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Showing posts from January, 2008
"Spot (Bull Terrier Study)," 4" x 8", bull terrier painting (I hope I got the breed right!), acrylic on canvasboard, $135 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com.

The reference photo for this painting was taken last December at the AKC Eukanaba National Championships Dog Show (which will be aired this weekend! check your local listings). This young guy was calmly hanging out ringside, oblivious to the chaos around him, including me jockeying with my camera.

I wanted to introduce a little more color to the painting, so I removed the concrete backdrop and the harsh lighting, and put him outside on an expanse of lawn, with reflected blues and greens on his form. That's one of the beauties of being an artist - I'm never limited to just what's immediately front of me, but can pull things out of my hat, too, periodically.

Thanks again for your time today!I'll be back tomorrow with this week's final installment, and a couple of exc…
"Peanut," 8" square, commissioned beagle pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I love dogs with eyeliner and doe-like eyes. Peanut has all that and more going for him.

In this portrait I used directional brushwork to model Peanut's form. Usually the uppermost layer of brushwork defines the direction of fur growth, but sometimes you can break that rule. Given the scale of this painting, and the dog's markings, I didn't want to end up with so much going on that there was no place for your eyes to rest. So I kept his head as the brightest area, and surrounded those eyes with looser brushwork that caresses the form of his skull.

I'll post another little piece in a few minutes. One of the requests I got was that I include more work available to purchase as part of the dog-a-day blog. I plan on painting a higher number of non-commissioned pieces, and sharing them with the you this year!

I welcome your ideas and feedback - they may …
From the top: "Cosmo" and "Vanilla". Cosmo, 6" square, commissioned mixed breed pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. Vanilla, 4" x 8", commissioned chihuahua portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. Both paintings are headed to a private collection (THANK YOU!).

The color is bold and juicy in each of these pieces, although at first glance the dogs themselves might not seem terribly colorful. After all, one painting is of a black dog, and the other dog is practically white. To me, black's resonate with violets and blues. Dogs Vanilla's color come complete with oranges, pinks, greens, and periwinkles. Hence my renditions.

I started another valentine painting this afternoon, and continued working on a larger still life built of vintage fisher price dogs. I also took down my show at the Orion Township Public Library, and spent some time sketching studies for a new large scale mastiff portrait. I'm about ready to settle down with a cup of tea and thum…
I woke this morning and had been painting these in my dream. So of course I had to try it out for real. Here's the latest installation in my Tags, Toys & Treasures series - so fresh off the easel that they are not even on my website yet.

These are all small paintings, each starring their own heart shaped dog tag. They will make the most perfect Valentines for the most perfect someone (including yourself).

But don't wait - as always, I'm selling them at a set price, and these are one of a kind original paintings. I do not know if I'll get a chance to paint more of them in the coming days..... Shipping will be another $7 within the contiguous United States (and yes, I do combine shipping!).

from left: Valentine I, 4" x 5", gold heart shaped dog tag on yellow ground with red ribbon, SOLD. Valentine II, 4" x 5", yellow heart shaped dog tag on pale green ground with pink ribbon. SOLD.
Valentine III, 4" x 4", red heart shaped dog tag on S hook. …
"Keeping Watch (Meyer)," 8" x 10", commissioned beagle pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (or so I believe - my client is out of email reach until later this evening). Meyer's portrait will be a surprise 20th wedding anniversary gift. A huge round of congratulations to my client and her spouse for reaching this milestone!

Seasoned dog-a-day readers know how appealing I find older canine faces. Meyer's was no exception. As a dog ages (as we all age!), the bone structure becomes more visible, skin gets looser, and subtle changes in the symmetry of the face settle in. Once that graying mask has established itself, the dog becomes as infinitely wise in appearance as any doting grandparent.

I included just enough background to place Meyer within her home, but you'll notice that the color and edges are softer back there, to keep the amount of detail from overwhelming the most important part of the painting - her face. Although also notice …
"Silver Star," 4" x 8", still life painting comprised of dog tags, acrylic on canvasboard, $135. Inquiries may always come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Dog tags and other dog ephemera are also welcome - I continue to build still lifes from the objects you send in. Submissions may be mailed to 346 N Anderson, Lake Orion, MI 48362. If you would like your materials back, please include return postage. I will acknowledge receipt of all items.

