Randy Higbee 6 Inch Squared Show

Into the Woods cprt

Into the Woods, Watercolor Mounted on Board and Sealed, 6 x 6, $295, available at the show

I’m so happy that I will have work again in The Randy Higbee Gallery for the annual Six Inch Squared Show.  This is a highlight of the year for many in Southern California!  I have many friends in the show and am honored to be in such good company!  If you are in the area the show opens, with the Gala Reception on December 3, from 6-9 pm.  The show will be up the month of December and a bit into the first of the year.

Randy Higbee Gallery

102 Kalmus Drive.  Costa Mesa.  Ca.  9262

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Nepali Temple, Watercolor Mounted on Board and Sealed, 6 x 6, $295 available at the show

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Plein Air Friday: More from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

www.kimminichiello.comI apologize to my loyal blog followers!  I haven’t been very active on here lately.  I have a full plate of teaching workshops,  private students, demos, shows, painting for upcoming shows, and a kitchen remodel that is still in the works!  Therefore, I’ve been limiting my time on social media and writing blog posts.  I’m looking forward to things slowing down over the holidays.  This morning my husband and I went back out to Animal Kingdom to paint.  I had started this one in an earlier session, and finished it today.  We have a little less than a 2 hour window to paint each time.

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I like how Violet is patting my shadow shoulder.

I had the Saimang Monkeys that are native to Southeast Asia keeping me company today. Since the weather has cooled off a bit they are a lot more active.  Violet and Veruka are five-year old twin sisters.

www.kimminichiello.comThis is a work in progress from the start of the morning.

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Veruka is hanging ten.

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I will add a few more finishing touches in the studio but it’s pretty much complete.

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Plein Air Friday, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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This was the start from last Friday

The group I have been painting with at Epcot on Fridays has now moved to Animal Kingdom.  We are so psyched!  I was on the design team for this park and have loved it from day one.  We traveled to many places in Asia during the concept and design phase and spending time in the Asia area of Animal Kingdom brings back so many great memories.

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This is where I finished today.  I’ll tweak and punch up the values in the studio.

One of my favorite things about plein air painting is the ambiance surrounding you. At the location today, I thought I would share with you some of my surroundings.  Just behind where I was painting was the home of the White Cheeked Gibbons.  One of the females just had a baby, and here is a video of her with her mom and a few of the males.  The female is a brown color and the males are dark.  The baby’s name is Harper named after Harper Lee.

Every morning around 8:00 they start this ritual where they screech, or sing if you will,  to mark their territory.  It is an unbelievable sound and the first time you hear it you think they are electronic sirens or alarms!  Here is a  sound snippet of their songs!  Stick with it they really get going about half way through this one minute audio.

 

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Plein Air Friday, The Historic Windermere School House

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The Historic Windermere School House, Windermere, FL, Plein Air, 10″ x 14″

I was planning on painting plein air at Disney’s Animal Kingdom today but the weather put a kibosh on that!  Hurricane Matthew is howling outside as I’m posting this.  I feel extremely blessed, It doesn’t seem to be as bad here as what was predicted yesterday but the coasts are  getting the worst of it. I hope all my friends on the coasts are weathering the storm OK.  Everybody stay safe!!

This is a plein air piece I started a few weeks ago and put the finishing touches on in the studio,  I’m really happy with the light quality and contrast on this one.  I feel it has good lights and darks.  It’s kind of tricky painting a white structure and maintaining a nice value plan.

My workshop, “Photoshop as a Tool for Artists,” is coming up at the Winter Garden Art Association/SoBo Gallery, on October 20.  This is a one day workshop to help artists learn all the different ways they can use Photoshop for their artwork, to marketing to entering shows.  Click here to register, early bird price ends soon!

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Plein Air Friday, Lake Butler Boat Houses

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Work in Progress,  on 1/4 sheet 140 lb. Arches

 I have a work in progress painting from my outing today.  I went across Lake Butler to the other side  from my community and started a painting of the boat houses.  I was in a relaxing mood this morning and took my time.  I will go back to the same location to finish it another day.  This is about 2 hours scoping location, drawing and painting.

Boat Houses 1

Trying out some new brushes

I was anxious to try my new toys I got at the Florida Watercolor Society Convention & Trade Show last week.  I’ve always wanted a travel brush set.  At some point, I will condense my kit even more to have a small one that just fits in my purse,  I can use on occasion, instead of carrying a separate bag.  They just happen to be the same brush type I use all the time plein air painting.  I love the Escoda Perla series.  In addition to the #14, I now have a #10, #6 and a #2, in the travel kit!  The extra bonus is I can use them in the studio too! The smaller brush came in really handy on the spanish moss.  It doesn’t show up very well in the photo, they came in a black leather case.

I also bought a #16 Escoda Versatil. I had a #14 and found it to be a bit small for what I wanted. This is a synthetic sable brush.  I like to have a bigger sable like brush to lay in large washes and skies.  This worked out really well!!

To quote Tom Haverford on the TV series, Parks & Recreation, “Treat yo-self!”

 

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New Work: “Gone But Not Forgetten”

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Gone But Not Forgotten, Mixed Media, 22.5″ x 15″

$800

I have had such a crazy busy summer, I have been neglecting the ole blog a bit.  Thought I would check in and post a new painting!  This is a big departure from my normal work.  My goal was to try a new technique and push myself to do something different.  The process was so much fun on this one!

This painting is going to be featured in the City Hall of Winter Garden, Florida for a show featuring citrus, since this whole area where I live in Central Florida was a mecca for the citrus industry.  The show will be up from Sept. 12 through October.

When I moved to the area where I live,  17 years ago.  It was very rural and we were a tiny neighborhood tucked in orange groves.  When the trees blossomed in the early spring the smell was intoxicating!  I would always drive with my car windows down and just smell!  I always looked forward to that time of year.

