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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Looking for Squirrels, Rudy


"Looking for Squirrels (Rudy)," 5" x 7", commissioned Samoyed dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Rudy has been chasing squirrels across the bridge for just a few weeks. I asked my client if she had any stories or thoughts to share, and she sent me the following Judy Garland quote: "For it is not into my ear you whisper, but into my heart. Tis not my lips you kiss, but my soul."

Rudy, you are missed.

Thanks as always for your time in looking at and sharing my paintings with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow,
Kim

ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/

Monday, September 29, 2008

Relaxed, Yellow Lab


"Relaxed," 6" x 12", yellow lab dog portrait, acrylic on board, $239 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

Lately I've been leaning towards tonal paintings with broader brushwork. Not sure why - I'm looking at a variety of different artists each day, and continuing to study color theory - but I don't see those sorts of trends in what I've been following. Perhaps the source of inspiration will reveal itself down the road. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the paint each and every day!

Thanks, as always, for your time in looking at and sharing my paintings with your family and friends.
See you tomorrow,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

Friday, September 26, 2008


"Hobbes," 6" x 8", commissioned cat portrait in acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I am always fascinated by how cats are able to melt into practically any surface, and still look completely at ease. Hobbes seems to be a master of napping, despite his formal attire (or perhaps he parties too hard when we're not around?!).

Inquiries, including how to nominate your pet for inclusion in the Painting a Dog a Day project, may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Thanks, as always, for looking at my art.
And for forwarding these paintings on to your family and friends,
Kim


Request for Animal Shelter Support

Wanna help my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center in Auburn Hills Michigan (www.oaklandpetfund.org) , in their quest to win a $10,000 donation?

They are in the running for America's Favorite Animal Shelter. You can help them win by casting your vote here - http://www.care2.com/animalsheltercontest/74551/?refer=1794.10.1222396188.8012 - or over here - www.care2.com .

And honestly, you are allowed to vote for your own shelter, if you feel so inclined. There are many, many groups sorely in needs of funds like this. Exercise your say in who gets them.

Thanks, as always, for your time.
And for casting your vote!
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Malley


"Malley," 6" x 8", commissioned pet portrait, mixed breed dog in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Malley's painting will be a holiday gift to his family, but really it's Malley's family that gave HIM the gift. Malley was adopted from a shelter, very ill and needing much veterinary care. You wouldn't know it to look at him now!

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


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2008 AKC Eukanuba Poster Design Entry


Here's a working copy of one of my proposed designs for this year's AKC Eukanuba Poster Competition (18" x 20", acrylic on gallery stretched canvas). It's close to being done, at that final point where I'll live with it in my peripheral for a week (I do literally carry the painting with me through the house, so that it is always in the corner of my vision), dashing back into the studio to make changes as I discover them. (You think that's crazy? I have a friend who sleeps with his painting-in-progress, so that it is the first thing he sees in the morning! Hey, whatever works, right?!)

The overall design is built of more than 100 dog-a-day paintings, collaged together to create the National Dog Championship trophy which goes to the Best in Show winner. I believe the trophy is called the Tiffany Loving Cup (I would appreciate confirmation of this from those of you in the know, so that I can title the painting correctly!).

Because I repainted the images in a value range that wasn't necessarily the same as the original portraits, this project has been less about the animals' likenesses and more about the contrast built between all their little faces. It was a great learning experience for me; again, a shift from ordinary portrait work to focus on an element of painting (strict value ranges) that I rarely hone in on by itself.

Now off to finesse design #2 - I'll give you a hint: it contains dog-a-day paintings of the most popular breeds registered with the AKC in 2008.

Neither of these pieces are for sale until the results of the poster competition are announced (sometime in early November). Don't worry - I will keep you posted!! Meanwhile inquiries may always come to me at the studio: ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

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


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"Hugo," 6" square, commissioned German Shepherd pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

There are a bunch of unspoken "rules" in art. I believe that rules are made to be broken (if any of my kids are reading this, I'm referring to Art Rules. I am NOT referring to household rules such as NOT leaving your laundry in your room till it crawls away on its own).

