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.

Friday, August 31, 2007





Today you get 2 for 1. Consider it my Labor Day gift!

First I'll give you "Spencer," a german shepherd portrait, sized 5x7. This is another commissioned pet portrait, and part of the same collection as yesterday's Peyton.

As is "Remi," the second piece, depicting a rottie-bermese mountain dog mix. At 8x16, Remi's portrait is packed with detail and actually is one painting I wouldn't mind keeping for myself. (Sorry, Spencer) But she'll get wrapped and shipped off with her brothers next week.

Those of you who perhaps have taken a life drawing class will laugh at this - but I feel like Remi is a nude stretched out with a drape and diffused lighting..... yeah, I'm a little twisted!!

Both of these portraits I started earlier this week at the Michigan State Fair demo. Once I got them home, and was able to add white to my palette, all it took was a couple of hours and they were done.

I wish all my readers a safe holiday weekend. Ours will be spent at a soccer tournament, punctuated with what promises to be a great live concert by one of our favorite local bands (yeah Radiocraft!! http://www.radiocraftmusic.com/) and, if I'm lucky, a little bit of antiqueing, too.

I'll return with the dog-a-days on Tuesday of next week, after I load the kids onto their respective buses, and then tire the dog out so much so (a long walk/bike ride, followed with some frisbe) that he can't pout and sulk too badly the remainder of the day.
See you in a few days,
and thanks, as always, for looking,
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Thursday, August 30, 2007



“German Shepherd (Peyton),” 6x8, german shepherd pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, available for $120. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

In between being pulled in what seemed like a million other directions today, I managed to find enough time to finish off one of yesterday’s paintings. Here is Peyton, a perfect balance of complimentary colors and happy grin.

I can also see, especially with this painting, that my brushwork has gotten more expressive, yet it still conveys a solid amount of detail. I am happy with this direction.

Meanwhile, I had the most wonderful evening tonight at the opening for the 47th annual Thumb Show Exhibition. It was capped off perfectly with the announcement that my dog-a-day painting “Bulldog Study (Winston)” (http://paintingadogaday.blogspot.com/search?q=winston) had earned an honorable mention. If you get a chance to see this show (at the Starkweather Gallery in Romeo Michigan, through September 15th – call 586-752-5700 for more information) I highly recommend it. There is some unbelievably gorgeous work there.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
And for sharing your dogs, your cats, your best friends, with me – if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have work out there, earning accolades and recognition. Ok, well I might. But it would be boring stuff, like corn cobs and milk glass and bowls of flowers (not that there’s anything wrong with those things!!! )
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, August 29, 2007




What a fun day I had, despite a few “challenges.” The biggest of which was, when unpacking and setting up this morning at the Michigan State Fair, discovering I had forgotten to pack white paint.

It’s a little tough completing a portrait without white paint!!

But I did my best, blocking in three different dog-a-day commissions while taking frequent breaks to talk to fair-goers (the portraits, clockwise from the top, “Remi,” “Spencer,” and “Peyton,” all siblings).

I’ve attached a couple of images, so that you can understand how I set up when doing a demo. It’s not much different than when I set up here in the studio.

I have my easel (this particular one is a Julian Pleine-Air – very sturdy and easy to setup), with a board (just a random piece of masonite) that has the dog-a-day pieces duct taped to it. To the right is my palette, laid out with the same colors (from lower left, in a clockwise configuration, cad yellow dark, alizarine crimson, cad red dark, white (if I had had it, in the upper left corner!), pthalo blue red, azurine blue, (today’s new addition) green gold, and then across the lower edge, ultramarine violet, and light green yellow.

When I do demos, I also include copies of articles and other press items, business cards, and mailing list signup sheets (both snail and email lists). Today I also brought my laptop, and had it running a slideshow of the dog-a-day archives. These items were all set up on the right of the table, which also coincided with the direction of the flow of traffic. It gave me a few moments to see (through the back of my head, because I was painting after all!) when individuals approached, and allowed me to strike up a conversation before they had passed completely.

You can also see one of my larger paintings in the background, “Spot,” the dalmation, peeking back at you over his shoulder. And my trusty right-hand-man, Evan, my 9 year old son, who documented the entire day with approximately 300 digital images (including the walk from the car to the Community Arts Building).

