Thursday, February 27, 2014


Herbology - The study or collecting of herbs, 

especially as a hobby

Finding a place for Herbs in your kitchen 

Today, I would like to talk about some of my Herbology pictures!
I love herbs.  I love to paint them, decorate with them, and lastly, I love to eat them! 
Mixing my Herbology prints with your home decor accessories is easy because I offer them in different styles! 

Take a look at this room setting and please try to overlook the glare of the glass.  I love the mix of Antiques (stone fruit and table and little chest of drawers with old paint)along side my paintings.  
These pictures can go over a table or at the end of a hallway or some little nook that has limited wall space.  I try to think outside the box and invite you to do the same.    

 Now, just in case you are saying, "I can't do long thin art or art in that color,"  I also offer them in Black as well as White.  By the way, they come square, too! 

Lastly, take a look 
at this print in white
and notice how it takes
on a completely different

You could easily hang this in 
a home that was more contemporary 
and I invite you to think that
way.  I know that I show a lot 
of more traditional looking 
paintings on this blog, but 
let me assure that OLD and NEW
blend very well.  Also, I happen
to paint in both styles REGULARLY!

If you have a moment, please take
a look at to 
see this series and others by Kolene Spicher.

Thanks for looking today! 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Springtime Bohemia!

More Flowers ~ More Cold weather 

Is it Bohemian in the Springtime 

Continuation of February 15, 2014 Entry 

Today, I am posting a few small  additional pieces of paintings that are part of my Bohemian in the Springtime series. If you get the chance look up my February 15, 2014 entry for the pictures in full.  Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Mermaid's Prayer


A Sailor's Valentine, A mermaid's prayer

These were my thoughts and hopes as I painted this picture

I am referencing Wikipidia here: 

A sailor's valentine is a form of shell craft, like an antique souvenir or sentimental gift, which is made using a large number of tiny sea shells.  They were originally made between 1830 and 1890 and were designed to be brought home from a sailor's voyage at sea and given to the sailor's loved one or loved ones.  Sailor valentines are typicality octagonal, glass fronted, hinged wooden boxes ranging from 8" to 15" in width, displaying intricate symmetrical designs composed entirely of small sea shells of various colors glued onto a backing.  Patterns often feature a centerpiece such as a compass rose or a heart design, hence the name, and in some cases the small shells are used to spell out a sentimental message.  

Now, you can see how and why I painted this mermaid!  I have a love for seashells and the ocean in general.  When my mother passed away in 2008, one of the things that my dad gave to me was a tiny seashell box that is definitely an antique.  I love it.  It's the box pictured on the center shelf! 

A gift from my dear mother (Middle shelf)

 I thought that it would be neat to paint a mermaid with a heart and call it a Sailor's Valentine; too bad that I didn't think to post this on Valentine's day, ha!

 This was one of those 'leftover' paintings (I am sad to say) from a show.  I thought, "I am going to give this to my husband as a gift."  When I gave it to him, his response was what I would call neutral, "That's neat, honey, thank you!"  I  mistakenly interpreted that as not really 'loving it' but still appreciative.

 I hung it in our hallway as you come in from the garage into the main part of the house.  It stayed put there for a few years.  One day, I decided that I was going to sell it (I needed art for a show).  I left for the show that morning, and there it generated a lot of interest.   However, Mark missed it immediately upon coming home from work and called and told me that I was NOT PERMITTED to sell his gift!!!  He wanted it back immediately.  Well, I was shocked.  "I will paint you another one," I said.  But he didn't want another one, he wanted that one!  So there it is!  

In case you were wondering, this was painted in a watercolor technique and is in a vintage frame.  Here are a few closeups!
And lest I forget, here is the tail with the little "Sailor's Valentine" title.  

Hopefully, everyone has some special person in their life that they hope and pray they are one with.  My man (Mark), who I happened to be married to for 26 years this July, is that person!  This started out as a Sailor's Valentine and finished being something so sentimental that I will keep it FOREVER.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Greek Revival sugar or Flour Canister

More Hand Building in my Pottery Class 

The Love of Learning New things should keep us all motivated each day! 

Today my dear Lin taught me more wonderful hand-building techniques.  She truly is a gem to be around and learn from.  I feel like it is taking me forever, but she is so thoughtful about each week's class and thinks and anticipates what I might need from week to week.   This canister is suppose to be a Flour container.  Currently at home, I have antique glass ones.  I want to make a mess of canisters all different shapes but same glaze and clay.  The challenge is to get the lid to fit.  Honestly, I thought that was the hardest part of the learning exercise.  I have been working on this for two weeks.  I love Greek architecture and happen to live in a Greek Revival style home.  This is suppose to look like a column.  

