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, March 28, 2008



"Season to Taste," from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series. 8" square, still life painting depicting a vintage KenL Ration doggie shaped salt shaker with a milkbone. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . (And, yes, I have the companion KenL Ration black kitty, too. We'll see what I can come up with for her painting!)

Today's painting is a little bit slap-happy, I'll admit. It could have something to do with the tiny little bouquet of crocus on my desk, fresh from the backyard. It could have something to do with the ridiculously fluorescent pink pig faced tennis ball that Finn's been dropping at the base of my easel all morning. It could be that I FINALLY got the paypal buttons to work on my website (HOORAY!!). It could be the freedom of working real big again, as I've started work on my latest larger-than-life stretched canvas, simply titled "Red Dog." Or it could be my new kicks - nothing like a great new pair of Nikes to keep me dancing at the easel (today I'm listening to some Albert King and Pinetop Perkins).

Lots of reasons to smile today.

And on top of that, it's Friday!

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I've got some old girlfriends in town for dinner tonite, and tomorrow we are off to a 60th wedding anniversary celebration for my husband's Aunt & Uncle. Lots of quality time with dear friends and family lined up over the next few days.

It'll get me all set for some serious studio time next week - I have a full calendar of dog-a-day commissions scheduled, and want to get significant progress made on this large canvas. I'll also be filming a segment for our local cable channel where I'll get to talk about and share stories from the Painting a Dog a Day project.

Thanks, as always, for looking and sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
See you next week!
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, March 27, 2008

I am now taking orders for giclees on two of my most popular paintings.


"Day One," original painting now in a private collection. Giclees, image sized at approximately 8" x 10" with a generous white margin, $50 plus $15 s&h. $10 from the sale of each "Day One" giclee will be donated in the purchasers' name to Paws With a Cause. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .



"Recommended Reading," original painting available for purchase. Giclees, image sized at approximately 11" x 14" with a generous white margin, $50 plus $15 s&h. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I am thrilled to share that my painting "Wanna go for a walk?", received an honoable mention at the Orion Art Center's All Media Show. If you recall, I mentioned last week that I was excited to see how well my new still life paintings fared in this exhibition. I had animated conversations with many at the opening, each of us sharing memories of playing (or our children playing) with the vintage toys I've been painting.

And congratulations to my dear friend Diana Ostrand for her outstanding oil "Still Life with Pitcher and Creamer" that garnered her Best of Show!! Diana is the first to grandstand the accomplishments of others, so it is especially pleasing to be able to return the pleasure. Take a bow, Diana!

The All Media exhibition is stunning, and I highly recommend taking the time to visit the show if you are in the area (additional information is available at http://www.orionartcenter.org/ ). It will be up through April 26th at the Orion Art Center in Lake Orion, Michigan.

The 2 prints above join "Wanna go for a walk?" and "Chauffeur", both of which are viewable at http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/pet_portrait_giclees.html . I will be happy to combine shipping on multiple purchases. Again, inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

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, March 26, 2008


"Turtle's Butterfly," from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series, 6" x 8", acrylic painting depicting catnip stuffed at toy, $149 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

While doing a little spring cleaning, I found one of Turtledove's favorite toys. This one was full of catnip, and the wings had a crackly cellophane inside them. Turtle loved toys, she would carry them around in her mouth all over the house. She spent hours dropping them through the railing, then fiercly racing after them as they bounced down the stairs. She also was a master at hiding them, because we still are finding her treasures tucked in unsuspecting places.

Thanks, as always, for looking and sharing.
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

Sweet Somethings

I was chatting with a friend earlier today, trying to rationalize how I might pass these pieces off as dog-a-day paintings. She set me straight quickly - "They're a chocolate break!"

CLOCKWISE, FROM UPPER LEFT: All from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series. "Lindt Carrots I," 4" x 5", still life depicting Lindt chocolate carrots, acrylic on canvasboard. "Cadbury Egg I," 4" x 6", still life depicting Cadbury chocolate creme egg, acrylic on canvasboard, $124, SOLD. "Tootsie Roll I," 4" x 8", still life depicting Tootsie Roll, acrylic on canvasboard. Each piece available to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I raided my kids' Easter baskets today. Honestly, I was initially looking for a handful of Rolos, but then I actually started "seeing" what was there, and I began choosing items based on their colors and shapes. I didn't eat all of these - just one carrot fell victim. The others are tucked back into place, and noone is any the wiser.

