My Latest Painting … Returning to an Old Friend

Forest fairy painting by Janell Mithani

She raises her eyebrow and, with a slight shake of her head, she pulls me towards her.

Her lips part, “Tsk, tsk, you have been away from me long enough. Return. “

I nod, and slowly walk through my landscape.

“Well, maybe just for a while.”

I raise my brush and return home.

After a three-year pause from portraiture,

the ever intriguing face draws me through my landscapes into her knowing eyes.

She beckons to me and my brush.

Once again, she has captured my attention.


I have been sketching a lot lately and I have noticed an interesting difference between my sketches and my paintings.  My sketchbooks are filled with the human and fae faces and of my dreams.  Yet landscapes, nature and trees are what come from my brush.  I wanted to start a new series and spent some quiet time over the holidays with my journal — Writing, sketching and thinking about how to merge my paintings and sketchbooks. I want them to share the space of my paintings.  I wrote the above notes in my journal and then this is the painting that emerged.

Now, I am sketching with the intention of a painting.  I still sketch to just relax and record memories and dreams, but now I feel a connection and “full circle” pattern in all of my art.

Well, I better get back to my easel so I can finish this painting. 🙂

Have a wonderful, creative day, Janell

Holiday Getaway and Photographing my Daughter at the Beach

The past few weeks have been busy with family, friends, celebrations, traveling and a bit of time for reading. We had a chance to run off to Cambria for a few days right before Christmas and had a wonderful time.  We walked the beach, hiked the trails at Fiscalini Ranch, took a tour of Hearst Castle, enjoyed fish and chips, barbecue… and I got a chance to do a quick photo shoot of my daughter at the beach.

Portrait by Janell Mithani Portrait by Janell Mithani

I loved the beautiful light at sunset, but you have to work fast! We were running and chasing the light at the end. I fill flashed her in on the second shot as the light was pretty much gone.

We found both vintage dresses at thrift stores.  One of our favorite mom and daughter outings is to look for beautiful vintage dresses at thrift stores and vintage shops.  She found the purple dress while we were visiting with family in Oregon in August and the green and black dress here in the Los Angeles area in October.   I am pretty sure I had a dress similar to the purple dress when I was a teenager… guess that make me “vintage”. 🙂

Have a wonderful creative day, Janell

A Caribou Painting – Because I love Reindeer!

Painting Gentle Reindeer by Janell Mithani

November and December are busy months.  We have eight family members that have birthdays between November 1st and Christmas.  I always say I am going to get ready for Christmas early, but by the time I get done with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all our birthdays, it is the middle of December.  And when it comes to sending out Holiday cards… well, I always have great intentions, but usually get about five sent out.

But I LOVE getting holiday cards!  I look forward to hearing from friends and family so I want to send out cards and keep in touch.  I am just like my grandmother, I count all the cards I receive every year and I hang them up and display them as soon as they come in the mail.

Well, this year I have a plan.  I decided to take a break from creating my regular body of work and create a painting just for me.  I have always loved Caribou (I fondly think of them as gentle reindeer) and I really miss the snow from my childhood now that I live in Southern California.  So I painted “Gentle Reindeer” to hang in our home during the holidays.  It reminds me of the wonderful snow filled days I spent as a child.  I grew up in a small  town of about 80 families.  The sledding hill was right next to our house and my mom made the best hot chocolate for all of the kids in the neighborhood.  My sister and I would stay out all day sledding and playing in the snow.

Once I finished the painting I realized I could photograph it, add some text, and make it into our Christmas card.  (And I could even share it here with all my blogger friends.)

Yippee!  I have the painting and the layout for the card finished and now, all I have to do is get the cards printed.  Which I am doing today, right now, this very moment…

Reindeer Christmas Card by Janell MIthani

I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a spectacular new year.  Thank you again for taking the time to stop by my blog during this busy time of year.  I so appreciate it.  Have a wonderful, creative day  — Janell

Sunflower Painting

It has been a really busy month, but I was able to get out to the studio to work on a painting yesterday.  I love sunflowers and I have photographed them a lot, so I thought it was time to start working on a sunflower painting.  I used three of my photographs as a reference.

Acrylic painting of sunflower by Janell Mithani

I am just about finished, I just have a few more details.  As with all my paintings, I have this “sitting” period when I have it “sit” on my easel for a couple of days.  This is so I can walk by it a bunch of times and get a fresh look to determine the final details and any changes I want to make.  I love the heavy texture and of course, the green background.  You know, this Irish girl loves her green! 🙂

Close up of sunflower painting by Janell Mithani

Here is a close up of the corner where you can see I continued the painting around the edges as I used a gallery wrapped canvas.  I like this style of canvas best because the back of the canvas is double wrapped with wood for a nice clean look.

I will post the final painting soon.

