Maiko Misedashi

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Maiko Misedashi, Watercolor, 24″ x 24″

I have a deep affinity with Japanese culture which I really can’t explain.  I’ve had  a self imposed study for many  years on their food, customs, design, textile arts, horticulture, you name it.  So when I finally had a chance to visit Japan, especially Kyoto, the old capital, on two separate occasions, it was a dream come true.  I have had the idea for this painting floating in my head for a few years, and finally executed it.  On one trip to Japan during cherry blossom season, we came upon a number of  maiko, apprentice geiko, as geisha are known in Kyoto. The maiko in the painting was surrounded by lots of fanfare and was accompanied by her male dresser.  Maiko must by assisted by a person, usually male, to help them layer their formal dress of kimono and tie the heavy and cumbersome obi. The obi is tied differently for the Maiko, leaving a long tail of the two ends down the back.  For the geiko the obi is tucked in and doesn’t hang loose.    A Misedashi is a ceremony when a  girl who aspires to be a geiko becomes a maiko, an apprentice geiko.  It is the official beginning of her career.

I wanted to integrate in the design my love of the textiles of Japan and pay homage to the art of ukiyo-e or wood block prints whIch I also adore.  I used to  do textile work for years  and used some of those former techniques I used to do on fabrics in the background.  Ukiyo-e literally translates as “pictures of the floating world” which describes the lifestyle and culture in the Edo-period of Japan when the prints were produced by artists such as Hokusai. The fish, or Japanese carp, in the design makes reference to the “floating world” depicted in this ancient art form, which also inspired many of the impressionist artists, like Monet and Van Gogh in the late 19th century.  Monet collected ukiyo-e and Van Gogh was inspired by them as well and integrated elements from them in some of his work.

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Favorite Things Top Ten, Number 2: Twinrocker Paper

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Assisi Guardian, Watercolor, 24″ x 22,” on Twinrocker Paper, currently in the Kansas Watercolor Society’s National Exhibition at the Mark Arts Center in Wichita, Kansas, Juror, Dean Mitchell

I grew up in a small town in northern Indiana, called Logansport.   Unbeknownst to me not more than 30 miles away was a small factory making handmade papers for stationary and watercolor.  I drove by it many times on my way to Purdue University, where I went to college when I would drive home for a “home fix” and to have my mom make my favorite meals.  She is an excellent cook, and I’m proud to say I have inherited her skills!  

www.KimMinichiello.comWhen I started painting in watercolor I visited an Indiana artists at his home gallery and studio, Terry Armstrong.  He was showing me some of his latest work and I loved the paper he was working on.  It was Twinrocker.  Then he sat me straight up when he told me it’s made in Indiana, in Brookston!  Thirty two miles and thirty-eight minutes from where I grew up!  What are the chances of that? I always go and stock up on paper when I visit my mom. I blogged about one of my visits to Twinrocker, here

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You can order a sample pack to try it!

I love this paper for a variety of reasons.  It’s the only handmade made paper made entirely in the United States and I like supporting this business!  I love the weight of the paper, the texture, and the type and amount of sizing on it.  My preference is for the rough texture, but I have also used the cold press.  I can’t explain it but the paint flows differently on it than other papers I use.  It’s slightly more expensive but totally worth it for me! 

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Venice, a Recap

Kim Minichiello blog 1When things seem to fall into place so seamlessly, with no shenanigans so to speak, it was just meant to be.  That’s the way I feel about my recent trip to Italy with my WAM:Women Artists Mentors friends, Helen Beacham, Maria Bennett Hock, Debra Kierce and Carrie Waller.  Helen approached us last summer and said, “Why don’t I keep the apartment I’m renting an extra week after my students leave from my workshop and you all can join me in Venice!”  We couldn’t say yes fast enough.  Research was done and flights were booked.

Carrie traveled the furthest  from Tokyo, Debra and Maria were coming from Virginia and myself from Florida.  After we all booked our tickets, at the time we felt we would all get the best deal, we arrived in Venice within one hour of each other not really planning to, it just happened that way.   I was first and waited for Carrie, Maria and Debra. We took the Alilaguna, airport boat, and met Helen at the stop that was 5 minute walk from the apartment.

