Friday, October 23, 2015

Miniature Whaling Scene and mermaid

The Whalers and A Mermaid
Beautiful Gold leafed frame 
This is an acrylic on paper technique painting.  I distressed the surface to slightly mimic the idea of it being a fresco.  It really has that look up and close.  

Can you see the spackled qualities? 
I named this painting "The Whalers".  Truth be told, I include that little title in nearly all of my whaling scenes and have for the last 20 years that I have painted them.  I love the long skinny feel of this painting and think that this would look fabulous on a dresser drawer.  Years ago, I painted landscapes on a dresser.  There were four drawers total (I think), and each one had a different landscape.  

New England Nantucket/Cape Cod Styled house.  
This is a relatively small painting compared to what I usually do, but I really loved the old frame.  

Top painting is also available for purchase and both will be available November 6-8, 2015
at the Wilton Historical Society show
I love the rich blues that are in each of these paintings.  If you know or have collected my work, most of the paintings hang well together.  I tend to use the same color palette.  

Mermaid painting is called "She was the apple of his Eye" 
This photograph gives you an idea of the scale of this piece.  You can see that it's not very large, but it is really sweet and I love the colors.  

These paintings will be available at the Wilton Show in Wilton, CT. on November 6-8, 2015.  I don't have as much work as I sometime show, but each painting is really carefully done and I think it will be a good show.  

Thanks for looking! 


Monday, October 12, 2015

The Process of Creating new Mermaid Paintings

Mermaids, Mermaids, Mermaids

These two paintings will be taken to my show in Wilton Connecticut at the Wilton Historical Society November 6-8, 2015

Love the Fall Apples  - HER HANDS ARE NOT DONE! 
I have always been a big fan of the fall.  I had this wonderful old frame which was pine.  It had knots and patina and warmth.  Using antique frames is a wonderful way to repurpose old frames that nobody is buying.  

I am not finished with it yet because I want to add more details to the painting itself, like a ship and possibly a sailor or maybe a seashell.  Or maybe just a ship.  NOT sure yet! 

I think it's so wonderful and warm (the frame) and the basket is very 'Nantucket like.'  I miss painting for Nantucket Country.  Now that this store ihas closed, it feels sort of sad for me when I think of Nantucket.  Cam Dutton, you made it all wonderful.   

I would put the ship in the left side, I think.  It's going to be called, The apple of His eye.  

So many of you have seen this  next one.  I had it in a new and different frame, but I couldn't see it right in that frame.  I never have been able to find an antique frame to match it in size.  Recently, I found this one. It is very old, but someone painted it white--Ouch. 

Color has to go - :( Sorry Shabby Chic people, while I love this style, not for this mermaid. 

I picked up some milk paint and started to paint and paint and paint.  I wanted it to match the frame that is above with the apples.  Here is what I came up with! It's close but not exactly. I would give it a blue ribbon, though.  

The right frame is painted to look like
I have to say that I LOVE this.  I really am pleased with how it turned out.  It's very picture realistic to wood and has a good look to it.  As you can see, the frame is slightly too big, so I will have to do a  modification on the frame, Alas, more time.  

Thanks for looking!  I will post another picture when I have finished up with these!  The one on the right is not finished! 

Closeup of frame technique


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Step 2 of Winter Scape painting by Kolene Spicher

 Gathering for the Christmas Day Parade

Step 2 of "Winter Scene" for the Wilton Historical's American Artisan Show - November 6-8, 2015

After i painted in the houses, I moved to the sleigh
Everyone likes a good parade!  This painting will pull you into the world of make-believe.  You can't help but wonder where the people came from, did they come from one of the houses?  I couldn't help but put the ladies in the back seat of the sleigh.  When we go out with another couple, I always find myself in the back seat with a good friend.  I prefer it.  We can talk and laugh and have the same things in common.  

I love the little girls dressed in blue and pink.  There's a good dad for you, too, taking them to the parade! 

I love the little sled beside the right tree.  
The medium on this piece is acrylic on my special hand-made canvas.  The crackles that are created by my 'process' create a unique one of a kind look.  

I  like this little tree in the forefront.  Why?  Well, it suggests that they care enough to plant trees.  If a tree passes, it is transformed (hopefully) into something useful.  It will need replaced.  To me it speaks of new beginnings. 

