Paintings With Soul

Since October 2006 I've been a daily painter, creating a new pet portrait at least 5 times per week. Over the years I've expanded my offerings to include a variety of animals, pets, race horses, children and other treasured heirlooms. In addition, I accept a limited number of commissions each year.

In 2015 I am honored to be the Kentucky Derby Artist.

You may use the links below right to receive my daily paintings via email or to follow my blog with a feed. I post additional info, including in-process jpgs and other related information, on the studio Facebook page as well.

Meanwhile, thanks
so much for your continued support of my artwork.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

“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 years. (In my minds’ eye I see more “Bookends” to come, first in line being Beau’s.)

And I stuck (or tried to) with a neutral range of color, continuing my “black and white” homework assignment. These two match more so than the jpgs indicate, but there are some subtle differences.

I do think I will have to venture into something more colorful tomorrow, though (sorry Vianna!!)……

On a different topic altogether, those of you out there who paint with acrylics might want to take note. I have just stumbled across a brilliant palette system that actually keeps acrylic paints moist and workable for hours. It’s the Masterson palette, and it is used in combination with special liners and a sponge (the sponges were all sold out, but I’ve been using an old rag instead, with great results!). It comes with a tupperware type lid that has completely eliminated my soggy wads of paint filled saran wrap.

The neatest part about this palette is that I can work my pools of paint much like oils, without the traditional skinning/thickening that happens when acrylics lay out for a bit. I had been using a glass palette backed with a middle value piece of mat board, and puddling my paint with a layer of glaze to keep it moist. That system worked well, but I had to cover with saran whenever I took a break, and the paint still dried up in a few hours.

The only adjustment I’ve had to make so far is getting used to mixing my colors on a white ground, but I think it’s well worth the trade. Maybe I’ll write the manufacturer, and suggest they create a middle-value palette paper for easier color mixing.

Thanks, as always, for looking. (And thank you, again, Diane, for giving me the creative space to create this partnership of paintings. If they give you just a fraction of the joy that Grady did……)
See you all tomorrow,

Kimberly Kelly Santini
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
the gateway to canine art on the web

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