Paintings With Soul

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008


"I Smell It!", 6" x 12", depiction of a vizsla dog in the field, acrylic painting on board, $239. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Another version of Bart. This one reminded me of frosty mornings spent with my father, watching the dogs rustle up a bird or two.

I'm been wallowing in memories lately - take a peek at my two newest gallery stretched linen pieces, derivatives of the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series, which I've posted on my studio blog: http://www.ksantini.blogspot.com/ .

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"Ears to Grow Into (Bart)," 4" x 8", vizsla puppy portrait, acrylic on board, $165. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

Over the next couple days I'll share Bart's paintings that were completed in the last few weeks. When I have multiple excellent references, because I simply cannot choose one, I do a whole mess of paintings. My client has chosen her favorite, and now it's your turn!

Work is progressing nicely on the Theresa paintings, by the way. As is the editing and design layout of the Painting a Dog a Day book.
Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
Kim

Friday, July 25, 2008


"Wanna Play? (Theresa)," from "Theresa's Rainbow" series, 6" x 8", pit bull dog portrait, acrylic on board, inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
ARTIST'S NOTE: Whoops!! I reversed my reference photo, but didn't think to then also reverse Theresa's markings..... I'll have to paint another version of this pose, and keep that in mind as I work on the other paintings..... A HUGE thank you to the Theresa fan who pointed this out to me!!

Meet Theresa. She is a current resident of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kenab, Utah. You can read more about her at http://network.bestfriends.org/News/PostDetail.aspx?np=18523&archiveurl=/News/ArchiveList.aspx?month=9&year=2007&gu=lodgedogs&pg=1.

My client introduced Theresa, her ball and matching bandanna to me, and I fell in love. After the wheels got to turning, the one proposed painting multiplied into almost a dozen. After all, how could I choose which ball to include in her painting? I couldn't. And why should I?

So, over the next two weeks things will be quiet on the dog-a-day front. I'll be busy in the studio, painting the many colors of Theresa. I will unveil the group of paintings together, when the series has been finished. My client will get pick of the litter, her cohort receives second choice, and the remaining pieces will be available for purchase.

And proceeds of all the sales will go to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (http://www.bestfriends.org/). They are such a joy to work with, and I love supporting their efforts with the Painting a Dog a Day project. Cheers to Theresa for giving me a great excuse to partner with them again!

Thanks, as always, for looking.And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
See you in a bit,
Kim


Thursday, July 24, 2008


"Lifeguard on Duty (Peanut)," 16" x 20", terrier dog portrait in acrylic on board, $659. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

This is a much larger than usual dog-a-day painting. Technically it isn't even really one, given that I've been picking away at it, off and on, since early May, and the typical dog-a-day painting is completed in one sitting. But often l start a piece with lofty intentions, and then recognize I can't carry it off without learning a few new things. So I lose momentum and the painting sits, 1/2 completed, waiting patiently for me to muster the courage to finish.

Even with lapsed time, patience, and additional miles under my brushes, the imagined painting doesn't always turn out. (By the way, I throw out just as many paintings as I share on this blog.) But those times when things fall into place as I step up to paint the last pass-through, it feels darned good.

I'm off for some celebratory oreos and iced tea.

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

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bart, Vizsla Study

"Bart," 6" x 6", commissioned vizsla dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Bart is one special dog. He recently lost a leg and shoulder due to cancer, yet hasn't slowed down. A friend asked me to squeeze in Bart's portrait as a thank you and pick-me-up for his family, and the reference photos supplied by his breeder (who - small world - is an artist I know and love, and now you will too - http://www.juliebender.com/) were breathtaking. I couldn't just do one, I did four.

This one has sold (again, THANK YOU!), but the others are still sorting themselves out. I'll share them as the dust settles.

Meanwhile, inquiries about your own dog-a-day painting may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . I'm currently booking for October of 2009.

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

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hershey, German Shorthaired Pointer


"Pointer Closeup (Hershey)," 5" x 7", german shorthaired pointer dog portrait, $165. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

I've been a little crazed the last few days trying to clean up the mess left by a computer virus. It's not all yet done, but at least I now am semi-functional, which is quite a few steps up from yesterday. I was literally crippled without my laptop, and then I beat myself up for feeling that way.

The knowledge of a valid backup did nothing to lessen the stress. I couldn't write checks, prep shipping labels, edit the dog-a-day book, update my ipod, follow watched items on ebay, google simple questions or even look up the weather. I admit it. I am a total computer addict. I need help.

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

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Peanut, Squirrel Patrol, Dog Portrait


"Squirrel Patrol," 10" x 20", terrier dog portrait, acrylic on board. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This is Peanut, who I have gotten to paint before (http://paintingadogaday.blogspot.com/search?q=peanut+terrier). I fall more in love with him each time I pick up the brushes.

My client has patiently waited for me to finish up Peanut's 2 larger paintings (there's another one soaking wet on the easel, 16" x 20") before she makes her choice. I'm wait-listing anyone interested in having a Peanut for themselves - feel free to send a note to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . I hope to have the fourth and final Peanut finished very soon.....

I've gotten some nice press via inclusion in Mel Edwards' Votre Vray project. Mel has been interviewing creative women as research for a book/play that she is writing. We had a great chat a few weeks back, and she did a beautiful job summarizing a few of the points we touched upon. You can check out her website, read her review of my creative approach (along with others' reviews!), and learn more about Votre Vray at http://www.votrevray.blogspot.com/ .

