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, October 31, 2008

Lashes and Corkscrews, Buckskin Horse

"Lashes and Corkscrews," 5" x 8", buckskin tobiano curly horse portrait, acrylic on board, $289 to the first taker. Do I see any hands? Inquires to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I really DID intend to paint today, but things got out of hand quickly. I think it was the Snickers bar breakfast that me going in the wrong direction right off the bat. Then the mid-morning helping of caramel corn followed by a Kit-Kat lunch.... straight downhill from there.

For the last hour I have had my palette open and the brushes out, but trick-or-treaters are coming thick and heavy, and it's becoming very clear that I will NOT be finishing the sheltie paintings tonight (so sorry JB - they are coming, though!!).

Instead I'll share with you a piece I did last week for an art competition. I won't find out about the juror's decision until December, but in the meanwhile, please enjoy Percy, my friend's new gelding. Isn't he a dear?!

Be sure to make some time for a few chocolate bars this weekendll!!
I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable evening,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/


PS You know I'll be raiding the kids' Halloween stash next week and creating some candy paintings. If you have any favorites you would like to see, shoot me a note: ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Amadeus, tiny boy, big name


"Amadeus," 6" square, Chihuahua portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Amadeus is brother to Arwen, model for the first Dog-a-Day painting ever. You can see Arwen's painting at http://tinyurl.com/5bsex3 . Ami's painting will be joining his sister's and their busy household.

Thank you to everyone who helped locate my client yesterday. The problem wasn't her email after all - it was my fat-fingering her email into my address book. Silly me. I should know by now that I am the root of my worst problems.

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

PS Another final plug for Painting a Dog-a-Day - the First Year. Please get your orders in by Saturday, November 1st, to guarantee holiday delivery. Softcovers are $39.95 and hardcovers are $54.95. Orders may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hannah, terrier mix


"Say Cheese (Hannah)," 6" square, commissioned terrier portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!!). Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Had a blast at the zoo yesterday with Annie's class - we spent a good amount of time in the butterfly house, watching them "hatch" from their chrysalises. It was very peaceful compared to the bus ride. I actually worked today without music (very rare), just to enjoy the solitude.

Am off to start a pot of soup for dinner. Lemon rice sounds good, with roasted chicken and homemade pita bread. mmmmmm.......

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


Monday, October 27, 2008

Sadie, Beagle Portrait


"Sadie," 6" x 8", commissioned beagle portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .


My favorite part of this painting is Sadie's ears. They are loose and goey paint , simple layers of color, and perfectly frame her doe-like eyes. If I had painted the ears crisp and detailed, then Sadie's eyes would not lock you in like this. Notice how the collar and her mask, the only other harder edges in the whole painting, complete that frame around her face.


If you are interested in booking your own Dog-a-Day portrait, I have a limited number of holiday 2009 spots remaining. I know it's crazy to be thinking about next year before this one's even come up, but that's the way it is these days. Send an email to me - ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com - and I'll get you pencilled in.


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


I'll be back Wednesday - tomorrow I am chaperoning a zoo field trip with my daughter's 2nd grade class.


Kim


ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com


http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/



PS If you want one of the Dog-a-Day books, "Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year," for a holiday gift I must have your order by November 1st (that's this Saturday). Softcovers are $39.95 and hardcovers are $54.95. Please send an email to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Friday, October 24, 2008




FROM TOP: "Cody," and "Samson", both 5" x 7", acrylic on board, commissioned portraits (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I used to hardly ever use white, tinting my paints with yellow, pink, or a soft green. I still don't use a whole lot of white, but the point I'm getting at here is that I am recognizing (or rather now Seeing) the softer variations in those lighter values. I see color saturation so easily, and it wasn't so tough to see deeper variations of purples, blues, greens and reds in the dark values of my paintings. But it was a huge challenge for me to linger over the areas of light. I think I'm starting to get it though!!

Thanks, as always, for following along. Yes, please forward these paintings to friends and family.
Enjoy your weekend - stay warm, dry, and safe.
See you Monday,
Kim

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Harry, terrier mix



"Harry," 5" x 7", commissioned mixed breed pet portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com.

I wish you could all hold Harry's painting in your hands, and see the layers of paint. Lots of wet-on-wet and really fun brushwork - this painting was a party!