Of course I intended to come home and finish these paintings off, but yet another wave of thunderstorms has hit us, and with the power flickering and more severe rumbles predicted, I’m just going to throw in the towel, curl up with the kids and a bowl of popcorn, and see how much of High School Musical 2 we can make it through (for the 50th time) before we are forced to crack out the flashlights and resort to scarey campfire stories.

Thanks, as always, for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
I promise a finished one tomorrow – maybe two!
Until then,
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 gateway to canine art on the web



“Shihtzu Study (Casey),” 5x7, commissioned shihtzu pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!).

Casey is a sweet little guy who passed away late last year. This painting is a gift to Casey’s “dad,” currently fighting his own battle with cancer. My wish is that it bring comfort to this family, and maybe spark a few grins and good tales as they gather to remember times shared.

I will be painting tomorrow’s dog-a-day at the Community Arts Building of the Michigan State Fairgrounds starting around 11-11:30. I’m bringing along enough boards to do a handful of paintings if time allows (I’ll stay till about 1:30 or 2, and then head over to the barns for a photo session before taking on rush hour traffic) – I would love for you to stop by and visit if you find yourself in the area.

And some exciting news – my work was juried into the 47th annual Thumb Area Artists’ Exhibition! This is especially meaningful because my two entries were dog-a-day paintings from much earlier in the project. You may recall my “Bulldog Study,” part of the prestigious (also juried) Art Show at the Dog Show this last winter (see the dog-a-day posting for December 28, 2006). The other piece on display is a sentimental favorite, one from my personal collection, depicting my black cat in a very peaceful (aka senile) moment (again, please see the dog-a-day posting from February 11, 2007). The show is hung at the Starkweather Gallery in Romeo Michigan, and will stay up until September 15th. The opening will be Thursday (this Thursday) evening from 6-8pm. Please call the gallery for additional information – 586-752-5700.

I also wanted to mention that in September I’ll be focusing on Oakland County Animal Control (OCAC) for Shelter & Rescue Week. Because of the Labor Day holiday and not wanting to jip them out of a day, I’ll start Shelter & Rescue Week on the10th. This means that if you have an animal adopted from their shelter and you commission a dog-a-day portrait of them during the month of September, I’ll donate 20% back to OCAC. It also means that 20% of the sales from each of the paintings completed during September 10th-14th will also be returned to the shelter.

Thanks as always for looking.
And for coming along for the ride – I love that you are enjoying the dog-a-days so much so that you are forwarding them around.
And a special THANK YOU to all my clients who are sharing their paintings and handing out referrals – that is the highest compliment I could hope for.
Every day I get at least a dozen inquiries – please be patient with me as I work through them and try to stay on top of everything else. I promise to give each and every one of you the same care and attention as the person next in line.
Can’t wait to give you an update on tomorrow’s work!
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Monday, August 27, 2007



“English Springer Study (Lewis),” 6x8, English Springer pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!).

Lewis is 13 years old, and has a rare bone disease. This will be his last summer. His family is doing their best to make it as memorable as all the others, even going so far as to get a special “cart” so that he can still join them on their walks.

They requested a portrait that would remind them of his squishy smooshy droopy face. I cropped in tight to get his eyes, and just the upper edge of his nose, as though his face was cupped in their hands. The scale of this painting is such that it is fairly close to lifesize, yet still remains intimate. A good starting point for recalling such a dear companion and friend.

(On an odd note, this piece reminds me of that sad clown painting that hung in the back hallway of my childhood home. I wonder whatever happened to that painting….. it terrified us in the half-light, and probably ultimately ended up as a prop in a bad B horror flick!).

But back on track here.

I want to dedicate today’s painting to all the Lewis’s we’ve known in our lives. And to all the ones that will pad along into those hard to fill footsteps, trying their best to measure up to their precursors, but instead forging their own distinctive path to the center of our hearts.

Thanks again for your time in looking and reading along.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family. I love that you forward them around – thank you!
Will be back tomorrow,
Kim

PS I guess I fell back into that black and white familiar guise again. Only one other black and white guy this week – I promise you a greater color range to come!!

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 gateway to canine art on the web

Friday, August 24, 2007



“Charlotte’s Grin,” 5x7, beagle pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!!).

