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Showing posts from September, 2007
NOTE: My apologies for posting this out of order. It really came about on September 27th.

I have a new painting idea that I need to request your help with. Some of you might recall my musings about working more from actual items, and incorporating paintings of dog ephemera into the dog-a-day project. Well, I want to take that one step further.

I would like to do a still life painting of dog tags, actually a series of paintings of dog tags, titled simply “Memories.”

A handful on a tablecloth.
One lying forgotten in an overgrown garden.
A few hanging from an old collar on a hook.
An old bell jar ½ full.
A montage of them on a flat surface.

My brain keeps spinning with the idea. The only problem? I just have a few tags myself.

This is where you come in.

IF you can part with your tags – whether they be id ones, or old licenses, or rabies tags – whatever the case – I would be honored to add them to my collection, and capture them in paint.

I cannot return them, sadly – I’m not certain how I co…
Last month I came across a gorgeous vintage tooled leather box, something that perhaps was a lady’s small suitcase in years gone by. I bought it as a tote for my paints – impractical, yes, to use such a beautiful box for schlepping my paints around in. But if I could repurpose it, then I could also justify the splurge.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I was cleaning the box out, and found a treasure tucked into one of the interior pockets. A vintage dog tag, oval in shape, with a tiny bulldog face engraved and ribbons undulating underneath her head. The ring on the tag reads “please return to,” and I’m guessing the ribbons were the space allocated for the owner’s name and address. But they were never filled.

I wonder who’s little dog this tag was meant for, and how it ended up in the bottom of my case. The tag is now tied to the handle of my paint box with a beautiful blue ribbon. Well, really, NOW it’s hanging from a piece of string on an old nail in my studio, but it’ll be returned to …
“Jackpot (Black Lab Study),” 6” square, commissioned Labrador retriever pet portrait.

Jackpot is a pretty special guy. All the dogs I paint are, but this one wears a little halo (which I didn’t include in the painting, but you can see it’s glow in the lower right corner).

Jackpot is a service dog with Paws With a Cause. A little over a month ago his person was hospitalized with some serious health issues, and Jackpot went to stay with a foster family. Poor Jackpot became ill as well.

The good news is that both patients are rallying.

And the story gets nicer still. Jackpot’s foster family, for whom I’ve already painted a handful of times, commissioned this piece for Jackpot’s person, so that she could have a bit of him always with her while she continues her recovery.

Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated back to Paws With a Cause. I do that for every PAWS dog I am lucky enough to paint.

I know that you, my readers, only get the one dog-a-day story daily. I, though, am so b…
“Sonny,” 8x10, commissioned painting, yellow lab pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!)

I love painting yellow labs, and haven’t had the opportunity to for a while now. Their colors are so subtle, the way they slip from flesh to orange to violet to blue. Sonny was so much fun to paint!

I especially like how he’s leaning into the painting……

Today I delivered my work (7 large paintings) to Margot’s Gallery for this weekend’s show opening, so my studio feels a little empty right now. All of the artists’ work looks gorgeous – I cannot wait to see her space full of art enthusiasts, and share a glass of wine with the party-goers. For additional information, including directions to the gallery (Oxford, Michigan), please call Margot at 248-628-5398.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow,
Kim


Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

ht…
“Goldendoodle Grin (Kramer),” commissioned goldendoodle portrait, 8” square, acrylic pet portrait on canvasboard, private collection (or so I believe – rumor has it that my client is out of town, so I haven’t yet received confirmation that Kramer is, indeed, part of her collection – as always, inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com ).

The brushwork and paint application on this piece are just as juicy and gooey as Kramer’s face. I painted at an arms’ length away, using my whole upper body to make the movements. It was just like dancing.

I wonder if Kramer chose the music, what he would have listened to this afternoon. Would it be Etta James, who I had going strong on my ipod all afternoon? Or would it have been High School Musical 2, which of late has been pouring out of every little girls’ window in our neighborhood (including my own daughter's)?

Thank you also to returning client Barbara Pope who purchased two framed dog-a-day paintings today, each featuring bulldogs …
Today you get a double header.



“Scrappy,” duly named pomeranian-pekenese-tibetian spaniel mix, 4x5, commissioned pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!!)