Greek Revival Flour Canister 
 The picture below is my thoughtful analysis of the handle which was not turned on a potter's wheel but formed and then sliced away with a tool while spinning the blue wheel.  My teacher Lin took a picture of me as I was doing this and gave me a high compliment by saying that I reminded her of herself.  How nice.

Kolene hard at work turning a 1 1/2 " pull for  Canister! 

A few weeks ago, I posted about my 'Brownie' pan.  Here it is with a sub glaze on it.  I don't have a picture of it, but I removed some of the glaze so that the brown clay comes thru when it is fired.  It will be fired a second time later next week.  

Today, before my class, I worked on some new stuff for the High Point Furniture Market.  I am going to post pictures of these items VERY soon.  I need to wait a bit--instructions from my dear husband who runs SPICHER AND CO.

I hope you all enjoy my entry today.  I had so much fun painting and hand-building with clay.  I am a blessed lady to be able to do what I love!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Rufus Porter Style Landscape

A Calm Countryside Along the River

Rufus Porter style

I wish that I had the measurements on this and a better image of it to share.  This was a large landscape that would hang over a mantel or a sofa.  It would look great in a study, too.  A while back I blogged about Rufus Porter, itinerant artist from New England.  I told about how he entered the arts thru the murals that he painted.  

This is another example of  mine  that is similar to his style.  My proportions are not always correct, unlike his.  I wanted this piece to feel like it was an isolated area that still received some traffic but had times of quiet and peace throughout the day.  The large over scaled trees are what I really love to see and seem to paint over and over.  

If there was a  closeup, it would show little cracks that suggested that the image was carefully retrieved from an old farmhouse.  Unfortunately, this doesn't come thru.  I am going to look to see if I can find a better example of this painting style and blog a little later on it.  For now enjoy this simple painting of mine.  I have about 3 of them hanging in my home if anyone is interested, I can give you a price. 


Saturday, February 22, 2014

19th century child reproduction portrait by Kolene Spicher CHILD IN RED

This small child was painted a few years ago.  Tonight I was going thru some of my photos  and stumbled across this picture of one of my paintings.  I remember the day I sold this many years ago.  It was a beautiful spring day in Yorktown, Virginia at the Nancy Thomas Gallary.  The tulips were in bloom, the sun was shining, bees and birds flying around, and it couldn't have been more pleasant!  

This is one of my favorite places and is near Williamsburg, Va. The Gallery was then run by very nice man (who I consider a friend and his name is Tom).  Tom bought this painting.  I would be so happy if I could show to you the house that this painting now hangs in--for it is amazing.  This picture is not the best quality but it does show the diversity in which I like to paint.  The room setting of this pose takes place in a dining area.  Unfortunately, this part of the photo was cut off. The colors are more serious and the tone and the feel would allow this to hang in a more dressy and decorated home.  I have painted many portraits over the years, and there is something about a child.  Children always seem to sell for me.  This was painted on canvas and is featured in an antique frame.  I will post more pictures of this painting if by chance I come up with additional copies.  

I would interpret this child as being a male.  Back then in the middle 19th century, children's genders were revealed by where the part of their hair fell.  If the part of the hair was in the middle, many times it was a girl.  If the part fell to the side, it was a male.  This one definitely falls to the side, leading me to believe it is a male child.  Also, if the child was holding on to a toy and it was, say, a boat, then it would point to the child being a boy.  If it was a doll, then it was a girl. The clothing also sometimes would be an indication, but this is not a hard a fast rule, because both male and female children were featured in dresses.  


Mirror, Mirror!




These mermaids are just plain fun to paint.  When I go out antiquing, I find myself saying, "This is a mermaid frame if I ever seen one."  

This particular painting has a little of everything going on--whale, mermaid, ship, water--along with a cute saying and a wonderful antique tramp-art frame.  These frames were many times made by people who had no place of their own to lay their head.  Although, this is sad, there was plenty of demand for art such as this.  Today it is highly collectible, too.   This framer was a craftsman and very talented.  He or she was more than likely itinerant and would carve and then assemble these lovely little things out of tobacco boxes in exchange for a night's rest or maybe a week.  

I have some from Germany that are stunning.  I think Mermaids are a good pick for one of these frames because you can't get more homeless than a mermaid! 
This closeup shows all the writing in this painting as well as the whale.  It's a playful competition here!  Her sweet little face reminds me of a Tommy Bahama model! Also notice the water in this piece.  Look at the movement and notice the choppiness of the shoreline and the larger waves.  The American flag flies proudly here! 
I am ready for spring.  This painting begs me to sail off into the Caribbean and invites you to imagine what would it be like to be a mermaid? 