I’ve painted Charlotte a number of times (check the dog-a-day archives and you'll see her on June 22nd and January 22nd), and she is a favorite of mine. I’m currently painting her yet again, with her partner in crime Shadow, as a larger piece that’s intended for an exhibition later this fall (I’m also painting Shadow separately, the star of his own portrait).

Meanwhile, I did this latest little piece several weeks ago, but held off on posting for just such a day as today.

(Actually, I have a very small stash of dog-a-day paintings that I save for when I simply cannot make it into the studio. It has only happened maybe 3 times since last October, but knowing they are there helps to alleviate the stress when an already difficult day presents itself!)

Today started off fairly well, with just a short, very manageable list of errands, but temper tantrums and bickering held the school shopping trip off for several hours. (With hindsight, I should have just stayed home, sent everyone to their rooms for some quiet time, and pushed paint around – instead I stripped beds, did some laundry, ran the vacuum, and baked some zucchini bread, ever hopeful that we would get things straightened out.) We eventually did get out the door, but it was an abbreviated trip. Inclement weather sent us home before we had completed our errands list, and shortly thereafter thunderstorms and tornados sent us to the basement for a lengthy time (while dinner burned in the oven).

Meanwhile my brother and sister in law brought their two little guys (under 3) over for the night, and I began to realize that I was NOT going to make it into the studio at all!!

So I was very thankful for Miss Charlotte’s familiar grin. Hope it sets your weekend off on a good note! (I'm hoping things will just get better!!)

Thanks, as always, for your time.
And for sharing these paintings with friends and family.
Enjoy your weekend – I’ve gotta run – Connor’s stripped his diaper off yet again!!
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Thursday, August 23, 2007



“Joey,” 8’x8”, labradoodle pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (Thank you!!). He’s just so darned cute, isn’t he?!

Take a minute, those of you who are artists, and revisit the last three paintings, including today’s. They all depict black and white dogs, and were all painted with the exact same palette, yet each one has a different sensibility to it.

Katie’s fur is full of the reflections of the green grass. She’s lying in a shaded area, and that means that all the light around her is reflected, carrying a green edge to it.

Winnie’s fur carries more blue. It is reflecting the sky, since she’s sitting up, in a more “open” space, and lit from above, as the sun is higher. I used glazes of azurine blue overtop the modeled shape of her body, to exaggerate the color.

Joey’s black fur has more of a brown or red edge to it (natural highlights that occur with the longer haired animals). That is amplified by using a smidge more red in the darkest mixture, and pinking out the highlights. The fuzzy quality is achieved by blurring my edges – there’s lots of dry brushing in this painting.

This week was a bit of a mini lesson in the subtleties of color mixing. (I wish I could amp up my photoshop skills to reflect those subtleties even more so!!).

One final note today – I have published my Summer 2007 Studio Newsletter. It is viewable on my website – www.turtledovedesigns.com/summer2007news.html - and contains a brief summary of what’s happened in the last few months, and highlights what will come as we go into the fall.

Thanks, as always, for looking.And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family!
Will 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 gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, August 22, 2007



“Winnie’s Smile,” 6” x 8”, mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you very much).

I had so much fun with Katie today, painting her was like painting an old friend. When I stepped back to squint down at and view what I thought might be the final version of the painting, I discovered (duh!) that Katie bears a remarkable resemblance to my cattle dog Finnigan. She has a similar bone structure to her face, although it’s a little longer. They also share that same relaxed expression, and yet I bet if a magic word were said (“walk” or maybe “play”) she would bounce into immediate hyperdrive.

Thank you to new collector Denise Gillen who purchased three favorites from the dog-a-day archives yesterday. Welcome to the group, Denise!

For those of you who may not be receiving your daily dose of the dog-a-days, it has come to my attention that if you just re-subscribe, the problem is fixed. Gotta love that! The signup option is available at the top of the blog page – http://www.paintingadogaday.blogspot.com/ – in the “Google Groups” box that reads “Train your email to fetch”. It’s also sprinkled liberally throughout both my websites – http://www.paintingadogaday.com/ and http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/ .