What a varied and thought provoking response I got to my question earlier this week, when I asked your feelings about an article I had read advising artists to maintain a sense of mystery about their creative process.

Overwhelmingly I was told not to change the blog or the dog-a-day project - which isn't going to happen. I wasn't seriously considering it at all - just curious why the dog-a-day project was thriving despite what art marketing experts recommended.

Here are just a few of the ideas I've been mullin…
"The Grand Dame (Chloe)," 8" x 10", commissioned pet portrait, Jack Russell terrier, in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I saved the best for last.

Chloe is 14, and the one who started it all. Bursting with personality (like all terriers), she carries a great knowledge of how the household operates (like the oven timer going off equalling tasty morsels). As with Scooter's painting yesterday, I wanted a bit of a timeless appearance to Chloe's portrait. I painted her with brighter markings, but a hint of gray. She is The Matriarch, after all.

Here are this week's 5 paintings and the cleaner side of my studio floor (the last stretch of flooring without paint spatters!). It's important to point out that each study was painted individually - I did not approach the project with the idea of making paintings that matched each other - or even worse - a sofa! It is the personality shining in each respective portrait which is what makes th…
"Scooter," 6" x 12", commissioned jack russell terrier pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

This is Scooter, a 12 year old "mama's boy." I used a combination of current and older photos so as to paint Scooter in an ageless fashion - his markings still bright with youth, but his eyes a little wiser from age. And that ever present terrier tenacity as well!

At the risk of coming across as shameless, I thought I might share a snippet of a note from this week's Jack Russell lovin' client (with her permission, of course). She had reserved a full week's worth of portraiture last July, and has been patiently in the wings for the past 6 months. She sent me this earlier today.

"....So often in life we plan and look forward to an upcoming experience. The event finally occurs and we sometimes allow ourselves to be let down, as though the anticipation eclipsed the one thing we were looking forward to. I wanted you t…
"Naughty Nadia," 6" x 8", commissioned jack russell terrier pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Nadia is another member of the now infamous terrier family that I'm painting this week. She literally was dropped at my client's place of business by a family headed for vacation. They didn't want to kennel her, and would have her put down if my client (who we've established in a prior posting has a reputation for liking Jack Russells) wouldn't take her. They could not open their hearts or their home fast enough for this little girl.

While the rest of the dogs in her family carry a sense of entitlement, Naughty seems genuinely grateful for all kindnesses that come her way - food, love and shelter. Even after three years of consistant love and care. She's such a dear soul who, like so many others, did not deserve the rough start she got in life. Naughty lucked out, though, in the end, and got the happy ending she …
"Buster," 6" x 12", commissioned border collie portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Yesterday I mentioned the token border collie who held his own amidst a cloud of jack russells. What better breed to fill those shoes?

Here's today's question: is Buster contemplating how to get the herd of terriers off the woodpile and to the back door as quickly as possible? Or is there a frisbee dangled just outside the picture frame (he has been known to mourn alongside trash cans which hold the remains of old discs).

The best part of all about this painting is that it is intended for my clients' son. He is a soldier having weathered 2 tours of duty in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan. Buster helped this brave man maintain a healthy outlook while overseas, and now he will have a piece of his dog with him at all times, no matter what the conditions.

With a drastic shift of gears, congratulations and welcome to new collector Annie Crow for her purc…
"Jack," 6" x 8", Jack Russell terrier pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. I believe this painting has a home, but as it's late, and I don't expect to hear back from my clents (because it's late!), I don't want to jump to conclusions. If you are interested, as always, drop me an email at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com , and I'll keep you posted.

But back to Jack.

When you live in a small town, word gets around as to your likes and dislikes. That can work to your advantage. That could be a disadvantage - depends entirely on your point of view. In Jack's case, though, both sides benefitted tremendously.

