About Kim Minichiello

My love of travel and living in Paris, France and Hong Kong, China have truly been and influence on my work. Painting in watercolor and oils, I draw inspiration from the amazing cultures and people I have had the pleasure of experiencing and living among.

Happy New Year and a New Painting

www.kimminichiello.com“Parisian Peacock,” Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 22″ x 29″

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and hope it will be filled with peace, joy, prosperity and good health!  I’m an organizer and a planner so I do set goals each year,  I need to be a bit better about referring back to them occasionally, but I also don’t beat myself up about not achieving some of them!  Last year my goals were to improve as an artists by going to a Life Drawing session once a week and doing more plein air sketching and painting from life, which I did throughout the entire year.  I will have to say, it has made a big improvement, in my drawing and observation skills, and I feel my studio work is all the better for it!  I also was determined to read more, not just on a device or computer but actual books, I built that into my daily routine reading with a cup of tea every morning before I get on with the day.  These are things I will definitely carry into this year because they have become  habits in my life that I thoroughly enjoy!

I also have a goal  every year to paint more and try a new challenges within my painting practice, maybe try new subject matters, or try different materials and techniques.  So to start off the year, I’m doing Leslie Saeta’s 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge this month.  My goal by doing the challenge is to create some smaller pieces I would like to exhibit for a show I’m doing in February, (more on that in a future post,) as well as finish a larger work.  I know going into it based on my painting style, I won’t be able to paint 30 paintings by January 31!  But I will paint as much as I can!  A few other goals are to teach more workshops and create some videos this year, to share studio tips, works in progress and whatever else might be interesting.

The first painting I’m sharing  is my newest larger work, “Parisian Peacock.”  This painting is inspired by a museum visit when I lived in Paris.  This beautiful gate is featured in the Museé des Arts Décoratifs near the Louvre.  I’ve been wanting to add this one to my gate series for a while!  I combined my love of art nouveau, art deco and the Japonisme movement in Paris, when the French loved all things Japanese in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as a backdrop to the gate.  I was also thinking about artist Jesse Arms Botke while I was painting this.  A California Impressionist and early California Art Club member, known for her decorative paintings often featuring birds and the use of gold leaf.  There is an incredible mural done by her that was salvaged from The Oaks Hotel,  and is now featured in the Irvine Museum in Irvine CA.

So here’s to a great 2016, Happy New Year and Happy Painting! I would love to hear what some of your goals are for the year.  Feel free to share by making a comment on this post.

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

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5th Annual Women Painters of The Southeast Exhibition


Odd Man Out, Watercolor, 40″ x 20.5″

I’m so happy to be accepted for the 4th year in a row!  Women Painters of The Southeast, WPSE,  is a juried organization of women artists living in the Southeast United States who paint  representational work in a variety of media. I will have two paintings in the show next year.  The show will be at The Art Depot in Abingdon, Virginia, April 9-30, 2016.  Fellow WAM, Women Artists Mentors, member Maria Bennett Hock also has work in the show.  Save the date if you live in the Southwestern part of Virginia.  We might see there!


Splash of Red, Watercolor Mounted on Cradled Board and Sealed, 12″ x 12″ x 2″

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


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WAM, Women Artists Mentors on AHA, Artists Helping Artists Radio Show

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 12.43.31 PMAlmost a year ago I had the great opportunity to be a part of something, that I had no idea would have such an impact on my life.  I feel some serendipitous energies were working behind the scenes to make it all happen, because it was just meant to be!

I became friends with artist Carrie Waller on line a couple of years ago.  I love her work and followed her blog where she had posted about a situation entering a show and not getting in because the juror or selection committee had rejected her painting.  They thought she had infringed on the Ball trademark in one of her Ball jar paintings. Based on my experience with these issues in art licensing, I wrote to her and told her that wasn’t the case at all and after a bit of correspondence, she asked if I would write a couple of articles on her blog about trademarks and copyrights. That led to me doing one of her Friday Features and an awesome on line friendship.