Thanks, as always, for your time.
And for sharing these paintings and stories 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 gateway to canine art on the web

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


“Katie’s Moustache,” 6x12, pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $90. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

One glimpse of Katie’s face, and I was hooked. Not only did she fall into my beloved “black & white” category, but she came with a full moustache and doe-like eyes.

I first covered the canvas with a variety of blues and purples, using a (mixed) light green and pink for the highlights. (Right now my palette has been expanded to include the following: pthalo blue red, azurite hue, cad red dark, alizarine crimson, cad yellow dark, and then for graying/hazing out I use light green yellow and ultramarine purple.) I lighten with titanium white and darken with one of the blues and a touch of one of the reds.

As a side note, at this time last year I was really struggling with my limited palette (I went from about 60 pots of paint to 3), but I have lived the benefits – I am so much more familiar with what I can mix given just this handful of colors. My paintings are also more harmonious. And it’s easier to pick one up that’s been sitting around for a few weeks, and not have to struggle, trying to remember how I set my palette up for it. So, as much as I fought the whole limited palette concept, I am hooked now. I recommend it hands down – it’ll make you a smarter artist all around. Honest injun.

Last night at a beautiful opening party for the Michigan State Fair Fine Arts division I was honored with second place overall for my equine painting titled “Swish.” I also received recognition for last year’s painting “My Brother’s Keeper,” which earned a People’s Choice award. The Michigan State Fair is such an excellent venue for artists at all levels to share their work. I am even more excited to paint the dog-a-day piece live on Wednesday, August 29th, right there at the State Fair in the Community Arts Pavilion.

And I owe a thank you also to Beverly Beitler, who paid a quick visit today to tidy up all the details surrounding her Harley’s portrait (he modeled for “The Red Collar,” from last Tuesday). She took home the two Great Dane dog-a-day preliminary portrait studies that Harley inspired as well (April 5th and 20th). His Big Painting is going to be something else! I cannot wait to get going on it.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
We’ll 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 gateway to canine art on the web

Monday, August 20, 2007


“Gus,” 6x12”, commissioned pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!). This is another portrait who’s proceeds are benefiting Best Friends Animal Society (http://www.bestfriends.org/) .

Gus has such a solid look about him – I loved his substance, that confidant stance, his gentle but insistent gaze. And all that color – I’ve said it before, but brindles are just SO FUN to paint, with the blues and oranges and violets.

Originally I had Gus smaller on the board, to show off his lovely tuxedo marked chest. But that splash of white kept tearing my eyes away from his face. So I rubbed the whole thing out, and had at it again, positioning Gus and the composition so that all my marks would lead your eye to his face (see that line of pink highlight across his back? And the little light blue collar cradling his chin? And the dashes of orange strategically placed?).

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
I so enjoy meeting each and every one of you, and hearing your stories about what makes your dog or cat so very special.

Now I’m off for a little more painting on a larger canvas, and then I’ve gotta get myself cleaned up for a show opening this evening.
Talk to 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 gateway to canine art on the web

Friday, August 17, 2007



“Abigail,” 6” x 12”, Doberman puppy pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you very much!).

I love getting pictures in the mail. And it’s even more fun when they are puppy pictures! I got a nice little stack of them a few weeks back depicting Abby and it was all I could do to stick to the schedule and make her wait her turn.

This is a difficult painting to photograph, being so very dark and richly toned in the shadows. The camera added a lot of contrast and blue to the painting – I tried to make some corrections in photoshop (my photoshop skills are improving slowly but surely!!).

In real life, Abby’s fur reads like silk, and the light in her eyes is tender. This will be a tough piece to ship off to it’s new home!

Thanks as always for taking the time to look at these paintings. I have gotten several notes this week about how the dog-a-day paintings make your work days a little brighter. I am happy to hear that – I remember myself how tough it can get when chained to a desk all day (my apologies if any of my former employers are reading this!!).

I also have gotten a couple notes from subscribers who aren’t getting the dog-a-days delivered to their mailboxes any longer. Nothing has changed at my end (that I’m aware of!) – if you are having problems, please let me know, and I’ll help troubleshoot the delivery issues. And don’t forget, if you don’t get the email, you can always keep up on the blogsite – http://www.paintingadogaday.blogspot.com/ .