Watch for another "Tags, Toys & Treasures" painting later tonight - it'll be in keeping with the whole "break" theme.

Thanks, as always, for looking. And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family!
Go, spoil your supper - have some chocolate!
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, March 25, 2008

"Rhodesian Gaze (Ridgeback Study)," 6" x 8", dog painting in acrylic on board, $199 to the first buyer. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This piece is almost like an abstract painting, being focused so tightly on the planes of the face. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very statuesque in that their skin lies relatively close to the skull, which is something I had to continually remind myself as I became engrossed in the markings. I used my brushwork not to mirror the markings, but to follow the bone structure. It is especially effective when the paint layers are wet, and can be smooshed (for lack of a more technical term) into each other.

And I indulged myself with color on this one. Close inspection will reveal pretty much every imaginable color in here somewhere - daubs and layered hash marks abound.

On another note, I shipped my paintings off this morning for the Grand National Rodeo Celebration of Western Art Show & Sale (say that 5 times real quick!). This promises to be a very exciting show, with artists hailing from all over the world, participating by invitation only. 7 paintings, all delightful in nature, bursting with color, featuring everything from a tiny tortoiseshell kitten, to a watchful rhode island red hen, to a pair of mules. If you are in the San Francisco area, stop by the show - it will be a world class event - it opens April 4th and hangs through the 12th, at the Cow Palace.

My body of work submitted to this exhibition also garnered me platinum membership in the Grand National Artists Society, which is a high honor. This means that I'll have additional exhibition opportunities on the west coast, including events in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, among others. I'll always keep you posted as to when my work travels to an exhibition - I know how much fun it is to see things in person as opposed to the computer.

Thanks, as always, for looking. And for forwarding these paintings to 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, March 24, 2008


"Great Pyrenees (Ollie)," 8" x 10", commissioned dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Proceeds from the sale of Ollie's painting will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.

These dogs are gentle giants, and Ollie fits that to a T. His beginnings were dark, chained in a stall in a barn full of over 200 feral cats. Ollie's first owner used the cats as target practice, and didn't treat the dog much better. Deprived of food and water, it was questionable if Ollie would survive after the humane society brought him to safety. A Great Pyrenees rescue stepped in, and the rest is a Hollywood ending. Ollie is now in a forever home where he is loved to pieces, and the ever caring (and tolerant) nanny to two 2-legged siblings.

Thanks, as always, for looking at my paintings.
And for sharing these stories with your friends and family.
I'll be back tomorrow with another face,
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, March 21, 2008


"At Attention (Yorkshire Terrier)," 8" x 16", yorkie dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I am very happy with the brushwork in this painting. There is lots of "wet-on-wet" happening. For those of you who aren't painters, that means that the surface was worked when the paint was wet enough to drag around into other wet areas.

It looks easy, but let me tell you, I painted and repainted this one at least 5 times. If I had the colors right, my drawing was wrong. If the drawing was correct, my colors were off.

But it was worth the perseverance. The painting is a well balanced piece that illustrates the energy of this breed, and also challenged my materials (because acrylic paints dry quickly, working successfully wet-on-wet is tough). I would have absolutely no problem keeping this one for myself!

I wish everyone a very wonderful weekend. See you next week!
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, March 20, 2008



"Billie," and "Olive," both commissioned yorkshire terrier dog portraits, both 6" square, private collection (THANK YOU!).

In addition to stretching and priming a huge canvas (can you say larger than life mastiff?!!), I painted three pieces today - Billie and Olivia, and then another generic yorkie painting that I'll share tomorrow (it still needs some tweaking). Their little terrier faces were just perfect for this, the first day of spring. Bright, eager, laughing, full of color.

Not that it's really like that outside. But I can pretend, right?

The weatherman is predicting snow tomorrow, which really puts the kabosh on Sunday's egg hunt. How much fun is it looking for eggs in the snow?! Unless I went out there tonite and hid them all before the snow came..... All the grownups could gather around the windows with a glass of wine, while the kids romped around in their boots and snowpants looking for eggs buried in the drifts. I can see Finnigan getting into the game too, digging and chasing snowballs. Hmmm....

There isn't much that gets me out in the snow and ice. Especially after dark. But I am sorely tempted to go out tonite!!

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, March 19, 2008


From upper left, clockwise: "Maia," 6" square; "Lucy," 8" square; "Halo," 4" x 8"; "Little Lucy," 5" x 7". All commissioned dog portraits, private collection (THANK YOU!).

