Painting with the Tigers on Plein Air Friday

Next to the Tigers, Plein Air Watercolor, 14″ x 9.5″

Bright and early this morning I was at Epcot laying the ground work for a watercolor sketching workshop  I will be teaching next week for artists and designers at Walt Disney Imagineering.  Got the demo spot scoped out with plenty of room for folks to gather around and honed in on other locations for everyone to sketch.

Getting ready to do the details

A few weeks ago I was at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the Asia trek painting near the bridge between the 2 tiger exhibits.  While I’m painting I love watching the early morning routines of the animal keepers and I end up learning a lot about the animals I’m painting near.

Back up the hill after finishing some morning business

While I was working, there was a male tiger on the exhibit to my right and a female on the exhibit to the left.  They are currently separated until they get used to each other and the younger female is ready for mating.  They have to keep the shutters closed on the male’s side because if he sees her through the glass across the promenade, he will go crazy! (This is what the keepers have told me.)  As it was, he can smell her and had some guttural sexy calls, that morning, which felt like he was carrying on right behind me! Nothing like loud Tiger snorts and groans to keep you awake in the morning.  She, the female, couldn’t be bothered in the least! 

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Featured Article in The Winter Garden Magazine

www.KimMinichiello.comIt’s been a busy few weeks, I shipped off 13 paintings to The Waterworks Museum of Art for “WAM Presents WAM.”  I will be part of a five women show that includes my Women Artists Mentors (WAM) group.  Members are Helen K. Beacham from Summerville, SC, Maria Bennett Hock from Cary, NC, Debra Kierce from Ashburn, VA, and Carrie Waller who is currently living in Tokyo, Japan.  The show opens with an opening reception on Sunday, March 12 and closes on April 15.  Maria and Debra will be there at the closing reception to give a  presentation which includes painting demonstrations.  It’s going to be a great show!  I’m thrilled and honored to be part of this exhibition. 

This week I’m getting ready for the Windermere Art Affair, the only out door show I do each year, it’s this weekend March 4 & 5 from 11:00 am -5:00 pm.

Recently, I was thrilled to get a copy of the February issue of The Winter Garden Magazine, who did a featured article on me!  I am honored!  Thanks to the Winter Garden Art Association for recommending me for the article and the editors at the magazine for putting together such a lovely layout! 

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I’ve Stuffed…

Some of the Letters Going Out to All the FWS Signature Members

I was a little under the weather today so I didn’t go out plein air painting.  I thought I would share one of the things I have been up to the last couple of weeks.  Have you ever entered a show with a society, art guild, or art center and won an award?  Do you know where that award gift of money or merchandise came from?  It comes from generous members of the group as well as those individuals that love and are so kind to support the arts, as well as sponsors, businesses or companies that do the same.  

My responsibility this year being Second Vice President of the Florida Watercolor Society is to graciously ask many of our over 1000 membership to consider donating for an award for our annual exhibition, that is part of our convention every fall.  Last year we had over $24, 000 in cash and merchandise that was presented to 21 artists as part of our award program for our exhibition.  Many of the awards are in honor of members that have passed  our founded FWS.  One award The Healing Arts Award is a purchase award, whose painting is then donated to a local hospital.  

Last week I stuffed, labeled and stamped 285 letters to just our Signature members to donate to awards and next week letters will go out to all our past presidents, and merchants who also generously donate their time to make FWS such a stellar organization as well as put on a fantastic convention with workshops, and trade show for members and non members every year.  

Next task after letters go out, is to collect items for our raffle and silent auction.  With such a large member ship we usually have a great collection of art supplies, DVD’s, and non art related items that are raffled or auctioned during our convention.    

If you are interested in learning more about FWS or donating you can visit the web site here.  If you cleaned out your studio to get ready for the new year and have art supplies you no longer need.  Contact me and send them my way! 

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Plein Air Friday, Back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

“Peaceful Morning,” Watercolor, 11″ x 14″

Asia Area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

 I went back to the spot I was at last week in the Africa area.  I had very limited time today, I didn’t completely finish.  I will put it up in the studio and analyze whether I will finish it or not.  Some I’m compelled to bring to completion and others I essentially see as a painting exercise.  As I mentioned in the last post, I tried a new paper I didn’t care for so part of me doesn’t want to spend any more time on this one.   It is at that point where I feel like I may have overworked it.  I will look at with fresh eyes another day. 

www.KimMinichiello.comI’m posting a painting I did finish in the Asia area.  I  also wanted to share a link to the Urban Sketchers Blog.  Last week there was a meet up of different chapters all over the world to record anything related to the Chinese New Year, the year of the Rooster.  Noga Grossman the head administrator for our Orlando Chapter suggested the idea as well as documenting what other artists did on the worldwide Urban Sketchers blog.  If you would like to see the post you can click here.  One of my paintings of the Temple of Heaven in the China Pavilion at Epcot was featured!  There are other sketches from  Lisbon, Yokohama, Seattle, Orlando, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Beijing, Dallas/Ft. Worth, O’ahu, and Canberra, in the article.

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Plein Air Friday

Tori Gate, 14 x 11, Watercolor

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since my Favorite Things, Top Ten series over the holidays.  Where did January go? This morning I painted in the Africa area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  I have painted a few times in the Asia area and this is the first in Africa.  I lost my bearings and didn’t realize after I started that about an hour and half into the painting, drawing then block in, I wold have the sun right on my paper and in my face with no umbrella.  Oh well, I will try and go back next week to finish it before the sun crests the building I was in front of.  