Thanks, as always, for looking. And sharing the dog-a-day project with your friends and family.
Kim

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gracie, Puggle Portrait


"Gracie (Puggle Study)," 6" x 8", commissioned puggle dog portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I've done several tonal pieces lately, and I really enjoy the process of pulling the subject out of a similarly colored ground. It defines subtle variations in harmonic color literally as the painting is built. I first tried this concept when working in a class with all-white still life objects. Those of you who are artists yourself should give this exercise a try - set up a composition of similarly colored objects, tone your painting surface with the middle value, and have at it!

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

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Burgler Alarm, double dog portrait

"Burglar Alarm," 8" x 10", double dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!!). Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Today I was able to carve out several hours between swim lessons and grocering to do some plein air painting with oils in the back yard. I focused on a frog shaped planter bursting with hens-and-chicks in my daughter's fairy garden (You'll ruin her childhood if you spill the beans that I am responsible for the polished stones and bits of sea glass that get regularly deposited in the yard and under her pillow. Don't even think about telling her that cherished pinch of fairy dust is everyday glitter and white sand. And don't you dare tell her that I'm the one who paints the fairy footprints across various surfaces, either. Please. She'll never forgive me.....)

I so enjoyed the birdsongs and overwhelming peace that happened while I was communing with Annie's fairies and my little frog Prince Charming. And I dare to think that I might be figuring out the whole oil painting mystique, too. Not that I don't still have MUCH to learn.....

Meanwhile, I've posted the first oil painting from my June plein air class on my studio blog: www.ksantini.blogspot.com .

We're off on a camping trip this weekend, so I will check in next Monday or Tuesday.
Enjoy yourselves!!
Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
Kim

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Silly Dilly, Pembroke Welsh Corgi

"Silly Dilly," 6" x 8", commissioned corgi dog portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!).

This painting had a lot of wet-on-wet work, meaning that the majority of the piece was completed in one pass, before the paint had a chance to dry. I went back into the face multiple times, adding additional layers of paint, but was able to leave the remaining bulk of the surface alone. I prefer working wet-into-wet because it allows for a natural sort of color harmony to build up. It also gives me the opportunity to play with soft, disappearing and hard edges.

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

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bella, Coton du Tulear Dog Portrait


"Bella (Coton Study)," 6" x 8", Coton du Tulear dog portrait, acrylic on canvas, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Yes, this is the same dog as yesterday, just the "head-on" view.

What an infectious grin Bella has!

Makes me think of all sorts of wonderful summertime things: water balloons, fresh corn on the cob, swimming till the sun sets, and sharing the dregs of an excellent bottle of wine as the crickets start to sing. Happy summer to all of the dog-a-day readers!!

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

Monday, July 07, 2008

"Coton Topknot," 6" square, Coton du Tulear dog portrait, acrylic on board, $165. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

My newly learned oil painting practices are oozing into my acrylics. This painting pretty much summarizes what I would like to be able to do all the time - lots of controlled edge work, and subtle colors that just bleed into each other. This is such fun!!

Also, just a side note that I am very behind on responding to emails. My plein air oil painting workshop cut into a week's worth of evening response time, then the Shaggy Chic event took up an entire weekend, and then we went into the holiday. Over the 4th of July I actually turned the computer off for a handful of days, and did nothing much other than enjoy the company of friends and family.

I'm working through emails, oldest ones first, so please bear with me and you shall have a response shortly. I really appreciate your patience!

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

Friday, July 04, 2008

Celebratory Sugar



FROM TOP: "Cupcake I" and "Cupcake II," both 6" x 6", acrylic still life paintings depicting cupcakes, $165 each. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Around these parts we're gearing up for a big celebration. Our town shuts down, moving a carnival in for the Fourth of July and a huge fireworks show. We busy ourselves with bar-b-qs, picnics, squirt gun wars, and quality time with friends and family.

I hope that everyone has a safe and fun weekend, however you choose to spend it!
Kim

Thursday, July 03, 2008


"Chestnut Plains," image 6" x 8", horse painting, acrylic on board, framed, $269 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This is another of the paintings that travelled to San Francisco for the art show afffiliated with the Grand National Rodeo Championships last April. It is a piece that transcends my portraiture work, taking the depiction of the horse to a new level, where the withers, flanks and topline become a landscape entirely unto themselves. This is an idea I have explored before, and I really enjoyed the scale (color!) and intimacy of this particular piece.

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

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's a good thing my head's attached. I went to post today's painting, and discovered I had never followed through and posted Friday's. Geez. You'd'a thunk somebody'd a told me......



"Grandpa's Hunting Buddies," 8" square, still life painting of vintage dog tags and licenses, from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series, acrylic on board, $229 to the first buyer. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

My son dug this ring of tags from a tattered box of tools at a flea market this last weekend. We have been wondering ever since about the story behind all the tags. So far I best like the idea that they were the last physical reminder of two decades of hunting dogs and years of working the fields together.

I'll be painting these tags over and over as we continue this discussion, penning new stories each time.

If you are interested in contributing dog tags/licenses to my collection for inclusion in future paintings, contributions may be sent via mail to the studio at 346 N Anderson, Lake Orion, Michigan, 48362. If you would like your items returned, please include a SASE.

Thanks, as always, for your time in looking at and sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
Enjoy your weekend,
Kim
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