Do You Do Voodoo

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Do You Do Voodoo, Watercolor Mounted on Board, Sealed and Framed, 6″ x 6,” framed size 12″ x 12,” $200 framed

Last spring when I attended the reception for the 44th Annual International Louisiana Watercolor  Exhibition at the Garden District Gallery in New Orleans.  I spent the weekend doing a self guided tour of the city.  While wandering around the French Quarter I happened upon the tiny, quaint Voodoo Museum.  It was so much fun, such a learning experience and a stroke of good luck, avoiding a downpour!

Upon entering the museum I was greeted by the proprietor, Voodoo Priest,  with his baby pet boa constrictor around his neck leisurely petting it while checking guests in.  The museum is a small, few room space, with more of a home-made display vibe, but very interesting nonetheless.  I was enamored with all the accoutrement  used for altar displays, and the offerings of money, Mardi Gras beads and a plethora of objects!

I was also fascinated to learn that the voodoo doll was originally used by doctors as their record keeping device for their  patients.  They would mark the doll with pins to remember one’s ailments and record treatments that were given.  Not sure how it morphed into a curse device from there.

This paining, Do You Do Voodoo  was inspired by my visit there.  It will be available during the October Exhibition, “The Edge of Night,”  at the 127 SoBo Gallery in Winter Garden, Florida.

Contact me, kimminichielloart@me.com,  if you are interested in purchasing.

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Watercolor Sketch Claude Monet’s Home in Giverny, France

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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.

 

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Featured Artist at the 127 SoBo Gallery in Winter Garden Florida

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I have shared everywhere else, Facebook, Newsletter, etc. that I am going to be the featured artist this month at the 127 SoBo Gallery in Winter Garden, Florida, but haven’t shared on my blog!!  I helped hang the show yesterday at the gallery with some wonderful fellow volunteers at the Winter Garden Art Association.  The  theme for this months show is “Pick Your Passion” and is only open for members to exhibit.   The collection of work I’ve put together for the show represents two of my passions, painting and travel.

Although it has been a few years since I’ve lived there, I am greatly influenced by my time living in Hong Kong and France and traveling throughout Asia and Europe for many years. I have thousands of reference photos that are a never-ending source for inspiration!  I just wish I could paint faster!

If you are in the area, the opening reception is Thursday night, August 7 from 5:30 to 8:00. The address of the gallery is 127 South Boyd Street, in Winter Garden Florida.   The show will be up the month of August, if you can’t make the reception and would like to see it.  The gallery hours are Wed. through Sat. 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

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I was getting my work framed which is such a nice feeling, not only to see it all framed which feels like the icing on the cake but to protect it as well.  I posted this photo on Facebook of Odd Man Out with yours truly standing next to it to give an idea of scale.  Many friends have commented since seeing it they had no idea it was that big!  It’s really difficult when we see work on websites or in Facebook without a human standing next to it, to judge the scale of one’s work.  Many of my paintings are quite large.

 

 

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Tuscan Olives

www.KimMinichiello.comTuscan Olives, Limited Edition Giclée print from an original watercolor, 8″ x 8″

I have a few friends who are traveling in Italy right now.  I can’t say that I’m not jealous!!  I hope they are having a great time and since I”m feeling quite nostalgic wishing I was there, I thought I would post one of my paintings that was inspired by wandering around the olive trees in Fiesole just above Florence.  This and many other of my paintings are available as limited editions giclée prints and note cards.  Click here for more information. If you are interested in bigger sizes just let me know.   Ciao!

 

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Gate of Reverence

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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.

 

 

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Watercolor Sketch in The Alcázar Seville Spain

www.kimminichiello.comWatercolor Sketch on Handmade Paper

It’s been a busy week,  I’m in the process of finishing Gate of Reverence, and am brainstorming and designing a painting for a special project which I will talk about when it’s a bit further along.  Plus doing a lot of general life stuff, doctors appointments, grocery shopping, you know the stuff that still needs doing while we try to squeeze in painting time!

Today I’m posting another watercolor sketch from my travels.  I love Spain, even though,  sadly I speak no Spanish.  I have probably seen more there than in any other country in Europe.  I have been to southern Spain a few times and this sketch was done on one of those occasions in the Alcázar in Seville.

After sketching in many places oddly there are those select few where you find out after the fact,  it is forbidden to sketch there!  This is one. My husband and I settled down to do our sketches.  We split up, he a few yards away from where I was. We were probably about 45 minutes into the process, just about finishing up and we were approached by a guard asking us to stop.  Mind you if we were painting oils, I could see there might be some issue painting in the garden.  There were no signs posted, nothing in the literature we received when we paid our entrance fees.  You were allowed to take as many photographs as you like. The guard gave us no explanation. Needless to say we were a bit stumped. However, we came away feeling like we had gotten away with something, a nice memory painting in the Alcázar and some pretty decent sketches.

 

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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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The Actual Coral Reef Restaurant Menus at Epcot, Walt Disney World

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 The Lunch, Dinner and Dessert Menus for the Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot

I haven’t been to the Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot, Walt Disney World to order from these yet, but I did get copies to keep!!  I am so thrilled with how they turned out!  After I did the initial design with the sea turtle the folks at Epcot liked the design so much they wanted to do the dinner and dessert menus too.  In order not to have to paint the entire painting multiple times, (It was painted on a full size watercolor sheet, 22″ x 30″)  I painted the spotted eagle ray separately and it was digitally swapped out with the turtle.  For the dessert menu they liked the lower left portion of the full painting and cropped in for the smaller menu.

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Menu Interior

For the interior of the menu I did a tone on tone painting to serve as the background for the copy.  The graphic designer at Walt Disney Imagineering did the layout  of the other elements on top of my painted background.

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The Original Painting, Watercolor, 22″ x 30″

The actual menus covers measure 8.5″ x 14″, however, I painted the image large because I wanted to have a larger surface to get more variation in color and not have to paint the details super small.

I couldn’t me more pleased and can’t wait to go and order food!

 

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Watercolor Sketch at the Albert Kahn Museum and Gardens in Paris

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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.

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Work in Progress of Gate of Reverence, Watercolor

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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!

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