Plein Air Friday, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

This was the start from last Friday

The group I have been painting with at Epcot on Fridays has now moved to Animal Kingdom.  We are so psyched!  I was on the design team for this park and have loved it from day one.  We traveled to many places in Asia during the concept and design phase and spending time in the Asia area of Animal Kingdom brings back so many great memories.

This is where I finished today.  I’ll tweak and punch up the values in the studio.

One of my favorite things about plein air painting is the ambiance surrounding you. At the location today, I thought I would share with you some of my surroundings.  Just behind where I was painting was the home of the White Cheeked Gibbons.  One of the females just had a baby, and here is a video of her with her mom and a few of the males.  The female is a brown color and the males are dark.  The baby’s name is Harper named after Harper Lee.

Every morning around 8:00 they start this ritual where they screech, or sing if you will,  to mark their territory.  It is an unbelievable sound and the first time you hear it you think they are electronic sirens or alarms!  Here is a  sound snippet of their songs!  Stick with it they really get going about half way through this one minute audio.


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New Work: “Gone But Not Forgetten”

Gone But Not Forgotten, Mixed Media, 22.5″ x 15″


I have had such a crazy busy summer, I have been neglecting the ole blog a bit.  Thought I would check in and post a new painting!  This is a big departure from my normal work.  My goal was to try a new technique and push myself to do something different.  The process was so much fun on this one!

This painting is going to be featured in the City Hall of Winter Garden, Florida for a show featuring citrus, since this whole area where I live in Central Florida was a mecca for the citrus industry.  The show will be up from Sept. 12 through October.

When I moved to the area where I live,  17 years ago.  It was very rural and we were a tiny neighborhood tucked in orange groves.  When the trees blossomed in the early spring the smell was intoxicating!  I would always drive with my car windows down and just smell!  I always looked forward to that time of year.

Well things have changed.  All the groves have become housing complexes, shopping centers and high schools.  I guess you can’t stop progress or population growth, at least our county commissioners can’t because you are hard pressed to find a grove anymore.  This painting is an homage to those times I remember enjoying living around orange groves, hence the title, “Gone But Not Forgotten.”  The metallic gold background symbolizes the reverence I feel for those former groves and trees.

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Zen Moment

Kim Minichiello

Zen Moment, 12″ X 12,” Watercolor

Just when I thought I had returned I was gone again!  I have been traveling once again and with all the activities relating to my recent trip, I have not been in the studio painting, blogging or being very active on social media.  I just got back a little over a week ago from Indiana.  My mom planned a lovely memorial service for my dad and I stayed a while with her to help her with odds and ends since his passing.  Then it was off to Savannah last weekend to get my daughter settled for her junior year at SCAD.  Time is flying so quickly! I really wish the summer would last a bit longer, however, without the Florida heat!

I’m back to painting again and did this piece which I’m calling Zen Moment, because that is exactly what I needed and it is what this painting provided!  I have also decide to teach my students this piece in my upcoming “Bold & Dynamic Watercolor” workshop at the Winter Garden Art Association which will be here before you know it, Sat. & Sun. October 17 & 18.  If you would like more information you can visit my website here and to register you can go here to visit the Winter Garden Art Association’s website.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me.  I want to give a shout out to Cynthia who discovered my blog and came to Florida last spring to take my workshop!  Cynthia,  I haven’t made the Meyer Lemon Jelly yet, but still plan to!

I’m happy to be home and to get back into more of a normal routine, if such a thing exists, but at least it is feeling like it, at the moment.

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


Bold & Dynamic Watercolor Workshop Last Weekend

Kim Minichiello WorkshopThe weather was so beautiful here last weekend it was a shame to spend it indoors, however, I wouldn’t have traded the time spent with my amazing workshop students for anything!  The more I teach the more I enjoy doing it.  I had a great group who did a wonderful job.  I felt honored one of my students traveled down to Florida from Illinois just to take my workshop!  I hope you all had as much fun as I did, and keep those brushes wet!

New Work… A Splash of Red

www.kimminichiello.comA Splash of Red, Watercolor Mounted on Archival Board and Sealed, 12″ x 12″,  30.5 cm x 30.5 cm.

Will be available at the 127 SoBo Gallery for their February Exhibition, “A Splash of Color”

$550, Please contact me for purchase information.

Sometime you are at the right place at the right time.  That’s how I felt when I came across  some bromeliads while visiting a local garden show.  The light was hitting them creating some really interesting shadow patterns.  That,  plus their beautiful color and just the design of these beautiful plants is what drew me to paint them.  I have a collection of bromeliads in my home garden here in Florida.  This may be the start of a continuing series.  However the light has to be just right!

Kim Minichiello


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

Good News for the New Year

Star Struck, Watercolor Mounted on Board and Sealed, 12″ x 12″,  $550, will be available at the the Annual Juried Exhibition of The Women Painters of the Southeast

Happy New Year!  The year has gotten off to a great start!  I received word that Star Struck  has been accepted to the 4th Annual Juried Exhibition of The Women Painters of the Southeast.  So honored to be in the show with so many fabulous artists who do representational work in a variety of media.  This year the show will be at the Blue Ridge Arts Association,  420 West Main Street, Blue Ridge, Georgia.  Dates are April 3-May 1.  This is the third year in a row I have been in this show!