Have a wonderful creative day, Janell

A Manga Style Acrylic Painting

A few weeks ago I worked on a new style of painting. I decided to paint one of my manga style sketches in acrylic.  My reference was a photograph I took of my daughter when she was a young teenager.  I have been wanting to paint one of these as I usually just draw them in pencil and ink or I create them with digital media.  I had an 8″ x 10″ canvas on hand … so, here is the painting.

painting by janell mithani

Have a wonderful creative day, Janell

A Quick Photo Shoot in Oregon

Last week my daughter and I took a quick trip to Oregon for a family reunion.  We had a wonderful time visiting family.  We had planned to stay for 10 days, but the trip was cut short since I am still recovering from my car accident and my daughter had some last-minute schedule changes, too.  She found a wonderful dress “thrifting” with her aunt and cousin and when we were headed from one town to another visiting family, we stopped at a lake and snapped a few quick pictures.

photograph of girl in blue dress at lake by Janell Mithani

This was a spontaneous decision, She changed her clothes in the car, and put her makeup on in about two minutes, LOL.

photograph of girl in blue dress by lake by janell mithani

photograph of girl in blue dress by lake by janell mithani

I love the ethereal look to the photographs.  It was kind of hazy and the sky was a bit orange due to forest fires north of us, so I did some post production manipulating focus/blurring in Photoshop.

photograph of girl in blue dress by lake by janell mithani

My daughter will always be my most favorite subject to photograph. 🙂  It’s been a while since we did a photo shoot.  I am so glad we took a few minutes to take these.  I miss photographing my girl!

I am beginning to feel a lot better and I am headed into the final week of my physical therapy, so I am planning to get back to posting to my blog on a regular basis.  Thanks for all the encouraging thoughts, comments and emails.  I appreciate all of you.

Have a wonderful creative day, Janell

New painting: Serenity in the Daffodil Meadow

I finished a painting this weekend.  Another one for my cottage series… Serenity in the Daffodil Meadow.  This reminds me of my childhood.  My sister and I grew up in a small mountain town in Northern California named Hilt.  One of our favorite things to do during the summer months was go for long walks in the woods and meadows and look for wild flowers.  Oh, it was such fun!

Painting Serenity in a Daffodil Meadow by Janell Mithani

I even came up with the name Jasmine for my daughter on one of these walks.  Well, I was going to name her Jasmine Wildflower.  Wildflower didn’t quite get into her name 20 years later, but she knows she is and always will be my Wildflower.  

The painting is Acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20.”

Have a wonderful creative day, Janell

Portraits of Mothers and Children – Moments to Cherish

I decided to take a walk down memory lane and share some of my favorite portraits of moms and children.  I operated a portrait commission business for many years and loved capturing these beautiful sweet moments.   I love pictures of mom’s with their children and learned early on how important it is to have a photograph together (see below).  A few of these date back to the early days of my business…some of the little ones are now teenagers.  Oh how time flies!  The last two photographs are of me and my daughter (a few years apart.)

Mothersday4MothersDay24MothersDay25 MothersDay2 Mothersday3  MothersDay5 MothersDay6MothersDay20 MothersDay7 MothersDay8 MothersDay9 MothersDay11MothersDay10 MothersDay12 MothersDay13 MothersDay15 MothersDay16 MothersDay17 MothersDay18 MothersDay19  MothersDay21


JazMomGetty411w When my daughter started preschool, she really missed me at nap time and her teacher asked for a picture of the two of us as a comfort item.  She said, “since you are a photographer, I am sure you have lots of pictures of the two of you.”  Well, when I got home and started looking for a picture, I was shocked that I couldn’t find one that was very recent. The last one of us together was when she was a baby.  Being the photographer in the family  (which I think a lot of mom’s are the official picture taker of their family) I had tons of pics of her and her dad, but very few with me…We shot some that night.

This experience made me realize the importance of having photographs of me with my daughter at different stages of our lives.  Thankfully, I learned this lesson early on.  Since then I have always made sure to hand my camera off to someone and “get in the picture” for a few shots.  Or, like the last picture above, hold out my camera and shoot the two of us from arms length.  As a daughter, I cherish the photographs of me and my mom.  My daughter tells me that she cherishes the ones we have together… even if they are on her phone! LOL

I hope mom’s everywhere have a wonderful special day and have a picture taken with their children if they are together.  I’ll be missing my mom and daughter this year, My daughter is away in college (but we will be SKYPEing) and my mom is in Oregon celebrating with her two great-grandchildren! (Taking lots of pictures for Aunty Janell to see :))

Happy Mother’s Day!

Have a wonderful creative day, Janell

Mother and Daughter in the Wind – A Tree Painting

Here is a painting that I finished recently.  I was thinking of my daughter and that Mother’s Day will be here soon.

Mother and Daughter in the Wind painting by Janell Mithani

Mother and Daughter in the Wind, 8″ x 10″, Acrylic on canvas

I love trees and how they blow in the wind and how leaves sometimes just blow off in a group from a tree in a wind gust.  I have been thinking of this painting for a while…how trees and people connect and how things in nature become representational of emotions we feel for each other.  I have a feeling this is going to turn into a series as I am itching to do another one already. 🙂

I have been working on a new website dedicated to just my paintings.  It is coming together and it is almost finished.  I am so excited about it!  I will post a link when I get it done.

Have a wonderful creative day, Janell