Odd Man Out Accepted to The Kansas Watercolor Society National Exhibition

www.KimMinichiello.comOdd Man Out, Watercolor, 20.5″ x 40″ , 52 cm x 101.5 cm, $4200

My painting Odd Man Out has been selected for the 2014 Kansas Watercolor Society’s National Exhibition at The Wichita Center For The Arts.  I’m so honored to be in this show. Thank you to juror Thomas Schaller, whose work I greatly admire, for choosing this piece.

I have such a connection to this painting inspired by a plein air sketch I did on Peel Street in Hong Kong.  Some of my happiest moments were sketching, painting and exploring that city and for me it’s even more poignant that this piece was chosen for this show with all the political unrest that’s happening in Hong Kong right now.

For all my artists friends out there who enter competitive shows, DON’T GIVE UP! The selection process for any show can be very selective and can be greatly influenced by the taste of the judge.  This painting has been rejected from two regional shows, only to be accepted into this national show!  A painting isn’t bad, or you are not a terrible artist because a work is declined for a show.  I look at it as a golden opportunity for it to be available somewhere else.  If this painting had been juried into a current regional show, I would not have been able to enter it for the Kansas show!

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Bold & Dynamic Watercolor Workshop, October 16 & 17

www.kimminichiello.comStar Struck, Watercolor Mounted on Cradled Board, 12″ x 12,” $550

The last few weeks I have been preparing for a workshop I will be teaching at the 127 SoBo Gallery in Winter Garden, Florida, with the Winter Garden Art Association.  There are still spots available!  It is open to artists of all levels.  I will be discussing how I approach my paintings focusing on strong design, composition, and the bold use of color. We will be doing a number of painting exercises, to get the feel of different ways to paint in watercolor, and I will discuss the nuances of different brushes, papers and pigments. I will demonstrate my painting Star Struck which students will paint in the workshop.  For more detailed information please click here.

This is a 2 day workshop October 16 & 17 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.   The Historic Downtown  Winter Garden is so lovely and if you are not from the area and would like to stay over, there is a quaint older historic hotel, The Historic Edgewater Hotel, right near the workshop venue! In its hey day Winter Garden was major travel destination by train for recreational activities on Lake Apopka as well as having a booming citrus industry.  At one point it was the largest shipping point in the world for citrus.  Now it’s home to a city that is preserving and honoring it’s heritage, a number of well-known restaurants, a theatre with live productions throughout the year and now, an active art gallery!

Please email me if you would like more information on the workshop.  kimminichielloart@me.com

 

 

 

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The Florida Watercolor Society Convention & Myrna Wacknov Workshop

www.kimminichiello.comMyrna Wacknov showing us her work on Yupo.

It’s been a busy few weeks!  We moved our daughter back to college and the day after I drove to South Florida for the Florida Watercolor Society Convention.  This three day event is one of the highlights of my whole year.  If you would like to know more about the convention you can read last year’s post here.  Aside from the wonderful demo’s, done by some of the most talented artists working in watercolor today, and the Trade Show where great deals on supplies are always to be had, which can be a bit dangerous, the highlight is always seeing friends and meeting new ones!

This year I also took a workshop with one of the two instructors that are invited to do a four day workshop prior to the convention.  One of the instructors is the judge for the annual exhibition, this years judge was Frank Webb.  He is a Dolphin Fellow of AWS, American Watercolor Society, and turned 90 last week!  The other instructor was Myrna Wacknov.  I have followed Myrna’s blog for a number of years and admire and appreciate her style and techniques, many of which are considered “out of the box” for traditional watercolorists.  That is what I love about her work, I like the “there are no rules” in watercolor approach.

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Notan selfie created on my iPad

We started the week by learning about some apps that can be used on the iPad to manipulate photos, to use for reference photos for our paintings.  The main one was Photoshop Touch, which is essentially a scaled down version of Photoshop you can use on a digital device.  I often use Photoshop on the computer to design and compose paintings, which I then paint  from on my iPad.  I like knowing now that I can do some things directly on the iPad.

We took selfies and the manipulated the photos in Photoshop Touch to create a Notan and some grey scale images which were used as the reference for the three paintings we did, focusing on shape, line, and value.

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Collaging over painting done in life drawing session.  Sorry Stephanie!

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Selfie over mid tone collage background.

The first painting was done by creating collage papers in a plethora of ways to use as a mid tone valued background for the selfie (self portrait) on top.  I could see where this collage paper making could become an addiction!  I don’t do much figurative work other than life drawing once a week.  So between that and all the other surfaces we created to paint on, I was way beyond my comfort level, but it was a blast!

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Selfie on Yupo

The second painting was done on Yupo which is a synthetic paper.  I had never used this before and can take some getting used to.  I’m not a convert, but could see painting on this occasionally and experimenting with it a bit more.  I think artists that like hot press paper like this surface, the paint stays and sloshes around on the top and doesn’t really soak into the paper. I’m a cold press kinda gal.  A few artists that I feel are very successful with Yupo are Julie Ford Oliver, Helen Beacham, Taylor Ikin and Carol Ann Sherman.

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Selfie done on textured gesso surface over ink drawing.

