The Georgia Watercolor Society National Exhibition and Iain Stewart’s Workshop

www.kimminichiello.comYours Truly with Honorable Mention Award for Mayan Gate, Watercolor

I thought I would to a post following up on my trip to Atlanta.  I was there the beginning of the month to attend the Georgia Watercolor Society’s National Juried Exhibition Reception and to take a workshop with the juror, Iain Stewart.  The week was absolutely fantastic in so many ways.  First, I want to thank the Georgia Watercolor Society and all the volunteers and Iian, the show was so beautiful and well-balanced with a range of subject matter.  I was honored to be included with such a talented  group of artists. GWS is a top-notch organization between the members, the  exhibition, the workshop and the folks at the Ogelthorpe Museum of Art, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.  The workshop was held where the show was so it was a treat to be surrounded by it and see all of the work the whole week!

The Ogelthorpe University Museum of Artwww.kimminichiello.comThe Gallery and Workshop Venue

One of the major high lights attending the shows is getting to meet the other artists.  The group I had the pleasure of being with all week during the workshop was so nice, gracious and a hoot!  We had a ball.  The other was receiving an Honorable Mention award!  To be singled out from a few hundred submissions to be in the show and then from around 90 works in the show from artists all over the United States, to receive an award was such an honor.  If you are interested in seeing the images from the show you can click here.  Another highlight was getting signature status with this great group, after having been in their national exhibition three times.

Iain Stewart with Demo Painting Done During the GWS Reception and Award Ceremony

Last but not least, was getting to spend 5 days painting with Iain Stewart.  I wanted to take a workshop with Iain because I felt he was somewhat if a kindred spirit by doing watercolor sketchbooks especially during travels.  I have been doing the same since 2005 and it is purely the reason I am now painting in watercolor.  I fell in love with the media doing sketches while traveling and living in Hong Kong and Paris.  The other reason I was excited to take the workshops is because I have recently been doing more plein air painting, as a seeing and drawing practice to improve my studio work,  and for my own enjoyment.  My husband also plein air paints and it is something we really enjoy doing together.  I was struggling with not simplifying what was in front of me enough and now with Iain’s help, I feel I have a much better handle on it.

Iian Demonstrating a Painting of Anstruther Scotland

I thought I would share a few of my observations from the workshop in case there are others who are interested in learning from Iain.  He also has a new series of DVD’s that were recently released, in case a workshop is to cost prohibitive.  However, I’m not sure Iain’s sense of humor will shine through on the DVD’s!  Yes, he is a hoot, and you will laugh and have a great time.  If you like taking workshops where the instructor is all business, doesn’t crack jokes and have fun, then this one may not be for you.

Whether you are, or are not a landscape painter you will learn.  If you are a landscape painter, after painting with Iian you will have many take-aways you can apply to your own work and style.  If you are not a landscape painter primarily, I feel the biggest takeaways will be to learn how to analyze your subject matter, edit and add to if needed to arrive at the best composition.  You will draw before you paint, using Iain’s photo reference as a guide.    If you are a watercolor artist  that only traces your images for your work and are lacking in drawing skills, you may feel a bit intimated.  On the other hand, more of a reason for you to take the workshop.  For a city scene, he does go over perspective.

My Painting of Vanasque, Provence, France Done During the Workshop

My Painting of Anstruther Scotland Done During the Workshop

Iain’s method is to finish a painting with 3-4 passes starting top to bottom with washes.  The first wash being the lightest, the following washes gradually getting darker in value, saving the lights from the first wash, and the last wash adds the darkest values and the details.  In my own plein air practice I’m eager to try this method and paint through my subject matter more, knowing the areas from the fist washes will get covered up with darker ones.  This will avoid painting “pieces”  and seeing the scene and painting it as a whole.

Iain’s a great guy and a very talented artist!  If he is coming to an area near you I would highly recommend taking his workshop!   You will have a great time and there are moments you just may laugh your **s off, but you will still learn a whole ***l of a lot!

#GeorgiaWatercolorSociety #IainStewart #IainStewartWorkshop #GWSNationalExhibition minichiello.comLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.


New Work…Waiting to Be Found

Waiting to Be Found, Watercolor Mounted on Board and Sealed, 6″ x 6,” 15.25 cm x 15.25 cm, $275 Framed in Gold Plein Air Frame

Click here to purchase.