I am especially enjoying the very nice gray I can get with ultramarine and cad red light. One of those mixtures that shifts warm-cold easily, and seems especially reactive to it's surroundings.

I've been told my domain name (http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/) will be mine again within 24 hours. It sure will be nice to ditch webmail and get a couple pages of data up on the web. Thanks again for your patience during this transition.

And thanks, as always, for your time in looking at and sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
And a huge happy birthday to my Evan, who turns 11 today!! WAHOO!!
See you tomorrow,
Kim
www.turtledovedesigns.com

PS Yet again I will push the new book ("will she ever shut up over this?" most likely not for a while still!). Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year is available, and it is GORGEOUS!. It features over 200 paintings from the first 15 months of my daily work (October 2006-December 2007). Softcovers are $39.95 and hardcovers are $54.95. You may place your order by emailing ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


"Bangs," 6" x 8", Yorkshire Terrier dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $199 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Don't you love this little face?! I am DEFINATELY painting this dog again, only bigger, like lifesize. I want to play more with the gestures created by the clumps and wisps of fur. And consciously work my triad of color - I didn't realize until I was done that I had built this painting with olives, oranges and violets.

Can't wait to try him another time around!

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

PS Here I go again, pushing the book. I got the proof today, and it's more beautiful than I dreamed possible. I don't want anyone to miss out on this!! It's titled Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year, and you can get a softcover for $39.95 or a hardcover for $54.95. Orders can come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com. THANK YOU!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You ain't nothin' but a hound dog....


"Spike," 4" x 8", commissioned mixed breed dog portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries, including how you go about booking your own Dog-a-Day portrait, may come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

The studio newsletter went out today via email. Typically I also publish the newsletter on my website, but being as the website is STILL down (not my fault - domain hosts are holding it up), that's not an option this time around. If you did not receive the newsletter and would like to, please email me and I'll forward this one and get you added to that distribution list.

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


http://www.paintingadogaday.com/

PS I know I sound like a broken record, but please, if you are interested in ordering a copy of my book Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year, send me an email so that I can get you invoiced. Softcovers are $39.95, hardcovers are $54.95. Orders received by November 1st are guaranteed holiday delivery. Thank you!

Monday, October 20, 2008


"Yoda Pug," 4" square, pug dog portrait, acrylic on board, $159. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

The only thing cuter than this tiny little portrait is Yoda himself, looking all spiffy in his kerchief, the folds in his forehead sorta matching the stripes in his neckwear. This painting was all done wet-in-wet, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to work (that should lend itse'f well to my continuing efforts in oil paint).

Thinking of giving a dog-a-day portrait as a holiday gift? I had a client cancel 2 November slots this afternoon - send your story as to why your friend/family member/significant other deserves a dog-a-day portrait, and the best two tales (tails?!) get the dates. Stories and attachments may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Thanks, as always, for your time in looking at, forwarding, and sharing my artwork with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow!
Kim
http://www.paintingadogaday.com/

PS Over the weekend I got private emails out to everyone who had a painting included in my new book Painting a Dog a Day, the First Year. I want to make certain that all my clients have an opportunity to order their copy well in advance of the holidays. Having never published a book before, I do not know what to expect volume wise, and can therefore only guarantee holiday delivery for those orders placed by November 1st. The books are beautiful, and will make great gifts for the animal lover on your list. Softcovers are $39.95 and hardcovers are $54.95, plus shipping and handling. Please send an email to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com if you are interested in ordering a copy (or two).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Notecards!




It's the "Gotta Move It Out" sale! I spent this morning rearranging the studio, taking inventory of all my piles. And I decided that the notecards had to go. I need to make room for some of the still life props (the pull toys are slowly forming ranks and taking over the studio!), so you, my friends, are getting a deal.

You can get a pack of 10 notecards and envelopes for $6! That's 1/2 off! The cards are approximately 5" x 4", with a blank interior. Choose from either the Jackpot (Black Lab) or the Silver Tabby design (and no, the copyright watermark is NOT on the cards!).

I will be happy to combine shipping on multiple packages - one (priority mail) envelope will ship for $4.95, a (priority mail) box for $9.95.

