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Those dog days of summer have arrived and while it is easy to get bogged down by that infamous southern heat and humidity this season full of fun and celebrations remains our favorite. So it seems only fitting that we keep the summer party going by introducing you to our newest Well + Wonder artist Millie Sims! This young artist, whose art and personality scream summer to us, is going places and we are so excited she is debuting her work at Well + Wonder. One of the best parts of this job is when our artists welcome us into their studios. Seeing the spaces where these talented women create, scheme, and work inspires us and reminds us why we do what we do. Millie's studio was no different. On the eve of her Well + Wonder launch, Millie invited us to her studio to poke around and answer a few questions from our rapid-fire Pardon Me interview. We never tire of learning more about our artists including their favorite hotels, predictions in color trends and advice on collecting art. It was such a blast! Thank you, Millie, for your lovely art and wise words. Welcome to the collective, Millie!

 

What is currently on your nightstand?

 To be perfectly honest, at the moment just the lamp. I’ve been traveling like crazy and am half living out of suitcases. My current books and go-to objects are more at home in my carry-on these days than my bedside. It’s a good-looking lamp though!

Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?

 My mom. She is an artist as well. She taught me the fundamentals of painting and has continued to teach me new skills on a regular basis, on and off the canvas. She has always encouraged me to explore my creativity and to experiment artistically. If I didn’t learn it from her directly, I learned it because of her. She opened me up to learning as much as I can, always, and I’m fortunate for that. She’s told me over and over again that you can never stop learning and improving, no matter how good you get. Of all the gifts my mother has bestowed on me, an open mind and innate curiosity have remained the most fruitful. I am always eager to learn, and I am so grateful that she’s instilled this unending educational quest in me. 

Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?

 The memories that stand out most in my childhood are of my siblings, although it’s difficult to pinpoint a moment. We are quite spaced out – my sister is 6 years older than me and my brother is 5 years younger. Nonetheless, we are all extremely close. I almost lived two separate childhoods, one as the younger sister to Elizabeth, and another as the big sister to Stephen. Those stretches of time were very different but equally important, valuable and cherished. I adore both of them.

If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?

 I couldn’t possibly break up the band. They’re so much better together! I can say that the stars of the show are tape, very good detailing brushes, and lots of acrylic paints. 

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.

 My living room. It’s very vintage and very art-centric. Lots of rattan, lots of brass, and the gallery wall is on constant rotation. I love being surrounded by art of all kinds, old and new, and circulating it through the space as new finds settle in. 

What is your biggest score online?

 My red Balenciaga bag from eBay fifteen years ago. I still have it and I still love it.

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?

 Searching for the right pieces of art can be overwhelming, and the research aspect of it is often downright daunting. There is a lot out there, and it’s difficult to determine what is trustworthy. A collective is essential in offering a curated variety with the assurance of authenticity. Finding an interesting and reliable source on your own is kind of like procuring a sack of diamonds from a landfill. And then what if you’re also hoping to find a ruby, emerald, and sapphire for the collection? Back to digging. Meanwhile, a collective has already dug out a selection of gems for your perusal, and will likely offer a thing or two you’ve never seen before.

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?

 Musée d’Orsay in Paris. I really love impressionism, and I really love the venue itself – an era train station on the Seine. For me, it’s a match made in heaven. Many people aren’t aware that the three main museums in Paris are architecturally aligned with the works they house: the Louvre for Classical art, Pompidou for modern, and d’Orsay for that romantic period in between. I am most drawn to the works inside of this lovely late-nineteenth-century train station.

What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?

Well, I always love to try new places, but I’m a fan of the décor and vibe at The Colony in Palm Beach. Plus, any place that will drive you to breakfast in a pink golf cart is all right by me!

If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?

 While I love both pink and red lips, I think that if I were a lipstick I would be clear. My objective is to reveal what is already there in a new way.

I can never get on a plane without….

 The New York Times crossword. Yep, I’m a big-time nerd.

How did you get into the world of art?

 I have dabbled in the arts throughout my life, but I fully submerged into this world when I lived in Manhattan, after a long hiatus from painting. During a particularly snowy winter, I felt terribly cooped up in my little SoHo apartment and decided that I needed a creative outlet. So I trudged through the snow to the art store, bought supplies, and started re-teaching myself to paint. It drew me in so much more than I expected, so from there, I began studying again. I continued to paint regularly for my own pleasure and was actually shocked to learn that people were interested in purchasing my creations. Once I’d bridged that gap, there was no turning back.

What do you do to relax?

Snuggle my puppy Otis and do the crossword.

When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?

 It seems like it’s any time I have administrative tasks to avoid.

Prediction for the Color of 2020?

 Maybe a dandelion yellow. I don’t really have any foundation for that other than the fact that I can’t recall a Color of the Year in that vein in recent history, and they always seem to have delightful titles that don’t sound anything like mustard or ochre.

What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?

 I love a date night in. It’s so much fun to cook dinner together with a good bottle of wine, some soul music, and great conversation.

Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.

 “Dancers at the Barre”, adapted from the iconic impressionist piece of the same name by Edgar Degas. Degas is one of my all-time favorite artists, and the way he captured form, specifically his study of ballerinas, has always moved me. Interpreting this beloved painting in my own style felt very special to me.

One piece of advice for buying original art?

 Go with your gut and select pieces that speak to you. You’re going to live with it, so you should love to look at it.