Gathering for the Christmas Day Parade 
I think the mermaids are a good addition.  Truthfully, I started off with just 'people' but then thought, NO, I need some fish.  How about the two best friends right center? 

Love the steeple 
All good landscapes need a church and a steeple.  Imagine the bells ringing.  I always though that Paintings are  like adult storybooks.  Think about it! 

This is a beautiful example of an antique victorian frame.  I really love the details on this frame.  It is in sturdy good condition, too, and comes complete with a wonderful piece of wavy glass!  I think I will need to mat this, as it is a tad small (the painting).  White or black mat? 

Thanks so much for looking 
Goodbye for now! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Step 1 of Winter Scape painting by Kolene Spicher

The Development of a Winter Scene Painting 

(If you live in the Wilton, Connecticut area, this painting is being developed for a show at the Wilton Historical Society on November 6-8, 2015 ~ read about it at

**There are two shows going on simultaneous to one another this November 6-8, 2015 weekend.  They are both in the same genre and share the same collector base.  I am at the show affiliated with the WILTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY on Danbury Road, Wilton CT.  This is their 30th year.  

I don't have any real direction for this painting as of yet.  It will end up falling into a category that might be in-between my mermaid scenes and that Rufus Porter look.  I cannot decide if I will include mermaids or just have it about people.  I don't have any clear cut direction as of yet!  I am just painting.  This is day 2.  

I painted in a few people in the background! 

The houses get larger as they come to the forefront.  I happen to really love the contrast of red houses with snowfall. 

I always paint from top to bottom and back to front! 
Today, I plan on sketching in and painting the sleigh.  I always have a sleigh.  Normally, I have ice skaters, too.  We shall see!  Tune back tomorrow to see the unfolding of this piece! 

Although you might not realize it, This is a larger painting.  I am not sure that this translates in the photographs.  LOTS MORE TO DO! 


Friday, October 2, 2015

Kolene Spicher Whimsical Landscape Original

Folk Stage
Dancing with the Stars! 
I am taking this to the American Artisan Show in Wilton Connecticut November 6-8, 2015.  You can read about it at

I have had this done for a little while but have kept forgetting to blog about it!  This is a really sweet original that has some considerable size to it!  I found this wonderful warm pine frame and thought that it would be fun to paint a  festive landscape inside of it.  This particular piece has the feel of some of my older work but it is fun and has a lightness to it that my previous landscapes (that were whimsical) did not have.  I don't know if that makes sense.  That's how I see it!

The stars and the characters dancing remind me of the show (tongue in cheek) DANCING WITH THE STARS.  The sky is dark and the moon shines, the stars peak thru the clouds!  These people are truly dancing with the stars.

THE folky writing is really fun and carefree 
I would have to say that the grass photographed a tad brighter than the original.  I love the guy with the harmonica.  The black tree against the green grass really stands out.  

The girl in the green dress is singing, too.  That is one reason that I have Folk Stage worked into the title of the piece.  

I really took my time with the house.  I wanted it to be a little more plumb and exact than some of my previous art!  My dad always likes to tease me that my buildings lean.  He is a retired builder!  It isn't about painting the same style over and over, it's about learning new styles and learning new techniques.  

This is a bit dark, but here it is over my kitchen mantle!  


Here it is in its entirety!  This is behind glass and was painted with acrylic paint!  

Thanks for looking!  

Gallant 3-D Whaling Scene by Kolene Spicher

New 3-D Whaling scene 

Reproduction Antique Whaling Artwork 

(This and most of the art work  from here until mid November is being painted for my upcoming show in Wilton, CT).  The show is called American Artisan Show.  You can read about it at  It is November 6-8, 2015.  Let me know if you would like a show promotional card where I have included a coupon that can be used toward $50 off of one of my paintings! 

Whale and water blow area are all cut out
using antique manuscript paper 
I don't know where I get my ideas half the time.  I just start painting using what I have and the ideas emerge.  It's always such fun.   Today I want to discuss this new art form that I am developing.  I call it 3-D (dimensional) because it is not flat art.  Some of the cutouts actually protrude outward (like water coming out of the whales blow hole!). 

You can really see the 3-D effect in this shot. 

