Happy New Year and a New Painting

www.kimminichiello.com“Parisian Peacock,” Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 22″ x 29″

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and hope it will be filled with peace, joy, prosperity and good health!  I’m an organizer and a planner so I do set goals each year,  I need to be a bit better about referring back to them occasionally, but I also don’t beat myself up about not achieving some of them!  Last year my goals were to improve as an artists by going to a Life Drawing session once a week and doing more plein air sketching and painting from life, which I did throughout the entire year.  I will have to say, it has made a big improvement, in my drawing and observation skills, and I feel my studio work is all the better for it!  I also was determined to read more, not just on a device or computer but actual books, I built that into my daily routine reading with a cup of tea every morning before I get on with the day.  These are things I will definitely carry into this year because they have become  habits in my life that I thoroughly enjoy!

I also have a goal  every year to paint more and try a new challenges within my painting practice, maybe try new subject matters, or try different materials and techniques.  So to start off the year, I’m doing Leslie Saeta’s 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge this month.  My goal by doing the challenge is to create some smaller pieces I would like to exhibit for a show I’m doing in February, (more on that in a future post,) as well as finish a larger work.  I know going into it based on my painting style, I won’t be able to paint 30 paintings by January 31!  But I will paint as much as I can!  A few other goals are to teach more workshops and create some videos this year, to share studio tips, works in progress and whatever else might be interesting.

The first painting I’m sharing  is my newest larger work, “Parisian Peacock.”  This painting is inspired by a museum visit when I lived in Paris.  This beautiful gate is featured in the Museé des Arts Décoratifs near the Louvre.  I’ve been wanting to add this one to my gate series for a while!  I combined my love of art nouveau, art deco and the Japonisme movement in Paris, when the French loved all things Japanese in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as a backdrop to the gate.  I was also thinking about artist Jesse Arms Botke while I was painting this.  A California Impressionist and early California Art Club member, known for her decorative paintings often featuring birds and the use of gold leaf.  There is an incredible mural done by her that was salvaged from The Oaks Hotel,  and is now featured in the Irvine Museum in Irvine CA.

So here’s to a great 2016, Happy New Year and Happy Painting! I would love to hear what some of your goals are for the year.  Feel free to share by making a comment on this post.

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

I’m Back & A New Painting


www.kimminichiello.comLa Fille de Lavirotte, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 15″ x 11,” 38 cm x 28 cm, $750

Click here to purchase.

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted!  It has been a whirlwind few weeks with some sad times and happy ones. We have been planning a trip to Europe since last year and the time had finally come.  We set off the beginning of June and spent a few days in London to research graduate schools for my daughter. London isn’t complete with out a visit to a few favorite places including the National Gallery and the Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House,  and at least in our family, we can’t be in London without seeing a show in the West End.  Imelda Staunton was amazing in a revival of Gypsy, playing Rose.

Then it was off on the Eurostar to Paris. (Every time I’m on a train in Europe,  I can’t help but get annoyed that we don’t have a system like it in the US!)  We spent a few days in Paris at a hotel in the area where we used to live, going to our old haunts; restaurants, boulangeries, museums, etc., reminiscing about our time living there.

The next leg of the journey we split up.  My daughter stayed with dear friends in Paris, whom we hadn’t seen in five years.  She had a great time with one of her best friends she went to school with there.  My husband and I headed to Provence to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary, 25!  We relaxed, ate, drank rosé, painted in our watercolor sketch books,  toured the gorgeous country side, drank rosé, had the amazing opportunity to see Cezanne’s studio and drank rosé. You get the picture while in Provence you must partake of the amazing wine that is made there.

On a sad note, my dad who has been suffering a long battle with COPD passed away the weekend before we left.  I was so happy I was able to go to Indiana and see him and spend time with him before he left this life for a better one where he is not suffering anymore.

Therefore the month has been bitter-sweet full of happy times and sad ones too.

I painted this painting “La Fille de Lavirotte” before we left and made the point to visit the beautiful art nouveau building while in Paris that it was inspired by.  I adore art nouveau architecture and this last trip once again, I did my own self guided tour to visit those in Paris that I love.


My painting is inspired by the female figure on the top left.

