Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Stable Groomsman

In large horse establishments, there may be several grooms under the management of the Stable Master. The 'head' groom usually has complete responsibility  for the horses-- including the training, the feeding, and the veterinary care of the horses.  This is a painting about a stable groomsman from the 19th Century.  The feel of the piece and the colors and composition are simple but work. It just catches my eye.   I love the folkiness of the black horse, and I'm not certain if the painting is more about the horse than the groomsman.  I know that for me, it was all about the horse--front and center! 

The simple black frame compliments this piece, which is one of three in this 'Country' series.  
He looks so serious and READY to do his job.  I love the cracks and turquoise sky, which ties this painting to the other two prints.  This picture below was taken at Highpoint Market showroom.  I'm wishing that the stickers were not on these, but there's no removing them after they are applied!  

Here's a closeup of the above picture:  this shows color and texture. 

Color, texture, composition, and framing are the four main elements of good design.  Even having one of these things 'off' can destroy the likelihood of having a successful piece of art.  

Thanks for Looking!  Let me know if you are interested in this print.  The original has sold, but the print is a fine reproduction and would look nice in a number of different rooms in any home.  


Ba~ris~ta DRINKS (Illustrations for your kitchen)

What is a barista drink?  Well, the first thing that comes to mind is COFFEE!  Then the word FRIENDLY.  
So, to me, it's a drink that makes me happy and involves caffein! Thankfully, it's suppose to be healthy, too. 

Starbucks is always busy; in fact, every coffee bar I ever frequent seems to be busy.  There's alway a line, there's always people filling the tables, and there's always happy conversation that seems to dominate.  I decided that because we all love coffee,  it might be neat to do some illustrations of different latte and espresso drinks.  

I wanted these to be more modern and edgy with consistent technique and colors that would be used on each illustration.

Here is my palette! Although a little blurry, it gives you my guidelines of technique and color--Brown, orange, white, and black with a touch of teal (not in illustration example). 

Here are all the drinks that you can choose from.  They are framed in white.  

In this example, I showed the item number which includes the name (WC) and the drink name.  You can purchase this print thru Spicher and Co.  (  Please leave a message on my post if you are interested in purchasing any of these prints and I can direct you to either a designer or store in your area.  If none exists, we will sell direct.  Or if you would like original watercolors, I can do that, too.  just ask! 

I've seen these hung on kitchen walls that are adjacent to sink or stove.  We've also installed them on counter backdrops.  This is the area between the cabinet and the countertop.  Believe me, there are some fancy kitchens out there.  Some people even have rooms that branch off their kitchen that are Esspresso Rooms, meaning they make their coffee there.  They are complete with brass Esspresso machines and refrigerators to house their coffee products.  You could hang these prints with confidence in there, too! 

Here are some closeups of popular barista drinks! 

Love the teal! 
Isn't the foamed milk fun?
Love the Mocha! 
Truthfully, I did NOT understand the 'crema' part of these illustrations until I recently went out and purchased a Nespresso. I love this coffee maker, and is not being paid to say this.   The 'crema' is that rich coffee foam that results in the espresso coffee being brewed and forced thru a tiny area (like a pod).  It's not a drip process but rather hot water that is pressed thru compressed coffee. That's my explanation, but I'm sure a barista could say it better.  Thanks for looking!  

Remember, there are other options for the frame.  We framed it in white here but you could go black, too! 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Girl! Is she a Bichon, Yorkie-Poo, Schnoodle, or Mutt?

Nobody can tell me the identity of my dog!  

It's no secret, I love to paint dogs.  Anyone who has followed my artwork over the years has seen the progression.  Each time I do a dog series, they seem to get more and more outlandish.  I love this one which happens to be my dog.  Nobody knows for certain what 'make' she is.  I just know that she was made by a pair of dogs and one of them had white hair!  When I painted her, I first had to photograph her.  Anytime I get too close with anything--scissors, comb, CAMERA--she starts acting nervous. She did pretty well, though, for this pose!   

Look at her sweet little newsprint dress!  The little book she carries is an attempt to make fun of some well-known popular book.  She's named, "Mary had a Little Dog." I wouldn't say my girl is this sophisticated, but she's pretty special, and we LOVE her!  Her name is not Mary, either!  Although, I like that name.  I really call her Girl most of the time.  
Look at her little bracelet!  She's the kind of dog that would proudly wear one, too.  

