Author Archives: mimitorchia

A pleasant afternoon


A warm summer afternoon, a gentle breeze blowing through my studio, and my heart side sitting with me as we listen to a recording of Ram Dass talking about getting old. I started by painting Mount Si. When that was done, oh the obvious, I realize I have a perfect model before me. So first I painted his face. Oh, I didn’t want to stop. So I painted his hands. Hands are very hard to paint (says the lady who paints portraits). Sometimes I put hands into a portrait for the challenge. Other times, like this, there was no way to get them both into the same plane. So I painted them each separately. What a beautiful day!

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Rain – a commission

I just finished the portrait of a blue persian cat named Rain. He was a beloved companion for 17 years before he crossed the rainbow bridge. Lucky for me, the grey or blue coat color in cats is one of my favorites, I love the way the colors in the coat change all over the cat. This particular little cat liked to watch the world from his trellis.
All proceeds from this commission will go to the International Society for Endangered Cats. They work all over the world, both educating people about how precious their local wild species are, and also studying the cats in the wild.

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In Nesebar, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea


Truly, this is one of the most exotic places I’ve ever been to. It used to be an island, but has since been connected to the mainland by an isthmus, which makes it very convenient to go to this little town. It is full of ancient buildings, from the Greek and Roman settlements beginning 600 BC. Walking through that village, where the Byzantines and the Crusaders fought the Bulgarians for possession,it is hard for me to understand why they fought so hard for this tiny island. Apparently it was an important trading center. Who knows how many boats docked in this very harbor over the millenia!

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Velico Turnavo, new construction

While most of the time, I focused on the ancient buildings in this town, I found myself almost startled by the modern architecture found here. The buildings did not conform to my ideas of how a house should be shaped, and they towered over me, sitting on a curb across the street. Who says houses can’t be fun? In this painting can be seen a mix of old and new, illustrating the character of the town.

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Velico Turnavo – Stella Canfield workshop

The challenge to Plein Aire is that you have to contend with all sorts of things not encountered in the studio. The most perfect view might be in the middle of the street, or in full sun. As you paint, everything changes. The shadows move, the trash bins move, people walk by; in fact, in this painting a tree branch got knocked down by a tall truck. I also like to leave little surprises in my paintings, in this one, you can see Stella painting, right behind the trash cans. This is a half sheet painting, and it is for sale. All proceeds go to wildlife conservation.

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