WAM Venice Group Shot for Publicity, more cropped FINALFrom left to right:  Carrie Waller, Helen Beacham, Maria Bennett Hock, me, and Debra Kierce

This was the first time everyone in the group was meeting in person!  Since we all meet on-line once a month it instantly felt like we had met before many times.  However, meeting on-line and traveling together are two different animals.  But since we all look out for each other supporting each other in our art careers and business, we did the same as traveling buddies.  Aside from  a couple of incidents with pigeon poop, on the same person, I’m not mentioning any names,  the trip was absolutely perfect.

Kim Minichiello Blog 4The thing that strikes me as being so wonderful about spending more than just a couple of days in Venice, is it’s so relaxing!  Granted it’s not a beach vacation, but the ambiance is so special with no cars, sirens, or motorbikes, only echoes of people bouncing off the buildings in the narrow alley ways, the occasional church bells, and the sounds of boats going about their way on the canals.  I think we may have been there before the tourist rush of summer, it didn’t feel too crowded. We had plenty of time to explore the 6 neighborhoods as well as Burano and Murano, as well as sketch, eat, (more than a few gelatos were consumed) and just spend quality time getting to know each other better.

We all took thousands of photos between the five of us and I can’t wait to see what we all are inspired by when we create some new work.

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My favorite Aperitivo, The Spritz

So Cin Cin to my fabulous five friends, here’s hoping we have many more adventures like this one!

On a side note, Debra put together a nice memento and some advise on starting your own mentoring group on Bored Panda, click here.

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

 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Meeting Mary Whyte

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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.

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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.

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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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From John Lasseter to Vivienne Westwood

www.kimminichiello.comThis past weekend was the graduation for SCAD seniors and grad students and they had the lucky fortune to have John Lasseter from the Walt Disney Company and Pixar giving the commencement address.  And, it  was my good fortune to attend!  He gave a very heart warming speech looking back on his career getting his degree at Cal Arts, working at Disney early on, only to be fired for not “fitting in” at the time.  Then  meeting Ed Catmull, founding Pixar and working with Steve Jobs.  John is adamant about animation being for everyone!  He shared a story of a well-worn Woody doll being sent to him from the folks at Walt Disney World after it had been turned in at guest relations because the boy who owned it was getting a new one to replace the old one and felt the “old” Woody should retire at Walt Disney World.  John was clearly emotional realizing that a character and wonderfully told story can touch peoples lives in more ways than one can imagine.  Just because the media happens to be animation or as some would call them cartoons, it can be ever so meaningful to so many! Especially to the boy who would watch cartoons everyday after school, realize he could create them for a living then become the chief creative officer at Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Toon Studios and the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering!

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Cirque du Soleil Performers and Confetti for the Grand Finale at the SCAD Graduation Ceremony

Then later in the afternoon I made a return visit to the SCAD Museum of Art to see the newly installed Vivienne Westwood exhibition, Dress Up Story-1990 Until Now  in conjunction with the annual SCAD Fashion Show 2015. The André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Westwood in recognition of her achievements and legacy in fashion.  Talley curated the exhibition.  Selections from SCAD Museum of Art’s  collection of British and American paintings hung salon-style creating a wonderful backdrop for  Westwood’s designs.

 

www.kimminichiello.comSince I am a knitter and also crochet I can appreciate the work that went into this!

www.kimminichiello.comThis one too!

www.kimminichiello.comAnd the socks to go with it!

www.kimminichiello.comwww.kimminichiello.comAll hand done!

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www.kimminichiello.comThank you Dame Vivienne for such beautiful and inspiring designs!

 

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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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

Birth of Impressionism and the Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris

www.kimminichiello.comImpression:Sunrise, Oil in Canvas, Claude Monet, 1872, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

Ahhhh April in Paris!  What a better month to hold an art exhibition. On this day exactly one hundred and forty years ago was an exhibition that changed the art world forever.