Enjoy your weekend –
Thanks again,
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Thursday, August 16, 2007


“(Not So) Spaz,” 6x8, mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you!).

Spaz is a husky-border collie (?) mix who has finally, at 14 years of age, outgrown her well-earned name.

I was excited to paint her fur – the combination of the shorter hairs that lay tightly against her muzzle and eyes and then graduated out to the longer wispier edges that frame her face. I mixed three pools of glazes in various shades of red-violet, blue, and blue violet, and used multiple brushes to layer the strokes and color. Adding a bit of orange and red into the eyes was the final touch.

I need to send out a belated thank you to Barbara Pope, who found two dog-a-day paintings in the archives to add to her purchase of “Pasha’s Eyes” from the other week. What a nice package you’ll get next week, Barbara!

The Painting a Dog a Day blog (http://www.paintingadogaday.blogspot.com/) is searchable by keywords. I tried to make it simple by using breed names and designations like “mixed breed” or “available”. The search tool is in the uppermost left edge of the gray frame of the blog window.

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

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

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


“Daisy Remembered,” 4” x 8”, mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you very much).

This painting was commissioned as a gift to Daisy’s person. Daisy was a best friend and a trooper, losing a leg to cancer. The surgery was supposed to give her another couple years, but instead she managed (happily) for one more month.

I wanted to paint her grinning and content, awash in blues and greens, the colors of the outdoors. Never having met Daisy, I hope that this little piece does justice to her spirit and memory.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings and stories with your 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 gateway to canine art on the web

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


If you could only see my studio - I’m getting caught up in that end-of-summer rush, putting finishing touches on a number of canvases that need to be sent off to their respective venues in the coming weeks. There are literally stacks of them against the walls, up on shelves, precariously perched on every flat surface, spilling out of the studio and into the other rooms of the house. I have the best intentions, starting things early, allowing myself all sorts of time to complete the pieces before they are due. But life happens, and I get sidetracked with a zillion other things, and I’m usually caught delivering my work at the last possible minute, sometimes even wet (which is a huge no-no for those readers who happen to be artists – please don’t live by my example!).

Today’s painting is one that has sat for a little bit too long (although not nearly as long as some of my others!). It’s one of my new works that will be showcased in a group invitational exhibition at Margot’s Gallery in Oxford, Michigan during October 2007. A fire got lit under my butt when I was asked to provide some digital images of the work that will be part of that show, so that the marketing materials can be designed and printed. I couldn’t very well send them jpegs of unfinished paintings!!

If you remember an earlier installment of this same piece (from July 27th), you’ll remember my opinion that black and white is never just black and white. I was even considering titling this piece “Black and White.”

And while my intent had been to strip a little more color from the final version that what I’m giving you here, I just couldn’t do it. And trust me – I’ve spent a good amount of time today glazing overtop of some bright oranges and greens and violets, pushing them back so that the piece has a little more self restraint. It’s a good lesson for me, to work on muted harmonies, but it’s a tough one, as I just love to load my brushes up with saturated colors!

So I present you with “The Red Collar,” (inspired by Harley), 14” x 24”, a harlequin great dane pet portrait in acrylic on gallery stretched canvas, $760. This piece will be available for purchase through Margot’s Gallery come September 29th, 2007. Inquiries may come to Margot at margotsgallery@sbcglobal.net .

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

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

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Monday, August 13, 2007



This is my booth from last Saturday’s Dog Days Event. It’s a far cry from the borrowed easels and ratty lawn chair I set up 4 years ago when participating for the first time! And I still see room for improvement, but this year at least my family room drapes were spared, as I had the tent walls!

Each time I do an event like this, I learn something new.

Like not to hang paintings below dog-hip-level unless I want another signature added.

Pack hand sanitizer to deal with the drool and other unmentionables.
Keep the spare dog biscuits sealed in a bin underneath the table – don’t just leave the box tucked beneath the cloth. Otherwise some prankster will make off with the whole mess of them.
Get contact information for everyone who’s dog I photograph. This means shooting photos single handedly while holding a notebook in the other hand and writing with a pencil gripped in my teeth.

What was this year’s lesson?