These three little charmers are each rescues from puppy mills. Three different operations shut down at different times.

Maia, only 3 years old at the time, had already produced 2 litters, and was horribly traumatized. Halo was suffering from untreated injuries to her eyes and knees, confined to a crate and living in her own filth. Lucy had a deformed heart, and wasn't supposed to live past 9 months (she's now over 2 years). All three of them have grown into the sweet companions they were meant to be, due entirely to my clients' dedication, care, and attention.

Testament to what a loving home can do.

Thanks, as always, for looking. And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
I'll be back tomorrow with more -
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

"Green Glass Bunny," from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series, 8" square, still life painting of a glass rabbit, $199 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I'm waiting to hear back from a client about her portraits, but meanwhile my eyes fell on this little guy, who was tucked into a small pot of irish moss here in the studio. He asked to be painted, and I was happy to oblige.

This is a little (vaseline?) glass paperweight that I purchased several years ago because it reminded me of my Aunt June, who collects paperweights. Her home is sparkles with prisms and shafts of reflected light and color - visits were always full of sheer eye candy. I liked how the studio lights converged on this bunny and threw shadows of differing color in all directions. He was wonderfully fun to paint.

And he'll brighten a spot in someone's home, I am certain.

I promise to share the other portraits - dog ones! - when I hear back from my client.

Thanks for your time in looking at and forwarding these paintings to your friends and family,
Talk to you soon!
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, March 18, 2008


"Hippity Hop," 4" x 5", wind-up plastic frog, in acrylic on canvasboard, $114 to the first buyer. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I was in a toy store with my kids this past weekend, and while they agonized over how best to spend their allowances, I unearthed several wonderful little pieces for my paintings. This little frog was just one - more painted treasures to come down the road.

Enjoy him!
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

ARTISTS NOTE: Giclees are available of this painting. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

"Recommended Reading," from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series, 16" x 20", still life painting of vintage children's books and a mohair stuffed terrier, acrylic on board, original work $840. Limited edition of 25 giclees available, image size approximately 11" x 14", archival inks on beautiful artists' paper with white margin, $60 each. Inquiries on the original and reproductions may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

That is my copy of "The Stray," a book who's drawings I meticulously copied as a teen. I was mesmerized by Jamie Wyeth's use of line. I wish I could say that "The Pokey Little Puppy" was originally mine, too, but alas, it is a copy that I picked up at our library's used book store. I did spend many an hour hidden in my closet, reading "The Pokey Little Puppy" and all my other favorite titles by Lite-Brite.

The books are back on the shelf here in the studio, but this painting is headed to an exhibition. I am eager to see how "Recommended Reading" is received, as it will be accompanied by two other pieces from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series. This also represents the first time I have shared my new still life paintings with the public; previously I have exihibited mostly larger than life sized animal paintings or a handful of my favorite dog-a-day pieces. This week I will send three still lifes to the Orion Art Center's All-Media Exhibition. The exhibition opens on Wednesday, March 26th, at 7pm at the Orion Art Center (please call them for additional information: 248-693-4986).

Finishing this piece also means that I can clear the still life setup in the studio, and build a new composition. As space is limited in here, every square inch counts - I can only have two still lifes going at once. I've been toying (pun intended!) with some new items, and have several different ideas in mind. We shall see what the afternoon leads to.......

Thanks, as always, for sharing these paintings and stories with your friends and family.
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

Monday, March 17, 2008




FROM TOP: "Spaniel Study," 4" x 5", King Charles Cavalier Spaniel dog portrait, $114, SOLD. "Sheepdog Top-Knot," 4" square, sheepdog pet portrait, $99, SOLD. "Wrinkles," 4" x 6", mastiff dog portrait. Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Today's paintings are another benefit for Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter in Lake Elsinore, California. Last week I shared their plight - their kennel building, a temporary home to 39 dogs and cats, burned to the ground, taking with it the lives of those little ones awaiting adoption. The shelter has about150 animals remaining in their care, and is in need of assistance as they work towards rebuilding and continuing their efforts for the homeless animals in their area.

Many dog-a-day readers stepped up last week and contributed on their own - thank you so much for your generousity.

The shelter can be reached at 951-674-0618. Individual contributions may be sent to the Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter Relief Fund, Guaranty Bank, 31740 Railroad Canyon Road, Canyon Lake, California, 92587.

