China Plein Air

Kim Minichiello

China, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 10″ x 14″

This plein air painting was done at the China Pavilion at Epcot.  I had all but the last few details done on site and then finished it in the studio.  The challenge on this one was all the colorful ornamentation and details on the structure.  Therefore, this was a great exercise in indication and not getting caught up on details.  The paper on this one is one of my favorites, Twinrocker.

The day I painted this I was getting hungry I always keep a protein bar or some nuts in my bag for just such an occasion.  I had a bowl of almonds with me that day and as soon as I took the lid off of them, I had a buddy!  He was not shy in the least, as you can tell by these photos.  IMG_4692

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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.

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5th Annual Women Painters of The Southeast Exhibition

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Odd Man Out, Watercolor, 40″ x 20.5″

I’m so happy to be accepted for the 4th year in a row!  Women Painters of The Southeast, WPSE,  is a juried organization of women artists living in the Southeast United States who paint  representational work in a variety of media. I will have two paintings in the show next year.  The show will be at The Art Depot in Abingdon, Virginia, April 9-30, 2016.  Fellow WAM, Women Artists Mentors, member Maria Bennett Hock also has work in the show.  Save the date if you live in the Southwestern part of Virginia.  We might see there!

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Splash of Red, Watercolor Mounted on Cradled Board and Sealed, 12″ x 12″ x 2″

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Jewels In the Forest

www.kimminichiello.comJewels In the Forest, Watercolor on Handmade Paper, 6″ x 6,” 15 cm x 15 cm

I know I’m on kind of a mushroom kick, here is the latest painted the same size as the others in the series.  After working on larger paintings it’s gratifying to do these small ones!   The process is a lot quicker to a finished painting. However,  I try to keep reminding myself of the joy in the process and not to get so hung up on the results!  Speaking of joy, whatever brings you joy this holiday season, I hope you are taking the time to savor and be present in those moments.  Time is passing too quickly!

4493-5321-1028201511-waiting_to_be_foundOn a side note, another mushroom painting “Waiting to be Found will be in the Randy Higbee 6 Inch Squared Show, which opens this weekend at his gallery in Costa Mesa, California.  If you are in the area it’s a fantastic show with works of all media. Click on the Randy Higbee link for the address.  You can preview and purchase the paintings at Daily Brush Works.

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Into the Woods

Into the Woods cprt

Into the Woods, Watercolor, 6 x 6 on Twinrocker Handmade Paper

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The past few weeks I’ve working on a couple more small 6 x 6 paintings to add to my mushroom series. I first got the idea to do this series because I love mushrooms, (not the hallucinogenic kind.)  What’s so funny as a kid I used to detest them, except for the morels we used to hunt for in the spring. It’s funny how your tastes change. I’m fascinated with how they grow, I think they are beautiful to study and look at, and some varieties taste absolutely amazing!  I’m known to pull off the side of the road to snap pictures!  I only wish that I, like all the pharmacists in France, knew which are edible and which are poisonous.  It’s a requirement there that they all know this!

I have a dear friend who is from France and she loves mushrooms as much as I do.  I’m attaching a picture of a mother load of porcini’s she found once.  She also happens to be a great photographer and she has provided me with some of the photo reference for this series.  “Into the Woods” is based on one of her photos, she took in British Columbia.

DSCF4599My Friend’s Porcini Stash!

I’m using for this series one of my favorite papers to paint on, Twinrocker.  I love the granulation I get with certain pigments and how they settle into this paper.  They have different surfaces and this happens to be the cold press finish.  When I want a lot of texture, I use the rough paper.

#mushrooms #watercolor #Twinrocker #watercolorpaper #BritishColumbia, #porcini, #morels

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Japan Pagoda Plein Air

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Japan Pagoda, Watercolor, 11″ x 15″, on Handmade Paper

The last few months I have been sticking to my every Friday morning plein air sketching and painting practice.  I just got back from today’s session, got a good start,  and this is the painting I did last Friday.  I say sketching and painting because I have this thing in my head that says if I’m working in my sketchbook it’s a sketch but if I’m working on paper it’s a painting.  Even though while I’m working on paper I try to psyche myself into thinking I’m only doing a sketch which makes me paint a bit looser and be less fussy. I’m also not using my easel lately and painting on a foam board or my sketchbook on my lap.   I’m still trying to balance the two concepts in my brain.  Crazy!

If you live in the central Florida area, I will be teaching a Watercolor Sketching in Plein Air Workshop in Winter Garden, Nov. 14 & 15.  For more information click here.

#watercolor #epcot #japanpavilion #pagoda

Kim MinichielloLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.

