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

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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Visit to Twinrocker Watercolor Paper Factory

www.kimminichiello.comIt’s amazing in life how some things come full circle.  I was recently back home again in Indiana, (pun intended), and was so excited to make a trip to Twinrocker Paper in Brookston, Indiana.  Brookston is about a half hour drive from where I grew up, and I passed the turn off to go there every time I made a trip home from Purdue during my college days.  Little did I know that years later I would become a watercolor artist and fall in love with the watercolor paper they make!

www.kimminichiello.comA couple of years ago my mom and I visited the studio of Terry Armstrong, an Indiana artist who lives in Warsaw.  He told us about Twinrocker, which he uses for his work.   The next day we drove to Brookston, and bought some watercolor paper.  If you buy $100 worth they offer free shipping!  I had never heard of this amazing company until Terry had mentioned it,  and couldn’t believe all these years I was so close and had never been there!  I took a chance that I would like it, invested in $100 worth and had it sent to me here in Florida.


Sales Room at Twinrocker Paper

Once I started using it was I ever glad I took the chance.  I have experimented with it and used it the last couple of years and if I prefer a certain look for a painting, I use Twinrocker. My painting Mayan Gate was done on the Twinrocker cold press and has been juried into four shows, two of them were International Exhibitions.


Mayan Gate Watercolor on Twinrocker Paper, Cold Press

Since Kathryn and Howard Clark founded Twinrocker in 1971 they have been making handmade paper in the European tradition, for stationary, book arts and watercolor.  Kathryn has since  retired, and now  Travis Becker is  the current owner and master paper maker. He started working with the Clarks when he was 19. I highly encourage you to visit their web site to read the fascinating history behind how the Clarks started making paper.


Travis Becker, Owner Twinrocker Paper & Master Papermaker

On my visit I met with Travis and he showed me around a bit.  This is a small facility with 4 employees:  Gail is the Office Manager, Fran, Customer Service,  Travis, Owner & Master Papermaker, and Gerald, Papermaker.   Travis and Gerald make all the paper molded and finished, entirely by hand using pre consumer waste cotton from United States manufacturers.


Gerald molding envelopes.


Vat of Pulp

The day I was there Gerald was molding envelopes and Travis was going through a stack of watercolor paper about 6 inches high that had been molded and  run through the press.  Each sheet was layered between felt and after its run through the press it is removed from the felt, inspected for imperfections and stacked to dry before it can be gelatin sized.

www.kimminichiello.comTravis inspecting each sheet and removing any imperfections.

Each watercolor sheet is then gelatin sized by hand. Once they have a large quaintly of paper made they will spend a day or two doing nothing but sizing.   The sheet goes through the sizing, maintained at a constant temperature, one at a time, and then Gerald and Travis rub each sheet, both sides, by hand, to smooth out the sizing and remove air bubbles. This is critical if there are any air pockets where the sizing isn’t adhered to the  paper it will show once paint is put to paper.  I was in awe of this whole process.  I am so appreciative that there are still craftsman like Travis and Gerald that are producing a product like this that is more than special.

www.kimminichiello.comTwinrocker Press

Every time I start a painting on Twinrocker I feel a reverence toward it before I put brush to paper.  I feel even more so now after visiting and seeing how much care and attention is put into each sheet.  What boggles my mind in addition to the process and care of production, is the science that goes into creating the different weights and surface textures.  They offer hot press, cold press, and rough surfaces, and different weights or more accurately for them thicknesses.  Since the paper is handmade it can vary slightly in thickness from sheet to sheet.  Therefore they don’t describe their paper in weight like the other watercolor paper companies, but by the thickness per sheet measured by a micro meter, to arrive at a thousands of an inch thickness and is assigned a letter code.  All of this is described on their web site.  HA which stands for heavy art weight (HA) is roughly a 250lb./460g/m2 paper.


Pulp Prep Room

Twinrocker has been available by two major retailers, but Travis told me starting next year they will only be selling paper through their web site. The reason being,  It hasn’t been fair to Twinrocker to give the retailers a big discount, they have done little or no marketing or promotion for them, in exchange for the discount,  and then sell the paper cheaper per sheet than what Twinrocker sells it for directly from their site, essentially undercutting Twinrocker on price.

Because it is handmade, it is more expensive than some papers.  It retails at $14 per sheet.  This is only $2 more retail  than a sheet of 300 lb Arches, which I use as well, but in my opinion is so worth it.  If you paint in watercolor, I encourage you to try this paper!  It has been mostly by word of mouth that this watercolor paper has endured in the market place since 1971.  Not only will you be painting on one of the most beautiful papers made today, you will be supporting, a small independent company, with just 4 employees, two of them master craftsmen that are carrying on a tradition that could become a lost art if they weren’t doing it.  And to top it all off, it’s entirely made in the USA!  No other watercolor paper on the market today has that distinction!


Paris Passy Gate, Watercolor on Twinrocker Rough

I want to thank Travis for taking the time to show me around and it’s my privilege to spread the word about Twinrocker. This is some what self serving,  I love this paper so much I want them to be successful and keep making it!



Gate of Reverence, Watercolor on Twinrocker Cold Press

A Side Note:  Recently at the Florida Watercolor society convention, I came across  a new paper on the market, Fluid 100 which claims to be made in the USA.  However, I was told by the representative at the show selling the paper, that it is actually made in Europe but finished in the USA.  Because the last step of production is in the United Sates, they can put made in the USA on the product.  However, it’s not entirely true.

Some Nice Press and Finishing Hope is Home


Work in Progress Hope is Home, 22″ x 30″, Watercolor

It’s been a busy and exiting week!  Being the featured artist at the Winter Garden Art Association’s, 127 SoBo gallery I am in two local newspapers.  The latest edition of the The West Orange Times did a lovely half page featured article! I am very honored and flattered!


The Southwest Orlando Bulletin also put my picture in with a nice write-up about the exhibition


I have also been putting the finishing touches on “Hope is Home” the painting I have been working on for Hope City Orlando.  I will be posting the finished piece next week!

I am looking forward to a little bit of down time.  Spending more time with my daughter before she heads back to school, some beach time, and then I’ll start preparing for the workshop I will be teaching this fall at the Winter Garden Art Association.  The summer is flying by!


Friday Feature Interview

Kim Minichiello


Chinese Wall Tile, Watercolor on Archival Paper, 12″ x 12″, 30.5cm x 30.5cm

Click HERE if you would like more information or to purchase this painting.

I wanted to share with you today a link to an interview I did for another guest blog post on watercolorist, Carrie Waller’s blog.  Every Friday she features another artist on her blog.  The interview is quite extensive and I really enjoyed doing it.  There is more information there than what I currently have on my bio!  If you are interested in learning a bit more about me and my artistic journey, and my time at Walt Disney Imagineering,  click here to read the interview for Carrie’s Friday Feature that features yours truly. 🙂