Today I painted on an antique book back.  About 5 years ago, I purchased a handful of these book ends in an old book shop in New York City.  I was holding on to them (I don't know why) for some reason.  I decided that they needed used.  I have a few more,  so as I finish them,  I will post! 

Back side.  It may be prettier than the front! 
The little guys in the painting, I have fondly named "The Whalers."  I have called them that in nearly all of my whaling scenes over the past 15 years.  

You can sort of see the manuscript coming thru on the cutout! 
I think the turquoise water looks very old.  Turquoise may be one of my favorite colors right now! 

 The heavy pen lines are reminiscent of my tattoo artwork (you can look for that using the search bar in my blog).  I came up with the tattoo description because the heavy lines remind me of a tattoo! 

THIS was actually an old whaling song that was written back in the mid 19th century.  There was more to it, but I included my favorite few sentences!  It inspired this painting.  

I am not certain how this will be framed, but I think it will be matted and framed like the recent RUFUS PORTER piece and   similar to this: (you can read about the piece below in my blog). 

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Portrait of a young girl, auction item for Wilton Historical Society, November 2015

Nineteenth Century Portrait of a young girl 

Auction item benefiting the Wilton Historical Society 

American Artisan Show November 6-8, 2015

This is a painting that will be donated to the Wilton Historical Society.  Because I am participating in their annual American Artisan Show held November 6-8, 2015, I was asked to donate a piece for this exciting event. 

 Each year they host a private auction where you can bid on some amazing one of a kind pieces.  This year's Auction will benefit the Society's efforts to continue public awareness of the decorative arts as well as preserve their numerous properties and help maintain the beauty and integrity of New England architecture.  

If you are looking for something fun to do that is different, why not plan to attend this event?  They have wine, cheese, and catered food.  There will be 30 unique artists displaying their wares from all over the United States.  The Wilton Historical Society's American Artisan Show is its biggest fundraiser of the year, and you can be a part of it!  The preview show opens November 6 at 6 PM. 

The above painting is featured in a primitive period liner with antique wavy glass. 

This little girl is not identifiable.  She's just someone that I sort of made up and painted in the primitive style.  

I started the painting off by solidly painting the background BLUE.  I like to do this sometimes to quickly
build my paper and create a "tooth" by which the consecutive coats of paint will
nicely attach.  
As you can see, the background lacks interest.  Each step of painting leads to another.  Before long, you start to form some ideas that create the 'look' that you are striving to obtain.  My love of New England portraiture was created from various books, many of which were written by Nina Fletcher Little.

Watch what happens next as I begin to add details like the book and the clouds!

One of my favorite things to do when I finish a painting is to carry it around and photograph it with various items and in different lighting.

I thought that the frame being primitive was actually working with this piece.  The glass has a big swirl that is in the center that is not visible with the camera.  The glass is antique and wavy and wonderful.  

The frame is not perfect, but you don't really see the imperfections (except when you zoom in on it like I am doing!) 
Here's one final picture showing the painting in natural lighting!  I hope that you can see that it would be a nice addition to your collection of Reproduction Decorative Art!

Here is a picture of the promotional card from the Wilton Historical Society for the American Artisan Show! 

Here's the final copy of this piece.  I have written in the water, too (right side).  I decided that she was carrying a diary! 

"Westport" is written by the white church and "Her little book of Days" is written in the water.

There will be some other amazing artists in addition to myself.   Heidi Howard (who I happen to love) will be there with her amazing one of a kind pieces.  They present as trade signs from the 19th Century and create a look that transitions well into both reproduction and modern settings.  

Heidi Howard 
Also at the event is Deluca Windsor Furniture.  His work looks fantastic in any home setting but shines in that reproduction home that wants to look 'historically correct.'  I love his finishes, too! 

Molly Grant!  Wow, I cannot wait to see with her handmade shoes.  I have never seen her work in person, but this is one gal that I cannot wait to meet and look at all of her beautiful handmade shoes.  

Molly Grant
There are other amazing artists there too--In fact, too many to mention.  But suffice it to say that I love the carvings of Jack Johnson of Three Point Design out of Virginia as well as the Vaillancourt Folkart santas, Helen Howard paintings, Judith Brink's fractures, Andersen and Stauffer's fine furniture, to name just a few! 

Thanks again for looking at my painting!