A New Mermaid Painting

This is a video I created and posted to my Instagram account of me painting. It is a new painting I have been working on for the past few months, “Viola.” It is the first painting in my new series, “Musical Mermaids.” I’ve actually been creating sketches for this series for about a year, but this is the first chance I have had to create one as a painting.

I sped up the video with the app InShot. Ha! I wish I painted that fast! 🙂

Here is the original sketch, although it has changed a bit through the painting process.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and view my art process. I hope to finish this painting this week, so I will post a photo of the final painting next week.

Have a wonderful, creative day filled with joy, Janell


How to Easily Transfer a Sketch to a Painting Surface

I had a fellow artist ask me about how I transfer my sketches to my painting surfaces. After trying to explain it, I decided to make a little video.

There are many ways to do this, but during these times of staying home, this low-tech process is easy to do with just a pencil, piece of charcoal and paper.

Click on the link below to watch the short video:


I think it’s so interesting how everyone has a different creative process. Some things I have changed over the years, either to utilize new technology or work smarter, but many of my processes have stayed the same.

I am sure I am not alone when it comes to adapting your creative process to your environment and tools the tools at hand.

Have a wonderful, joyful and creative, day – Janell

Fire Painting

This is my newest painting in my Wildish Spirit series. I was inspired to paint this after all of the fires in California and Australia.

I started thinking about it when we had fires here in California last year. Then a friend of mine, who lives in Australia, had to evacuate from her home twice this last Fall. So I thought I would create a painting of one of my forest spirits rescuing animals from both Australia and California to honor all the animals that were lost in the wild fires.

This is my original sketch for the painting. I enlarged it on a copy machine.

Animal rescue from fire painting by Janell Mithani

This is the background of the painting.

Here are a few in-process photographs.

Almost complete…

Fire in california and Australia painting by Janell Mithani

And here is a close up of the character and animals in the painting.

Sweet Animal Paintings

In February, I had an event where I had a display of my art and fairy gardens for sale. Since I had recently had a couple commissions for baby animal paintings, I thought it would be a good idea to create a few small animal paintings for the event.

Do you have a favorite animal?

Here they are all together.

I have really enjoyed creating these sweet little animal paintings. I hope they brought a smile to your face.

Have a wonderful, creative, and joyful day! Janell

Art Design for Business and Professional Women’s Conference

I was so happy to be asked to create a piece of art for the California Federation of Business and Professional Women’s conference. It was really fun to work with the women on their board and to create this piece. They wanted a leaping woman since their meeting was on February 29th, Leap day.

bpw leaping woman art by Janell Mithani

This is the front of their conference program.

bpw program wiht art by Janell Mithani

Well, I better leap back to work! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Have a wonderful, creative, and joyful day, Janell



New Tea Bag Paintings

I really love to drink tea. I started recycling my teabags and painting on them shortly after my mom passed away last May.  It started out as my art therapy, and turned into something I really love to create.  It also gives me a chance to create smaller pieces while I am working on my large paintings.

Tea bag paintings by artist Janell Mithani

I decided to adhere them to canvas and set them on wood easels.

Many of these paintings are of dresses and I have created a new series: Every Size, Shape, Color, and Age.  I am titling them after suffragettes.

I have created so many, they now have their own page in my online portfolio. I am also working on creating an online store for my paintings, these  will be my first to add to the store.  I have been selling locally and have shipped my art all over, so I think it is time to set up an online store, you know, in my spare time.  🙂

This is a set I created of flower paintings.  A collector stopped by the studio the other day and purchased the set. They are on a thick, wrapped, 3″ canvas. I can’t wait to see how she displays them.

This is the first one I created. It reminds me of a dress I had when I was a little girl.

Are you a fan of drinking tea?  Herbal or black tea?  I’m having a cup of herbal cherry tea at the moment.  The pink stain on the tea bag is giving me an idea for a painting…

Have a wonderful, creative, joyful day!  Janell



Posted in Art

New Tea Cup Fairy Gardens for Spring!