I will be happy to add these to a painting on order.

I will be happy to add these in with a book purchase.

Just say the word! Orders can come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Ok, back to the cleaning and sorting!
Thanks as always for your time in looking at, and forwarding, my artwork.
Enjoy your weekend, and I'll see you Monday!
Kim


http://www.paintingadogaday.com/

PS Before I get inundated with requests, both Jackpot and Silver Tabby are already sold. :) But I CAN paint your dog or cat just for you - I'm booking December 2009 right now - email me - ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Thursday, October 16, 2008


"Waiting (Calico Study)," 8" x 16", calico cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, nicely framed in a custom molding, $649 to the first taker. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to her host shelter - The Oakland Pet Adoption Center (http://www.oaklandpetfund.org/). Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I gravitate to calicos when I visit the shelter - just can't help myself. This little girl was so friendly and vocal - her body was quivering from the strength of her purr.

It was very rewarding to hear that a favorite cat, a very solid black and white guy with an ear lost to frostbite, one who had been at the shelter for many months, finally got adopted.

Please, if you are thinking about adding an animal to your family, consider visiting your shelter. They are overflowing with animals who just want love. Furthermore shelters can offer low-cost spay/neuter and veterinarian care to help make adopting a 4-legged family member more affordable. Your choice could very well save a little life, and make yours all the richer in the long run.

Ok, enough lecturing. What else is going on? Well, I'm editing the final draft of the studio fall newsletter - I hope to get it out early next week. Turtledovedesigns.com is still down - the doman registry change is in process, after which I can begin rebuilding my pages in earnest. I may be able to start on those as soon as this weekend. But my email is back up (hooray!! chocolate all around!!)

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for forwarding these paintings on to your friends and family.
See you tomorrow,
Kim
www.paintingadogaday.com

PS Don't forget to pre-order your copy of Painting a Dog a Day - The First Year by November 1st to guarantee holiday delivery! Softcovers are $39.95, hardcovers $54.95. Add another 4.95 s&h (US addresses only). Send your order to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


"Nosey," 4" x 6", wirehaired pointer portrait in acrylic on board, $199 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@sbcglobal.net .

SOLD.

Proceeds from this painting will benefit the Oakland Pet Adoption Center (http://www.oaklandpetfund.org/), my local shelter, making wonderful progress towards turning us into a no-more-homeless-pets community!

This guy must've followed his nose a bit too far, as he was at my shelter a few weeks back, waiting for his owner to catch up with him. There were several pointers, along with a mess of hounds and beagles. The crisp fall air brings out all sorts of critters to chase and track, and I suppose the temptations were too hard to resist for those dogs.

"Nosey" will be stunning tucked into a wide frame, placed somewhere special.

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

PS YEAH! I got the bulk of my computer issues ironed out, including a problem with posting to the Painting a Dog a Day newsgroup - I aponogize for your missing out on yesterday's little Westie faces. Thanks for your patience!

Westie Fever!



FROM TOP: "Westie Study (Alex)"; "Shy Boy (Jack)"; both 5" x 7", West Highland Terrier portraits in acrylic on canvasboard, $249 each. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
BOTH SOLD.

The Lost Website Saga continues (not to detract from the charm of Alex and Jack, which is substantial and deserves a moment or two).

A huge thank you to those who have offered to email the postings they have saved on their own machines. I didn't clarify properly that the Painting a Dog a Day blog is fine - nothing happened to IT (knock on wood....). My other two websites, the studio one at http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/, and the main Painting a Dog a Day informational site http://www.paintingadogaday.com/, are what is gone. I managed to get a temporary home page up on http://www.paintingadogaday.com/, but am still sorting out the details on the Turtledove site, which will remain down for at least another week.

My websites have been overdue for a massive overhaul, so guess it'll finally happen!! There's a positive spin to almost everything.

Another consequence of this transition, though, is that my turtledovedesigns.com email address has been randomly unavailable since yesterday afternoon, continuing through today, and most likely for another 5 days or so until everything is finalized. It may bounce your emails into nowhere, without providing any indication if the note was ever delivered. Additionally, my outbound emails are taking an inordinant amount of time to arrive (hence the reason the blog is getting updated before the google group today). If you have not gotten a response from me within 48 hours, go ahead and resend your email - but please do give me this time to catch up, as I have an inordinant amount of emails to work through.