“Bobby,” shepherd mixed breed, 6x8, commissioned pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

The paint has been flowing easily today. Perhaps it’s the sunshine, so atypical of September in Michigan. Perhaps it’s the autumn color just starting to kiss the trees. Pehaps it’s the promise of a great weekend – Metamora’s Celebration of the Horse, and my Group Opening at Margot’s Gallery. Whatever it is, I like it.

Hope you enjoy each of these paintings. I’m sort of in training for the holidays, when I’ve double booked the dog-a-days simply to meet the demand. I won’t always be posting each painting (some surprises might be ruined, and I also know that two paintings each day will fill some readers’ mailboxes too quickly), and I will try to squeeze in more non-commissioned pieces, fo…
I spent this afternoon with a dear woman, one who I first met under the auspices of “client” (as quite a few of my friendships of late have begun). I swung by her house unannounced, to deliver a small gift, prior to her having surgery tomorrow.

For despite her most valiant attempts, the hospital simply would not bend their rules, and allow her dog entrance. (And believe me when I say that this woman bends steel with the power of her words). I could not imagine her without dear Amos by her side, and so therefore, tried to give her the next best thing – a small painting of him, one that she could contemplate upon while recovering.

And she gave me such a tremendous gift in return – there were so many gems that simply fell from her lips without any sort of fanfare whatsoever, and I wished multiple times that I had a means of capturing her words before my silly brain buried them underneath things far less important.

It was an afternoon that blossomed quite unexpectedly, into something extraor…
“Pointer Study (Bullwinkle),” 8” x 10”, pointer portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (or so I think – am waiting for confirmation from my client).

I did allow myself to venture into color more today than I have all week, but Bully’s portrait is a bit more restrained. I relied on directional brushwork and muted grays (well, I see them as pinks and lavendars and blues) to tell the story. And if you squint down at the painting, it reads dimensionally, which means I got my values correct.

So perhaps this working in black and white while concentrating on values is a good assignment.

It’s tough – I was wanting to put all sorts of reds and oranges into him, and really didn’t allow myself that luxury. Instead, the painting became about the moment Bully caught the scent, and the viewer is left holding their breath, waiting for the bird to get flushed.

I learned this evening that my body of work, three dog a days, which I submitted to the Southeastern Michigan Portrait Show, earne…
“Grady Bookends,” a pair of 6x8 portraits, depicting Grady, a shepherd mix, as a puppy, and then, as a senior.

My client sent a moving story of her relationship with Grady, who blessed her family with 15 years of companionship. I connected immediately with her tale, having been blessed early in my life with 13 years of friendship with Beau (the Brittany I grew up with). Her bundle of photographs included both edges of Grady’s life, and I found myself remembering the journey Beau and I shared as I flipped through the pictures.

I was overwhelmingly compelled to paint both the beginning and ending (although “ending” is too final of a word).

Bless her heart, but despite expecting one painting, my client went with the creative flow, and opted to purchase both (although I gave her a heads up of what was to come, with the option of choosing just one, or neither, if they weren’t right).

I intentionally set them up so that the viewer’s eyes wander between the two, and imagination fills in the year…
“Sasha’s Smile,” 4x8, shihtzu pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

In class last night, I learned that relying on photographs as much as I do has been holding me back from capturing the nuances of light. That I need to do more paintings from life, so that I can study light and how it bounces. Well, at least, that was my homework.

Which, in my real life terms, translates to 100 dog a days of couch potatoes and sunbathers.

That would get a little boring, wouldn’t it?

But what you will see is an occasional interjection of dog ephemera. A milkbone, or collar tags, for example. I want to get a couple of these still lives under my belt first, so that I’m a little more comfortable sharing (I do make a lot of bad paintings – you should see this ridiculous still life from last night – it’s embarrassing – and I am not ready to post my still lives quite yet – but I WILL get there, honest.)

So, also in line with last night’s class, my instructor asked m…
“Monty,” 4x6, mixed breed commissioned pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).
ARTIST'S NOTE: I stand corrected. Monty is not a mixed breed, but a Havanese. Shame on me for not clarifying that prior to posting!! My sincerest apologies go out to Monty!!

This painting grew out of the same palette choices as yesterday. Even after just one day, I am more comfortable mixing the tones and values, and am continuing to learn how these new shades of red (cadmium red light) and yellow (cadmium yellow light) can work for me.

It’s especially tough when painting dogs that have very little pigment or color to their fur, finding the proper combination of values and tints that properly convey depth and light without being too heavy. I think these two might be just the trick!