Carrie has been a guest host on the wonderful Blog Talk Radio Show and Podcast, Artists Helping Artists, hosted by Leslie Saeta.  In May of 2013 Leslie did a show on starting an artists mentoring group. She suggested that through collaboration and friendships with other artists, we could help support and advise each other on advancing our art careers.   It really struck a chord with a lot of listeners who started pursuing forming groups to support each other.    One of those Artists, Debra Kierce, who heard that show reached out to others to join a group. Helen also contacted Carrie to do the same and Carrie reached out to Maria because of their military connection.  They hosted an art show of military spouses work together, and then Carrie reached out to me.  That is how WAM, Women Artists Mentors was born.  Our current members are:

Helen K. Beacham, watercolor artist of Charleston, South Carolina

Maria Bennett Hock, oil portrait & figurative artist of Cary, North Carolina

Debra Keirce, oil and acrylic painter of Ashburn, Virginia

Kim Minichiello, watercolor and oil painter of Windermere, FL

Carrie Waller, watercolor artist of Tokyo, Japan

27768_1932912mMe Working on My Current Painting at the Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando, Florida, in Conjunction with the Mary Whyte Exhibition, “A Portrait of Us”

Through a somewhat serendipitous journey we came together and although we weren’t all the original members, I’m the newbie of the group, we have gelled into the membership we are now.  We all bring different things to the table with our varied backgrounds and experiences.  We all live in different parts of the world which hasn’t stopped us from meeting once a month through Google Hang Outs.  We have set goals and guidelines on how our group will work and we are all equals, no one person holds a leadership position.  We agree on a topic to discuss  and get together once a month on a video chat, to talk to and support each other. Ironically Debra and I have a connection in that we both have lived and worked in Indianapolis at a pharmaceutical company, she as a Chemical Engineer, and me as a Corporate Space Planner. It would have been crazier if we had been there at the same time, but we just missed each other!


Debra Kierce’s Painting “Rollover Beethoven” SOLD at the Randy Higbee “Six Inch Squared Show, which Carrie, Maria and I are also in.

Some of the things we have discussed are future WAM goals retreats and workshops, pursuing group shows in gallery and museum venues, what is and isn’t working for us on social media marketing, and anything one of our current members might need help with at the time.

The extra bonus of it all is, we have all developed such a close bond and amazing friendship that I know will last a lifetime.  I’m honored to be a part of this group and cherish all these ladies and am so happy they are part of my life! Today we had the amazing opportunity to talk about our group on the Artists Helping Artists Radio show, hosted by Leslie Saeta.  Here is the link to the show, “How to Be Part of a Successful Artists Mentoring Group.” Like Debra mentioned in the show it gives us goosebumps to think that we may be helping other artists to create something like we have.  For us it has been somewhat of an extension of the AHA show but on a deeper personal level since we see and talk to each other in cyberspace all the time.


Helen K. Beacham Teaching Students in Venice, Italy

As we mentioned in the show we are beyond excited to finally all meet at the same place and in person in Venice, Italy this spring!  Helen will be teaching a workshop there as she has been doing for years, and we are piggybacking on at the end to stay in the apartment that she rents.

This is a priceless journey we are all on together!  I cherish the friendship and support from these artists and know that I can seek guidance from them at any time!

27768_1932911mMaria Bennett Hock Painting at the National Gallery as Part of Their Copyist Program

Please Visit and “Like” our Facebook page at Facebook.com/WAMArtists to follow our adventures. Debra will be hosting some amazing workshops with well known artists at her home studio you kind find more information about that here.  She also did a blog post about our WAM group. Maria has been painting at the National Gallery as part of their copyist program, as well as working on a series of military inspired figurative and portrait pieces.  She also graciously will do for free a portrait of a fallen loved one in the line of duty for their families.  You can contact her here.  Helen is an amazing teacher and watercolor artists and conducts workshops to European locations every year.  She also just finished a series of very large, for watercolor, commissions for a couple in her area of Charleston, South Carolina. You can find out more about Helen and her workshops here. Carrie, has had some amazing success recently with her acceptance into the Shenzhen Small Works Exchange with the National Watercolor Society. She currently has a painting at that show in China, and recently received an Honorable Mention Award in the Southwest Art Magazine, Artistic Excellence Competition. You can find out more about Carrie here.


Carries Painting, “Out to Sea,” in the Small Works Exchange Show with the National Watercolor Society in Shenzhen China.

We are all personally on all the social media sites, just give us a search and like or follow us!  A few of us have blogs, you can check those out too via our web sites. You can also leave a message on our WAM Facebook page if you have any questions about forming your own artist mentor group beyond what we discussed in the AHA show. If you are thinking about it we highly encourage you to just do it!  You will have the opportunity to make friends for life and go on wonderful journeys together!

