Artist of the Month - December 2018
Written By Diane Rhodes
Arts Council Menifee
Margaret “Mickie” Warner was born and raised in Wynona, Illinois. The family suffered a tragedy when Margaret was only three years old; her parents and brother were killed in an accident at a railroad crossing, which resulted in Margaret coming to be under the care of an aunt. It was while living with her aunt as a young child that Margaret first got introduced to the world of art. Her aunt loved to draw and Margaret still remembers watching her with fascination as a young child. Margaret would also draw when they were together, she had an old chalk board that she would constantly doodle on and her favorite thing to draw was Mickey Mouse. It was from this childhood love of drawing Mickey that she came upon the nickname of Mickie, which she still goes by to this day.
Mickie’s professional career was unique to say the least, her first real job was as a Morse code operator for Union Pacific Railroad. It wasn’t long until Mickie found herself transitioning into the aircraft industry where she worked for several years, mostly with the Northrop corporation. While in the industry she found herself doing everything from data processing to riveting gun mounts for the P-61 Black Widow. She eventually left the aviation industry to be a stay at home mom to her 2 daughters. Her husband remained in the industry and worked for Northrup for 38 years. The job was very demanding and sometimes required him to be away from home in excess of 16 hours per day. It was during this time that he suggested that Mickie take up a hobby.
“It was sometime in the seventies and we went to a Standard Brands in Gardena and got a starter set for oil painting,” Mickie recalls, “I guess I got right into it, because I started painting when my husband went to work and was still in front of the canvas when he got home nearly 16 hours later!”
It wasn’t long before Mickie found herself becoming more active in the local artistic community. She joined the Gardena Valley Art Association and began taking workshops from well-known artists in the community like Michael Brennan, Linda Lee, and Violet Parkhurst. She eventually began doing her own oil painting workshops and also taught oil painting from her home studio.
“I was pretty successful in Gardena too,” Mickie remembers, “between the years of 1970 and 1985 I sold about 500 paintings. Not for a ton of money, mind you, but I did pretty well and the people were always happy because I made my work affordable.”
Mickie moved to Menifee in 1985 and immediately started to become involved in the artistic community. She joined the Sun City Art Guild and has been a long-time member of the Menifee Player’s Club, which has performed numerous plays over the past couple of decades. Her work has also been showcased in local galleries, she had long running displays in both the Sun City Court Center and the local branch of Providence Bank. She continues to work in oil paints, but has also expressed interest in broadening her artistic horizons by taking up water color painting.
Mickie has made an incredible impact on the Menifee’s artistic community over the past 33 years and has always drawn people in with her magnetic personality. Arts Council Menifee Trustee, Kathy Pickett had the following to say about the artist:
“Mickie is the friendliest person I know and I don’t think that she has ever met a stranger! She is a very talented artist that succeeds in enjoying life to the fullest.”
In her spare time Mickie enjoys doing yoga and has been teaching classes for over 20 years in the Sun City Court Center. She currently teaches classes twice a week (Mondays and Fridays from 9am to 10 am) that are free for residents 55 years and older that reside in the Sun City Court community. Mickie has two daughters, four grandchildren, and five great grandchildren, most of whom still reside in Southern California.
In recognition of her artistic achievements and in celebration of her community involvement, Arts Council Menifee is proud to name Mickie Warner as December’s Artist of the Month.