Jock Lindsey from Indiana Jones is my Alter Ego

www.kimminichiello.comJock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Disney Springs, photo credit Disney Parks Blog

This past July I mentioned I was working on another Disney illustration project but I couldn’t say what it was.  When it’s in the guest hands I can let the cat out of the bag!  If your received my last newsletter, (you can subscribe here) you already know that Jock Lindsey from the Indiana Jones series is my alter ego!

One of the new attractions at Disney Springs, formerly knows as Downtown Disney,  is Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, themed after the infamous pilot in the Indiana Jones series.   The story goes, Jock flew Indiana Jones to Florida in the late 1930’s to search for the fountain of youth.  He loved it so much he settled here in the 1940’s on the waterfront and opened a bar in a deserted airplane hangar.  As he was dreaming up cocktails to serve.  He started sketching out ideas in watercolor.  My (I mean Jock’s) favorite cocktails and sketches are featured in the cocktail menu. They are: The Cool Headed Monkey, Reggie’s Revenge, Hovito Mojito and Anything Goes.  I didn’t design the cocktails, Jock took care of that.  But I did have a hand doing (I mean helping) him with the illustrations for the menu.  I can’t wait to try them!

If you visit Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar and try any of them let me know what you think!

The Cool Headed Monkey: My illustrations in the menu photo credit Steve Fox, Inside the Magic.

Reggie’s Revenge: My illustrations in the menu photo credit Steve Fox, Inside the Magic.

Hovito Mojito

Hovito Mojito: My illustrations in the menu photo credit Steve Fox, Inside the Magic.

Anything Goes: My illustrations in the menu photo credit Steve Fox, Inside the Magic.

#HangarBar #JockLindsey #DisneySprings #cocktailmenu #watercolorillustrations #downtowndisney

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A Couple Watercolor Sketches and some Workshops

Watercolor Sketch, in a 9 x 11 Stillman & Birn Sketchbook

I have been starting up again my once a week plein air watercolor sketch outing.  My goal is to user a larger sketchbook and get quicker with the drawing and looser with the painting.  I’m using a 9″ x 11″ Stillman & Birn, Alpha Series sketchbook.  I am really liking this painting surface.  A few of my other books have hand-made khadi paper which I also like, but I’m loving how the color is popping off the page with this smoother paper!   The Alapha Series paper is thinner than their Beta Series paper.  The advantage to that is you get more paper in the book and I’m able to watercolor sketch on both sides of the sheet with no bleed through.  That’s how nice this paper is.  It’s a little more like a hot press surface than a cold press paper, if you were to compare it to watercolor paper, but not as smooth and slick as some hot press papers are.

Watercolor Sketch, in a 9 x 11 Stillman & Birn Sketchbook

The main reason watercolor is my preferred medium at the moment is for my love of sketching in watercolor.  Once I did this for a number of  years I had the desire to try my hand at larger works!  My sketchbooks are like my little children, complete treasures.  I love looking through them to remind me of the memories of the places I have traveled.

If you are interested in sketching in watercolor, documenting your travels or your daily life, I will be teaching a “Sketching in Watercolor: Plein Air” Workshop” at the Winter Garden Art Association.  One this fall, November 14 & 15 and one this spring, April 11 & 12.  For complete details and more information you can visit my website here.  And to register  for the fall class you can do that here.  Leave me a comment or send me an email if you would like to register for the spring class.

My complete workshop schedule for spring 2016 is on my web site here.

#urbansketcher #watercolorsketching #watercolorworkshop

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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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Watercolor Sketch Cassis France

www.kimminichiello.comWatercolor Sketch in Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook

During our recent trip we stayed in Aix en Provence as our home base and drove to other villages in the area mostly in the Luberon region.  A forty five minute drive south form Aix is the lovely village of Cassis, which is absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine in the high summer season how crowed it must get there!  We spent time sketching, walking around and then took a boat tour of les calanques, which are the limestone cliffs along the Mediterranean Sea that connect Marsailles to Cassis.  The water is the most gorgeous turquoise, which photos never do justice to illustrate.