Here are a few other varieties:

Trade show picture! The original one of each of these was painted in water based paint on paper and today they are available in three sizes, I've seen these hung over grand pianos and I've seen them in powder rooms.  Don't laugh, it looked pretty awesome over the piano. 
If you are at all interested in these or other pictures that I post, feel free to contact us on Facebook thru Spicher and Co., or you can fill in the contact info at the top right of my blog and I will answer the request. 

Thanks for looking today! 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Rooster Artwork at the Tavern in Old Salem

This is a late night post!  I had a busy day but wanted to take a few moments to talk about an exciting place that is located in the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina.  It specifically is in the historic district of Old Salem.  The name of the tavern is simply TAVERN IN OLD SALEM, NC.  We had an amazing dinner here and if you get the chance to visit this tavern in Old Salem, I promise you won't soon forget it.  The tavern is in a little village that looks like it was set back in time to the year 1750.
They have a really interesting menu with edgy gourmet food that you would expect in a high end restaurant.  Additionally, they have some historic dishes that are Moravian, such as Chicken Pie.  That was what I had.  It was chock full of chicken with the veggies on the side and smothered with a delicious, perfectly seasoned gravy.  I'm one that is always watching her calories, but I ate the whole darn piece of pie.  AND I ate the bread, too.  They serve each and every meal with homemade sweet potato muffins that are also 'Moravian.' I could eat those little pieces of wonderful-ness 3x a day!  

My husband had the steak.  It was delicious and perfectly prepared.  The place was extremely clean.  It felt like I went back in time 300 years ago and I liked it.  They have a great mix of 'on tap' beer.  

I had a really good one that is custom crafted by a small brewery from Boon, NC.   I had something called Brown Bear.  It was a darker amber beer and boy was it delicious and smooth.  

Here's the official name of the brewery. The owners said that the brewery delivered the beer in person and that they are the only restaurant in the triad area that is licensed to sell it.  

This is a peak into the bar area.  The other pictures are a little dark but I'm going to post them because it was so interesting. 
The pictures in the background are very similar to the rooster pictures that I published several weeks ago.  These pictures were custom painted for this restaurant and the owners hung them in the bar / tavern area.  Here's a 'copy' of the version in my house. I include it so you can see the colors. 
Look familiar?  If you go into my search box at the top right of my blog, you can read about this
picture that hangs in my kitchen.  The two roosters in the background of the tavern in Old Salem are virtually identical to mine (above) with the exception that theirs is framed in a newly constructed frame. I wanted two of them and didn't have identical twin antique frames at the time these were painted, so black frames were chosen.

The Tavern in Old Salem versions are bright like the above example but the pictures were taken near close and the candles were long since burned out. Here are a few more examples:
Beneath my paintings is a table that you could drink a beer at and play a game of checkers.
The restaurant is complete with Windsor chairs and old wavy glass.  
They light the candles over dinner each evening at dusk.  I wish I had taken pictures!
I love the stairs!  This whole restaurant was built by the Moravians and is extremely historic in nature.  
Love how the stairs wind up and go up to the second floor. 
We were there on a Wednesday night about close and the place had emptied.  If you ever get to Winston-Salem, NC, it's well worth the visit. Call for reservations but be sure to check it out.   They are open for lunch, too, but not on Mondays! They are closed all day Monday. 

The outside is quaint, too.  They have a perfectly lovely back porch that is open to dine at in the warmer months.  You feel like you have stepped back in time--like Williamsburg,Va, but without all the traffic!
In the spring, summer, and fall this porch is lovely to dine on while gazing at the historic village. 
Check out this Daylight shot! Look at the modern skyscraper in the background!  
As I said, This whole town was built by the Moravians and comes complete with a beautiful college that is an all girls'school.  I'm proud to have my artwork here. Google it! the Tavern in Old Salem, Winston-Salem, NC.  

UPDATE - I was a little tired last evening when I posted this.  Here are some additional pictures of this darling town. 

This is the all girls school.  It's called SALEM COLLEGE and is right in the center of historic Old Salem. 
The Daffodils are up here.  It was frigid cold but they were still doing their job-brightening our day!
Across the street and down from the tavern.  
Finally, I end with the Tavern again.  This town even has it's own B & B! Ok, one more picture! 
This place is wonderful, too!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mary of Norfolk

This painting was inspired by my love for the Chesapeake Bay. I would love to have a sailboat, and I think about it a lot. I can imagine (or not imagine) what it must have been like in the day of the 19th century sailor.  I guess the biggest difference would be the inside of the hull of the ship and our modern luxuries. Don't forget, they had no motors or fancy winches to help with the ropes.  Fiberglass--none of that could be found, either!  I could go on.   Of course the modern sailor's attire would be different, too.  