On April 15, 1874 a small group of artists put together a small independent art show to buck the establishment of academic painters and salons.  This exhibition led by artists Claude Monet featured other works by, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Berthe Morisot.  They called themselves the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptures, etc.

It wasn’t until  french art critique Louis Leroy entitled his nasty, scathing critique in a french newspaper, “Exhibition of Impressionists”  for which one particular painting by Claude Monet inspired this title, that the group would eventually be coined the “Impressionists.”   It was his, Impression: Sunrise.

When I lived in Paris I was so fortunate to see this painting many times as well as other works by Monet, Renoir and Morisot at the Musée Mormottan Monet, which is in the 16th arrondissement only a few blocks from where I lived.  Originally a hunting lodge on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, it is a gem of a museum.  It has been bequeathed with many beautiful works of art over the years, most notably in 1966, Michel Monet’s collection of works inherited from his father.

What I love about Monet’s  collection here is there are works that seem to be works in progress and those that were  done during his later years when he was afflicted with cataracts.  With these one can get a sense of his painting process. And the color palette from the cataract years is much warmer with golds and yellows,  not typically Monet but are gorgeous.

It wasn’t until the third exhibition by these plus other independent artists that they gave in and officially called them selves “Impressionists.”

Today on the birthday of this major art movement I wanted to pay homage to the “Artists Independent” who later became known as “Impressionists,”  the painting that coined the term, and the Museum where it currently residues!

A side note, Impression: Sunrise was stolen from the Musée Marmottan Monet in 1985, recovered in 1990 and has been back on display since 1991.

These are the artists that participated in the first Impressionist Exhibition:

• Zacharie Astruc

• Antoine-Ferdinand Attendu

• Édouard Béliard

• Eugène Boudin

• Félix Braquemond

• Édouard Brandon

• Pierre-Isidore Bureau

• Adolphe-Félix Cals

• Paul Cézanne

• Gustave Colin

• Louis Debras

• Edgar Degas

• Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin

• Louis LaTouche

• Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic

• Stanislas Lepine

• Jean-Baptiste-Léopold Levert

• Alfred Meyer

• Auguste De Molins

• Claude Monet

• Mademoiselle Berthe Morisot

• Mulot-Durivage

• Joseph DeNittis

• Auguste-Louis-Marie Ottin

• Léon-Auguste Ottin

• Camille Pissarro

• Pierre-Auguste Renoir

• Stanislas-Henri Rouart

• Léopold Robert

 

Art-O-Mat® in Savannah Georgia

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In a recent post on Dustin Yellin’s Triptych at the SCAD Museum of Art. I mentioned I was going to blog about another art installation I came across that weekend I was in Savannah.  I had read about these off and on over the years but had never come across one in person until the day I was in Sylvester & Co., at 205 W. Broughton St., Savannah, Georgia.    What on earth am I talking about?  Art-O-Mat® of course.  You might ask what in the h#*$% is an Art-O-Mat®?

Art-O-Mat® is one of the most brilliant ideas for re-purposing I have ever come across.  They are retired cigarette vending machines that have been converted to dispense art instead of cancer sticks cigarettes.  This concept was created by artist Clark Whittington who built the first Art-O-Mat® for a solo show in 1997.  It was installed with his work mounted on blocks the size of a pack of cigarettes and sold for $1.00 each.

When the show was over, instead of dismantling the machine a group of artists formed the AIC Artists in Cellophane group, which is the sponsoring organization for the Art-O-Mats® today.  There are over 100 active machines in various locations across the county.

There are over 400 contributing artists from 10 different countries that supply the art for the machines.  Artwork can be in all different mediums, from ceramics to photography, painting, drawing, jewelry, etc.  When you walk up to the machine you can kind of get an idea of what you might get by peeking through the front display glass.  But some pieces are in boxes, rather than mounted on blocks.  So you know the name of the artist, and the media, or sometimes the subject matter of the work but that’s it.  Therefore, it’s akin to the prize in the Cracker Jack Box!
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This is how it works, you buy a token magic coin for $5.00 at the establishment that has the Art-O-Mat® and you use the magic coin to get your art.  Put the coin in the machine, pull the handle and your masterpiece falls into the tray at the bottom.  It’s really fun when you do it with a group of people because you all have to see what everybody got.