On an interesting side note, the past 2 Fridays I have tried a new paper, Windsor Newton Cold Press.  I painted at Epcot last week, this Tori Gate painting, and struggled with the paper drying too fast because it was chilly and windy.  Today, no wind and in the sun, it took forever for the first wash to dry so I could move on!  Just goes to show you different papers behave differently then when you add the elements on top of it, that’s a whole other story,  Something, my fellow oil painters don’t have to worry about. Unless you are painting in freezing conditions and the paint gets stiff. Painting in freezing conditions, not my cup of tea.  Won’t be worrying about that! 

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My Favorite Things Top Ten, Number 1: Escoda Perla Brushes

My latest plein air painting “Peaceful Morning,” Watercolor, 14″ x 10″ done at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on my Friday Morning Paint Sessions with a few Walt Disney Imagineers using Escoda Perla Brushes

Over the years I have tried a number of brushes, and I have amassed quite a collection. I use different brushes for different purposes,  sometimes the task calls for a synthetic brush and sometimes, a natural hair brush.  I go over all these nuances in the workshops I teach.    

I have a number of Escoda brushes from their  various lines, The Barroco, The Prado and The Versatil.  My favorite is the Perla.  Iain Stewart turned me on to this one.  My go to is the number 14.  It has the perfect snap, and point and holds the right amount of water for me.  I really don’t need any other size, with the point on this I can get really fine lines.  However, when I was at the Florida Watercolor Society Convention & Trade Show, this last fall, I spotted a travel brush set of Perlas.  

www.KimMinichiello.comIt was a treat yourself moment, I got them because at times I don’t want to drag my whole plein air kit, but just put a few things in my purse, or tote bag. They even came with a handy leather case!  So I have Perlas in more sizes to use, sketching, plein air painting and in the studio!  If you are interested in getting some Escoda Perla Brushes, Dick Blick carries them on line.  Unfortunately, I have never seen them sold in any retail art stores I have been to.  If you have been good this year maybe Santa will put one or two in your stocking! 

KimMinichiello.comStay tuned my next post will be a Favorite Things Bonus, just in time for the holidays! 

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Plein Air Friday: “Siamang Retreat”

Siamang Retreat, Watercolor, 14″ x 7.5,” Plein Air

I painted again this morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom,  and got a good block in and will go back next week to work on it again.  Here is the finished painting from my November 25, post.  This is the area that overlooks the Siamang Gibbon exhibit.  I’m very happy with this one.  Since there was a lot of green area in this composition, my goal was to pay attention to color temperature and value to have variety.

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Plein Air Friday: More from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

www.kimminichiello.comI apologize to my loyal blog followers!  I haven’t been very active on here lately.  I have a full plate of teaching workshops,  private students, demos, shows, painting for upcoming shows, and a kitchen remodel that is still in the works!  Therefore, I’ve been limiting my time on social media and writing blog posts.  I’m looking forward to things slowing down over the holidays.  This morning my husband and I went back out to Animal Kingdom to paint.  I had started this one in an earlier session, and finished it today.  We have a little less than a 2 hour window to paint each time.

I like how Violet is patting my shadow shoulder.

I had the Saimang Monkeys that are native to Southeast Asia keeping me company today. Since the weather has cooled off a bit they are a lot more active.  Violet and Veruka are five-year old twin sisters.

www.kimminichiello.comThis is a work in progress from the start of the morning.

Veruka is hanging ten.

I will add a few more finishing touches in the studio but it’s pretty much complete.

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Plein Air Friday, The Historic Windermere School House

The Historic Windermere School House, Windermere, FL, Plein Air, 10″ x 14″

I was planning on painting plein air at Disney’s Animal Kingdom today but the weather put a kibosh on that!  Hurricane Matthew is howling outside as I’m posting this.  I feel extremely blessed, It doesn’t seem to be as bad here as what was predicted yesterday but the coasts are  getting the worst of it. I hope all my friends on the coasts are weathering the storm OK.  Everybody stay safe!!

This is a plein air piece I started a few weeks ago and put the finishing touches on in the studio,  I’m really happy with the light quality and contrast on this one.  I feel it has good lights and darks.  It’s kind of tricky painting a white structure and maintaining a nice value plan.

My workshop, “Photoshop as a Tool for Artists,” is coming up at the Winter Garden Art Association/SoBo Gallery, on October 20.  This is a one day workshop to help artists learn all the different ways they can use Photoshop for their artwork, to marketing to entering shows.  Click here to register, early bird price ends soon!

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Plein Air Friday, Lake Butler Boat Houses

Work in Progress,  on 1/4 sheet 140 lb. Arches

 I have a work in progress painting from my outing today.  I went across Lake Butler to the other side  from my community and started a painting of the boat houses.  I was in a relaxing mood this morning and took my time.  I will go back to the same location to finish it another day.  This is about 2 hours scoping location, drawing and painting.

Boat Houses 1

Trying out some new brushes

I was anxious to try my new toys I got at the Florida Watercolor Society Convention & Trade Show last week.  I’ve always wanted a travel brush set.  At some point, I will condense my kit even more to have a small one that just fits in my purse,  I can use on occasion, instead of carrying a separate bag.  They just happen to be the same brush type I use all the time plein air painting.  I love the Escoda Perla series.  In addition to the #14, I now have a #10, #6 and a #2, in the travel kit!  The extra bonus is I can use them in the studio too! The smaller brush came in really handy on the spanish moss.  It doesn’t show up very well in the photo, they came in a black leather case.

I also bought a #16 Escoda Versatil. I had a #14 and found it to be a bit small for what I wanted. This is a synthetic sable brush.  I like to have a bigger sable like brush to lay in large washes and skies.  This worked out really well!!

To quote Tom Haverford on the TV series, Parks & Recreation, “Treat yo-self!”