And last but not least, thank you to Leslie Saeta for giving us the opportunity to share about our WAM group on the Artists Helping Artist Show, we hope we have inspired you to form your own group as she has inspired us to create ours!

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

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Jewels In the Forest

www.kimminichiello.comJewels In the Forest, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 6″ x 6,” 15 cm x 15 cm

I know I’m on kind of a mushroom kick, here is the latest painted the same size as the others in the series.  After working on larger paintings it’s gratifying to do these small ones!   The process is a lot quicker to a finished painting. However,  I try to keep reminding myself of the joy in the process and not to get so hung up on the results!  Speaking of joy, whatever brings you joy this holiday season, I hope you are taking the time to savor and be present in those moments.  Time is passing too quickly!

4493-5321-1028201511-waiting_to_be_foundOn a side note, another mushroom painting “Waiting to be Found will be in the Randy Higbee 6 Inch Squared Show, which opens this weekend at his gallery in Costa Mesa, California.  If you are in the area it’s a fantastic show with works of all media. Click on the Randy Higbee link for the address.  You can preview and purchase the paintings at Daily Brush Works.

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

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Into the Woods

Into the Woods cprt

Into the Woods, Watercolor, 6 x 6 on Twinrocker Handmade Paper

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The past few weeks I’ve working on a couple more small 6 x 6 paintings to add to my mushroom series. I first got the idea to do this series because I love mushrooms, (not the hallucinogenic kind.)  What’s so funny as a kid I used to detest them, except for the morels we used to hunt for in the spring. It’s funny how your tastes change. I’m fascinated with how they grow, I think they are beautiful to study and look at, and some varieties taste absolutely amazing!  I’m known to pull off the side of the road to snap pictures!  I only wish that I, like all the pharmacists in France, knew which are edible and which are poisonous.  It’s a requirement there that they all know this!

I have a dear friend who is from France and she loves mushrooms as much as I do.  I’m attaching a picture of a mother load of porcini’s she found once.  She also happens to be a great photographer and she has provided me with some of the photo reference for this series.  “Into the Woods” is based on one of her photos, she took in British Columbia.

DSCF4599My Friend’s Porcini Stash!

I’m using for this series one of my favorite papers to paint on, Twinrocker.  I love the granulation I get with certain pigments and how they settle into this paper.  They have different surfaces and this happens to be the cold press finish.  When I want a lot of texture, I use the rough paper.

#mushrooms #watercolor #Twinrocker #watercolorpaper #BritishColumbia, #porcini, #morels

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Watercolor Sketching Workshop in Winter Garden Florida


The Old Water Tower, in Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook

The more I teach the more I realize I love to teach!  We had a glorious weekend with the arrival of some cooler weather, which only lasted the weekend by the way, it’s hot again!  I can’t remember since moving to Florida seventeen years ago it ever being this hot this late in November!  I digress…. I had three lovely ladies join me for a weekend of sketching and they were great!  Sketching in the morning and afternoon is tiring and they were real troopers and really enjoyed it.


Sketching the Red Caboose and Train Station

I’m hearing from students in all of my workshops that I cover many topics that most instructors  don’t discuss and they are so happy to discover and learn about!  There were quite a few light bulb moments in this workshop, which I was thrilled about!  I love that I can help others move forward with their painting/sketching practice and that I’m providing them with many take aways.


The Crooked Can Brewery, in Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook

In this watercolor sketching workshop since we were sketching in Downtown Historic Winter Garden and focusing mostly on architecture, I covered  different perspective views, horizon lines, vanishing points, one and two point perspective and proportions.  Proportions are key, it took me a while when I first started sketching to figure out how to measure and make sure what I wanted to sketch fit on the page!  How many of you have started sketching something only to run out of room on your paper?

An added bonus for me is that while I’m explaining all of this to others I can’t help but grow and improve myself!

#watercolorsketching #workshop #historicwintergarden #florida #stillmanandbirn #crookedcanbrewery #wintergardenartassociation

Kim MinichielloLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.