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Watercolor Sketch From Provence


Abbey Notre Dame Senanque coprtWatercolor Sketch, Abbey Notre-Dame de Sénanque, near Gordes, France in Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook, 9″ x 12″

Well I said I was back but I haven’t posted since July 8!  It’s been a bit crazy in the studio, in a good way!  I got a call to do a Disney illustration protect that has kept me busy the last few weeks.  It was a blast to do and I will share when the illustrations have been published.  This little project couldn’t have been more up my alley.  More details to follow.

I thought I would share a watercolor sketch I did while in Provence.  I tried a new sketchbook on the recommendation of Iain Stewart from his workshop I took last spring.  It’s a Stillman & Birn Alpha Series.  The size I got is a 9″ x 12″.  This is the first sketch I did in it and my first reaction was what the #$*%! I’m so used to painting on cold press rough or handmade Twinrocker paper, at first I felt really out of my comfort zone. This paper is a lot smoother.  However, as I progressed I started loving the looseness of the sketches and how the washes dried on this paper!  I’m a convert, not that I will give up on my other books and the variety of papers that are in those.  I just have a bigger repertoire now!

This is Abbey Notre-Dame de Sénanque, a 12th century abbey in a small valley near Gordes, France.

I had to re-read this book when I returned home to keep Provence more alive in my head and re-live our trip a bit.

[amazon asin=0679731148&template=iframe image]

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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

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.


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From John Lasseter to Vivienne Westwood

www.kimminichiello.comThis past weekend was the graduation for SCAD seniors and grad students and they had the lucky fortune to have John Lasseter from the Walt Disney Company and Pixar giving the commencement address.  And, it  was my good fortune to attend!  He gave a very heart warming speech looking back on his career getting his degree at Cal Arts, working at Disney early on, only to be fired for not “fitting in” at the time.  Then  meeting Ed Catmull, founding Pixar and working with Steve Jobs.  John is adamant about animation being for everyone!  He shared a story of a well-worn Woody doll being sent to him from the folks at Walt Disney World after it had been turned in at guest relations because the boy who owned it was getting a new one to replace the old one and felt the “old” Woody should retire at Walt Disney World.  John was clearly emotional realizing that a character and wonderfully told story can touch peoples lives in more ways than one can imagine.  Just because the media happens to be animation or as some would call them cartoons, it can be ever so meaningful to so many! Especially to the boy who would watch cartoons everyday after school, realize he could create them for a living then become the chief creative officer at Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Toon Studios and the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering!

Cirque du Soleil Performers and Confetti for the Grand Finale at the SCAD Graduation Ceremony

Then later in the afternoon I made a return visit to the SCAD Museum of Art to see the newly installed Vivienne Westwood exhibition, Dress Up Story-1990 Until Now  in conjunction with the annual SCAD Fashion Show 2015. The André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Westwood in recognition of her achievements and legacy in fashion.  Talley curated the exhibition.  Selections from SCAD Museum of Art’s  collection of British and American paintings hung salon-style creating a wonderful backdrop for  Westwood’s designs.


www.kimminichiello.comSince I am a knitter and also crochet I can appreciate the work that went into this!

www.kimminichiello.comThis one too!

www.kimminichiello.comAnd the socks to go with it!

www.kimminichiello.comwww.kimminichiello.comAll hand done!

www.kimminichiello.comThank you Dame Vivienne for such beautiful and inspiring designs!


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Xu Bing at the SCAD Museum of Art Background Story: Double Ninth Festival Landscape by Xu Bing

I go Savannah quite often, my daughter is a student at  SCAD, (Savannah College of Art & Design.)  Every visit I always go to the SCAD Museum of Art if there is something new to see since my last visit.  Last time I was blown away by Dustin Yellin’s Triptych.  This last visit did not disappoint either.  Aside from an Oscar De La Renta retrospective, the thought-provoking art of Xu Bing, Things Are Not What They First Appear,  was a major highlight.  There are two different projects, one in the lobby and another in the farthest room from the entrance.  This post covers the project in the lobby.

www.kimminichiello.comI’m standing next to the back of the  piece to give a sense of scale.