I have another installment of class this evening, and while we will be working on a mostly white still life (and, alas, no dogs, unless they are of the ceramic kind!), you can bet I’ll come home w…
"Zoey (Llaso Apso Study)," 8 x 8, commissioned llaso apso pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!). This painting photographed a little lighter than it is in real life - there is a lot of depth in the right side where the silky fur lies in highlight.

I started my new class last week, and the teacherwas singing the praises of some different colors, so I thought I'd give them an unofficial try-out today. I substituted cadmium red light and cadmium yellow light for my usual dark versions. I wasn't really happy with them at first - change at even the most basic level is hard for me to deal with - but I kept on plugging along. I cheated and went back to my usual palette, just to get the familair depth and darkness in Zoey's eyes. But I kept to it, added some ultramarine blue (another one of my instructor's favorites) and found that once I got used to the cooler tones in the cadmium yellow light, that I was able to make them work in Zo…
“Pick Me (Beagle Pup Study),” 4x6, beagle pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $75. $15 from the sale of this painting will be donated to the Oakland County (Michigan) Pet Adoption Center and the Oakland Pet Fund, just like the remainder of this week’s paintings’ sales have been. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

I chose a hopeful little puppy to end our week out. This little man was another stray, picked up right before Labor Day weekend. Very sweet, understandably a little timid, and true to his breed, rather vocal when the need arose. In almost every one of my reference shots his little mouth was pursed, ready to sing to me.

But I think his expression sums our Shelter & Rescue Week up very nicely. Hopeful.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http:/…
"Ragamuffin," 6x12, terrier mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $135. This painting will go to the first interested buyer - please send all inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

For those of you who may be joining us sort of "in process," we are in the midst of September's Shelter & Rescue Week, featuring animals from the Oakland Pet Adoption Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. 20% of the sale of this week's paintings will go to their Oakland Pet Fund, established to help reach their goal of becoming a no-kill shelter by 2010. Additional information on the adoption center can be found online at www.oakgov.com/anmlctrl/ (and there is a link from there where you can view adoptable animals). Additional information on the Fund can be found at http://www.oaklandpetfund.org/.

This little dog couldn't have been more than 8-10 pounds and most of that was cowlicks and bedhead. When I visited they were cleaning the kennels, and he pe…
“Love Me (Silver Tabby),” 8x10, tabby cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $150. This painting will go to the first interested buyer – please send all inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

When I visited the Oakland Pet Adoption Center (OPAC) last week to photograph candidates for the dog-a-day project, I asked if there were any animals in particular that I could focus on. I was directed to Kitty City, a large room full of kitty condos, warm windowsills, cat toys, and the feline residents with the most seniority at the shelter. Two of them in particular, a tuxedo’ed guy, and this silver tabby, were the Walmart Greeters of Kitty City.

I don’t know the actual figures, but I do know that adult cats are the most difficult of all homeless animals to place.

The OPAC runs a free spay and neuter clinic for felines, part of their efforts towards no-kill operations in 2010. Since February of this year, they estimate that over 700 cats have gone through the clinic. The sale of this…
"Terrier Study," 5x7, jack russell or parson's terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $90. $18 from the sale of this painting will go to the Oakland Pet Adoption Center/Oakland Pet Fund in the buyers’ name. Available to the first buyer – all inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

This little guy was one of two male JRT strays picked up by Oakland Animal Control right before Labor Day weekend. As of last week, both were crated together, and keeping each other company. This guy was the more confidant one, nudging the gate handle on his crate, furiously wagging his stubby tail, while his partner in crime sat back and quietly checked me out. Both of them carried tremendous light in their eyes. They were chock full of terrier vitality, and I longed to see them working over a pile of logs or romping through a field together.
Again, just to reiterate how Shelter & Rescue Week works - Each of the paintings completed this week were inspired by an animal at the …
“Take Me Home With You…..”, 4” x 8”, husky pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $90. $18 from the sale of this painting will go to the Oakland Pet Adoption Center in the buyers’ name. Available to the first buyer – all inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . SOLD.

For those of you who are new to the Painting a Dog-a-Day group, here’s how Shelter & Rescue Week works. Each of the paintings completed this week are available to the first buyer, with 20% of the sales being returned to the host shelter. ALSO, if you have an animal you’ve adopted from the profiled shelter, and commission a portrait of them during the month of September, 20% of your purchase will be donated back to the shelter.

