Born and raised in Roswell, New Mexico, Kim Douglas Wigginsâ talent was nurtured in his youth; his father, Walt Wiggins, was a noted photojournalist, author and art dealer. Before embarking on his artistic career, however, Wiggins served six years with the Army Corps of Engineers and went to college on the G.I. Bill, attending Eastern New Mexico University and the Independent Baptist College in Dallas, Texas.
Wiggins later sold fine art for his father while painting at night. He credits Henriette Wyeth, his teacher at the Fine Art Institute in Santa Fe, as being the influence that encouraged him to develop his unique style. Both Wyeth and her husband, Peter Hurd, took a personal interest in Wigginsâ work. In fact, before becoming his teacher, Wyeth once judged a state art show at which Wiggins took first place. She took the young man aside and gave him a critique, encouraging him to study and paint from life, to move out of the studio and into the ranchlands and other surroundings with his canvases, an exchange that completely changed his outlook on art.
In 1989, Wiggins deliberately leapt from an impressionistic style to the dynamic, dramatic expressionist style for which he is known today, populating his canvases with ribbons of color, bulbous clouds, anthropomorphic mountains, sinewy trees and distorted houses. Concerned foremost with composition, Wiggins carefully plans out the placement and elements to each painting, seeking to depict the spiritual essence of his subject.
Wiggins has exhibited in the Masters of the American West Show held at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, California, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, and the National Society of American Impressionists in St. Louis, Missouri. His art is housed in numerous collections, including the Anshutz Collection in Denver, Colorado, the Four Sixes Ranch, the Staples Arena in Los Angeles, California and the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe. In 2006, Wiggins is being honored with an exhibition at the Roswell Museum and Art Center in Roswell, New Mexico. He is among the youngest artists listed in Whoâs Who in American Art.
He has been featured in magazines such as Pasatiempo, Focus Santa Fe, Fine Art, Cowboys & Indians and Southwest Art. Wigginsâ work is also included in Art of the American West and Painters of the American West.