That the clever seeming duct tape hanging system (dog-a-day panels duct taped to the glass insert in poster size frames) didn’t work so well in 95+ degree weather. Every 10-15 minutes I was reattaching errant paintings to my two panels (I had them hung on opposite walls of the booth).

But, truly, there was so much eye candy outside my booth, I found many distractions and constant entertainment, so the duct tape ordeal was merely an annoyance.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by – I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you, meeting your dogs, hearing your stories, and sharing the beautiful day.

And congratulations to Captain Jack Sparrow, the sweetest little weimie pup ever to serve as Lake Orion’s Doggy Mayor. You will get to meet Jack when I paint his portrait in October.

There are even more wonderful paintings in the works, now, too!!
I promise you one tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Thanks, as always for looking.
And for sharing these postings and paintings with your friends and family,
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Friday, August 10, 2007



“Uggh! (Ruger),” 6x8, mixed hound dog pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $120. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

This is a little how I feel right now. I’ve been working literally all day long, tagging paintings, organizing materials, and getting myself all situated for tomorrow’s Dog Days event. And still, after a whole day of packing and sorting, I’m thinking of things to toss into the pile.

My booth will be open from 10am-3pm, and I’ll be there with bells on (oh – wait – I haven’t packed those yet!), eager to meet new clients, both 2 and 4 legged. You can find me at the southern most end of Anderson Street in Lake Orion, between the fire station and the Orion Art Center.

There will be a non-denominational blessing of the dogs at 11, a pet parade at 12, a rubber duck race at 1pm, and various award winners chosen throughout (including the appointment of Lake Orion’s new Doggy Mayor, who receives an 8x10 dog-a-day portrait!!). It will be a busy, busy day, that’s for certain.

So Ruger’s painting here is the final one in a week long of paintings focused on Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. I know I’ve been plugging it all week, but for more information about the shelter, visit their site at http://www.bestfriends.org/. They truly are a worthwhile organization making tremendous changes in a huge number of animals’ lives.

Meanwhile, I will continue to offer a 20% donation to Best Friends on all commissioned dog-a-days through the month of August – simply mention the shelter when you book your commission. I’m working towards a $1000 donation goal – and am over $250 already, thanks to your generosity!!

A very special thank you to new collector Laura Smith for her purchase of Thursday’s “Hope.” And a big wet sloppy kiss to a second new collector, Annette Bonelli, for buying ZoeyAnne’s painting from yesterday.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing with friends and family,
Hope your weekend is full of long walks and a couple of good naps in the sun,
Kim

PS Ruger is available for adoption – you can view his bio at http://network.bestfriends.org/MessageBoards/TopicPopup.aspx?g=1a0fd2cd9f2f4c5dac3274d536f3e9c9&t=12888

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 gateway to canine art on the web

Thursday, August 09, 2007


“ZoeyAnn,” 6” x 12”, mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $135. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.

We’ve all heard of dog allergies, but what about a dog who’s allergic to human dander? That’s our ZoeyAnn here, an adorable, young hound mix with an incredibly long list of allergies.

She’s at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, receiving a variety of remedies. The drier air seems to have helped (ZoeyAnn is originally from New York), and she’s had some dietary changes, and is also undergoing treatment to help boost her autoimmune system (now it is possible that I didn’t quite interpret this last point clearly enough – but there’s a good debate and a very interesting article on allergies in dogs that you can read at http://network.bestfriends.org/MessageBoards/TopicPopup.aspx?g=1a0fd2cd9f2f4c5dac3274d536f3e9c9&t=12560 ).

Thank you to new collector Laurie Smith for purchasing yesterday’s portrait of Poncho, entitled “Hope.”

And thanks as always for looking and sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
I always appreciate your time!
Take care,
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


“Hope (Poncho),” 5x7, red merle cattle dog pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $90. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . Proceeds from the sale of Poncho’s painting will go to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
SOLD.