Last week I visited the Oakland Pet Adoption Center (OPAC), in Auburn Hills, Michigan. I wandered their halls, took in the sights, and tried not to get emotionally involved. With all those eyes looking back at me, it was impossible. I left with about 200 photos, and an aching heart. There we…
On Friday, I boasted about how productive a day I had had in the studio, and promised to share another dog-a-day with you all on Saturday morning. Then the weekend rolled in, I got caught up in life, and didn’t even give it another thought.

Until now. I came into the studio tonite to make certain all my shipments were lined up and ready to go out tomorrow, and what did I see, but a lonely little painting sitting on my desk, wondering what happened.

“Katie’s Beard,” 6” x 12”, commissioned mixed breed pet portrait. This is the second time I painted Katie – the first time, back on August 21st, I mis-read the reference photos. I thought Katie’s grizzled muzzle was mustached, but the whiskers actually grew from her chin. So I got a second go, with a new set of photos, and this is the portrait that Katie’s person wants to take home (THANK YOU!!).

Which means that the piece from August 21st is now available for purchase. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Tomorrow starts Shelter &…
“Bruce (Scottie Study),” 4” x 8”, Scottie/Scottish terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Thank you to returning collector Janice Nelson for commissioning Bruce as part of the dog-a-day project.

This is one of those paintings that seemed to paint itself. Actually, I think my whole day has been like that!! I must have found my painting groove early on, and just rolled with it all day.

Anyways, I used a favorite trick of mine – tinting a color in the subject itself, and using that as my background. There are snippets of pink in Bruce’s moustache, and those are repeated in the background for an even and harmonious appearance. I used colors already mixed on my palette to darken the base of the background, and that, too, added to the harmony.

I’ve got one more painting for you, which I’ll share as a bonus dog-a-day tomorrow, since we had a short week. Like I said, I’ve had a wonderfully productive day in the studio!

Meanwhile, stay tuned for Shelter & Rescue Week next, when I’ll profi…
"Sienna Maisy," 4" x 6", Shiba Inu pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. I believe this one is sold, but haven't yet heard back from Sienna's person. I will hold it for her, but in case she opts to pass, inquiries may come to ksantinI@turtledovedesigns.com.

The glazes in this painting are very subtle and soothing, layered together, in pale apricots and light blues. I especially like Sienna's stray eyebrow lashes that hang enticingly across her eyes - they really add personality to her infectious grin. I can't help it - this painting makes me smile right back, as though Sienna was right here in front of me.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with friends and family.
See you tomorrow,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gat…
“Luke,” 6” x 12”, German Shepherd commissioned pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Luke is a rescue, and true to his breed, intense, alert, intelligent, independent, and full of attitude. Painting him at attention seemed like a good solid choice for just such a personality. (Although it’s rumored that Luke secretly thinks he is a mushy, lovey, lap dog.)

I used a triad of color in Luke’s painting. Oranges, Greens, and Violets. The key to this combination is choosing colors that form an equilateral triangle from the color wheel. I also really focused on the subtlety of the neutrals that I used, holding off on touches of bolder color simply to pinpoint details and accent the focal point. Of course it also helped that Luke’s markings lent themselves perfectly to this, but I did also exercise some restraint!

I also am very happy with the brushwork here. The outer edges of the canvasboard have only a layer or two of glaze, but the central portion/focal poin…
“Maggie,” 5x7, commissioned cocker spaniel pet portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Maggie has quite the personality. She’s always chattering away and you can count on her to hold center stage quite comfortably. I wanted to capture Maggie’s engaging spirit, and painted her as though she was waiting to catch someone’s eye, and start up a conversation.

I also really played with color in her fur. Oranges, purples and blues, with some green in the shadows. The whole spectrum is in here! I love these sorts of paintings.

I’ve received a couple of emails from readers wanting to see non-commissioned works, and possibly add to their own dog-a-day collections. Next week will be the answer to their predicament.

Hard to believe, but it’s time once again for Shelter & Rescue Week. Next week I will focus entirely on the Oakland County Animal Shelter, and also highlight the Oakland Pet Fund (http://www.oaklandpetfund.org/) – a great organization dedicated to ending euthanasia of homeless adopt…