A warm welcome and thank you to new dog-a-day collector Elin Pendleton for her purchase of "Winter Sunlight #1" from last Tuesday, a purchase which benefitted this shelter as well. There is one painting remaining from last Tuesday, "Winter Sunlight #2," that will also result in a contribution made to Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter's relief fund.

20% of the sales from these three paintings (or Winter Sunlight #2) will go to the shelter in the purchaser's name. Inquiries may always come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Thanks as always 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

Thursday, March 13, 2008



FROM TOP: "Beatrix Potter Chocolate Peter Rabbit I," and "Beatrix Potter Chocolate Peter Rabbit II." Both from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series, both 4" x 6", still life paintings depicting acrylic chocolate rabbits wrapped in foil. Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I can picture these paintings in a nursery or playroom. They would make a wonderful shower gift, too. (hmm, I've got a shower coming up myself....... )

They would work, really, inside any room that has a comfortable and casual feel to it. They would most definately bring a smile to any corner or nook in your home.

And because these pieces are so small, they will slide into ready made frames (remove the glass first), making them even more affordable to display!

The best part of all? I've figured out how to expense my chocolate habit!! ....hee hee....

Paypal payments by Sunday qualify for Monday shipment, which means your purchase will arrive in time to tuck into someone special's Easter basket.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these with friends and family,
Enjoy your weekend!
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



FROM TOP: "Deeno", 5" x 7", mixed breed commissioned dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. "Mandy", 6" x 8", mixed breed commissioned dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard.

Both paintings will be headed to their new home along with yesterday's "Buddies." Thank you so much to my client for commissioning paintings of her four dogs, both past and present.

REJOICE! There was sunshine and blue skies in Michigan today. My crocus are poking through and the snow is succombing to hints of green!! Yes, the yard is mostly a giant mud pie, but I think our thaw has begun. Or rather, I dare to think it has begun. I don't want to curse ourselves and wake up to another blanket of the white stuff!

In celebration, I'll set up a spring time animal-based still life as soon as I finish Recommended Reading. I've posted two dogs today (and may follow up with a couple Tags, Toys & Treasures pieces later tonight) so that I may work uninterrupted on Recommended Reading and another larger canvas tomorrow.

Thanks, as always, for looking. And for forwarding my paintings to your friends and family - it's the best feeling when I recognize a new buyer's surname or hear they were referred to my site by a client. It's always appreciated!
See you next week,
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, March 12, 2008


"Buddies (Pippen & Sheba)," 8" x 16", mixed breed dog portraits, acrylic on canvasboard. Since I am waiting to hear back from my client, if you are interested in purchasing "Buddies," please drop me a line at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Today's painting is less about facial expression and a particular likeness, yet it remains very much a portrait of the dogs' relationship. I was drawn to a series of photos of the two playing together in the snow. After much apparant leaping about, they rested side by side, at the end of their tie out, looking longingly at the expanse of untouched snow outside their reach.

I first painted the snow in glazes of lavendar and blue, then laid the dogs down while the backdrop was still very wet. This allowed me to scoop up some of the background color, which remains in the highlights of their fur. The final layers of paint went down more thickly - there's an interesting texture carried on the surface of this painting, right around the dogs' butts - just another way to enhance the focal point!

I recently joined the organization Artists Helping Animals. This group is made up of artists who use the sale of their artwork to help animals in need. Collectively they - we - have raised over $41,000 in just a couple of years. How exciting is that? I haven't gotten any of my paintings posted yet, but you can visit the group's blog and view available art that will benefit shelters and rescues at http://www.arthelpinganimals.blogspot.com/ . I hope to get up to speed in the coming days, and will start out on their end by sharing my as yet unsold shelter and rescue paintings.

On that note, a special thank you to everyone who emailed saying their donation was headed off to the relief fund for Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter. I spoke with them this morning, and they are very grateful for all the help we can give. I personally am very touched (but not surprised!) by the generousity of the dog-a-day readership. Again, donations may be sent (payable to the Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter) to Guaranty Bank, 31740 Railroad Canyon Road, Canyon Lake, California, 92587.