In continuation of my mushroom series and in honor of morel mushroom season, at least in the midwest, I’m posting my latest painting, “Waiting to Be Found.”  Hunting (or in chef speak, foraging) for morels was a big part of my childhood.  As if it wasn’t fun enough to  traipse through the woods, looking for morels just added a whole other level of excitement.  With walking sticks in hand, we would clear the May apples with hopes to find these treasures hidden on the forest floor.  Of course, if I found one I would have to screech the announcement at the top of my lungs to my mom.  Until, I quickly learned, that if there were others out there looking you had just made the big proclamation as to where they could be found.  Patches where morels are hidden are a closely guarded secret in the mushroom hunting world!

Sometimes you would hit the mother lode because they often grow in clusters!  I quickly learned from my mom and grandfather the delicate art of pinching them at the base to pick them and not pulling them up from the roots.  The latter supposedly prevented them from growing again. But I never quite got that because I thought they were propagated by spores.  If any one knows the scoop on this please feel free to comment.

I remember my grandfather going to Michigan to hunt and coming back with his station wagon, packed to gills with styrofoam coolers full of them which he sold to the local market.  Today they retail for over $32.00 per pound!

My mom and dad own wooded property where my mom still goes out every May.  Shouting is aloud now since no one else is supposed to be in there because there are “No Trespassing” signs posted all over.  So if my mom sees the May apples trampled, you better watch out, she carries a big walking stick!

#morel #morelmushroom #mushroomforaging #mushroomhunting

www.kimminichiello.comLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.

Armin Hansen at the Pasadena Museum of California Art


photo credit PMCA

When I go to Los Angeles I always spend a bit of time in Pasadena, where I used to live while working for Walt Disney Imagineering.  A new addition to Pasadena since I lived there is the Pasadena Museum of California Art.  A couple of years ago  I saw an Edgar Payne show there which was jaw dropping and I’ll have to say the recent show there on Armin Hanson is just as amazing.

Armin Hansen (1886-1957) is an artists that was really never in my radar, but after seeing the show I want to delve into a study of his work more.  Born in San Francisco he studied with Carlos Grethe at the Stuttgart Royal Academy and also at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.  After studying in Germany he taught at University of California, Berkley and later moved to Monterey and was a founder of the Carmel Art Association.

photo credit Fine Art Connoisseur

He eventually became known for his marine scenes and became a deck hand on a number of commercial fishing vessels, portraying the fisherman’s life on land and at sea.  One can sense he earned the camaraderie and trust of the fisherman and there are a number of paintings that just wouldn’t be possible to pull off unless he was on the ships and part of the crew.

photo credit Fine Art Connoisseur

photo credit Fine Art Connoisseur

What I found most amazing was his draftsmanship, color sense and brushwork.  The show features a number of paintings he did of rodeo life, a  few still life paintings  that feature table settings after meals were consumed and one of his painting area in his studio.  The majority are marine scenes, sail boats, fishing boats, and fisherman at work.   There are oil paintings with rich color and juicy brush work. To me they resembled the color palettes from the works of German Expressionists, not surprising since he studied in Germany. There are marine scenes with a fantastic tonalist quality in hues of green and blue.   There are also a few watercolors and many prints and etchings.

I was so intrigued with this show and his work I visited the exhibition twice.  The second time really studying and savoring paintings I was drawn to.  I highly recommend this show if you live or are visiting southern California, but hurry the show ends May 31!

www.kimminichiello.comLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.




#arminhansen #PMCA #edgarpayne


California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition, Hurry Only 2 Days Left

www.kimminichiello.comI’m finally home after an extended trip to Los Angeles, Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia.  I have lots to blog about!  I thought I would mention a few exhibitions I attended and will talk about the ones that are closing first in case you live in the area and haven’t seen them yet, you should!

While in LA, my husband and I had the pleasure of seeing  the Annual Gold Medal Exhibition of the California Art Club at the Fishers Museum of Art on the USC campus.  The show closes on April 19 so only 2 more days left!   Founded in 1909 by some of the classic California painters such as William Wendt, Franz Bischoff, and Hanson Puthuff, the California Art Club is one of the oldest and most prestigious art societies in the United States.

