and The Bermuda
Arts Centre in Dockyards. The Anglican Church of Bermuda bought one
of my icons to give to the retiring Bishop of Bermuda.
We returned to the USA to live in Person County, North Carolina, to
a farm that had been owned by my family since 1776. I helped start
the Milton Studio Art Gallery, with potter Shirley Cadmus who continues
to operate it. I served on the Person County Arts Council, exhibited
and sold art in the area, taught watercolor, and took commissions
for icons. I was able to paint landscapes of the old farm buildings.
family losses and having to sell the farm, oil painting has resumed
its proper place in my life. I have benefitted from plein air workshops
with noted artists Kathie Odom, Chad Smith, Dawn Whitelaw, and Emily
Weinstein. Continuing study with PBS’s David Dunlop is amazing.
My watercolorist brother, Arnold Proctor, Jr. and I paint regularly
with the Virginia Plein Air Painters.