Thank you and welcome aboard to new collector Katrina Kent for her purchase of "Day One," the golden retriever mother and pup painting from last Friday. I have finished this painting, and replaced the paintings' image on Friday's blog entry. I am thrilled with this piece, and delighted that it's found a new home. If the interest is there I will issue giclees (with reciprocal donations to Paws With a Cause, of course!) - please send your print inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Thanks, as always, for your time in following and sharing my work,
Take care and I'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

Tuesday, March 11, 2008



FROM TOP: "Winter Sunlight #1," 6" x 8", black cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $199. SOLD. "Winter Sunlight #2," 5" x 7", black cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, collection of the artist. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

These are a couple of studies I've been making of Miah while I think through the composition of a larger than life piece. It's been serendipitous, painting her this time around, because it very well may be the last time I get to work from life. And I want to do at least one more large scale portrait of her before she leaves me.

Nearing 19, Miah is far from the little sprite who used to ride on my shoulders. Deaf, toothless, with persistant drool and sneezes, Miah's daily adventures involve migration from the heat duct to a patch of sunlight a few feet away. She still follows her nighttime routine of moving from my oldest son's pillow to mine, trots over when she sees someone beckoning, and occasionally will bat at a toy with mild interest. I am hopeful that as the sun strengthens she finds more energy, but in the meanwhile I am happy to supply a warm lap and soak up the resonance of her purr.

I am offering these paintings today as a benefit for Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter in Lake Elsinore, California. Two Friday's ago this shelter suffered the unfathomable loss of one of their buildings to fire. 39 dogs and cats perished. You may read about the fire online at http://www.pe.com/localnews/lakeelsinore/stories/PE_News_Local_D_animals29.20f5842.html .

They still have approximately 150 animals in their care, and are working towards the rebuilding of a temporary space along with the longterm goal of constructing a permanent home (which had been in process prior to the fire).

20% of these paintings' sales will go to the relief fund. I challenge my readers to contribute as well. The shelter can be reached at 951-674-0618. Contributions may be sent to the Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter Relief Fund, Guaranty Bank, 31740 Railroad Canyon Road, Canyon Lake, California, 92587.

And stay tuned - over the next couple weeks I'll squeak in a painting here and there to help them even further.

Thanks to fellow artist and mentor Elin Pendleton (http://www.elinart.com/) for sharing the shelter's story with me. (Elin is largely at fault for encouraging me to rise to the challenge of daily painting.) She knows the shelter well, and says they provide a much needed service to the area. Her own studio muse, "Pesto," a bright faced tabby gracing many of Elin's paintings, came from there.

Thanks, as always, for reading and 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, March 10, 2008


"Three Bones (from the Tags, Toys & Treasures series)," 6" x 6", still life painting depicting three Milkbone dog biscuits, exquistely framed in a custom carved and gilt molding. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I painted this piece last week as part of the Canine Art Guild's Yip! Yip" Hooray Birthday pARTy. Now a "pARTy" is when a group of artists are challenged to create art in a particular thread within a particular time frame. In this case, the theme was celebrating the CAGs birthday (3 people years, 25 in dog years). Participating artists have the entire month of March to complete their art and share it with the group.

(For those of you who do not know about the Canine Art Guild, keep reading: The CAG is an incredible group of canine artists hailing from all over the world. We have banded together to share our resources and combine efforts as we work to increase the visibility and perception of dog-inspired artwork. You can see the talented members and read more about us at http://www.canineartguild.com/ . I am very proud of the sense of community that has grown within the membership, and the manner in which we can lean on each other for guidance and support.)

Of course, my pARTy entry had to be a dog-a-day painting. And of course, trying my hand at a new object has inspired me in yet another direction! I would like to do some more Milkbone/dog treat paintings for the pARTy, but we'll see how well I can squeeze them in. After all, I can only paint so many pieces within a given time!!

I have a number of other deadlines this month, and a full calendar of commissions, so it'll take some creative juggling to get everything completed and out the door. I'd also like to squeeze a day or two off somewhere, as I've worked the last couple weekends. And this whole daylight savings thing always throws me off, too.

Anyways, enough grumping and on with my day! There's paint to throw around! And some homemade fudge in the freezer to keep me going (and warm hugs to those responsible for that!!)
Thanks as always for looking and for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,

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, March 07, 2008


ARTISTS NOTE: Giclees are available of this painting. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

"Day One," 11" x 14", Paws With a Cause golden retriever mother and pup portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, painting in process but available for purchase, $399. $80 from the sale of this painting will be donated to Paws With a Cause in the buyer's name. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

Today I am guilty of being terribly overambitious. Who can blame me, though, when handed the reference photo that inspired this painting? This is Hula and her litter of one, Peyton, on their first day, napping in a little shaft of sunlight.