This particular painting breaks the rule of symmetry - I've literally cut the canvas in 1/2. Typically artists are told to avoid a horizon line or other compositional element that splits the canvas in 1/2. But I did just that with Hugo. By keeping the background very simple, and using a duller, cooler version of the grays in Hugo's face, I got away with it.

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

Monday, September 22, 2008


"Daisy," 8" x 10", commissioned mixed breed dog portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!!).

I bought a Mac computer this weekend, something I have wanted for what feels like umpteen years. It will simplify so much of the everyday studio operations, and make other projects that my little overtaxed Windows laptop couldn't handle possible. Now all I have to do is wrestle my kids away from it so that I can learn the ropes......

Seriously, how did the world function before computers? I could not imagine trying to run my business without one.

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

Friday, September 19, 2008



FROM TOP: "The Bearded Man," 5" x 7", mixed breed dog portrait; "Charley," 6" x 12", himalayan cat portrait.


I had some appointments yesterday morning, and came home feeling yucky. I laid down, and woke up a couple hours feeling even worse. Had some soup, went to bed, and woke up this morning. This just reinforces my belief that 12+ hours of sleep will cure just a good amount of things.

That said, today was a busy busy day. I give you another two paintings to enjoy, one to make up for yesterday, and one for today, both of which I believe have already found a home. (Artist's note 9-22-8 - Yes, both have sold.)

Thanks as always for your time in looking at and sharing my paintings with your friends and family.
Enjoy your weekend!

Kim

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BONUS! Dog-a-Days - Schatzi and Pongo



FROM TOP: "Schatzi's Kerchief (Corgi Study)," 6" x 8", corgi pet portrait, acrylic on board, $219; "Pongo (Beagle Study)," 5" x 7", beagle dog portrait, acrylic on board, $165.
BOTH SOLD.
I was certifiably insane for a small window of time yesterday, and asked you to submit photos for consideration for today's Dog-a-Day painting. I pulled in mountains of emails, and every single one deserved to be painted. I went to bed scratching my head - what on earth had I done?

I wish I could have whipped out 50 paintings today, but alas, I am a mere human. Fighting off a cold, at that (as are all the Santini's). So today I'm giving you only two, but with the promise that I will have more BONUS! Dog-a-Day days in the future.

Schatzi and Pongo's families get first dibs on these paintings, but after that it's a free-for-all. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Thanks, as always, for your time in looking at, and sharing, my paintings with your friends and family.
Back to the turkey breast that's roasting in the oven. Nothing like good comfort food when the fall air rolls in and the drippy noses start.
Kim

PS Just a note to help you prep for the next call for photos: Try taking pictures without the flash. We are so conditioned to using point-and-shoot cameras where, in most models, the flash goes off unnecessarily. Once your eye gets used to non-flash photos, you'll understand why I cannot paint from them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Chicken Little," Black Cat Portrait


"Chicken Little," 8" square, black cat portrait in acrylic on board, collection of the artist.

Before you inundate me with emails pointing out the fact that this is supposed to be "Painting a Dog a Day," I ask your forgiveness, as I do have an explanation. This is my Miah (her nickname was Chicken Little), who I lost this last May. Regular Dog-a-Day readers will remember that I painted her sister Turtle a few weeks ago. Well, you can't do one and not the other, can you?!

This painting, along with Turtle's "Calico in Profile" from September 5th, will go to the Southeastern Michigan's Portrait Show. They should prove to be a stunning entry, probably my best to date. In the past few years I've been lucky enough, not just to get juried into this very competitive show, but to receive ribbons, so I have high hopes for my girls. They definately represent what I've learned this year, and are continuing as studio muses in absentia.

Tomorrow, I promise a dog.
Tell you what - I'm feeling generous, given the fact that I've finished my show entry in time (which is very out of character for me, as I'm usually furiously painting until the Nth hour) - send me some pics, and I'll choose something really special from what you send for tomorrow's dog-a-day. Use the subject line "Bonus Dog a Day", attach your non-flash (very important!) digital photos, and send them to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . Inquiries may always come to this address, too.

