September 03, 2020
For Persis Clayton Weirs, becoming a wildlife artist seemed only natural. Born on an island off the Maine coast, she enjoyed summers on the island and spent winters along the Maine coast where wildlife flourished.
Persis had no formal training in art, but rather she developed her skills through close observation of the animals and wildlife around her home. She began drawing as a child, concentrating mainly on horses and expanding to include the wide variety of animals such as dogs, cats, raccoons, birds, fox and many others. “Drawing and painting them was unavoidable,” she said. Her father also taught his children how to identify and appreciate the characteristics and beauty of the animals and their surrounding habitat.
She began painting horses seriously at age 23 and was soon commissioned to paint portraits of champion show horses and race horses. She continued to do other animal portraits for the next 12 years. In addition, she illustrated two books on Paso Fino horses.
By the early 1980’s, Persis began to turn her attention to wildlife art and found a very receptive audience for her work. She exhibited in numerous art shows and galleries throughout the country, including the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s “Birds in Art” Exhibition in Wausau, Wisconsin, and an international tour to Beijing, China. Persis joined Wild Wings in 1985 and was exclusively represented by the company since that that time. She earned numerous accolades over the years. In 1992, she claimed her first duck stamp by winning the Maine duck stamp competition.
Persis passed away on May 21, 2016. She lived her life passionately as demonstrated by an unwavering love of her family, dedication to her many animals, and her ongoing enthusiasm for painting. She was a great sports fan, especially her beloved New England Patriots. Persis was living in Maine on the Penobscot Bay where wildlife thrives in abundance. She enjoyed hiking through the woods or walking along the shoreline in search of ideas for her paintings. As an artist, she hoped “to share through my work, my respect for wildlife and my sense of responsibility for the quality of the environment. If my paintings can pass on to others just a fraction of the pleasure and fascination I find in nature, then I have succeeded.”