And the pose demanded a larger painting. To date I hadn't completed an 11" x 14" as a dog a day piece. Then add in the two dog factor. Also, the reference photo was black and white. That meant I was flying by the seat of my pants when trying to visualize the nuances of wispy feathering, brand new fur, and a soft fuzzy blanket.

But working on this piece was a joy. The tenderness between the two dogs and the textural contrasts came together just like I had envisioned. A year ago I don't think I would have had the confidance or skills to tackle this one, or bring it this far in one day.

There are still some values to shift - I want the pup to glow inside a shaft of sunlight, and Hula's beautiful feathers will be added at the very end. I will live with this painting for another week or so, making careful adjustments/additions. The painting demands tighter detail that what it carries now, because your eye wants to linger as it circles around the composiiton. I need to make the viewing worthwhile, and place color and details that encourage this.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
Have a very safe weekend,
Kim

PS Just a reminder that I will be personalizing AKC/Eukanaba posters at Margot's Gallery in Oxford, MI tomorrow from 1-4pm. Please call Margot directly if you have questions or need directions: 248-628-5398.

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, March 06, 2008


"Pearl," 5" x 7", yellow lab service dog puppy portrait.


SOLD.

Pearl was well through Paws training, and on her way towards being a hearing dog, but her allergies precluded that. She now lives with her foster family, works as a therapy dog, and spreads joy wherever she goes. 20% of the sale of Pearl's painting will support Paws With a Cause (http://www.pawswithacause.org/).

Yesterday's painting of Luna is available for purchase (my client has requested a smaller version to better match the other dog-a-day pieces already on her wall). Luna's painting is 8" x 10", and priced at $249, with $48 of that purchase price going to Paws With a Cause in the buyer's name. You may view Luna's painting on the Painting a Dog a Day blog (http://www.paintingadogaday.blogspot.com/) under March 5th 2008. Inquiries can always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I also have fielded two inquiries/votes for giclees of Luna's painting. If I get 5 collectors interested, I'll issue small (approximately 5" x 6-1/2") giclees at $30 each. Again, orders may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This morning I finally completed the automation of my newsletter distribution (this is different than the Dog-a-Day newsgoup). If you are interested in receiving quarterly updates from the studio outlining events and other such details please visit www.turtledovedesigns.com/archives.html to sign up. You may view my current newsletter at http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/late_winter_2008_news.html .

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

PS I've been getting questions about purchasing copies of the AKC/Eukanaba poster. You may do so through the AKC site, in their store, under commemmorative items. Mine is the poster design from 2007, and I have already signed them. If you want one, I suggest you order it soon, as I believe they are almost sold out. THANKS!

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, March 05, 2008



"Luna," 8" x 10", black lab service dog puppy portrait. Like the remainder of the paintings from this week, the proceeds from Luna's painting will be donated to Paws With a Cause (http://www.pawswithacause.org/). Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Luna went off to school, but things didn't work out. She's returned to her foster puppy family, where they are further assessing her skill set and capabilities. Then Luna will be set up with specific training to allow her to accomplish that. In the past, PAWS puppies who cannot live their lives as full-time service dogs have enjoyed a diverse range of jobs: acting as a demo dog for school-visits and other demonstrations, filling in as a "loaner" in instances where the primary service dog has become ill or is unable to work, even completing intensive task specific training such as search and rescue.

I have no doubt that Luna's future will be bright - you can see it burning in her eyes.

If you have interest in purchasing a giclee of Luna, drop me a line (ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com). Giclees would be approximately 5" x 6-1/2" and cost $30 plus $7 shipping and handling and applicable Michigan sales tax. $5 from each purchase will be earmarked for Paws With a Cause. If I get at least 5 orders I'll go ahead and issue prints.

Meanwhile, I'd like to share something I read this morning written by Robert Genn, an artist who shares inspirational ideas several times a week through his newsletter (http://www.painterskeys.com/). (I am reprinting this with his permission). What he has written is pretty much my mantra, the state of mind I hope to slide into as I work up a new painting.
"Feel and relish the environment.
Get into a "be here now" state of mind.
Start your work anywhere.
Look cleanly and with an uncluttered mind.
Be joyous and unencumbered in your stroke.
Work everywhere at once when you can.
Try to leave your strokes alone.
Do not labour or think too much.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Let the painting tell you what it needs.
Though it may be small, make your picture big.
Without being a wimp, serve your subject.
Don't verbalize your sight--sense the being.
Surrender to earth's beauty and wisdom.
If you make errors, fix them in good humour.
Be suspicious of what you've been told, how you ought to do things, and what you ought to think."
His words are a timely reflection on what it means to be creative, no matter what your language or media. They can also be applied to life in general. (Although I'm not certain I can surrender entirely to any more snow - I'm done with it!!).