You can see more paintings and artwork by Kolene Spicher by going to 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Little Red House

My Little Red Houses in the Country 
featuring  a  different idea for using artwork

Artwork comes in many different forms, sizes, and shapes.  However, when you have something this size (above) and you have no place to hang it, instead of storing it in your basement or under the bed, why not use it as a fire screen?  I get more compliments on this and thought that it was a clever way to cover a dirty old fireplace that has nothing happening inside.  This is one of my large landscape prints, the original is long gone.  It's been a while since I talked about landscapes and how I paint them.  Today seemed like as good of day as any, so here it is! 

There is always a lot of movement in my pictures--even still life poses--have action.  My perspective is always a little 'off' but I can't help it.  I can't seem to keep things level and dislike painting straight lines.  

What makes this interesting, to me, is the different scales going on within the picture that are not 'correct'.  The colors are very vibrant and there's no darkness to this landscape (unlike the Central Park piece that I featured last week, which was deliberately aged) 
Central Park iceskating painting

A closeup of my landscape painting that I simply titled JUNE shows all the action in the grass.  I love that shade of green and love movement in a painting.  To me that is what says interesting.  If an artist spends time in select areas of the painting that are not in the 'forefront' that tells me that a lot of extra thought went into the painting.

Finally, this bottom shot shows the print in the purpose that I am currently using it.  If you like this print or any other painting that I have written about, please don't hesitate to contact me :) The ships above the mantle are also mine.  I have a strong gene in me that likes to collect.  I LOVE the trophies (and the Ironmonger sign off to the left).  You can look at to see more of my work.  The ironmonger sign is also available thru Spicher and Co.  


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Chef was In! A Painting about some mermaids and Sailors!

Mermaid Painting 

Mermaids are always a hoot to paint because they are not so serious. Let's have a little fun in life, okay? As I have mentioned before, I want my artwork to make people smile.  Lately, I have had this thing for sail boats.  In fact, I wouldn't mind having one.  I have this idea that I will fish off the side and then go into my kitchen (on the boat-of course) and fry me up some good food!  Ha. 
This painting is suggesting that the mermaids are the meal.  It is only in fun, of course, and the chef is actually hanging over the top of the boat in between the two sailors--picnic blanket all ready to go! 

The blue water has a transparent quality which is something that I really strive to obtain in my paintings.  It could be anywhere!  

This is painted in Acrylic that is watered down and featured in an Antique frame with glass.  Here is another closeup! Check out the caption!

Finally, here is what it looks like framed and ready to hang! 


Saturday, February 15, 2014


Is it Bohemian? 
(See updated post too on March 14, 2014)

Today I was messing around in my studio trying to work on some pictures that I am developing for Summer 2014.   As I looked out the window at all the snow falling, I couldn't help but think how beautiful it was outside.  I work out of a studio that is inside my home.  I don't have to travel in all this mess, so I am sure that there are many of you reading this that are NOT thrilled that it is snowing yet again here in the North East.  

After painting a while, I found myself thinking about the bottle/flower picture that I had started last week.  I was totally just playing around with these paintings (that is how I develop new work), so I was not going to let myself get upset if I messed them up.  I wanted it to have the old world charm but also that free creativeness that is sometimes found in Bohemian art.  

I am totally inspired by Antiques, as I mentioned in earlier posts, and so that always influences my style.  I antiqued this paper heavily--as I almost always do!  One artist I like from the late 19th century and early 20th century is Edith Holden.  She liked to paint wildlife and flowers.  She lived in an old English Countryside from a little town called Olton in Warwickshire.  She was an exceptionally talented artist and I love, LOVE, love her work.  I thought that it would be fun to do something for Spring, despite and in spite of the snow!! 

Here is a  closeup  of the  above  painting.    I think that this bee just 'makes' this.    I love the big  flower  head that  is painted purple, too.  I think that this painting works  for two reasons.

First, the colors are really vibrant, despite the fact that the paper is antiqued.  Secondly, The subject matter is interesting.   And thirdly, The way the light is hitting the bottles is unrealistic which makes it also sort of modern and edgy.  Your eye wants to travel and go over the entire painting.  This is something that an artist should want.  PLUS you can hang it in a number of rooms in your house.  It could seriously be hung in a bedroom, sitting room, living room, bathroom, or kitchen.  Heck, I would put it in my laundry room, too!

I was just wondering what style it is.  I would call it Bohe-
mian.  If someone out there knows for sure, I would welcome any comments that are constructive.  They don't
have to be always positive, either.  A person can learn from
all instruction.

