Tang Women from the Musee Guimet in Paris

www.kimminichiello.comHere is another sketch from the Musee Guimet in Paris.  I love using charcoal pencils for these sketches.  It’s so responsive to the paper that I can barely put any pressure on them and get some really interesting sketch marks.  I have been planning on doing a painting of these girls, but I’m not quite sure want I want to do yet.  Still percolating in my brain.

Kyoto Sonae-Mono (Offering)


Kyoto Sonae-Mono, Watercolor on Paper, 5″ x 7″

Kyoto, Japan is one of my favorite places on earth. It is a place I long to go to again and again. This painting Kyoto Sonae-mono is from an offering I saw at one of the many temples in this lovely city. Sonae-mono means offering.

This painting was painted using only 3 primary colors, French Ultramarine Blue, Aureolin Yellow and Permanent Rose, plus an American Journey color called Mint Julep which is semi opaque.  This was a great exercise in mixing  all the color I needed from the basics!

Click here if you would like to purchase this painting: http://www.kimminichiello.com/Kyoto_Sonae-Mono.html


Musee Guimet Sketch



Here is another quick sketch from the Musee Guimet in Paris.  When I lived in Paris, I became a member so that I could go any time to do quick sketches of all the wonderful Asian artifacts there to keep up my drawing practice.  If you are in Paris, I would recommend a visit.  It’s a beautiful museum in the 16th, never really super crowded like the popular museums. There is a nice cafe on the lower level for lunch and an annex to to the museum down the street which houses more artifacts and a Japanese Tea Garden where sometimes they do Tea Ceremony.  This was a real respite for me when I needed a peaceful moment to escape the hustle and bustle.  If you live in Paris, I would highly recommend seeing some of the music and dance performances from Asian cultures from all over the world in their wonderful theatre space!


Balinese Lotus

www.kimminichiello.comBalinese Lotus, 14″ x 14″, watercolor on paper

One of my favorite projects I worked on at Walt Disney Imagineering was Disney’s  Animal Kingdom, especially since it involved travel!  I was part of the design team for the Asian area and Discovery Island, formally known as Safari Village.  The design team would go on research trips to Asia, to immerse ourselves in the culture, and photo document countries we visited to help us to re- create similar environments in the park.  We would also seek out and work with local artisans and craftsmen to create elements that would eventually be part of the overall design.  On one of these trips we went to Bali, one of the most peaceful and magical places I have ever been.  This painting is called Balinese Lotus, after the lotus pond at Cafe Lotus which overlooks Pura Saraswati.  This is a small study for a larger piece I’m working on.  In the next post, I will post a few progress photos of this piece.



Banana and Peanut Seller



Banana and Peanut Seller, oil on panel, 12″ x 9″

Keeping with the banana theme, this time an oil.  This sweet older lady and her daughter sold only bananas and peanuts in the shell at a corner stall in the Soho area of Hong Kong.  She weighed your bananas on an old fashioned counter weight scale. One of my favorite past times while living in Hong Kong was wondering the many outdoor markets. The colors and all the fantastic asian fruits and vegetables were such an inspiration.  However, the seafood and meat sections were not for the squeamish!

Bananas on Japanese Box

www.kimminichiello.comBananas on Japanese Box, 12″ x 10″, Watercolor

I have always been fascinated with boxes and containers of the Asian variety.  I have a collection of japanese wooden boxes, bento boxes, rice bowls, wedding baskets, etc…  Living and traveling in Asia was like being a kid in a candy store!  Back home in Florida, I have a small grove of banana plants in my backyard, I picked a bunch and set up this still life on one of my Japanese boxes.



Declared Value for Shipping: What does this mean and what do I need to know?

I wanted to continue from yesterday’s post and share what I learned  talking with the UPS representative about declared value.  This information is from UPS.  FedEx policies may be different.

First “declared value” means the maximum liability for UPS if your package is lost or damaged.  Generally, I think most artists think this is insurance.  It is not, UPS doesn’t use that terminology and I think there are slight difference between insurance and declared value.  When I asked the UPS rep. if this is also insurance she said it is not.  (I have yet to discover the exact differences.)

If you do not declare a value on your shipping label the UPS default value is $100.  Also depending on how you create your label you can only claim certain maximum values. (Please see my post on Shipping Artwork on 4/30/13.)   If your shipment is lost or damaged, UPS is liable for the amount you declared.

Now for the news none of us would want to hear, our painting was damaged getting to the show or gallery or was damaged getting back to you.  The next step would be to file a claim with UPS.  UPS would then send one of their agents to inspect the box and contents.  As the shipper you must provide an original invoice or in writing proof of the replacement cost of the painting or the actual value.   This is where things get a little gray.  I talked to two different UPS representatives about this “proof of value” in writing and got two slightly different answers.  One person told me this letter had to be from an appraiser.  I explained it would be ludicrous for me to hire an appraiser to value my own artwork every time I needed to ship a painting to a show or gallery!  That wasn’t going to happen.  Therefore, I suggested, if I’m sending a painting to a show or gallery and that work is for sale could the society or gallery also in writing state that my work was in their show  and that during that time it was valued for sale for whatever my declared value was.  This could supplement my letter to establish proof of value.  She seemed to think that would be OK.  The second representative didn’t mention the letter had to be from an appraiser and said a letter directly from me as the artist would suffice.

As I mentioned, I did not speak with FedEx about damage in shipping,  but I have heard that they have in the past denied claims if the box doesn’t show any damage but the contents do.

Is it worth getting a separate insurance policy?  Most artists you talk to say no it isn’t. It is rare that your painting would be lost or damaged, that’s not to say it can’t happen.  What is more common is that your frame is damaged but your artwork isn’t.  Protect the corners of your frame!  This is where the most damage can happen.  Also avoid shipping watercolor with glass.  Most societies require all paintings be framed with plexiglass.

The moral of the story is, declared value can be a gray area between you the artist and the shipping company.  However, always put the value of the work including the frame on your shipping label.  Otherwise, UPS will only be liable for $100.  If you have to file a claim, hopefully your letter will be enough to show the proof of the value of the painting.  If you sold  a piece and are sending it to a customer, you would also have an invoice stating what you sold the painting for.  If your letter isn’t enough, then you can approach the gallery or society whose show your painting was in to help you out and  provide written documentation what your piece was selling for while it was exhibited.  If your painting is not for sale (NFS) in the show then this may not work.

Keep in mind these two articles are for domestic shipping only.  With international shipping, that’s a whole other can of worms!