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

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


"Demi," 6" x 8", chocolate lab PAWS service dog portrait, $199 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .


"Larkin," 4" x 6", black lab PAWS service dog portrait. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com.

I cannot imagine nurturing and loving a puppy for a full year, only to have to give him/her back. But that's what these foster families do. And they cannot wait to do it again, either.

Overwhelmingly these individuals/families (even teens - Demi was raised by a teenager!) find comfort in knowing that "their dog" will make a significant difference in someone's life. They say their tearful goodbyes, and begin to look forward, toward the next one and another opportunity. Meanwhile, the foster parents are updated on the progress "their dog" makes in training, and often form friendships with the person who eventually receives "their dog" as a service dog.

It's a gift that goes beyond most everything I've experienced in my life. I have so much respect for the community of volunteers that work with Paws With a Cause. You can read more about their mission at http://www.pawswithacause.org/. And meanwhile, proceeds from the sale of the above 2 paintings will be donated to PAWS in the purchaser's name.

Thank you to returning collector Lynn Weiss, who purchased Cooley II after my client chose #1 for her own.

Thanks, as always, for looking and forwarding and sharing the Painting a Dog a Day project. Our community of readers continues to grow, and I am grateful that my work has touched a chord in so many of your hearts.
Be back tomorrow (along with freezing rain, sleet and snow that we're supposed to get!),
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, March 03, 2008

Welcome to March's Animal Welfare Week! Every month I dedicate the first full week to profiling dogs in need. Periodically I partner with Paws With a Cause and share their stories of triumph.

This week I'll be painting service dogs from Paws With a Cause, with a special focus on the individual relationships between the dogs and families who work in tangent. It is well choreographed, so many lives changed for the better on every front.

PAWS dogs are bred by PAWS staff, using animals they know to be free of health issues (such as hip dysplasia, behavioural or temperment concerns, etc). Puppies are raised by foster parents, who socialize the dogs and begin basic obedience training. After a year, the youngsters are then turned into headquarters where they begin their lessons at "school." Ultimately each dog completes their own training regimin and is carefully matched to an individual based on the dogs' skills and the individuals' needs.

This entire effort is a huge investment of volunteers' time and energy. For me it continues to be an honor and a pleasure to support Paws With a Cause. As is always the case with Animal Welfare Week, 20% of this weeks' sales will be donated to Paws With a Cause in the purchasers name.




FROM TOP: "Cooley I" and "Cooley II," both 5" x 7", black lab service dog portraits, in acrylic on canvasboard. Both priced at $149, available after my client's review. She gets first dibs. Waiting lists and inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Both paintings SOLD.

This portrait had been booked for months, and then I got the added pleasure of meeting Cooley and my client at this past weekend's DKC Dog Show. Cooley is her 2nd PAWS dog, as the 1st one has retired (and lives at home with them). Getting a new service dog is a huge transition - the dog is learning to respond to a different voice and adapting to his new environment, the person is learning how to work with a new partner and all the idiosyncracies that come with that different personality. Compounded by an older dog who could be resentful of his shift in roles, the situation can become challenging. However it appeared as though all were adjusting very well.

Cooley is a big handsome guy, with a distinctive cowlick tracing the length of his nose. He was eager to greet me, but also tried to be mindful of his job. It was a tough balance, but I thought he did very well. At only 2-1/2 years old, there's much puppyhood dancing behind his eyes, but there's also a maturity in the way he carries himself. I have no doubt that he will fill his predecessors shoes and enable my client to continue her independance.

More information about Paws With a Cause, including details on how you can support their efforts, can be found at http://www.pawswithacause.org/ .

I'd also like to take a moment to extend a special welcome to the dog-a-day readers whom I met this weekend at the DKC Dog Show. It was a treat to have faces to match up with dogs' names/email addresses and previously purchased paintings. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, introduce yourselves (or your dog!), and chat for a bit.

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

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