I hope that you enjoy my artwork, as it is brought to you with much LOVE!  Check out the rest of my work at


February 26, 2014

Some time has passed since I posted Is it Bohemian in the Springtime.  I indicated to one of my customers that there would be additional pictures in this series.  While I don't have them complete in their entirety, I do have 4 additional ones to post.  

Now the question remains, should I antique the backgrounds or leave them as they are? 
In the first two, I distressed and aged them and then regretted it after I painted the first "clean" one in this latest 4.  Any thoughts would be appreciated! 


Friday, February 14, 2014

On the Way to Westminster

Welcome to my version of the  138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 

This post is really written 'tongue and cheek' style because I have never had the privilege or luxury of attending this fancy event.  I have these preconceived ideas, however, about what this show is all about.   These paintings were birthed out of such silly ideas !

This is how my artwork is developed.  Sometimes I see something and it just gives me an idea.  All of the dogs were created after seeing a small painting from the late 1800s.  I just 'ran with it,' so to speak.  They hang in my powder room at home and were painted using acrylic paints but in watercolor style. They are each framed in an Antique with old wavy glass.   Now back to the subject at hand. 

 The very first Westminster Show took place in 1877.  It is one of the longest consecutive animal sports event to continue to happen year after year.  

What was the first event like?  I imagine ladies dressed in long ball gowns with leash in hand.  Don't laugh or be offended, but I can just see them prancing along so serious and purposeful, the dogs totally oblivious to why they are there for or what is happening.  I guess I should never underestimate a dog, they KNOW why they are there!!  How silly.  

This year's event took place at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Over 2,800 dogs were registered.  That's a lot of fire hydrants that are needed.  There I go again, that imagination.  

Now, imagine if the owner was also judged on their attire?  When you do this, now you can understand how I came up with this idea of painting the bottoms of ladies' dresses.  Take a look at these characters! 


I really love the umbrella.  I have a feeling that this dog does, too!  My dog hates to get wet.  When it rains, I have a real challenge getting her to even want to go outside.  I have tried the umbrella trick.  It seems to help a bit.  

How about this beagle!!  She's so graceful and proud.  Or maybe it's a he.  IDK.

Yorkshire Terrier
Ok, now here's a dog to be proud of.  She's just as cute as can be and I would give the dress a thumbs up, too.  The one on the bottom left is my PERSONAL favorite!

I just thought you would enjoy seeing what the "antique version" looks like that was taken from my powder room! 



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Her Silk Majestic Flags

The Identity of a Ship was and is wrapped up in its Silk Majestic Flags
A ship with many Flags by Kolene Spicher 

Where it's from, and where it's going is anybody's guess! 

Because different flags mean different things to different people, it's hard to say what this ship is saying.  It was one of my more crazy moments, I think, to paint something with so many flags.  I guess I just wanted it to be folky.  I believe that I succeeded-Ha!

During the 19th and 20th centuries a host of flags began to appear.  These flags represented governments, officials, rank, schools, universities, trades, unions and even different types of fun.  They were on buildings and ships and in schools!  They were primarily made out of silk because silk was strong and light weight.  Long before they appeared in Europe, they were used in China.    The Chinese were among the first to make flags out of fabric and attach them sideways to a staff to form a banner.  On a ship they represented the different ports of call.  They have different functions, usage, and even shapes.   They even had flags that identified what the ships were carrying as well as if there was a doctor on board.  There are indoor flags and outdoor flags.  

Flags were and are used to signal if majesty is present, such as the Queen of England.  Sometimes they are "Half-mast" meaning they are much below the normal position, usually as a sign of mourning.  We even salute the flag.  Each of our states  in the United States of America have their own flag.  So you can see, flags represent something and have importance.  

Having said all of that, a ship with many flags--such as mine-- is saying all of that that but in Nautical TERMINOLOGY.  I really don't know all the flag terms, but I do know that each ship would have a flag of the country that it came from, the country it was going to, and each port in between.  They had signal flags that represented each of our letters from the alphabet and were used to alert or announce a message of importance.  This ship clearly is a conundrum.  I have no clue what it is saying!!   

I really think this flag is folky.  Look at the skeleton.  This is a pirate flag and would have flown on what is a 'Pirate Ship!'  I think I will paint a pirate mermaid using this flag.  That will be a later post. 

The picture at the bottom of the page was taken from the top of a stairway going down.  It really has a clean nautical look that I really like.  The frame is a reproduction antique frame that was handmade by a Pennsylvania Craftsman.  This was painted on canvas. 

Directly below is a closeup that I provided so that you can see the naive folky brush strokes that represent the 19th century non-academic artist!  Ha, Ha, that's me! 

Enjoy!  It's very snowy and blustery here in Pennsylvania.