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

PS I'm still working away on the Painting a Dog a Day book. I have it all edited and am starting to do layout and design. This is such fun! Stay tuned!!

Monday, September 15, 2008


"BFFs," 8" x 16", Labrador Retriever double dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $449. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will support the service dog organization Paws with a Cause (http://www.pawswithacause.org/). Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

For those of you without a text-crazed teen, "BFF" stands for "Best Friends Forever." This painting depicts Josie with her childhood best friend, Sadie. Josie was raised for a year by a foster family, then turned over to Paws with a Cause so that she could begin her service dog training. Ultimately Josie will make an immeasurable difference in someone's life. But meanwhile Josie's puppyhood was spent romping with Sadie, the girl next door.

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

Friday, September 12, 2008


"Barnum," 5" x 7", German Shepherd dog portrait, acrylic on board, a very special birthday gift from one dog-a-day reader to another.

Happy 40th Birthday, Elise! From Peg and your "babyson"! (And from me, too!! have a great day!)

I'm currently booking dog-a-day portraits for November 2009 - including actual "day" bookings like Barnum's to commemmorate birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
Enjoy the weekend - those in the path of Ike, please stay safe.
Kim

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Dixie River


"The Dixie River," 8" square, commissioned mixed breed dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

How do you get your dog (or cat) to star in Painting a Dog a Day? Just ask! Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

It's been another crazy day. I worked on the stack of papers on my desk, while my email in box filled. While I pared down emails, the phone was ringing. There always seems to be something important to do that doesn't involve standing in front of the easel. In the midst of all this (or perhaps as a means of actually tracking the things that I DO get done,) I'm going to be more disciplined about posting to my studio blog, which you can see at http://www.ksantini.blogspot.com/. That way, if you are curious as to how I whittle the hours away, you'll have the answer.

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

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



FROM TOP: "Marshmallow," 6" x 8", French Bulldog pet portrait, $219; "Abbey," 4" x 8", Papillion dog portrait, $165. Both paintings in acrylic on canvasboards. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Both paintings SOLD.

With these paintings, I am ready to begin work on a new collage of dog-a-day breeds. Details to follow, but a huge thanks to those dog-a-day readers who stepped up and shared photos to help make this project complete.

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


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rottie Eyes


"Rottie Eyes," 4" x 8", rottweiler dog painting, acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

This is another piece that I completed for inclusion in my collage of breeds. The original painting is for sale, and I'll use the design as part of the larger "collage" painting which at this point includes approximately 40 portraits. Think that's a big one? How about the other collage I've built that includes over 100 dog-a-day portraits? Stay tuned.......

Remember my request a few weeks back for Rottie models? I built this painting from a handful of photos submitted by a couple different dog-a-day readers.

I'm still looking for French Bulldogs...... are there any out there?! Photos may come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

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

Monday, September 08, 2008

Turtledove, masquerading as HARO Kitty


"HARO Kitty," 8" square, calico cat portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $499 (exquisitely framed). Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to the Oakland Pet Fund (http://www.oaklandpetfund.org/) in support of their low-cost feline spay and neutering program. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Yes, this cat isn't really named HARO - it's the one and only Turtle. Those of you in the know probably recognized her off the bat. Turtle's latest portrait was done to meet a challenge set forth by Peter Shankman of HARO fame, a very decent guy owned by two kitties himself, and a huge supporter of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (www.bestfriends.org).

HARO is Peter's newsgroup. HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out - it's a great tool for small businesses looking to get their name in print in a variety of markets. Journalists use HARO to request resources, and HARO newsgroup subscribers get the opportunity to respond to those topics which are the best fit. You can read more about HARO at http://www.helpareporter.com/ .

Last week, Peter challenged HARO readers to adopt a shelter cat. The Santini's aren't ready to adopt (although when the time comes, it WILL be a shelter cat), so I did the next best thing - I painted Turtle, who herself was a rescue, and pledged to donate to the shelter instead.

