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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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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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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Watercolor Sketch of Orchids on a Palm Tree

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Watercolor on Handmade Paper

I’m progressing on the Hope is Home painting and will post some more progress of it soon. In the mean time, since many are lounging by the pool this summer.  I thought I would post a sketch I did doing just that!  Last summer we stayed at a lovely inn in Key West and one of the palm trees there had orchids hanging from  the trunk.  I had my watercolor kit in my pool bag so pulled it out and did this quickie sketch.  This variety of orchid had tiny purple blooms that looked like they were dangling in mid-air.

 

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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 The Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World

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Watercolor on Handmade Paper

It’s been a busy week here in the studio.  My newest work Gate of Reverence is finished except for a signature and a pressing.  Will post the finished painting soon!  I’m also in the process of researching and designing my next painting which I will be doing for a very special cause.  More to come on that too!  My daughter is home from school. I have been spending some wonderful time with her on her days off from work. And, my husband has some time off from work too!   Life is good.

Today thought I would post a sketch done a while back of some local subject matter.  This is a view of The Grand Floridian Hotel at Walt Disney World in Florida.  It’s kind of challenging to sketch a big “grand” building on a small 6 inch by 9 inch page.   It forces you to measure and keep it simple!

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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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