After Jack was picked up numerous times, the local Animal Protection League called up my clients with the "we hear you like jack russells" line. Turns out Jack wasn't a naughty dog who repeatedly ran away from home - he was deaf, totally unbeknownst to his prior family. Take it as you will, but that family probably wasn't really…
"Corgi Butt," 6" square, corgi pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $135 to the first buyer. Inquiries may always come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

Who says a portrait has to be of the animals' face?!

There are layers of glaze and very loose brushwork in this painting. It reads so nicely in person, the juicy surface just saturated with gestural marks and harmonious grays. I was reading yesterday about how one correct brush stroke can relay far more information than the most carefully rendered (ie invisible) blending. This painting is my take on that concept.

Thanks, as always, for looking.

And for forwarding these paintings to your friends and family.
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
"LuLu," 8" square, commissioned seal point long haired cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. LuLu's painting joins a handful of my other portraits in a private collection - it's so fascinating to see the "families" of dog-a-day paintings that have assembled during the past 16 months. LuLu's is an especially endearing family, containing several of my favorite pieces.

Yes, she is NOT a dog, but once you get over that part, don't you just love the color in her? Even though she is essentially a deep velvety brown and cream, I found all sorts of reds, orange, yellow, blue and violet to exploit too. And those eyes - they were especially important. LuLu is the sort of cat who behaves like a dog, so it was key that I paint her eyes engaging, bright with intelligence, and brimming with personality (not that ALL cats don't have these same traits - it's just that many choose to keep those sorts of things under wraps, so to speak). Making the eye…
"Inseparable: Keva and Sadie," 8" x 16", commissioned labrador retriever portraits, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

My client adopted Keva and Sadie from a lab rescue group. It was estimated that they were about 7 years old, and suspected littermates. Now closing in on 14, these two girls remain constantly together, loving life and all it brings their way.

When my client commissioned their portraits, I suggested the possibility of breaking one of my rules (that being only one dog per painting) in order to best accommodate their togetherness. She was very enthusiastic about the idea. And when I unveiled the painting to her, coincidentally Keva and Sadie were in the exact same positions as I had painted them, curled up together on a favorite rag rug. An example of life imitating art!

Besides painting, I am planning other activities behind the scenes. For one, I am thrilled to announce that I am a member of the exclusive creation team for the &qu…
"Follow the Leader I," 8" x 16", acrylic on canvasboard, still life comprised of vintage Fisher Price dog figurines, $300 to the first interested buyer. As always, direct any inquiries directly to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I've been setting my little dogs up in various patterns, lines, and designs. My son walked into the studio over the weekend and picked up a couple dogs from the still life table - "NO!" I yelped, as the other dogs did the domino effect thing (I had quite the train-line-up going on). He didn't know I was painting them! But I totally understood his intent, as I feel like a child myself when painting these.

In this composition I intentionally turned the last dog in line towards the viewer. His face, albeit plastic, engages the viewer, and pulls you into the painting far more so than if he were right in step behind the others. Will he follow them or take off in his own direction?

There will be many more Fisher Price dog pa…
"Portuguese Water Spaniel," 4" square, spaniel pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $90, available to the first buyer. As always, inquiries should be sent to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

This little guy captivated me at the AKC Eukanaba National Championships Dog Show. Those eyes were full of mischief as they peered from underneath a mountain of curly bangs. His fur kinked in every direction, yet remained velvety to the touch. He had those big ole' floopy fuzzy lips, and just rested his muzzle in my palm for a good chin scratch - can you tell I fell in love?

I especially like the way this painting becomes an abstraction. If you squint down at it, is dissolves into bands of color. Composition at its simplest.

Thanks are due to a new dog-a-day collector, Mary Lynn Doyle, for her purchase of "Grin, Ziggy, Grin." Ziggy's painting will join her two boston terriers, and hold it's own very well, I think, against their live-wire antics.

Thank…
My website revamp is finally nearing completion. There are still links I would like to code in and some other details that need to be fine-tuned, but overall, I've completed the restructuring.

Part of the remodelling included adding a section to the website highlighting unsold dog-a-day paintings from 2007 and 2006. You can view unsold dog-a-day paintings at www.turtledovedesigns.com/paintingadogaday/adoptable_dog_a_day_paintings.html .

