Do You Do Voodoo

Do You Do Voodoo, Watercolor Mounted on Board, Sealed and Framed, 6″ x 6,” framed size 12″ x 12,” $200 framed

Last spring when I attended the reception for the 44th Annual International Louisiana Watercolor  Exhibition at the Garden District Gallery in New Orleans.  I spent the weekend doing a self guided tour of the city.  While wandering around the French Quarter I happened upon the tiny, quaint Voodoo Museum.  It was so much fun, such a learning experience and a stroke of good luck, avoiding a downpour!

Upon entering the museum I was greeted by the proprietor, Voodoo Priest,  with his baby pet boa constrictor around his neck leisurely petting it while checking guests in.  The museum is a small, few room space, with more of a home-made display vibe, but very interesting nonetheless.  I was enamored with all the accoutrement  used for altar displays, and the offerings of money, Mardi Gras beads and a plethora of objects!

I was also fascinated to learn that the voodoo doll was originally used by doctors as their record keeping device for their  patients.  They would mark the doll with pins to remember one’s ailments and record treatments that were given.  Not sure how it morphed into a curse device from there.

This paining, Do You Do Voodoo  was inspired by my visit there.  It will be available during the October Exhibition, “The Edge of Night,”  at the 127 SoBo Gallery in Winter Garden, Florida.

Contact me,,  if you are interested in purchasing.

The Florida Watercolor Society Convention & Myrna Wacknov Workshop

www.kimminichiello.comMyrna Wacknov showing us her work on Yupo.

It’s been a busy few weeks!  We moved our daughter back to college and the day after I drove to South Florida for the Florida Watercolor Society Convention.  This three day event is one of the highlights of my whole year.  If you would like to know more about the convention you can read last year’s post here.  Aside from the wonderful demo’s, done by some of the most talented artists working in watercolor today, and the Trade Show where great deals on supplies are always to be had, which can be a bit dangerous, the highlight is always seeing friends and meeting new ones!

This year I also took a workshop with one of the two instructors that are invited to do a four day workshop prior to the convention.  One of the instructors is the judge for the annual exhibition, this years judge was Frank Webb.  He is a Dolphin Fellow of AWS, American Watercolor Society, and turned 90 last week!  The other instructor was Myrna Wacknov.  I have followed Myrna’s blog for a number of years and admire and appreciate her style and techniques, many of which are considered “out of the box” for traditional watercolorists.  That is what I love about her work, I like the “there are no rules” in watercolor approach.

Notan selfie created on my iPad

We started the week by learning about some apps that can be used on the iPad to manipulate photos, to use for reference photos for our paintings.  The main one was Photoshop Touch, which is essentially a scaled down version of Photoshop you can use on a digital device.  I often use Photoshop on the computer to design and compose paintings, which I then paint  from on my iPad.  I like knowing now that I can do some things directly on the iPad.

We took selfies and the manipulated the photos in Photoshop Touch to create a Notan and some grey scale images which were used as the reference for the three paintings we did, focusing on shape, line, and value.

Collaging over painting done in life drawing session.  Sorry Stephanie!

Selfie over mid tone collage background.

The first painting was done by creating collage papers in a plethora of ways to use as a mid tone valued background for the selfie (self portrait) on top.  I could see where this collage paper making could become an addiction!  I don’t do much figurative work other than life drawing once a week.  So between that and all the other surfaces we created to paint on, I was way beyond my comfort level, but it was a blast!

Selfie on Yupo

The second painting was done on Yupo which is a synthetic paper.  I had never used this before and can take some getting used to.  I’m not a convert, but could see painting on this occasionally and experimenting with it a bit more.  I think artists that like hot press paper like this surface, the paint stays and sloshes around on the top and doesn’t really soak into the paper. I’m a cold press kinda gal.  A few artists that I feel are very successful with Yupo are Julie Ford Oliver, Helen Beacham, Taylor Ikin and Carol Ann Sherman.

Selfie done on textured gesso surface over ink drawing.

The third painting was done by creating a textured Gesso surface to paint on, and then using line by emphasizing the face with a line drawing with ink before painting.  It was funny with all the supplies I packed for this workshop, I felt I was bringing  most of my studio, I didn’t bring a quill pen or an oiler boiler (plastic bottle with a fine needle tip)  to draw with.  I improvised by using a black Prismacolor Pencil and dipped it into my ink bottle like a crow quill pen.  This  one ended up being a sort of stylized version of me.

The two paintings aside from the Yupo were done on older watercolors, sketches from life drawings or dogs from the drawer.  With these techniques you would never throw away old paintings or paper, but would recycle them into new work! One of the many, take aways I got from this workshop.  With the limited amount of time to do so many things, I don’t feel these are quite finished but are good starts that still need some tweaking.  This was my first attempt at doing self portraiture so overall I’m pretty pleased with the likeness!  If you ever have a chance to take a workshop with Myrna don’t miss it.  She is a wonderful, engaging teacher and you learn things that go beyond the ordinary in watercolor that may take your work to a new level.

Myrna’s demonstrations from the workshop

Watercolor Sketch Claude Monet’s Home in Giverny, France

Watercolor Sketch on Handmade Paper

I have had the wonderful opportunity to live in Paris on three separate occasions and have traveled there a number of times.  A great advantage to living there is to visit  my favorite museums on many occasions.  I loved running into  the Musée D’Orsay just to study and focus on one particular artist or area.  I could really savor the moments there and not feel rushed as if it may be my last visit ever or for a long time.

Another place I visited on multiple occasions is Claude Monet’s home in Giverny.  This place is so magical to me.  It constantly changes and  is never the same on each visit.  I have been there in every season, except winter, when it’s closed.  One fall day in October, it might as well have been winter, I froze my keister.  However even in the cold  with the garden declining it’s wonderful.

This sketch was done in the spring.  I took a dear artist friend visiting from Indiana there and we toured the gardens and sketched.  Every time I look at this sketch I think of her and the fond memories of her visit.  That’s what I love about sketching.  For me it captures way more of a feeling of the time and place then a photo ever could.


Disney/Ryman An Affair of the Art

Balinese Lotus, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 14″ x 14″ , 35.5 cm x 35.5 cm


I just shipped three paintings that will be part of “An Affair of the Art” Exhibition to benefit Ryman Arts on Saturday, September 20th.  I’m thrilled to be invited to be in the show again this year at the lovely home and garden in the Hollywood Hills,  of Marty Sklar  the retired head of Walt Disney Imagineering.  This years theme is “Under the Big Top,” and will feature a Patron Special Presentation of rare film footage of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, the years Herbert Ryman sketched and painted when they traveled to small towns through out the  United States.  Including the time when C.B. DeMille studied sites for the Academy Award Winning film, “The Greatest Show on Earth,”  which was filmed in Sarasota, Florida.

Bananas on Japanese Box, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 12″ x 10″, 30.5 cm x 25.5 cm


If you would like to learn more about this event and this wonderful cause you can click here to read my post from last year’s show, and here to visit the Ryman Arts web site and to purchase tickets.  Many Disney artists and artists from the Los Angeles are invited to exhibit in the show.   You can also preview the art in the show by clicking here.

Reward, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 6″ x 6″, 15 cm x 15 cm