The third painting was done by creating a textured Gesso surface to paint on, and then using line by emphasizing the face with a line drawing with ink before painting.  It was funny with all the supplies I packed for this workshop, I felt I was bringing  most of my studio, I didn’t bring a quill pen or an oiler boiler (plastic bottle with a fine needle tip)  to draw with.  I improvised by using a black Prismacolor Pencil and dipped it into my ink bottle like a crow quill pen.  This  one ended up being a sort of stylized version of me.

The two paintings aside from the Yupo were done on older watercolors, sketches from life drawings or dogs from the drawer.  With these techniques you would never throw away old paintings or paper, but would recycle them into new work! One of the many, take aways I got from this workshop.  With the limited amount of time to do so many things, I don’t feel these are quite finished but are good starts that still need some tweaking.  This was my first attempt at doing self portraiture so overall I’m pretty pleased with the likeness!  If you ever have a chance to take a workshop with Myrna don’t miss it.  She is a wonderful, engaging teacher and you learn things that go beyond the ordinary in watercolor that may take your work to a new level.

Myrna’s demonstrations from the workshop

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Plein Air & Watercolor Sketch From Life

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Watercolor Sketch on Handmade Paper

After finishing “Hope is Home” I’ve enjoyed some down time with my family and this week I have been busy preparing for the workshop I will be teaching in October at the Winter Garden Art Association.  I don’t have a big painting on my easel at the moment but I have been doing some sketching.  I recently got a new plein air watercolor easel for my birthday!  (I love having a husband who is also an artist!)

A few weeks ago we went out with a group of friends and painted locally in Winter Garden.  Since this outing was prior to the easel, I just did my normal set up sketching in my sketchbook with my backpack that converts to a stool.  If you are interested in the equipment I use for watercolor sketching you can visit a previous post here.

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I really like doing these long vertical formats and the water tower was a perfect subject. After I had laid everything in pencil and started painting, the car had moved.  I painted it in any way, so it appears a bit wonky to me.  Oh well, it’s just a sketch.

Three to four times a month, we have life drawing at the Winter Garden Art Association.  My husband and I try not to miss it.  We have been going for a few months now and I can notice a big improvement in my figure drawing which is not really my strong suit.  Like anything the only way to get better is to practice, practice, practice.  In a way this has become like yoga for me “a practice.”

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Last night I decided to take my new easel for a test drive, and paint during the 20 minute poses.  I have always drawn and never painted before for the quicker poses as opposed to one long pose for the whole night.  So here is my first attempt.  This one is the better of the three. I hope to get the hang of it to get more information down.  What I learned is this forces you to be quick in your drawing and not futz with it so you have some time to lay some color down.  Now I have a new thing to practice, practice, practice!

www.kimminichiello.comTwenty Minute Watercolor Sketch from Life

 

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

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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!

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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?

 

 

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

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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.

 

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“Gate of Reverence” More Work in Progress

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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!

 

 

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New Work…Clowning Around

www.kimminiciello.comWatercolor on Archival Paper Mounted to Cradled Board and Sealed

8″ x 8″ x 2″, 20cm x 20cm x 5cm

$285 USD, contact me if you would like to purchase

I took a little break from Gate of Reverence to work on this small painting. I had done a ton of research, taking photos at the Nemo & Friends Pavilion at Epcot,  to paint the Coral Reef Restaurant Menus and have wanted to do more sea life themed paintings.  This months themed exhibition at the 127 SoBo Gallery in Winter Garden, Florida is She Sells Sea Shells:  Works focusing on nautical themes and water.  Perfect!

This is another painting like Star Struck that I mounted to a cradled board and sealed with a spray acrylic sealer, thus, no need for framing with glass.  I like the idea of doing a series of these sea life themed paintings mounted this way.  I feel it would make a great collection to hang together, or to set on shelves or table tops!

If you are an artist interested in this process of framing without glass. I am in the process of writing an article on the steps and techniques, which will be available for download. I would like to experiment with a few more sealing options before publishing the article so please stay tuned.

If you are interested in purchasing this painting please contact me.  It will be at the 127 SoBo Gallery the months of June and July and if purchased then, 30% of the sales will go to the gallery, which is a non profit organization!

Hope everyone is having a great start to the summer!

A side note… I published my May Newsletter last week. Click here if you would like to read it.

 

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New Work Paris Passy Gate

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Paris Passy Gate, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 22″ x 19″ , 56 cm x 48 cm

I’m happy to post that Paris Passy Gate, c’est fini!  If you have been following my blog or Facebook pages I have been documenting the work in progress on this painting.  The last post I had all the block in completed and needed to analyze the painting for value and add details.  I hope you can see what a difference value makes!  There is a saying among artists and no one I’ve talked to seems to know the origination of the quote.  “Color gets all the credit, but value does all the work.”  This is so true.  You can paint something in a completely different color scheme than what the original subject is, and it will work if the values are correct.

My goal for this painting was to experiment with getting a lot of texture from the pigments and work with a grayed palette.  I’m very happy with the outcome.  I’m always nostalgic for Paris especially in the spring time, and wanted to capture a place in the area where I lived which is also down the street from the apartment of a very dear friend I met while living there.  When we met she was 90 years old but seemed like she was in her 70’s.  We met by chance in a cafe and she started speaking with me in English because she had been married to an American man whom she met in Paris on V-day after WW II.  From the day we met we got together almost every week for lunch and we are still friends and speak on the phone often.  I thought of our special friendship a lot while working on this painting.

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