I’m teaching my “Bold & Dynamic Watercolor Workshop” at the 127 SoBo Gallery/Winter Garden Art Association.  Sat. & Sun. Feb. 7 & 8.  This 2 day workshop is packed with information on planning, designing, and composing a painting, all the nuances of painting in watercolor; papers, brushes, pigments, and lot’s of helpful tips. The painting we will be painting, is Star Struck!  For more information and to register click here.

Lately I have broken away from my monogamous painting practice and am working on several paintings at once.  I’ve got a few plein air starts I want to continue to develop, one new larger work, and a 12″ x 12″ painting.  Will share with you all when they are completed.

In the mean time, I hope everyone’s year is also off to a great start.  If you set resolutions or goals, I hope you have had a chance to contemplate what you would like to accomplish this year.  Last year I set a few goals and didn’t write them down.  Some I accomplished and some  I didn’t.  This year I’ve written them down and hope to integrate them in my calendar for the year by keeping them in my face!

I would also like to thank all my family, friends,  and followers of my blog, for all your support!  Your kind words and comments are greatly appreciated and mean a lot!

Watercolor Sketch of Orchids on a Palm Tree


Watercolor on Handmade Paper

I’m progressing on the Hope is Home painting and will post some more progress of it soon. In the mean time, since many are lounging by the pool this summer.  I thought I would post a sketch I did doing just that!  Last summer we stayed at a lovely inn in Key West and one of the palm trees there had orchids hanging from  the trunk.  I had my watercolor kit in my pool bag so pulled it out and did this quickie sketch.  This variety of orchid had tiny purple blooms that looked like they were dangling in mid-air.


Work in Progress: Hope is Home and the Joy in the Process

Watercolor on Archival Paper, 22″ x 30″

Here is the latest on the painting for Hope City Orlando and Hope City United.  It is such an awesome feeling when you have down on paper the image that you have been seeing in your mind for so long.  I love the process of painting, and sometimes there are those paintings that seem to flow off the brush and are just a pure joy to work on!

Work in Progress Continues for Hope is Home

www.kimminichiello.comWatercolor on Archival Paper, 22″ x 30″

Progress continues on the painting I am doing for Hope City Orlando.  The leaves, vines and tendrils are blocked in.  I’m really liking the mix of warm and cool greens and wanted to achieve a light  struck quality on some of the leaves.  The next step will be to paint the flowers and the background, the shape that symbolizes a home which is a background for the doves, and last but not least the doves themselves.

I hope my readers are enjoying the work in progress posts!  It’s a great way for me to analyze the painting on the monitor.  Many artists do the same by also looking at one’s work in the mirror.  I don’t know how it works, I guess seeing your work from a different perspective,  but areas that need modifying  become glaringly more obvious.  I always enjoy seeing work in progress from fellow artists and the thought process and methodology behind a painting.  It fascinates me.  What do you think?



Star Struck is Framed Without Glass

www.kimminichiello.comStar Struck, Watercolor, 12 x 12, 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm, Mounted on Board and Sealed

Last year while I was attending the annual exhibition of the Women Painters of the Southeast.  I visited a gallery where there was a watercolor artist who had mounted her paintings on board and sealed them.  Therefore, there was no glass, mat board or frame.  They were displayed just as an oil would be, painted on a gallery canvas.  I mentioned to the gallery owner how intrigued I was by this since I also painted in watercolor.  She mentioned that many collectors and galleries don’t value or maybe I should say don’t think there is as much value in works behind glass, and many galleries decline works that are. This piece of news was a bit shocking to me.  Really?  One more struggle to overcome for watercolor artists!

I don’t agree with this philosophy so I won’t be mounting all my paintings from now on, but I was still intrigued  and wanted to try it.  After doing some research I came across a video done by artist Birgit O’Connor.  My new work Star Struck I thought would be the perfect candidate to give this process a try.  Essentially, it involves mounting your painting to an Ampersand Clay Board, with a soft gel medium and sealing with and archival varnish with ultra violet light protection.

I like that you can hang on the wall or place on a table or shelf.

I was pleased with the results.   I would like to experiment a bit more as to the final finish on the surface of the painting.  The Golden Archival UVL Sealer comes in gloss, satin and matte.  I am am also curious about the Renaissance wax that Julie Ford Oliver has recently tried, thinking that would give a nice sheen to the surface as well.

As I experiment a bit more I will be sharing the results, going into a bit more detail on the processes that have worked for me. Any artists materials I use,  I am very conscientious  of the archival factor.  I have been assured by all the specifications that  the materials I use for my paintings,  paper, paints, mat boards, etc., are archival.  The materials used for this process, board, soft gel medium and spray sealers also claim to be such.  I know there are a few out there that won’t feel this is adequate protection for a watercolor painting.  But, only time will tell!   At least with the sealer you are also getting UVL protection.

 This painting will be available at the Winter Garden Art Association’s April Exhibition, 127 SoBo (South Boyd), Winter Garden, Florida.