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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www.kimminichiello.comOriginal Art, Limited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.


The Paint Around at the Splash 2015 Gala for the Winter Garden Art Association


Me, my lovely daughter and paint around assistant and the finished painting I designed.

The Paint Around at the Splash 2015 Gala for the Winter Garden Art Association was a huge success.  The experience was a lot of fun, but very intense and nerve-racking at the same time.  The three of us had about an hour and a half to finish all three of paintings that each of us had designed and drew ahead of time.  I started with the painting I designed for  20 minutes, then worked on Mike’s painting for 15 minutes, then Rudy’s painting for 15, and then got mine back and finished it in around 40 minutes.  We matted and each signed all the paintings.


We were so focused, we were oblivious to the crowds and on lookers watching us paint!  During the course of the evening volunteers took donations for  raffle tickets and three lucky winners were drawn and took home our paintings! One of my dear friends happened to win the one I designed!


It was a lot of pressure to finish a painting so quickly and work on someone else’s work!   It was all for a good cause! Thanks to everyone who supported us and watched us paint!

Kim Minichiello


Disney/Ryman An Affair of the Art


Balinese Lotus, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 14″ x 14″ , 35.5 cm x 35.5 cm


I just shipped three paintings that will be part of “An Affair of the Art” Exhibition to benefit Ryman Arts on Saturday, September 20th.  I’m thrilled to be invited to be in the show again this year at the lovely home and garden in the Hollywood Hills,  of Marty Sklar  the retired head of Walt Disney Imagineering.  This years theme is “Under the Big Top,” and will feature a Patron Special Presentation of rare film footage of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, the years Herbert Ryman sketched and painted when they traveled to small towns through out the  United States.  Including the time when C.B. DeMille studied sites for the Academy Award Winning film, “The Greatest Show on Earth,”  which was filmed in Sarasota, Florida.


Bananas on Japanese Box, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 12″ x 10″, 30.5 cm x 25.5 cm


If you would like to learn more about this event and this wonderful cause you can click here to read my post from last year’s show, and here to visit the Ryman Arts web site and to purchase tickets.  Many Disney artists and artists from the Los Angeles are invited to exhibit in the show.   You can also preview the art in the show by clicking here.


Reward, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 6″ x 6″, 15 cm x 15 cm


New Work: Hope is Home


Hope is Home, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 22″ x 30″, 56 cm x 76 cm

I’m happy to post the finished painting “Hope is Home.”  I have been working on this painting the last few months for a very worthy cause.  Those of you that have been following my blog have seen a few works in progress.   I was absolutely shocked to learn that Orlando is considered by UNICEF to be one of the major hubs for human trafficking in the world!  Not only is this shocking, it is very upsetting that this is happening in my own community.  Hope City Orlando is a non-profit that seeks to help victims who find themselves in this awful plight.  Their goal is to build a home that will be a safe haven and provide a three-year program for a healthy reintegration into mainstream life.  Through a combination of efforts including counseling, social work, legal assistance, social and personal skills training, victims will become survivors!

I was approached by some friends who are part of Hope City Orlando and are planning the fund-raising gala taking place this fall.   They asked if I could do a painting that would be auctioned off to raise funds at the event.  I really believe in what they are trying to accomplish for victims of this awful situation and couldn’t say no.  As a mother, it is unfathomable to think that young people are taken against their will, removed from their life and society and forced into sex or domestic slavery.

Once I agreed to do the painting it presented a design challenge.  I wanted the painting to mean something and to have a relationship with Hope City Orlando and not be dark and foreboding. I really thought a lot about the imagery I would use and the meaning behind it, which I wanted to reflect the goals that Hope City Orlando has for the future they will provide for those caught in this heinous situation of human trafficking.

Their logo is the silhouette of a house with a vine traversing through it.  I thought about the symbolic meaning of the vine and felt that it represented, being rooted or grounded in a safe home, transcending into a better way of life. Therefore, vines became a main element in my painting.   Vines can be very tenacious and I felt they also symbolized growth and new opportunities and the flowers on the vine in the painting symbolize the brighter future for those that get help.

The doves represent freedom. Which is what Hope City will be giving the victims of human trafficking.  Not only freedom, but the tools that are needed to reintegrate and live life where they are not trapped by others and doing things against their will.

The silhouette of the house  shape in the painting, holds everything together and represents hope and the solution to the endless spiral of futility one feels when caught in this situation.  Home is a safe haven, and I feel is the first step in providing a better way of life. One must feel a sense of security and safety and that is what a home provides for us and is what Hope City will provide for victims of human trafficking.  This is why I titled the painting “Hope is Home.”

If you would like to know more or help this worthy cause visit their web site by clicking here and their Facebook page by clicking here.  The gala is scheduled for the first week of October and will be in the Orlando area.