This address is 29 ave Rapp in the 7th arrondissement designed by architect Jules Lavirotte and built in 1901.  One of 9 buildings still in Paris today, it is beautifully adorned with glazed earthenware and has a somewhat of an erotic door.  I’ll let you figure it out from my photo. 🙂  Just google images for 29 ave Rapp Paris and you will see a plethora of photos of this amazing building.




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

Day 5 of the Three Paintings in Five Days Facebook Challenge


Paris Passy Gate, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 56 cm x 48 cm

Available please contact me for purchase information.

The final day of the 3 in 5 challenge, I cheated a bit and posted 4 paintings.  My art and design roots go back to environmental design and architecture. When working with Walt Disney Imagineering, we traveled if necessary to do research to make the environments we were designing as authentic as possible. When on our photo safaris I always tended to hone in on the details. Now I seem to be doing the same thing in my painting!


Gate of Reverence, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 15″ x 22″, 38 cm x 56 cm

Available please contact me for purchase information.

These four, paintings are part of my gate series.  Paris Passy Gate and  Gate of Reverence were inspired by gates in the area of Paris where I lived.  Mayan Gate is from the Mayan Revival Style, Maitland Art Center here in Florida, and  French Quarter Gate, inspired by a gate in New Orleans. Mayan GateMayan Gate, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 14.5″ x 21.5″ , 37 cm x 54.5 cm

Available please contact me for purchase information.

Kim MinichielloFrench Quarter Gate, Watercolor on Handmade Paper Mounted to Archival Board, 6″ x 6″, 20 cm x 20 cm


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

Day 2 of the Three Painting in Five Days Facebook Challenge


Luxembourg Gardens, Paris France, Watercolor Sketch

DAY 2 of the 3 paintings in 5 days challenge…I posted  three watercolor sketches from my travel journals. I use two sizes of books 8 x 6 and a 10 x 7, one brush, sometimes two, a large round and a flat,  and a small Windsor & Newton travel palette. If you want to know more about my sketching set up you can read a previous post here. Keeping these journals resulted in my passion and path to painting in watercolor!  These mean more to me than any photo I have taken and looking through them occasionally brings back so many fond memories.


Chedi Beach, Phuket Thailand, Watercolor Sketch


Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Watercolor Sketch


Watercolor Sketch Claude Monet’s Home in Giverny, France


Watercolor Sketch on Handmade Paper

I have had the wonderful opportunity to live in Paris on three separate occasions and have traveled there a number of times.  A great advantage to living there is to visit  my favorite museums on many occasions.  I loved running into  the Musée D’Orsay just to study and focus on one particular artist or area.  I could really savor the moments there and not feel rushed as if it may be my last visit ever or for a long time.

Another place I visited on multiple occasions is Claude Monet’s home in Giverny.  This place is so magical to me.  It constantly changes and  is never the same on each visit.  I have been there in every season, except winter, when it’s closed.  One fall day in October, it might as well have been winter, I froze my keister.  However even in the cold  with the garden declining it’s wonderful.

This sketch was done in the spring.  I took a dear artist friend visiting from Indiana there and we toured the gardens and sketched.  Every time I look at this sketch I think of her and the fond memories of her visit.  That’s what I love about sketching.  For me it captures way more of a feeling of the time and place then a photo ever could.


Opening Reception for “Pick Your Passion” 127 SoBo Gallery, Winter Garden, Florida

www.kimminichiello.comLion Dance, Watercolor, 36″ x 36″ for purchase information click here.

It was a great opening reception last Thursday, well attended by about 100 people. Thanks to everyone who came and supported the gallery and me!  It has been very exciting and an honor to be featured, and especially to see my larger watercolor paintings framed and hung together!


I will also also be doing a workshop at the gallery October 16 & 17.  Teaching is something I have been interested in doing for quite some time and I’m really looking forward to it!  The workshop is called “Bold & Dynamic Watercolor.”  I plan to talk about my techniques for creating my work as all as some general information about watercolor in general: papers, brushes, pigments, and ratio of pigment to water.  I will also cover how I go about designing my paintings, touching on design and composition. I welcome beginners and intermediate painters.   If you are interested click here for more information and here to sign up at the Winter Garden Art Association’s web site.  If you don’t live in the area, and would like to come, there is a quaint bed and breakfast inn, The Historic Edgewater Hotel, right downtown.  The hotel and the gallery are in the heart of the historic district of Winter Garden.