Poncho’s story warmed my heart from the get go. I stumbled across it (and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary themselves) while googling for training suggestions and tips geared specifically for neurotic cattle dogs (that’s another story altogether!). But back to Poncho - here’s an excerpt from his bio on the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary site:

“Poncho nearly died on his rescuer’s lap!....(he) was found with lots of broken bones, and a rope around his neck that he seemed to have chewed through.
A senior citizen picked up the “stray” and rushed him to the vet, on his lap. But the limp dog kept seeming to die on him. His rescuer was terrified by the time they made it to the vet’s office.
It took more than 5,000 dollars of surgery to put Poncho back together again. His rescuer paid it without flinching. But he was worried. At their age and in their health, could he and his wife look after a one-year-old dog? When it became clear that Poncho was still hurting and still needed more medical work, they asked Best Friends to take him in to the Guardian Angel program…..
Poncho cried when his rescuers walked away. And so did they….”

Never fear though, as there is a Hollywood style ending. A few weeks ago, after another 8 months of rehabilitation, surgery, therapy, and tons of love and attention, Poncho found his new forever home, complete with a 4-legged sister. You can read his entire saga on the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary site at: https://www.bestfriends.org/guardianangel/index.cfm?csid=1636&csii=1638&csit=Set

How can I possibly follow up this story? I simply offer you a sweet little painting, a face of innocence and trust, a symbol that even the deepest hurts eventually dull. Poncho’s story reminds me there is always the chance for a new beginning.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
And for caring about our four legged companions,
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Tuesday, August 07, 2007



“Mr. Wiggles,” 6” x 8”, mixed breed pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!!).

Mr. Wiggles (so named because his butt and tail were in perpetual motion) was a Katrina survivor, rescued, rehabilitated, and adopted out to a new home by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. You got to read a little about their mission in yesterday’s post, but for those of you who haven’t yet had a chance to visit their site – here you go: http://www.bestfriends.org/

This is my favorite sort of painting – the lower most layers are pools of translucent glazes, bearing upper opaque layers of hatching and various cross marks. Actually, it’s a lot like my larger stretched canvases, now that I think about it. The detail isn’t as tight, but it carries a lot of the same sorts of surface treatment that the larger pieces do.

Anyways, 20% of the purchase price of Mr. Wiggles’ painting will be returned to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, so that they may continue to do all those amazing things that they do so very well.

Thanks as always for looking,
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family!
I’ll be back tomorrow with another Best Friends veteran in tow (although I think if he had his way, he’d be towing me!),
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Monday, August 06, 2007



“Mr. Bones’ Bandanna,” 8” x 8”, mixed breed pet portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Mr. Bones is a long-time resident of Dog Town at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kenab, Utah. My client who purchased this has been volunteering there since 2000 (spending her vacations, flying across the country!), and Mr. Bones is a favorite of hers from day 1. He came from the streets of Puerto Rico, is about 10 years old, and is dog aggressive, so Mr. Bones needs to find that special person who can handle his needs accordingly.

My client has pledged to send this painting to the animal sanctuary to hang in their clinic, and ultimately go home with Mr. Bones’ adopters, whoever they may be.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a pretty amazing place – direct from the horse’s mouth (or rather, their website: http://www.bestfriends.org/ ):

“They come to the sanctuary from far and wide. But once they're here, we make sure that nothing bad will ever happen to them again.On any given day, there are about 1,500 dogs, cats and other animals living at the sanctuary. They come for special care from shelters and rescue groups all across the country. Many of them just need a few weeks of special care before they're ready to go to good new homes with loving families.But there are also those who are the outcasts of society - unwanted, lame, too traumatized by past abuse, or too old, handicapped, or ill.For these lovable, innocent creatures, Best Friends is a unique home and haven. There's just nothing else like it anywhere.”

That is why I am so proud to be partnering with the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in helping to raise funds that will be used in direct support of these animals.

In July, the sanctuary’s print magazine, Best Friends Magazine, featured the Painting a Dog a Day project. The response was immediate. For the last 6 weeks I have been deluged with heartwarming stories and beautiful photos from their readers. The stories continue to amaze me, and reaffirm my belief that extraordinary deeds are being accomplished every single day.

I decided to join the ranks of these generous souls and do what I could to help further the cause. I set a goal of $1000, and began donating 20% of the proceeds from Best Friends Magazine readers commissioning dog-a-days back to the sanctuary.

As of today, I’ve – we’ve – raised $238. Think of all the warm furry bellies those dollars will help out. Faces like Mr. Bones here, eternally hopeful that their chance to go home permanently will come.