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?



Work in Progress, “Hope is Home,” for Hope City Orlando


Watercolor on Archival Paper, 22″ x 30″, 56 cm x 76 cm

I almost have all the leaves of the vines blocked in since I last posted this latest painting.  While designing this painting I chose to  incorporate vines to reflect new growth, or being rooted or grounded in a safe place or new home. Vines are also very tenacious and can survive in some of the most adverse conditions, therefore they also represent the victims of human trafficking.

Hope City Orlando, or as it’s known on Facebook as Hope City United, will make a new home and a safe place a  reality for victims of human trafficking.  If you are just checking in to my blog, I am doing this painting to be auctioned off at their fundraiser, “Hope is Home,” in September.  Their goals are to raise enough funds to provide a safe home and a three-year reintegration program for victims of human trafficking in my community of Orlando, Florida.  I am ashamed to say that Orlando is a hub for this abhorrent circumstance.  If you live in the Orlando area, please think about supporting this cause.


“Hope is Home” for Hope City Orlando


Drawing for a  Watercolor for a Special Project for Hope City Orlando

The past few months I have also been brainstorming and designing a painting that is for a special project.  I’ve been approached by Hope City Orlando to create a piece of art for their major fundraising gala in September.  Many of you may not know and, I was actually shocked myself, to learn that Orlando is considered by UNICEF to be one of the major hubs in the world for human trafficking!  Many women and children are abducted and forced into sex slavery against their will.   Not only is this shocking, it is very upsetting that this is happening in my own community.  Hope City Orlando is a non-profit that seeks to help victims who find themselves in this awful plight.  Their goal is to build a home that will be a safe haven and provide a three-year program for a healthy reintegration into mainstream life.  Through a combination of efforts including counseling, social work, legal assistance, social and personal skills training, victims will become survivors.  If you would like more information please visit their website here. If you would like to follow them on Facebook, please click here.  The “Hope is Home” cocktail charity event will be in Orlando on Oct. 2.  My painting will be auctioned to the highest bidder to raise money for this worthy cause.  If you are interested in attending the event I will be providing more details in the future.

This piece, which I’m calling “Hope is Home” for now, is all drawn ready for paint.  This was a tricky piece for me to design because this is such an unfortunate and terrible situation that so many innocent people find themselves in. However, I didn’t want it to be dark and foreboding.  I felt it needed to be up-lifting and represent the hope that will be given by Hope City Orlando to victims of human trafficking.  I have given a lot of thought to the imagery and the significance of each element in the piece which I will explain as the painting progresses.   Stay tuned for work in progress photos!

“An Affair of the Art, 2013” to Benefit Ryman Arts

kimminichiello.comHong Kong Happy Hour at Feather Boa, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 18″ x 12″

Available at “An Affair of the Art, 2013”

I was invited to be a participating artist in “An Affair of the Art 2013,” to benefit Ryman Arts,  which takes place this Saturday.  I attended this event every year when I worked at Walt Disney Imagineering.


Kyoto Tanuki, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 8″ x 10″

Available at “An Affair of the Art, 2013”

Named after Artist, Designer and Mentor,  Herbert D. Ryman, Ryman Arts teaches skills in art and life to teens in a nurturing studio environment.  High school students interested in pursuing a career in art can take classes and get guidance to help them prepare for college and a creative career in the arts.  The program is free to any student based on their ability and commitment, without regard to their families financial status.


Herbert D. Ryman or Herbie to those Imagineers who had the fortunate opportunity to know and work with him, created the first overall illustration of Disneyland, as Walt described it to him.  This illustration was used to pitch the concept to get funding for the construction of Disneyland.  Herbie worked on every Disney theme park until his death in 1989.

Hong Kong Gatekeeper_for blog

Hong Kong Gatekeeper, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 6″ x 6″

Available at “An Affair of the Art, 2013”

The Affair of the Art, is hosted by two of the founders  of Ryman Arts, Leah and Marty Sklar in their home in Southern California, mid September 2013. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of all the art in the show, will go toward Ryman Arts.   Marty was head writer for Walt Disney, and was the head of Walt Disney Imagineering up until his recent retirement a few years ago.

 I’m extremely excited to be a part of this event and joining the company of many talented artists.  One other watercolor and print making  artist, Belinda Del Pesco,  is also participating.  I am a great admirer of her work and have followed her blog since living in Hong Kong in 2007.Unfortunately I will now be attending but have many friends who will be my eyes and ears!  I hope the evening is a huge success to benefit this great organization!
For more information on Herb Ryman click here.

For more information on Ryman Arts click here.

For ticket information click here.

To preview the artwork in the show click here.

To preview silent auction items click here.