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.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Turtledove," 8x8, calico pet portrait painting, acrylic on canvasboard, collection of the artist.

I spent the bulk of Thanksgiving day trying to remind myself how blessed my family is in so many ways, but it was so very difficult, because it was also Turtle's last day.

Turtledove was a rescued kitty Rick and I adopted shortly after we got married and moved cross-country to California (oh so many years ago). Scarred with cigarette burns and nameless other hurts, she was understandably fearful of strangers, but oddly trusted the two of us unconditionally right from the start. We chose her as a companion for our spoiled black cat, Miah, who was alone for the first time in her short life all day long.

Turtle befriended Miah, and wormed her way into everyone else's hearts too. She became my muse right from the start, and then the studio's namesake years later..

We buried her underneath the maple tree, the one that shelters our home, stretching far beyond the roof's confines into the sky. In the spring I will plant a bed of catnip overtop her grave, and carve something fitting into the smooth round stone that marks where her head lays.

We spent Friday setting up the Christmas tree, telling the kids stories of a younger cat who loved to climb and hide amongst the branches. When the kids were infants, she slept underneath their crib, coming to wake me moments before their cries did. Every full moon, she would hunt monsters, racing up and down the stairs all night long (Domenic remembers hearing her going up and down, up and down, up and down). I could count on her freight train purr to lull me to sleep every night without fail (Anna knows that same purr from when we would read bedtime stories together). Evan found her favorite toy, a spikey little rubber ball, under the couch - we laughed when we remembered the odd growls she would make as she carried that around the house.

I realized when I came downstairs Saturday morning that the garland strung on the lower half of the tree will stay put for the first time ever.

And there will be no more gifts left at the foot of my easel, either.

What a blessing it is to have loved something so simple so strongly.

Hug your kitties and your dogs and your family - they are all gifts, whether we have them for a fleeting moment or for what seems like an eternity -

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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