I've also created a page for the Memories: Tags, Toys and Things paintings (the still lifes fetauring dog tag and vintage toys) - at www.turtledovedesigns.com/dog_tags_toys_things.html .

I've highlighted the commission process - how you can go about getting your own dog featured in the Painting a Dog a Day project - at www.turtledovedesigns.com/paintingadogaday/commissiondog_a_day.html .

I have built a full page on how you can purchase a (completed) painting for your own: www.turtledovedesigns.com/paintingadogaday/bringhimhome.html .

And I&#…
"Elsie," 5" x 7", young Boston Terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $135. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue, the rescue that is currently fostering Elsie until she finds a new home. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

Elsie is a puppy mill dog, one who spent the first years of her life producing litters while entirely crate bound. She has some health concerns that will need monitoring as she grows older, but she remains a happy, playful, bright soul. You can read more about Elsie at http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=9569118.

You can read more about the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue at http://www.midwestbtrescue.org/.

And just to shamelessly toot my horn some more, I'd like to repeat yesterday's information about my participation in Animal Wise Radio's programming this weekend.

Sunday, January 13th, to be exact. The show airs live in the Minneapo…
"Grin, Ziggy, Grin," 6" x 8", Boston Terrier dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $180. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue in Kent, Michigan. Inquiries, as always, may come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

There is a wealth of knowledge in the face of an older dog, and Ziggy is no exception. I love the graying around his muzzle that stretches up through his mask - it anchors the focal point (Ziggy's face) simply by nature of being the lightest value in the painting. Ziggy's face is further offset by an "X" shaped composition, the crosspoint of which intersects his face. Another daily painter, Elin Pendleton (http://www.elinpendleton.blogspot.com/), has been recently talking about the importance of composition and design. That made me recognize that Ziggy's painting has a relatively basic structure, but one that could easily work with a variety of subject matter.

And, yes, Ziggy himsel…
ARTISTS NOTE: Giclees are available of this painting. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

"Wanna go for a walk?," 12" x 16", acrylic on gallery stretched linen, $560. This piece will be added to my website soon, but I'm giving you, the dog-a-day readers, a sneak peek.

I am especially excited to share this new painting with you. It is a combination of all the paintings I've done prior, influenced by a select group of artists and mentors (you know who you are, and THANK YOU!), hours of careful study, and a nice indicator of the sort of direction my work will be taking in 2008.

I will continue to paint objects that sing to me, and throw my soul into their creation. I will be making paintings that, hopefully, touch your heart and tug at a memory or two.

(And before I get 100 emails asking, yes, these will be in addition to the dog-a-day paintings - I am committed to Painting a Dog a Day through at least the end of 2008.)

Thanks for coming along …
"Winston," 4" x 8", a Shih Tzu dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to Peke A Tzu Rescue. Send inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

First, I must apologize for consistently misspelling my rescues' name, along with typo-ing their website in yesterday's posting. The group has kindly forgiven my error, and I hope you will as well. The correct spelling of the rescue is Peke A Tzu, and their website is http://www.pekeatzurescue.com/ .

As I mentioned yesterday, Peke A Tzu Rescue focuses on toy and small breeds. They are based in Michigan, with foster homes also in Indiana, Ohio and Florida specializing in special needs dogs, like Winston, the star of today's painting.

Winston was rescued in 2004, completely flea infested, with unclipped toenails growing into the pads of his feet, and horrible eye and ear infections. Today he is a happy, contented boy who loves being loved on. He does have special die…
from top: "Fisher Price Dog I," "Fisher Price Dog II," "Fisher Price Dog III," each 4" x 6", still life painting of plastic Fisher Price dog figurines/toys, acrylic on board, $135 each. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . "Fisher Price Dog III" is sold.

I'm having a little too much fun in the studio lately. Can you tell? I've been painting toys - it started with the vintage dog figurines last year, and now I've graduated to Fisher Price dogs. I have a nice little collection of these guys. It is surprising to me that each dog bears a unique expression, despite the fact that they were all pressed from the same mold. And how their color has changed over the years, depending on their circumstances - some faces are blue, others white, orange or yellow. Some faces are even blank, or the dogs have lost an ear - or horrors - both!