I was very happy with mine.  I chose the work of ceramist Noelle Horsfield. It’s a cigarette box sized tile with a blue and brown glaze.  I can’t tell what the motif is but it reminds me of Japanese ceramics.  My daughter also chose a piece by Noelle and her tile had a tree of life motif.

Kim Minichiello

I am so intrigued by the Art-O-Mat® , it will became an addiction (no pun intended) each time I see one.  If you haven’t clicked on the link already to visit the Art-O-Mat® web site you can click here.  It features photos of all the machines, gives the locations of where they all are across the country, and you can preview the work of the artists who participate.  There is also information on how you could become an Art-O-Mat® artist.

So go to the site and visit your nearest Art-O-Mat®.  Feel free to post a comment here or a photo of your treasure on my Facebook page.  And the best thing is…. it won’t come with a warning from the Surgeon General so you can have as many as you want!

Happy Birthday to…. My Blog and a Giclée Print Giveaway

www.kimminichiello.comPoppies, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 11″ x 15″

A Giclée print of this painting can be yours!  Please enter the giveaway by leaving a comment on this blog post.

I honestly can’t believe it has been one year since I started my blog!  Where has the time gone? After many years of toying with the idea of starting a blog, I finally went for it a year ago this week.  I first discovered art blogs, that were mostly part of the daily painters movement right after I moved to Hong Kong in 2007.  Many artists I followed then are still blogging today, Belinda Del Pesco, Carol Marine, Karen Jurick, Katherine Tyrrell’s, Making a Mark, and Laura Frankstone of Laurelines to name a few.  I guess I was what you call a lurker, I didn’t comment very much but I was so grateful for that time with my morning tea to read what other artist were doing, and feel a connection to the US, living so far from home.  At that time Facebook wasn’t nearly what it is today, therefore following blogs was the only way to make connections with other artists.

One day while searching through blog roles, pre Facebook, I found a former Walt Disney Imagineering colleague, Marcelo Vignali and connected with him.  He told me, “You have to do a blog, it’s great! It’s a great chance to connect with and meet people.”  I’m somewhat of a shy private person, so it took me a while to finally relent and put myself out on the blogoshere. I told myself if I were to do one, I would commit to it and at least do one post a week and I’m happy to say I’ve fallen in somewhat of a routine of doing two when I can.  I didn’t want it to be a big pressure, so I post what ever I’m in the mood to show or say, with the general idea of featuring my work, talk about some of the processes, impart knowledge that will help other artists, and give those who like my work a chance to get to know me better.   I love movies, books, travel, museums, and to talk about artists whom I find inspiring. I’ve enjoyed the past year sharing my watercolor sketches from my travels.  So far that’s been the direction of my blog, but who knows what else is lurking around the corner.  As long as I enjoy doing the blog and there are people who enjoy reading it I will do it.

Now Facebook seems to be more prevalent than blogging.  Is blogging becoming a dying art?  I hope not.  I’d like to think there are still those that like to read and enjoy what other artists have to say rather than quickly scrolling through the news feed on Facebook.

I hope all that are following me on this blogging journey have enjoyed what I have shown and shared. It’s hard to really know how much of a following there is, but like many things, it takes time to incubate and grow!  If you know of others you feel would enjoy it please pass on the link!

To celebrate the one year anniversary of my blog, I am giving away a giclée print of my painting Poppies.  All you have to do is leave a comment on today’s post and you will be eligible!  I recently received in the mail a lovely giclée print from blogging friend, Julie Ford Oliver, from a giveaway she did recently to start off the new year!  I may follow her lead and let my husband, who is also a designer and artist, choose the winner from the comments, or do a random drawing.

A sincere thank you to all and hope you continue to enjoy and find some inspiration visiting my blog!!

www.KimMinichiello.com

Limited Edition Prints & Note cards available here.