After all the excitement from the show, I have made some progress on the painting I am doing for Hope City Orlando to benefit victims of human trafficking.  I will post some more work in progress photos this week and maybe even the finished painting!


Gate of Reverence


Gate of Reverence, Watercolor on Handmade Paper,  15″ x 22″, 38cm x 56cm

I had to sit with this one a while in my studio before deciding if it was finished. I thought it was until I photographed and looked at it on my monitor.  I noticed a few more things that needed to be tweaked.  This is a great way to analyze a painting from a different perspective.  After a few more hours of noodling I think it is finally finished.

This new painting is the second painting I’ve done that was  inspired by a photo I took in the Passy area of Paris.  When I’m wondering around shooting reference photos I’m often struck by something that speaks to me as a strong interesting design. It could be what I’m observing has a very graphic quality, or a cast shadow on an object that creates an interesting pattern.    When I came across this gate with a stained glass window juxtaposed behind it, I knew I would eventually paint it.

First, I was immediately attracted to the design of the gate.  I thought I might change the composition completely and paint something else in the background.  However, the more I studied the photo the angel image in the stained glass started to speak to me as well.  I modified the position of the image and the gate from the photo to create a better composition. I also like how the lighter values in the painting are in the background. Painting a stained glass window, something that is more graphic, made me paint a bit tighter than I normally paint, which was a nice challenge.  I also incorporated metal leaf in the halo on the angel. If you look at the work in progress photos you can see where I intended for it to be but didn’t add it until I put on the finishing touches.

Like Paris Passy Gate, this reminds me of the time I lived in Paris and a fond friend that lived near this gate.



“Gate of Reverence” More Work in Progress


After Clowning Around, (no pun intended), my latest painting, I’m back to working on Gate of Reverence.  I’m in the detail and value phase now.  Since my last post, I have added more detail to the central figure.  I’ve also tweaked the dark background on the sides just a bit.  I thought the darks were too uniform so I went in with some pure water washes to do some lifting of pigment at the same time adding some washes of color to bring out a green tone in the dark background to tie in with the gate.

Next I will be adding more detail.  This is depicting a stained glass window in the background, so I will be painting in the lead lines, maybe adjusting value a bit more and working on some hard and soft edges.  This one has been a challenge for me, because I’m painting a bit tighter than I normally paint,  but still painting representational and trying to  avoid a photo realistic interpretation.  Hopefully I’m achieving this goal!



Watercolor Sketch at the Albert Kahn Museum and Gardens in Paris



Watercolor Sketch on Handmade Paper

I haven’t posted a watercolor travel sketch for a while so today I’m sharing one I did when I lived in Paris.  One nice thing about living in a city that one normally just visits is that once you have gone to all the museums and sites that are the most popular and that you would see as a tourist,  you start to discover and explore places that are off the beaten path.  The Albert Kahn Museum and Gardens in one of those places.

Albert Kahn was a 20th century philanthropist who made it his mission to document the planet.  He financed many discovery missions all of the world.  The museum houses his archive of autochrome Lumière photography (color photos on glass plates) collections from 60 countries.

The thing that is the most spectacular about the museum is it’s gardens.  Comprising 10 acres it’s organized in sections modeled on gardens from around the world: a contemporary and village style Japanese garden, a rocky Vosgienne forest and English and French Gardens.  There is also a Japanese tea pavilion where on certain days you can participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony led by a tea master from Kyoto.

I went to the gardens a few times in the spring because it was so such a relaxing place and was hardly ever crowded which made it the perfect place to sketch.  This sketch was done overlooking the Japanese bridge.

If you are interested in going, the museum and gardens are located in Boulogne-Billancourt at 10-14 rue du Port.  One can easily get there by metro or bus.

Work in Progress of Gate of Reverence, Watercolor


Watercolor on Handmade Paper

I’ve completed the details on the gate’s ironwork.  Next I’ll be adding details on the background, and then finally adjusting values overall until they are where I want them.  I’m happy with the gate so far!  I’ll be taking a break from this one to work on another small painting.  Stay tuned!