I am ready for spring!  I’ve been feeding my spring fever by creating these adorable tea cup fairy gardens. It’s amazing how much time it takes to create each little garden and get everything set just right.  It seems I am a fairy perfectionist! 🙂  Hmm… and I have no idea how moss got all over my studio!

My kitchen is blue and white, so I am not surprised one of my blue and white teacups became a place for fairy’s to play.

blue and white tea cup fairy garden by Janell Mithani


Here is a close up of the sweet bunny.

And a little butterfly perched on the blue flower.

Of course, we had to have a fairy having tea in a tea cup.

Here is a closeup of the fairy having tea.

This little fairy garden popped up in a shoe. 🙂 I sculpted the little house from clay.

Fairy garden in a shoe

This is a little fairy mushroom farm in a vintage milk glass dessert cup.

Fairy garden in a milk glass dessert cup by Janell Mithani

This horse themed fairy garden sits in a Thomas Kinkade tea cup and saucer. I just love the little trees I made out of moss “rocks.” After I took this photo, I added more moss and another horse to the saucer.

Horse fairy garden in Thomas Kinkade tea cup and saucer by Janell Mithani

And last but not least, my sweet little dragon friend needed a little house and garden.

dragon fairy garden by Janell Mithani

I hope my fairy friends and their gardens brought a smile to your face.

Have a wonderful, creative and joyful day!  Janell




New Fawn Paintings on Wood

I have finished another painting in my “Wildish Spirit” series ,”Yearling.”

It is a mixed media, mostly acrylics on a wood burl.  My dad gave me the burl when we were cleaning out his shop a few years ago.  I sanded it smooth and put a couple of coats of clear gesso on it to prep it for painting.  I am really enjoying painting on the natural wood and keeping the wood grain as a part of the painting.

fairy and deer painting on wood burl


Here is a close up of the face so you can see the wood grain.


I also painted this sweet deer on a wood slice for my niece for Christmas.

fawn painting on wood slice by Janell Mithani

I did a quick little sketch on paper.

sketch of deer by Janell Mithani

And then I transferred it to the wood slice or “cookie” to paint.

fawn painting Janell Mithani

I hope March is off to a great start for you.  It is raining here today, so I am getting lots of ‘catch-up” work done in the studio.

Have a wonderful, creative, and joyful day!  Janell







My Journey Creating the “Protector” Painting

I am so excited to finish this new painting, “Protector.” It is the largest canvas I’ve painted to date.

And it was quite a journey, so I thought I would share my process with you.

I purchased the large canvas, 3′ x 5′ on Mother’s Day, 2017.  My mom and daughter both lived out of state, so this was going to be a quiet day and I decided I would go to Blick Art Store as my Mother’s Day treat.  I’m pretty much like a kid in a candy store at an art supply store. Who isn’t?!

I was thinking I would get a mid-sized canvas for a landscape with trees and deer that I had been working on in my sketchbook, so I decided to just drive our little compact car instead of our van.  When I was in the store browsing, they had just gotten in a group of larger canvases and I really liked the configuration of this 36″ x 60″ canvas.  I had a wonderful sales person who helped me get the canvas in my little car, with not an inch to spare. 🙂

I started thinking about the winter storms and the forest, and started sketching one of my protective “Wildish Spirit” characters sheltering young fae children and animals under her cape. So many of my pieces are feminine figures sheltering young animals from harm, so this piece evolved from that feeling of compassion and maternal love, too.

From that Idea, I started sketching child fae characters in my sketchbooks and once I had a few drawn, I started building them into the large sketch.  I shot a picture of the sketch with my camera and resized it to fit the canvas.  I finally printed it out on my 8 1/2 x 11 printer in about a dozen sheets of paper then spent about an hour taping them all together…

Once I had the sketch together, I started painting the background. (January of 2018.)  I hung the canvas on the wall in my studio as it was too big to fit on my easel.

I taped white paper behind the painting to protect the wall, but the tape didn’t want to stay, and after re-taping it about 50 times, I gave up and pulled it down.  And yes, I got paint all over the wall…I am NOT a neat painter. I think it’s the Scorpio in me. 🙂

As I painted the piece, I actually added in even more little sweet fae children and animals in spots that seemed to just need them.