Thanks, as always, for your time and PATIENCE! And for forwarding these paintings on to friends and family,
See you tomorrow,
Kim


Monday, October 13, 2008

A Bad Day

I did not paint today, as my studio time was eaten up by an unforseen event. My webhost swallowed my two websites whole, including my backup copies (it's an actual "the dog ate my homework" sort of thing!), and I've been on the phone all day with various customer support folks trying to determine a course of action.

The verdict now is a complete rebuild of both my websites (www.turtledovedesigns.com and www.paintingadogaday.com). Not the right answer from a company I've been loyal to for 8+ years. That means I'm also in the process of transferring my domain name, shifting my email account, AND rebuilding my websites with another service.

Grrrrr.

I'll get this sorted out and return to painting asap, I pinky promise.
Thanks for your patience in the meanwhile,
Kim

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fifty-Two Vignettes and Trophy Dog


FROM TOP: "Fifty-Two Vignettes," 18" x 22"; "Trophy Dog," 18" x 20"; both paintings acrylic on gallery stretched canvas, neither currently for sale, but inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

These are my two entries for this year's AKC-Eukanuba Poster Competition. Now all I have to do is brew a pot of tea, sit back, and wait. Till mid-November.

Good thing I have lots of stuff to keep me occupied.....

First, just a little history on these two pieces, which are all built off dog-a-day paintings from the past:
Fifty-Two Vignettes is comprised of - you guessed it - 52 portraits. These dogs make up the 30 some most popular breeds based on AKC registries in 2007. Remember a few months back when I asked for breed specific photos? I needed a couple dogs to round out the piece.
"Trophy Dog" has way too many portraits for me to count - well over 100, maybe 120. They are arranged in the shape of the Tiffany Loving Cup, which is the trophy the National Championships' Best in Show gets to bring home.
For those of you unfamiliar with the AKC-Eukanuba Poster Competition, it works thusly: artists from all over the world send in their interpretation of "The Wonderful World of Purebred Dogs." A board of judges select the design which best fits this theme. The winning design is used in conjunction with the National Dog Show Championships held in Long Beach, California in December 2008, and the original artwork is purchased by the AKC.

So, once I know the judges' verdict, I will decide the fate of these paintings. Maybe I'll auction them off, or issue prints or notecards or tshirts or who knows what. Maybe I'll get to ship one off to the AKC. One can only hope.....

But now I'm off to change out of my jammies and grab a nap. It has been one heck of a marathon painting session.

Thanks, as always, for looking. And for sharing my paintings with your friends and family (please do forward them!).
Have a great weekend!
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Read This!


ARTISTS NOTE 10-9-08: Blogger and my laptop were both misbehaving last night, and I could not get this post to load. My apologies.

From January 2007, "Watch Eye," 6" x 8", acrylic on canvasboard, portrait of a gray horse, $279 exquisitely framed. I do not understand why this painting has not yet sold - it is one of my favorites, and has been widely exhibited this past year and a half. Guess he's waiting for the right home. Is it yours? Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com.

Now are you sitting down? For real?

Because the Painting a Dog a Day book is ready!! It's finally ready!!

It's been many moons in the making, but the presses are rolling. I am so excited to get these into your hands!

The book includes 100 generously sized 8" x 10" pages of full-color images, including my favorite pieces and stories (like "Watch Eye," above), along with an essay highlighting the first 15 months of paintings. I've also interjected bits of hindsight and random thoughts about art-making. It's a beautiful publication, one that Dog-a-Day collectors and animal lovers alike will enjoy perusing.

The book is available in both softcover and hardbound editions, and will ship out December 1st via priority mail, in plenty of time for the holidays. It will make a great gift - so check your list twice, and then place an order.

The softcover edition is $39.95; Hardcover (with dust jacket) is $54.95. Shipping and handling will be an additional 4.95 - and I'll gladly combine shipping on multiple volumes. Just ask for a quote.

To order, send an email to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com with the subject line "BOOK". You may also simply send a paypal payment (ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com) for the total amount due, or mail a check directly to the studio (346 N Anderson, Lake Orion, MI 48362). Please include Michigan sales tax if shipping to a Michigan address.