How cute will these be, framed together in a nursery or child's room? Or tucked into a cor…
"Chinese Crested Study (Harlan), 6" square, chinese crested hairless dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the Peke-a-Tzu Rescue. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

First, I'll introduce you to Harlan. Chinese Cresteds are new to this particular rescue, but who can resist those eyes? Or this little guy's sweet temperment. Harlan is an 11 year old Chinese Crested, always happy, dancing, tail wagging, and a HUGE cuddler.

The Peke-a-Tzu Rescue focuses on toy and small breeds. They are based in Michigan, with foster homes also in Indiana, Ohio and Florida. They specialize in senior dogs as well as those with physical or mental challenges. They rescue dogs from shelters, animal control facilities, and private owners. They provide a nurturing foster home for these little ones, along with proper veterinary care, until a new forever home is found. The rescues' operations are entirely supported by vo…
"Say What?! (Ruger)," 6" x 8", hound portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, from August 10th, 2007, $120. Proceeds from the sale of Ruger's portrait will benefit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. SOLD.

Were you able to watch the first episode of Dog Town on the National Geographic channel? If you did, you saw Ruger's story. I painted Ruger last summer, and just like the hound himself, inexplicably this painting finds itself looking for a home. In light of his new reality tv stardom, I thought I would showcase Ruger's painting again. Inquiries may come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I enjoyed watching Dog Town, and I'm not one to sit and watch TV. It was great seeing the faces of the people who make such a difference in the lives of these animals.

And what a surprise to see Ruger among the mix of dogs they profiled - like coming across an old friend!

You can learn more about Best Friends Animal Sanctuary at http://www.bestfriends.org/ . I al…
The National Geographic channel is airing a new series tonite. The program is called "Dog Town," and it has been filmed at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. BFAS is one of the shelters that the Painting a Dog a Day project supports - in 2007, dog-a-day sales resulted in donations of over $1100 to this shelter alone!



I have a small dog-a-day painting hanging in Dog Town. It depicts a mixed breed dog wearing a bandanna. Mr. Bones' portrait (pictured above) was commissioned by a BFAS volunteer, a woman who lives on the East Coast, but spends her vacation in southern Utah volunteering at the shelter. She asked me to paint Mr. Bones, one of Dog Town's long time residents, and send the painting to the shelter. It will go with Mr. Bones, when he finds his forever home.

If you can, try to catch the program, or set your DVR/Tevo to record it, and see what your dog-a-day dollars are doing to help animals in dire circumstances.

It's always refreshing to hear about The Good that i…
"Red Gray Red Gray Red," 6" x 12", dog toy still life painting in acrylic on canvasboard, $200 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

You know I am supposed to be on vacation from the daily paintings, yet when I set myself up to work on a larger canvas today, I had a tough time getting into the groove. So I cranked John Lennon on my ipod, I set the bigger painting aside for a little bit, and put my new still life area to work.

I am so pleased with this little piece - it's a great example of what I've been working towards all of 2007. The harmonious use of color, and taking advantage of those grays as a nice foil for the bolder strokes of color I love so much, and building a sense of light on the objects.

I would like to do a few others in similar sorts of configurations, and think the idea might even translate well into a larger canvas or make for an interesting grouping. Patterns with other colors, textures, or even body shapes/posi…
"Yum III," 6" x 8", cattle dog mixed breed painting in acrylic on canvasboard, $180. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I painted this piece a couple weeks back, and while the client didn't fall in love with it (the tongue covered a bit too much face, I think), I sure did. I debated keeping the painting for myself, but I already have so many paintings at home that I cannot display properly, that I felt guilty. This guy, he deserves a place of honor.

So consider this sweet ole' mug my New Year's gift to you all. May 2008 be full of delights, both culinary and otherwise!

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

PS I hung my show today at the Orion Township Public Library - an entire wall of framed dog-a-days, with a few dog tag paintings and one painfully larger than life chihuahua in there for added effect. The show will be up through the end of this month, so if you are in the area, do stop b…