I love the muted colors of this painting, and I think the folksiness of the little sailors add so much and make this painting unique. The blue of the sea compliment the overall hue of this painting.  I -sadly- cannot remember who bought it.  This is a print and if you go to and look for the ship tab under coastal you can see a picture with better resolution.  
The original was very large.  The print size is approximately 26"x30" and can be ordered in various sizes.  I think some small flag pictures would look nice around this.  
These paintings are original water colors in antique frames.  They were leftovers from a show and go up the side of my kitchen hallway door.  Adjacent to these are canvas paintings of ships.  
Back to the Mary of Norfolk, here's a closeup of the sailor I'm in love with.  His name is Mark.
...and the lighthouse.  Coincidentally, I have a lighthouse print that would go lovely with this! Here she is in a nice white frame-also available thru Spicher and Co. 
If you zoom in closer, you can see that it's my depiction of Cape Henry Light! (In Virginia).

Thank you for looking today.  For the remainder of this week, I'm going to focus on pictures of our High Point Show Room and the C AND D Building, Highpoint, NC. I took some great pictures and thought you might enjoy seeing the process.  


Monday, March 24, 2014


A Light Shines in the Darkness of the Man Cave!

Unique Artwork for your man-type hangout

I thought it would be neat to show you some of the artwork that I'm taking to High Point Furniture Market!  Everyone knows that to find unique artwork that hasn't been knocked off a thousand times over is very hard to do.  Plus, it's fun to do that man cave or TV room over in something that is masculine and not something that you will find in a department store right around the corner.   

I present to you these light bulbs.  

Don't be too surprised because they are different from what you have come expect of me.  Because it's time that you see another side of Kolene Spicher.  This is the part of me that reaches for trendy decorative ideas that reach beyond traditional into the home of the edgy one!  

I picture these above a desk or a couch.  I think a den or entryway or even a hallway would be neat, too.  They are framed in a simple black frame, making them usable with many types of wood and veneer surfaces.  It's fun to sometimes break away from the traditional and expected and branch into something a little more unpredictable. 

Light bulbs have long been associated with intelligence, like having a bright idea,  like Einstein or Edison.  Just thru that association, I am inclined to find a home for these in my 'mancave' that is filled with a large tv, pool and ping pong table, as well as bats and balls and various other toy guns, etc. Imagine a wall of these! Now you have something different and something to talk about. 

Check these out up and close at and like us on Facebook.  Call for a store or outlet near you.  

Starting to Paint the Details of My Whale Painting

My latest whale painting for Nantucket Country from start to finish! 

Starting to Paint the details!


Part 3 
Closeup of one of the ships 
I used this as my 'heading' picture because I felt that it really captured the 'feel' of what I was striving for.  I love the blue in the sky as well as the rich red/blue of the ocean that is slowly developing with each stroke of color.  People comment all the time that they love my water.  I really take those comments to heart~so thank  you!

Before I started this little ship, however, I painted the backdrop, always keeping at the back of my mind my composition piece (the pencil drawing directly below). 

Reference piece - my pencil drawing

Here's the background.  I call it the background because the water and the sky are the 'backdrop' of the whole painting.
I add the orangey undertones but with each layer of color, they will magically float away!
I am liking the sky.  I don't want any of my viewers concentrating on the sky but rather the details of the boats.  I needed to have a somewhat solid area on the horizon so that the boats 'stand out' and are easy to view.

This shot gives you an idea of the composition of the painting and how it is falling into place

The only change that I decided to make from the pencil drawing is that this ship is not as 'large' as I had originally intended.  You ask why?  Well, I didn't want to cover the sky.  I like it.  I think it looks really pretty.  I don't want to take the time to paint something that is pretty and then paint it out!  Additionally, it looks clean and bright!

This is where I am at now! 
The whale was only very roughly painted into the piece.  I will be adding a lot more details.  I had to stop somewhere, however, and this seemed like as good of a place as any!

One more additional thing I am going to do is work some of these warm blue/teal colors (seen in the painting below) into my current piece.

Love the teal color in the sky. 

This painting was done by me probably 18 years ago.  That is a guess.  The time all runs together! Check back tomorrow for another update ~ Part 4.