Well things have changed.  All the groves have become housing complexes, shopping centers and high schools.  I guess you can’t stop progress or population growth, at least our county commissioners can’t because you are hard pressed to find a grove anymore.  This painting is an homage to those times I remember enjoying living around orange groves, hence the title, “Gone But Not Forgotten.”  The metallic gold background symbolizes the reverence I feel for those former groves and trees.

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Plein Air Friday: “End of The Line”

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“End of The Line,” watercolor done plein air, 8″ x 12″

$350, matted

Since I try weather permitting,  to paint every Friday morning,  most of the time with the folks at Walt Disney Imagineering at Epcot. I thought why not start a new series on my blog where I post the paintings and sketches! I have been pretty good about posting them on Facebook if you want to follow me there.   This one was done in downtown historic Winter Garden, Florida.  It was done in two sessions.  It has been really hot here and I didn’t have the drive or focus to finish it in one go.

 

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New Work: Venetian Doorbell

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Venetian Doorbell, Watercolor, 6″ x 6,” 15 cm x 15 cm

$285 Framed

Buy Now

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I posted!  I have a little side project going that is taking away some of my studio time.  I’m redoing my kitchen.  Part of my design background is Interior Design, which I did for Walt Disney Imagineering for many years.  I’m in the midst of designing and ordering all the elements for the kitchen now.  Part of me absolutely dreads what’s ahead, not having a kitchen for a period of time. However, I will be thrilled when it’s done!

This is a small painting inspired by an unusual door bell I saw on my recent trip to Venice.  The tongue is what you press to make it ring!  Was tempted, but didn’t try it.  I’m currently doing a larger painting featuring this guy.

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Italy on My Mind

Kim Minichiello

Assisi Guardian, Watercolor on handmade paper, 24″ x 22″

$2600

I’m still on a high from my recent trip to Venice.  I got a little caught up last week and will share some photos and experiences on a future post.  In the mean time, I’m posting  a new painting inspired on a former trip to Italy.

This piece was inspired by a trip to Assisi, Italy.  Guarding the Basilica Santa Chiara, is a  beautiful terra cotta lion statue.  Chiara or Clare in english was a friend of St. Francis and the founder of the convent and order of the Poor Clares.  I knew the day I visited, I would eventually do a painting of the lion statue that was so intriguing to me.  I’m not sure of  the exact significance of the lion here, but to me it symbolizes the essence and spirit of St. Francis and his great love of animals and our duty to protect our earth’s creatures and environment.  In addition, I feel it’s important to protect ancient customs and art forms.  The background in this painting, replicating a stitched pattern, pays homage to the ancient Italian needlework tradition of Assisi Embroidery.

Where is your favorite place to visit in Italy?  Have you seen this Lion in Assisi?

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Homemade Transfer Paper

www.kimminichiello.comI taught a “Watercolor for Beginners” workshop last week and I thought it might be nice to provide homemade transfer paper for my students to use.  I have heard about the positive virtues of the homemade stuff, especially from fellow WAM (Women Artists Mentors) member, Carrie Waller.  I thought I know what to do, but when things went awry I messaged her on our mentor’s group private Facebook page and she set me straight.  Such is the beauty of a mentor group, having instant help and support whenever you need it!

I don’t always condone the use of transfer paper for every painting.  I paint plein air and from life and draw my image directly on the paper sometime.  When I’ve taken and composed a photo that already has a good composition and design elements or I have manipulated a photo in Photoshop for design and composition, I use it as a shortcut to get my image on the watercolor paper.  This works great for smaller paintings and can be a bit trickier for larger one.  Essentially you need your image (a photo or drawing) to be the same size as your finished painting to trace over it with the transfer paper in the middle graphite side down between your image and the watercolor paper.  This will be a huge timesaver in the workshop so students can get their image on the watercolor paper quickly and will have more time for painting.

What are the positive virtues of homemade transfer paper as opposed to the one you buy in a role that comes in a box the size of plastic wrap or foil?

It’s less waxy and doesn’t leave any other unnecessary wax or residue on the watercolor paper.

It’s economical!  One homemade sheet can be used over and over again. The other stuff can me used more than once but eventually it gets spent and you have to toss it.

If you work large and need a specific size you can make it any size you want!

A con is it can be a messy process but one I felt was worth it.

So here is how you make it…….

Materials:

  • Tracing Paper
  • 6B graphite stick
  • Jar of powdered graphite (this isn’t absolutely necessary but allowed me to cover the paper quicker)
  • Cotton Pads
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Old cotton rag or wash cloth

IMG_5488IMG_5489 Coat your transfer paper as heavy as you can with the graphite stick.  Use elbow grease your arm will get sore but it’s good exercise. 🙂

IMG_5490IMG_5491To fill in any gaps use a little of the powdered graphite and with a cotton pad rub it all over the paper.  The goal is to not see any white of the tracing paper.

IMG_5485When it’s fully covered, take the rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad, not doused just lightly coated a bit more than damp (blot on a paper towel first if you need to) and with light circular motion rub it over the graphite coated side.You will start to see the graphite melt, if you will, into the paper.  Don’t rub too hard or you may take all the graphite off.

IMG_5487Final step after the alcohol burnish with a dry cotton rag or wash cloth.

That’s it! You will notice it rolls itself up into a tight little roll.  When you use it unroll it and place it graphite side down on your watercolor paper and then the printed image or drawing you want to transfer on top and trace with a pencil using a medium to heavy pressure. A regular pencil works best not mechanical pencils. Check that you have the right pressure early so you don’t trace the whole image and realize you were too light handed.

Would love for you to leave a comment if you found this helpful!

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