The Gold Medal show is juried from its roster of “Artist Members,” who have been juried to reach that particular status within the organization.  Needles to say, the Gold Medal show is the piece de résistance show of the year.

IMG_5383-576x1024I felt every painting in the show deserved to be there.  Did I like every painting in the show?  Not, necessarily like anything I have my tastes and preferences, however from a quality and execution standpoint they are all good.

www.kimminichiello.comIf you enter shows, which I do, it is always a good idea to see these juried shows in person.  You just cant get the full effect of the work from a show catalogue or an image on the monitor.  If I had just looked at the catalogue there are a few pieces I may have just glanced at, but in person they were worth an extended look.

www.kimminichiello.comThe other takeaway  I gleaned form the show is framing is important!!! There were some killer high quality frames here that very effectively enhanced the paintings.  If you are ever juried into this show, do not skimp on your framing or your painting may reside on the lower end of the totem pole compared to the others.

If you miss the show this year, there is always next year, and in the following years if you are inclined to be a part of this great organization,  something to aspire to.

The show catalogue can be purchased from the California Art Club web site.

#californiaartclub #goldmedalexhibition

Limited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available

Greetings from Atlanta!

www.kimminichiello.comI got home from LA at the end of last week then packed the car over the weekend and headed to Atlanta!  I have been looking forward to this trip for quite some time!  I’m here to see the Georgia Watercolor Society’s Annual National Exhibition.  I’m honored to have been selected into the show by an artists whose work I have been a fan of for quite some time,  Iain Stewart.  Since he juried the show, he is also teaching a 5 day workshop which I am also taking.  Since I have been doing more plein air painting, I hope to gain a lot of takeaways that will improve that endeavor!

At the reception on Wednesday night I will be accepting signature status in the Georgia Watercolor Society since I have been juried in to this show three years in a row.  I’m so honored!  This has been an incredible painting journey for me and then to top it off, I found out Sunday night when I arrived Iain had given my painting in the show, Mayan Gate, an Honorable Mention Award!!! The week just can’t get any better!!! Well maybe it can, I get to paint with Iain again tomorrow!

Greetings From Los Angeles

www.kimminichiello.comThe Rose Garden on the University of Southern California Campus

If you subscribe to my monthly newsletter you man know  I was headed out to LA last week.  (If you  would like to, you can by clicking here.)   I used to live here when I worked for Walt Disney Imagineering in California  and moved to Florida about fifteen years ago.  Wow, has time flown!  It’s been great visiting places I used to go often and seeing old friends and meeting new friends, more on that in a future post!

Every trip I take, if I can help it, involves art!  I always check out what shows and exhibitions are at the museums in the area.  I am a museum junkie!  I also like to make time for sketching or painting.  This trip has been no exception.  I started off my week at the Gene Autry Museum or as it is referred to now as the Museum of the American West,  to see a current exhibition, Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork.  I am a descendent from the Miami Nation and was pleasantly surprised to see a vest by Katrina Mitten also from the Miami Nation.  The Miamis are not as well-known as other Native American Nations so it was nice to see them represented.

www.kimminichiello.coThe Museum of the American West at the Autry National Center

At the Pasadena Museum of California Art there is a wonderful exhibition on painter Armin Hansen.  I was not that familiar with his work prior to seeing the show and now I am big a fan! His color sense and brushwork are incredible.   More on this show in a future post.

www.kimminichiello.comThe Fisher Museum of Art on the USC Campus

As luck would have it the California Art Club Gold Medal Show opened last Sunday at the Fishers Museum of Art on the USC campus.  What an amazing show.  If you are in the area I would highly recommend seeing it.

www.kimminichiello.comPainting in Crystal Cove, Laguna, California

Last weekend my husband and I hit the road to Laguna and plein air painted in Crystal Cove and then visited the Red Fern and De Ru’s galleries that represent the classic and some contemporary California Plein Air Painters and Impressionists.

www.kimminichiello.comFrom the Hill Overlooking the Japanese Garden

Monday, I spent the afternoon plein air painting in the lovely Japanese Garden at the Huntington Gardens and Library.  I adore this place and used to go often when I lived here.

I’m winding up my trip and have a few more art happenings planned before I go home.  Stay tuned.  I will expand on a few things in more detailed posts in the next few weeks.