New “Wildish Spirit” Sketches

Here are a couple of new sketches I did over the summer months.  It was quite a busy summer, with lots of traveling and teaching art workshops.  

I am taking a break from teaching this Fall so my torn Achilles tendon will hopefully heal.  ( According to my Dr. I have not been staying off if it  enough.)  The best part is, I will get more time in the studio to paint!  Yippee! 

Have a wonderful, creative, day, Janell

New Gallery Representation at Xanadu Gallery

In the midst of all our holiday celebrations, I submitted my portfolio to Xanadu Gallery of Scottsdale, Arizona.  My art was accepted to their online gallery!  Yippee!  I am so thrilled to be associated with this wonderful gallery.  And they notified me and had my page set up within 24 hours.  (Even though their submission guidelines said two weeks.)  It was really nice of them to be so  prompt, it kept me from worrying and wondering for two weeks. 🙂

You can check out my page at

I am still in the process of loading my art to the site and I LOVE how the purchase button is all set up.  It takes you to a shopping cart that gives you payment options.  I haven’t had the time to figure out how to set this up on my Artspan website.  It’s so nice to have it all done for me.

Painting Serenity in a Daffodil Meadow by Janell Mithani

Serenity in a Daffodil Meadow, Acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″

I met Jason Horejs, the owner of the gallery a few years ago at a workshop he taught for artists.  His workshop was really helpful and he was so nice and gracious to all the artists that attended.  He has written some great books to help artists with the business side of their art.  Here is a link to the landing page with his books  He also writes a blog  which is a great marketing resource for artists.

If you are an artist and you are interested in submitting your portfolio, here is the link:

Have a wonderful creative day,  Janell

My New Grand-Nephew!

I was so excited to meet my new grand-nephew on our recent trip to Oregon.  Here are a few pictures of him.  I had lot’s of fun taking his picture as he is such a happy baby.

EastonBlog1 EastonBlog2 EastonGrassBLOG

In the first two pictures, I propped him on cushions on the couch and had some wonderful side window light as fill light on the top left.  I used a fill flash for his face and to get those catch lights in his eyes.  His mom was helping as he a little slippery.

The last picture is all natural light, we put him in my mom’s old coal bucket and sat him in the grass in open shade.  I think he thought we were pretty silly.

I misplaced one of my CF cards (it was a whirlwind trip!)  Fortunately, I had backed it up on my niece’s laptop… but a few days ago, my sis found it in her couch and it just arrived in the mail today.  So I will have more pictures to share soon…

Oh, and don’t you see just a little red in that hair of his?  I sure do! 🙂

Why I Have Been Away and A Painting Process

It has been a few weeks since I have posted to my blog and boy, have I missed the blogging community!  I was in a car accident about three weeks ago and I am just now recovering enough to feel up to writing a post.  I was hit by a car that ran a red light.  I have to say, the past few weeks have been awful.

Of course, the worst part is I damaged the right side of my body and I am right-handed and I have not been able to stand and paint at my easel.  My physical therapist has been wonderful and I am starting to feel much better and a lot less sore and I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel!

So not being able to paint.., I thought I would share my creative process on the last painting I created….sorry about the picture quality they are straight out of my camera with no cropping, touch ups or my usual watermark.

Here is the sketch of the painting.  For this painting I decided to do a quick outline sketch the same size of the painting, mainly for placement of the cottage and the mountains in the background.  This way I could hang my sketch right next to my canvas as I paint.  I usually sketch in my sketchbook and then use it as a reference while I sketch in charcoal on my canvas.  And sometimes I enlarge my sketch from my sketchbook so I can see the details I want to paint.  I think I like this process better.sketch1

This is the background that I painted over a gallery wrapped canvas that I had painted two coats of white gesso.


Now I have painted the mountains and moved forward and  started to block in the trees and the cottage as well as the background colors and the meadow as well as placing the stepping-stone locations.   My painting process is from the back to the front and in this painting I was trying to be conscious of creating depth by creating grayed and lighter planes in the background (mountains) and then creating my focal point (cottage) in the mid front range with the flowers in the foreground.