If you pre-order your copy before November 1st, I'll have plenty of time to personalize an inscription.

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

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sharpeis and Bulldogs




FROM TOP: "Mocha," 6" x 8", sharpei dog portrait; "Emma," 8" square, bulldog pet portrat; both acrylics on canvasboard, both headed to a new home (THANK YOU!). Because my client mentioned Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (http://www.bestfriends.org/) at the time she booked her portraits, a $40 donation will be made in her name to their operating fund.

I am currently booking portraits for November 2009 - mention Best Friends at the time you book your portrait, and I'll be happy to make a donation when your turn comes up. Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

A special welcome to the new dog-a-day readers I met at last night's Washington Art Guild Meeting! Thanks for having me out to talk your ears off, and I hope to see you/yourart work again soon.

Thanks, as always, for looking at my art.
And for sharing it with your friends and family (yes, that means you can forward this email!),
See you tomorrow,
Kim


Monday, October 06, 2008

No image today. I'm working on my second design for the AKC Eukanuba Poster Competition, and the painting is very wet and very deep in the uglies. I will salvage it (I've got to - my deadline is Friday - yikes!), but want to work a little further before sharing. I won't get too much longer to paint, as later this evening I will be doing a short talk and painting a dog-a-day demonstration for the Washington Art Guild (that's Washington, Michigan for those of you wondering). I've got to gather my supplies, pack up the car, and get dinner staged and in the oven so that the kids will have something other than Capt'n Crunch for supper.

Meanwhile, if you have a hankering to look at some dog art, check out the Canine Art Guild's (CAG) new exhibition: www.canineartguild.com/gallery. The CAG's "Helping Paws" is an exhibition by artists who have partnered with their own local animal shelters or rescues, pledging a percentage of their sales to support animal welfare around the globe. It's a very strong collection of artwork, and a wonderful cause to support - if you can't purchase a piece, you can still cast your vote for People's Choice. The People's Choice voting will award cash donations to the organizations affiliated with the top three vote-getting artworks.

Feel free to share the CAG's link with your friends and family.
Have a great afternoon, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Friday, October 03, 2008


"Yellow Lab Gaze," 6" x 6", yellow lab dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $249 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

I spent today shooting photos of a darling pair of young siamese kittens. Then I headed over to my shelter to shoot references for some new portraits. A busy day behind the camera, and now I get to play with my 400+ images. That is, after I get dinner going.....

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

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hammy, in multiple sizes!



FROM TOP: "Big Hammy," 6" x 12", $359, SOLD; "Little Hammy," 4" x 8", $249, SOLD; both paintings depicting a long-haired tiger cat in acrylic on board. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I was so intrigued by the composition (Hammy's averted eyes, all the colors in her fur, the strong value ranges, and interesting edge work), that I wanted to try out multiple scales with slightly different color temperatures (the purple one is warmer, and the other carries more cool blues). It's hard to read on the computer, because you see everything in relatively the same size, but when you hold the paintings in your hand, it makes a world of difference.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing the Dog-a-Day paintings with your friends and family - please do forward!
Kim

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Papoose, tabby cats


"Papoose," 6" x 8", tabby cat and kitten portrait, acrylic on board, $319. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

I've had kitties on the brain. My shelter sent out an email looking for foster families for mother cats and their kittens. Rick still says no more cats - I asked, pleaded, then begged. He's adamant - and allergic, so I forgive him.

However, over the weekend I got a cat that's more to Rick's liking - meet little Indigo, aka Bad Kitty. Indigo has absolutely no manners - she sleeps on top of the fridge, climbs the curtains and hides in sock drawers. The kids are having a blast getting her into all sorts of trouble. Here's what she did today..... (note: no goldfish were harmed in the taking of this photo)



Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family (yes, please forward them on!),
Kim

PS If any Dog-a-Day readers in the Detroit Metro area are able to foster some kitties, contact Joanie O'Toole at the Oakland Pet Adoption Center - (248) 393-3572 or toolej@oakgov.com . Like I said, they are looking for homes to foster mother cats with kittens until the kittens are old enough to be spayed/neutered and adopted (anywhere from 1 - 9 weeks).
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