I could repeat Peter's challenge to adopt but that would be like preaching to the choir. The Dog-a-Day archives are packed with happily-ever-after stories. All I ask is that you keep 'em coming!
I'm currently scheduling portraits for November of 2009. Mention HARO at the time of your booking, and 10% of your sale will be earmarked for the Oakland Pet Fund.

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

Friday, September 05, 2008

Remembering Turtle, my own studio muse


"Calico in Profile (Turtledove)," 8" square, calico cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, not yet available for purchase. I have two different shows on my radar for this painting, which will get framed and prepped to share with a new audience. Interested collectors may email me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This is my Turtle, the studio namesake, as she was several years ago, fat and content, before she started showing her age. I hadn't painted Turtle in many months, but doing Jack yesterday made me lonesome. Seeing her likeness materialize out of paint was oddly welcoming - like she had returned for a visit. There's a second painting of her on the easel right now, with that forthright gaze and her lopsided mask - that one has been more difficult to work on because her eyes lock into mine and demand interaction.

This painting, however, practically slid off the brushes. It was ridiculous. While working, I realized exactly how much had changed since the fall of last year, her final one, when she watched the leaves turn and the squirrels hurry about the yard. Had Turtle known then the journey she was about to begin?

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

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"Jack Jurick," Beagle Mix


"Jack Jurick," 6" x 8", beagle mixed breed dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. Proceeds from the sale of Jack's painting will be donated to benefit animal welfare. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Another daily artist and mentor, Karin Jurick (http://web.mac.com/kjurick/ZemArt/Welcome.html), recently lost her dog and muse to cancer. This sort of thing always hits close to my heart, even more so as I'm continuing to heal from Miah and Turtle's crossing the bridge.

Karin challenged her readers to paint images of Jack, and I simply couldn't resist. The Jack paintings will be showcased at http://differentstrokesfromdifferentfolks.blogspot.com/. My painting of Jack is in EXCELLENT company.

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

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"That Sheltie Glow," a portrait of Shetland Sheepdog Skye


"That Sheltie Glow," 4" x 8", Shetland Sheepdog pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $165 to the first buyer. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

Remember a few weeks back, when I asked for photos of specific breeds? I was looking for Shetland Sheepdogs, among a few other breeds. Another artist and sheltie afficianado sent me photos of her gorgeous boy Skye, and the above painting was born. Thank you, Heather!

I love the color in this piece, which will be incorporated into a collage I'm building of multiple dog breeds (stay tuned!). But the original painting will go to the first taker, and it's a gem.

Here's a shout out for pictures of French Bulldogs and Pugs. Photos must be taken without a flash in order for me to paint from them. Submitting photos means I could create artwork from them, so please keep this in mind and send only photos you have personally taken (and yes, you will get first dibs on any resulting paintings). Digital photos may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com; I'll acknowledge receipt of all materials.

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

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


"Pretty in Pink (Theresa)," 6" x 12", commissioned pit bull dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!!). Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I just can't get enough of Theresa! Her face is such a balance in contrast, and those spotted ears make me grin. A great way to I officially return to work and the daily dogs.

The kids are all at school (today's their first day), and Finnigan and I don't quite know what to do with ourselves. Well, I do know what I should be doing, but have been distracted by the remnants of summer - a bag full of sandy beach toys, a squirt gun stranded on the garage roof alongside the wiffle ball bat that was used to try to get it down, an assortment of flip flops tucked under the coffee table. Everywhere I look there's a reminder of sorts. I hope the kids' brains are packed full of the good times we had too.

Looking forward, I hung a show at the Sterling Heights City Hall this morning, where I'll be Artist of the Month for September (for more information please call 586-446-2489). I also have two paintings in the 48th Annual Thumb Show Exhibition at Starkweather Gallery (Romeo, Michigan, 586-752-5700). And I'm prepping some portraits for Michigan's Southeastern Portrait Show (at the Orion Art Center, 248-693-4986), a juried exhibition which will open at the end of this month.

There's a few other projects locked into my radar, but I really should focus on the mess that is my desktop, and also try to get some easel time in before the school buses unload tired children.

Thanks, as always, for your time in looking at my work. You are always welcome to forward the paintings on to your friends and family.
See you tomorrow!
Kim


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