 

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Meeting Mary Whyte

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Mary Whyte and Kim Minichiello

Mary Whyte’s exhibition “A Portrait of Us”  opened this past weekend at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida. I  was beyond excited to see her work in person, since I’m a big admirer and have read most of her books, (see book reviews here),  but then to meet her during a gallery talk on Saturday was an incredible opportunity!

Mary is the nicest and most beautiful person as her paintings are stunning.  She shared a bit about her background and how she came to paint the Gullah women  on John’s Island in South Carolina, as well as a brief story and sometimes a bit of technical insight on every painting in the exhibition.  In addition her husband  Smith Coleman, Smitty, was there to discuss how he complements her work with the frames he hand makes, and the process that goes into carving and finishing the frames to enhance the paintings even farther. All of Mary’s paintings were framed by frames made by Smitty.  The frames as well as the work were absolutely beautiful.

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Mary Discussing the Model from the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus

Knowing the stories and the thought process that went into each work gave me an even bigger appreciation of what I was seeing. It was such a unique opportunity to experience the artists giving a narrative of every piece in the show!   I loved one thing Mary said when discussing her work and that was, “What do you want the piece to say, and then how can say more.”  Something to keep in the back of my head while composing and  painting my own work.

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Mary talks about how she composed these two works and the stories behind them.

The show will be running from now until January 3, 2016.  I plan to go back again since I know I will have a different experience another time.  This show is not to be missed especially for artists who paint in watercolor!

#MaryWhyte #MennelloMuseumofAmericanArt #AProtraitofUs #Orlando #Florida #watercolor #watercolorexhibition #JohnsIsland #GullahWomen, #WorkingSouth #Down BohicketRoad #PaintingPortraits&FiguresinWatercolor

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Zen Moment

Kim Minichiello

Zen Moment, 12″ X 12,” Watercolor

Just when I thought I had returned I was gone again!  I have been traveling once again and with all the activities relating to my recent trip, I have not been in the studio painting, blogging or being very active on social media.  I just got back a little over a week ago from Indiana.  My mom planned a lovely memorial service for my dad and I stayed a while with her to help her with odds and ends since his passing.  Then it was off to Savannah last weekend to get my daughter settled for her junior year at SCAD.  Time is flying so quickly! I really wish the summer would last a bit longer, however, without the Florida heat!

I’m back to painting again and did this piece which I’m calling Zen Moment, because that is exactly what I needed and it is what this painting provided!  I have also decide to teach my students this piece in my upcoming “Bold & Dynamic Watercolor” workshop at the Winter Garden Art Association which will be here before you know it, Sat. & Sun. October 17 & 18.  If you would like more information you can visit my website here and to register you can go here to visit the Winter Garden Art Association’s website.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me.  I want to give a shout out to Cynthia who discovered my blog and came to Florida last spring to take my workshop!  Cynthia,  I haven’t made the Meyer Lemon Jelly yet, but still plan to!

I’m happy to be home and to get back into more of a normal routine, if such a thing exists, but at least it is feeling like it, at the moment.

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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

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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.

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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.

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New Work…Waiting to Be Found

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Waiting to Be Found, Watercolor Mounted on Board and Sealed, 6″ x 6,” 15.25 cm x 15.25 cm, $275 Framed in Gold Plein Air Frame

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In continuation of my mushroom series and in honor of morel mushroom season, at least in the midwest, I’m posting my latest painting, “Waiting to Be Found.”  Hunting (or in chef speak, foraging) for morels was a big part of my childhood.  As if it wasn’t fun enough to  traipse through the woods, looking for morels just added a whole other level of excitement.  With walking sticks in hand, we would clear the May apples with hopes to find these treasures hidden on the forest floor.  Of course, if I found one I would have to screech the announcement at the top of my lungs to my mom.  Until, I quickly learned, that if there were others out there looking you had just made the big proclamation as to where they could be found.  Patches where morels are hidden are a closely guarded secret in the mushroom hunting world!

Sometimes you would hit the mother lode because they often grow in clusters!  I quickly learned from my mom and grandfather the delicate art of pinching them at the base to pick them and not pulling them up from the roots.  The latter supposedly prevented them from growing again. But I never quite got that because I thought they were propagated by spores.  If any one knows the scoop on this please feel free to comment.

I remember my grandfather going to Michigan to hunt and coming back with his station wagon, packed to gills with styrofoam coolers full of them which he sold to the local market.  Today they retail for over $32.00 per pound!

My mom and dad own wooded property where my mom still goes out every May.  Shouting is aloud now since no one else is supposed to be in there because there are “No Trespassing” signs posted all over.  So if my mom sees the May apples trampled, you better watch out, she carries a big walking stick!

#morel #morelmushroom #mushroomforaging #mushroomhunting

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