Works in the lobby are from the Background Story series.  The main piece, Background Story: Double Ninth Festival Landscape is an almost fifteen feet tall contemporary interpretation of a landscape from a painted scroll from the Qing dynasty.  Viewing the work from the front it towers in the lobby and is a large surface of backlit frosted glass, with the atmospheric scene of a traditional Chinese landscape typically done in ink and watercolor.  On viewing the rear of the work, I was absolutely astounded as to how the work was created.  Essentially it is one huge light box with the clever use of materials one would never expect:  plastic grocery bags,  dried leaves and twigs, bubble wrap, and torn newspapers to name just a few items.  All  are recycled or discarded materials.

www.kimminichiello.comwww.kimminichiello.comThe second installation is small light boxes lining the wall with a single element normally seen in a traditional Chinese landscape.  Underneath the box is the material that was used to create it.  Most are natural materials aside from the blue plastic shopping bags that were used to create the fish image.

www.kimminichiello.comwww.kimminichiello.comThe third piece is another representative copy of a traditional Chinese Painting by Zhang Daqian, The South Mountain Landscape. The blue tones you see in the front are achieved with the same blue shopping bags in the back.  Again the images are created with trash and natural debris.

Background Story:  The South Mountain

Background Story:  The South Mountain Landscape back view.

 Traditional Chinese Painting by Zhang Daqian, The South Mountain Landscape

I love when artists re-purpose materials to create a new vision!

Xu Bing is a Chinese born artist who lived in the United States for eighteen years.  He currently resides in Beijing and serves as the president for the Central Academy of Fine Arts.  You can visit his website here. The Xu Bing, Things Are Not What They First Appear, exhibition will be at the SCAD Museum of Art until July 3, 2015.

#xubing #SCAD #SCADMusuemofArt

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Shipping Large Artwork Follow- Up

Lion SLion Dance, Watercolor, 43″ x 43,” getting ready to be shipped to the Southern Watercolor Society Exhibition at the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, TN May 8-July 5

Since I had to ship a very large painting to the Southern Watercolor Society show recently I thought I would do a follow-up post on my shipping artwork series.  Artist Margret Mcdermott was kind to make some comments recently on my post “Shipping Artwork FedEx Ground vs. UPS:  What I’ve learned,”  with some of her recent experiences.  Since I have been shipping artwork to shows for about three years now, the consensus among artists is that although we go to great lengths to try to do our research and protect our art as much as we can in the shipping process.  It is all essentially a crap shoot if we were ever to file a claim.  The kicker will be what we have determined the “declared value” to be.  Shipping companies won’t just take our word for it.  There attitude is, we are the artist, we could put any price on it we want!  I have been told by one shipping company they would take the word of an appraiser though. I don’t know of anyone that sends painting to shows that hires an appraiser to appraise their paintings!  I have heard of artists having to jump through hoops in the process of filing a claim for damages and the best we can hope for is they would accept documentation of your sales or sales records from your galleries as proof of the value of your work.

The best strategy is to pack your work as best as possible and hope for the best.  If anyone out there has filed a claim for damaged artwork. Please share your experience here in the comments section!

But I have digressed, I wanted to write a little bit about shipping a large painting!  In my article, Shipping Large Paintings: What I’ve Learned, I went into detail about how to calculate whether your box is oversized.  Instead of turning my large Air Float box into a workbench, which I had threatened to do, I did use it again to ship my painting to the Southern Watercolor Society Exhibition. I bit the bullet and just got over the fact that my painting is big and yes I was going to have to pay extra to get it there.   This time the box was sent using FedEx vs. UPS.  I just wanted to share that the charge for the box being oversized  was less with FedEx than the UPS oversize charge the first time I used the box.

Whenever I send a painting to a show I always check the prices with FedEx and UPS in the estimate calculator, which is so easy to do if you have an account you can save all the address information so you only have to enter it once. If you are shipping work to shows I highly advise setting up an account with both companies!  It’s free, you can schedule pick ups and you don’t always have to rely on the UPS store.    In this case with my oversize box it was more economical for me to go FedEx.  Always try your own dimensions with both to see what works best for you!  Please feel free to share in the comments any knowledge  you have had with shipping so that others can learn and benefit from our experiences!