I will honor the 20% donation through the end of August – all you have to do is mention at the time that you are reserving a day for your commissioned dog-a-day piece that you read the article. (Don’t worry – there’s no quiz necessary!)

One final note – I’d like to thank two new collectors who’s quick responses netted them last Thursday’s and Friday’s paintings. Those two little gems could have sold multiple times over! Guess I need to paint more pit bulls!! Or at least consider auctioning off a few paintings each month…..

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

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

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Friday, August 03, 2007



“White Pit Bull Study (Kaya),” 6” x 6”, pit bull pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $60. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

An astute dog-a-day reader pointed out something I found a little disturbing about the Humane Society of the United States. Apparently they changed their position on Michael Vick’s dogs (http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/headline/3420). Based on that, and my belief in supporting animals in need, I will instead be making the donations from yesterdays and today’s paintings to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. THANK YOU to my reader for pointing out the HSUS’s change of heart!

What I was mesmerized by today (other than the fact that groups can do a total 360 in a flash!) was the translucency of Kaya’s fur, the way her pink and spotted skin seemed to glow from underneath it’s fine layer of pale hair. This sort of transparency lends itself beautifully to layers of glaze, and I laid down quite a few. This painting will take a good day or 2 to dry out completely – how do those of you who work in oil deal with stacking and storing all of your wet paintings?

Just a little plug for my event again - I’ll have a booth at next week’s Dog Day’s of August in downtown Lake Orion (Michigan) Saturday, August 11th., 10am-3pm. Dog-a-days will be on display, along with some larger paintings. Please stop by - I’ll have my camera ready to shoot all sorts of reference photos, so bring along your dogs and we’ll see what sorts of paintings they’ll translate into!

Thanks, as always, for looking,
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family, too.
Enjoy your weekend, and I’ll see you Monday,
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Thursday, August 02, 2007


“Pasha’s Eyes,” 4x6, pit bull portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $50. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the Humane Society of the United States, to help offset care and rehabilitation costs for the 54 dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s property earlier this summer. (PLEASE NOTE: Due to the HSUS's change of heart (see August 3rds posting), I'm instead donating to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.)

SOLD.

I just don’t understand the appeal of dog fighting, or even just the bad rep pit bulls have, especially when dogs like Pasha cross my path. Rotties had that same sort of reputation a few years back, and that breed suffered prejudice as well.

Pasha is a pit bull whose current life is in extreme juxtaposition to a dark beginning. Dropped at an animal hospital by a suspected dog-fighting breeder, Pasha was nearly bald and covered in scabs from mange. He survived parvo, was severely malnourished, and had lived his entire life crated. After 4 months of nursing and gentle care, he found a forever home with a doting family. They claim he’s not the cleverest of dogs, a goofball with charming clumsiness, and terribly eager to be loved. He remains skittish and scared of new things, but has thoroughly enjoyed his last 10 years of “the good life.”

Not so bad for a dog once destined for a very short and brutally vicious life.

On another note, I wanted to mention that the Canine Art Guild has just opened their second online exhibition, “Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun.” I have 3 pieces in this show, all dog-a-day paintings. And not that you should vote for them (there’s PLENTY of other options!), but there is a People’s Choice award up for grabs. There is some really, errr, fun, art there (yeah, I know – BAD pun). You can view the CAG show at www.canineartguild.com/gallery.

I’ll also have a booth at next week’s Dog Day’s of August event in downtown Lake Orion on Saturday, August 11th. Please stop by if you are in the area and bring your four-legged friends – I’ll have my camera ready to shoot all sorts of reference photos. It promises to be a fun day all around!

Thanks, as always, for looking,
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family, too.
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 gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, August 01, 2007



“Miss You,” 6x8, pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, part of a very special private collection.

This painting is a surprise birthday gift from my client to her best friend, who recently lost one of her best friends, Gizmo.

With Holly’s permission (she didn’t know that a painting was coming alongside her reprinted words), here is an excerpt from a poem she wrote memorializing Gizmo:

My darling boy…


I will miss you….


Smile askew


Drawing me in


I will miss you….


Faithful sidekick


Forever friend, bedfellow


I will miss you…


My darling boy,


I will miss you.

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

PS Happy Birthday, Holly.

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 gateway to canine art on the web

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