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I’m in the Artist’s Space in the Orlando Arts Magazine


Orlando Arts FeatureThe November/December Issue of Orlando Arts Magazine

In September I got an email out the blue from Jessica Chapman the Managing Editor at Orlando Arts Magazine, asking if I would be interested in being featured in their “Artist’s Space” section of the magazine!  My answer was an outstanding YES!  Jessica and Phelan Ebenhack a freelance photographer that works throughout the city and beyond, wanted to come to my studio, shoot me in my environment and interview me.  The kicker was they needed to do it fast.  Let’s just say I’m not the greatest at keeping my studio neat and tidy.  It is a studio after all!  This forced me to do a much-needed organizing session.  It was a blast to do and it was wonderful to get to know and chat with Phelan and Jessica.  I’m so happy with how the article turned out and even more thrilled that I’m in the issue with Mary Whyte’s work on the cover! Just sayin’! Her work is in an exhibition at the Mennello Museum of American Art here in Orlando.  I posted about that a couple of weeks ago. It was great to work in a super tidy studio for a week, because that’s about how long it lasted.

You can click here to go to my web site to read the article.

#orlandoarts #orlando #marywhyte #mennellomuseum #unitedarts

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Japan Pagoda Plein Air


Japan Pagoda, Watercolor, 11″ x 15″, on Handmade Paper

The last few months I have been sticking to my every Friday morning plein air sketching and painting practice.  I just got back from today’s session, got a good start,  and this is the painting I did last Friday.  I say sketching and painting because I have this thing in my head that says if I’m working in my sketchbook it’s a sketch but if I’m working on paper it’s a painting.  Even though while I’m working on paper I try to psyche myself into thinking I’m only doing a sketch which makes me paint a bit looser and be less fussy. I’m also not using my easel lately and painting on a foam board or my sketchbook on my lap.   I’m still trying to balance the two concepts in my brain.  Crazy!

If you live in the central Florida area, I will be teaching a Watercolor Sketching in Plein Air Workshop in Winter Garden, Nov. 14 & 15.  For more information click here.

#watercolor #epcot #japanpavilion #pagoda

Kim MinichielloLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.


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Meeting Mary Whyte


Mary Whyte and Kim Minichiello

Mary Whyte’s exhibition “A Portrait of Us”  opened this past weekend at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida. I  was beyond excited to see her work in person, since I’m a big admirer and have read most of her books, (see book reviews here),  but then to meet her during a gallery talk on Saturday was an incredible opportunity!

Mary is the nicest and most beautiful person as her paintings are stunning.  She shared a bit about her background and how she came to paint the Gullah women  on John’s Island in South Carolina, as well as a brief story and sometimes a bit of technical insight on every painting in the exhibition.  In addition her husband  Smith Coleman, Smitty, was there to discuss how he complements her work with the frames he hand makes, and the process that goes into carving and finishing the frames to enhance the paintings even farther. All of Mary’s paintings were framed by frames made by Smitty.  The frames as well as the work were absolutely beautiful.


Mary Discussing the Model from the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus

Knowing the stories and the thought process that went into each work gave me an even bigger appreciation of what I was seeing. It was such a unique opportunity to experience the artists giving a narrative of every piece in the show!   I loved one thing Mary said when discussing her work and that was, “What do you want the piece to say, and then how can say more.”  Something to keep in the back of my head while composing and  painting my own work.


Mary talks about how she composed these two works and the stories behind them.

The show will be running from now until January 3, 2016.  I plan to go back again since I know I will have a different experience another time.  This show is not to be missed especially for artists who paint in watercolor!

#MaryWhyte #MennelloMuseumofAmericanArt #AProtraitofUs #Orlando #Florida #watercolor #watercolorexhibition #JohnsIsland #GullahWomen, #WorkingSouth #Down BohicketRoad #PaintingPortraits&FiguresinWatercolor

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A Loose Watercolor Sketch

Japan_Epcot coprt

Watercolor Sketch in Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook

This was my sketch from last week.  You never know when you work outside what you will encounter: can’t find shade where you want to sketch, bugs, crowds, people wanting to chit chat right when you have started to  lay a critical wash down, vehicles pulling up and blocking your view,  and landscaping maintenance, just to name a few.  The latter was what I encountered the day this sketch was done, hedge trimmers, cherry pickers beeping, pressure washing, etc.  You get the idea.  That’s why this one was quick and loose!  Share your stories in the comments of the craziest things you have run across while painting or sketching outside.


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