#shippingoversizedart #shippingart

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The Georgia Watercolor Society National Exhibition and Iain Stewart’s Workshop

www.kimminichiello.comYours Truly with Honorable Mention Award for Mayan Gate, Watercolor

I thought I would to a post following up on my trip to Atlanta.  I was there the beginning of the month to attend the Georgia Watercolor Society’s National Juried Exhibition Reception and to take a workshop with the juror, Iain Stewart.  The week was absolutely fantastic in so many ways.  First, I want to thank the Georgia Watercolor Society and all the volunteers and Iian, the show was so beautiful and well-balanced with a range of subject matter.  I was honored to be included with such a talented  group of artists. GWS is a top-notch organization between the members, the  exhibition, the workshop and the folks at the Ogelthorpe Museum of Art, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.  The workshop was held where the show was so it was a treat to be surrounded by it and see all of the work the whole week!

The Ogelthorpe University Museum of Artwww.kimminichiello.comThe Gallery and Workshop Venue

One of the major high lights attending the shows is getting to meet the other artists.  The group I had the pleasure of being with all week during the workshop was so nice, gracious and a hoot!  We had a ball.  The other was receiving an Honorable Mention award!  To be singled out from a few hundred submissions to be in the show and then from around 90 works in the show from artists all over the United States, to receive an award was such an honor.  If you are interested in seeing the images from the show you can click here.  Another highlight was getting signature status with this great group, after having been in their national exhibition three times.

Iain Stewart with Demo Painting Done During the GWS Reception and Award Ceremony

Last but not least, was getting to spend 5 days painting with Iain Stewart.  I wanted to take a workshop with Iain because I felt he was somewhat if a kindred spirit by doing watercolor sketchbooks especially during travels.  I have been doing the same since 2005 and it is purely the reason I am now painting in watercolor.  I fell in love with the media doing sketches while traveling and living in Hong Kong and Paris.  The other reason I was excited to take the workshops is because I have recently been doing more plein air painting, as a seeing and drawing practice to improve my studio work,  and for my own enjoyment.  My husband also plein air paints and it is something we really enjoy doing together.  I was struggling with not simplifying what was in front of me enough and now with Iain’s help, I feel I have a much better handle on it.

Iian Demonstrating a Painting of Anstruther Scotland

I thought I would share a few of my observations from the workshop in case there are others who are interested in learning from Iain.  He also has a new series of DVD’s that were recently released, in case a workshop is to cost prohibitive.  However, I’m not sure Iain’s sense of humor will shine through on the DVD’s!  Yes, he is a hoot, and you will laugh and have a great time.  If you like taking workshops where the instructor is all business, doesn’t crack jokes and have fun, then this one may not be for you.

Whether you are, or are not a landscape painter you will learn.  If you are a landscape painter, after painting with Iian you will have many take-aways you can apply to your own work and style.  If you are not a landscape painter primarily, I feel the biggest takeaways will be to learn how to analyze your subject matter, edit and add to if needed to arrive at the best composition.  You will draw before you paint, using Iain’s photo reference as a guide.    If you are a watercolor artist  that only traces your images for your work and are lacking in drawing skills, you may feel a bit intimated.  On the other hand, more of a reason for you to take the workshop.  For a city scene, he does go over perspective.

My Painting of Vanasque, Provence, France Done During the Workshop

My Painting of Anstruther Scotland Done During the Workshop

Iain’s method is to finish a painting with 3-4 passes starting top to bottom with washes.  The first wash being the lightest, the following washes gradually getting darker in value, saving the lights from the first wash, and the last wash adds the darkest values and the details.  In my own plein air practice I’m eager to try this method and paint through my subject matter more, knowing the areas from the fist washes will get covered up with darker ones.  This will avoid painting “pieces”  and seeing the scene and painting it as a whole.

Iain’s a great guy and a very talented artist!  If he is coming to an area near you I would highly recommend taking his workshop!   You will have a great time and there are moments you just may laugh your **s off, but you will still learn a whole ***l of a lot!

#GeorgiaWatercolorSociety #IainStewart #IainStewartWorkshop #GWSNationalExhibition minichiello.comLimited Edition Giclée Prints & Note Cards of my work available here.


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