I love purple and green, so in this painting I used a lot of purple shades in my under-painting and shadow areas.


More details added and it is starting to look like I had imagined.  I just need to add more details, highlights and deeper shadows.


Here is the final painting… Hmmm….since it is still sitting on my easel while I have been recovering, I have been thinking of adding a few things to the painting. (I haven’t put a final glaze on it yet.)

Painting Serenity in a Daffodil Meadow by Janell Mithani

Since I was thinking of my childhood when I was painting this piece, I started thinking I would add two little girls in the meadow.  Here is a sketch of two little girls that I am thinking of placing in the left side foreground of the meadow, I was looking at a picture of my sister and I when we were kids when I did the sketch.  I am also thinking it needs more depth to the tree line and some movement by adding in more impressionistic brush strokes.

sketch of sisters

What do you think?  Should I keep adding or do you think I should just keep the painting as it is?

I look forward to checking out everyone’s blog posts and catching up with what you have all been doing.  Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know how your summer is going.

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

A Painting for a New Mom

One of my dearest friends’ daughter is having a baby.  Funny, we both had two tall and long-legged daughters (and beautiful!) and neither one of us is very tall… yes, both their dads are tall.  Both our girls happen to love giraffes.  I’m thinking it has something to do with everyone commenting on their height. 🙂  And well, they just like giraffes and so do I.  So when I decided to paint a picture for her nursery, I decided on giraffes.  After many years of photographing mom’s and babies (see previous post) I thought a mom and baby giraffe snuggling would be just perfect!

Here is the sketch for the painting:

Sketch of mom and baby giraffe.

Sketch of mom and baby giraffe.

I love giraffes.  They are such a cool looking animal.  I have lots of photographs of giraffes from the zoo’s and wild animal parks that we have visited over the years.   I would love to visit the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya.  I ran across their website when I was looking at zebra’s and giraffe’s online.  Although waking up to a giraffe licking you would be pretty wild.

I just started working on the painting.  I am not surprised that mother’s and babies have appeared as subject matter in my paintings.  I seem to just love this relationship, whether it is animal or human.  I painted a vibrant green background and I have just blocked in the giraffes.  Funny, I didn’t realize the back of a giraffe’s ear is white.  Hmmm… you learn all kinds of things once you start studying the details and the breakdown of shapes and color.  Here is my progress so far:

Progress so far on giraffe painting

Progress so far on giraffe painting

I will post the finished painting soon, which I hope will be this next week.  My daughter comes home from college next weekend, so I am painting everyday this week to get lots done as I know I will want to goof off with her once she gets home.  I have already started a list of fun things for us to do together… like pedicures, visiting art museums and “doing nothing”.  I actually wrote that on the list… as well as “go to the beach and do nothing.”  Well maybe we will walk up to the ice cream shop.  I can’t wait!

Have a wonderful creative day, Janell

Happy Earth Day!

A few years ago I joined a neighborhood fruit and vegetable swap group.  We meet once a month at the local park to “swap” all of our excess fruit and vegetables from our gardens.  If you have too many tomatoes, your neighbor may have too many cucumbers and you can swap.  This has also been a great opportunity to meet my neighbors and make some new friends.  We also have a lot of  neighbors who have their own chickens and even a few goats and a bee keeper.

RIPE logo created by Janell Mithani

I just love all of the “imperfections” of the natural looking fruits and vegetables and I have photographed many of them in my studio before they were eaten.  This is the logo I created from some of my pictures, stands for Residential In-season Produce Exchange.

To see more of my photographs, check out my Home Grown Gallery under my Portfolio page or click here.

Well, I am off to plant some seeds.  Have a wonderful creative day, Janell

Beautiful Color in the Garden

The other day I had a meeting at Descanso Gardens and once it was over, I took a little stroll with my camera in hand.  Here are a few pictures of what I happened upon while I was walking.  I was looking for some inspiration for paintings and I think I found some!

GardenBench TulipsDescanso WIsteria

Have a wonderful creative day, Janell