I blocked in everything and then started in painting all the little details… and there were quite a few!

At last, they started to get some personality.  I added woodland animals in and around the children. I used pictures of my grandnephews, friends, and my daughter when she was a child, as loose reference as well as sketches that came from my imagination.   I wanted all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors for the children.

I worked on the protective fairy figure’s face last. Like many of my characters, she came out with reddish locks like me. 🙂

Through the course of painting this, I thought of many things that were going on in our world and in my life.  I live in Southern California, so the children who were were being separated from their parents at the border was something I thought about a lot while I was painting. Just the thought of being separated from my daughter and not knowing where she was terrified me.  Being in a foreign country would have really increased that terror.

I worked on smaller paintings in between this painting and spent a bit of time traveling and visiting my parents and sister as we were getting their house ready, putting it on the market, and then moving them in with my sister.

Throughout my painting process, I texted my mom updates.  She lived far away from me, so we would text back and forth as she really enjoyed seeing my art process.  She would always be so encouraging as I texted her updates and this painting had lots of updates.  In the spring of 2019, I had painted all of the purple haired little ones (her favorite color) when she got sick and went into the hospital.  The picture above was the last picture I texted to her.  She passed away on May 8th, 2019.  I was very fortunate to get to spend a lot of time with her in March and April along with my sister and dad,  When I came home after her memorial service, I had a pretty hard time getting back to painting, the studio was just too quiet for me. I didn’t paint for about three months.

I subscribe to Hyperallergic.com (I highly recommend subscribing) and in July, I was getting caught up on my emails that I had ignored for months and I read an article by Karen Chernick about an Italian painting, “Mother of the Innocents” by Domenico di Michelino from 1446.  Here is a link to the article.  https://hyperallergic.com/502238/the-innocents-of-florence-institute-of-the-innocents/

The article was about a film about the conservation and history of the painting.  The painting was commissioned by the Institute of the Innocents, and had been found in their archives.  It was being restored in Florence, Italy by two women conservators, Elizabeth Wicks and Nicoletti Fontana.  David Battistella created a documentary film The Innocents of Florence, the quest to save 600,000 Children about the conservation of the painting and the history of the orphanage that commissioned the painting. It was shown in Florence and I hope it makes it’s way here to Los Angeles as I would love to see it.

This article really spoke to me. As I looked at the pictures of the painting, googled even more pictures of it, read about it’s history, and the history of the orphanage… I knew I needed to finish my painting.  It was like this huge voice in my head was saying to me, it’s time to get back to your art.

While searching the web about the painting, I also read this article on Medium.com by Shauna McGinn.  https://medium.com/@mcginnshauna/a-reflection-on-the-innocents-of-florence-8f64f7a9530e A beautifully written article with many thoughts I shared while researching and learning about the history of this painting.

Here is another picture of my finished painting.

As soon as I finished my painting, I was asked to share it at a district meeting for Business and Professional Women in Burbank, CA. It was set by the main stage of the event and lots of attendees took their pictures with it.  (Which I totally loved!) I got such great feedback about the painting and many attendees asked if I was going to make prints of it… Hmmm…something I am thinking about.  I am also looking into other venues to share my painting, so if you have any ideas, please let me know.

I encourage you to link to these two articles that I mentioned above and view the historic painting that inspired me to finish my painting.   And, as always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

I wish you a wonderful, creative, day,  Janell

A Fairy Painting on Wood

A sweet fairy with her woodland friend.

Wood is becoming my favorite surface for painting pieces of my “Wildish Spirit” series.

It is also interesting to work with more organic shaped surfaces.

I have a stack of burl’s and slices of wood that I found in my dad’s shop that I am sanding and prepping to paint. I also have a few arborist friends who have cut me some slabs from dead trees they removed.

So, it looks like I will be exploring this substrate a lot this year. I am looking forward to creating lots of paintings in 2019.

Have a wonderful, creative, and joyful day, Janell