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, December 30, 2008

NEW! Etsy Store


One of my favorite unsold paintings from 2008, "Lashes & Corkscrews," 5" x 8", acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a tobiano buckskin curly horse, $289. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com (but read further on how you can get a special deal on this painting!).

Now it's ridiculously easy to browse my painting archives. All you have to do is visit my Etsy store. Etsy has a Shopping Cart (so you can pile it high with purchases from a variety of artists), is integrated with Paypal (although you may still pay by check if you prefer to), and is terribly simple to navigate.

When the week has ended, I will have listed almost 100 of my favorite (UNSOLD!) paintings here, grouped loosely by subject matter. During 2009 I'll update the shop regularly, and add non-Dog-a-Day pieces as a bonus, thus making it easy to search for that perfect gift.

Watch my daily postings for announcements, promotions and discount codes. If you do not receive the Dog-a-Day emails (i.e. my daily postings), visit the project blog for tips on training your email to fetch them.

As a thank you for your past patronage, I'm offering 20% off Etsy Dog-a-Day store purchases made before January 31st, 2009. This offer is valid on Dog-a-Day/paintings on canvasboard both framed and unframed - it does not apply to giclees and gallery stretched canvases and paintings on linen (although I will be happy to combine shipping on all types of items). Use discount code "DOGADAY" during checkout (in the "Message to Seller" section), and wait for a revised invoice that reflects your savings.

Send any questions you might have to me - ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . I'll be in and out of the studio all week, but I am here, and working my way through your inquiries and emails as I slog through other computer tasks.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my paintings with your friends and family,
Happy New Year!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly SantiniTurtledoveDesigns
websites: www.turtledovedesigns.com & www.paintingadogaday.com
etsy: http://ksantini.etsy.com
346 N Anderson, Lake Orion, MI 48362, USA

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hunting Pals



FROM TOP: "Blissfully Pink (Bliss)," 6" square, German Shorthaired Pointer dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard; "Katie," 6" x 8," brittany spaniel dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Now that I see her on my computer screen, I realize that Katie isn't quite the right color - her fur was more like a burnished penny. I'll have to correct that, but later. It's been a loooong day, and like the winter gear filled dryer that's run nonstop for hours, I'm tired and need a break.

These paintings will get wrapped and tucked under my tree. I had to delete my parents from the Dog-a-Day distribution so as to hopefully keep them a secret for just a few more days. They'll look great added to my father's Dog-a-Day collection of past and present hunting buddies.

I have one other painting that I am finishing as a (personal) Christmas gift. It's a view of an uncle's backyard in the summer time, flush with ripe tomatoes, sunwarmed bricks, and a bright blue birdhouse. A welcome composition given the foot of fresh snow outside.

Meanwhile I have a mile-long list of studio tasks that I'll tackle in the coming days - website work, closing my books out and prepping income tax information, prep for my next postcard mailing, designing new marketing materials, building an online store for unsold Dog-a-Day paintings, blah blah blah blah blah. I'll return to daily painting come the New Year.

Again, I have to thank each of you for your readership. It's been an amazing year, full of beautiful stories and even better faces!

May your holiday be spent with those you love, doing the things you love, eating, drinking, celebrating, being merry and warm and bright. 
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mr. Congeniality, Basil


"Basil," 6" square, commissioned golden retriever dog portait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

True confessions: today's painting was really done yesterday. Between tomorrow's forecasted 10" of snow and my complete lack of Christmas preparedness (meaning I'd done zero shopping), I realized I had a 24 hour timeframe to complete all my Christmas lists - and that was today. So I worked into the wee hours last night/this morning, hit the road first thing, and got it all done just in time to greet my oldest son as he got off the schoolbus.

Unbeknownst to him and the other two kids (well, actually, I think Domenic is clued in to Santa's true identity, just too scared to say so), Santa is locked up in the studio closet. Too bad I can't bribe him to do our Christmas cards, too!!

Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my paintings with your friends and family.See you tomorrow! ($20 and a shot of whiskey says it's a snow day, even though there will be a pathetic amount on the ground come 8am. I'm guessing the school's are just not going to want to deal with the slush AND candy-cane hyped kids. Which means we are stuck with 6 dozen chocolate-dipped pretzel rods meant for classroom parties. I suppose there are worse things going on in the world.....)]
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shitake!


"Shitake," 6" square, mixed breed dog portait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I'm reading Harley Brown's "Eternal Truths for Every Artist." It's a book that nearly every successful artist I know speaks highly of, but it's also a title that's very difficult to find, and therefore pricey. I snagged one (bargain priced, no less!!) on-line as an early Christmas gift to myself, and have been curling up with it each night for an hour or so. It is sheer brilliance!

One of his many Truths is to start your painting with confidence. Attack the blank canvas with attitude, and carry that momentum through. Your initial attack should be an underpainting, regardless of the color, just as an exercise to "own" the surface and create a middle value upon which you can start your composition.

Shitake has a seafoam green, brilliant teal and cadmium red underneath - you can see bits peeking through here and there. The energy of the underpainting kept my brushes flying, and the process of painting was seamless.

Toning the canvas is something I did frequently. Looking back at my blog, I can see that when I did use a bold underpainting my work had more verve. I'm going to start doing this all the time now!

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Pure Joy," Ozzie, a Yorkie mix


"Pure Joy (Ozzie)," 8" square, commissioned pet portrait depicting Ozzie, a yorkie-maltese mix, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

There's been so much gloom and doom in the news lately, especially around Detroit. In 2009 I will focus on beauty and laughter more often. Not that I plan to turn my back on the hardship - I simply want to set time aside daily where I am consciously grateful for the wonderful things in my life. I want to wrap my joy in a smile or hug, and pass it on - happiness is something that has gone missing in many lives lately. And we all deserve at least a glimmer of it each day, regardless of our circumstances.

Here's a bit of a serendipitous poem that a friend shared this morning. From Solitude, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox -

"LAUGH, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of it's own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care. ...."

Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my paintings with friends and family.
See you tomorrow - now I'm off to see what sorts of echoes I can create -
Kim

Monday, December 15, 2008

Roxy, Red Merle


"Roxy (Cattle Dog)," 4" x 5", red heeler pet portrait, acrylic on board. Roxy's painting has a sale pending, but interested parties may email me - ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . (And that includes anyone considering booking their own Dog-a-Day portrait - I'm currently scheduling for January 2010.)

Cattle dogs are an acquired taste, but, like steamed clams, they are delightfully slippery and delicious, with larger than life personalities. Being owned by one myself, I have a small bit of experience in that area (and I love steamers).

From all I've heard, Roxy was no exception. Even blindness (at age 9) didn't slow her down. She's crossed the bridge now, but I know she's waiting to heartily greet only those she knows. And she'll "herd" them in the right direction when they do show.

Speaking of herds, thanks to you, I've shipped close to 100 Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year books! I'll be putting together a second press run later this week. Orders may continue to come direct to me - send an email to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . I am so grateful for your patronage - it's been a wonderful year!

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

Friday, December 12, 2008

Three Goldens




FROM TOP: "Golden Grin," 4" x 8"; "Golden Laughter," 8" x 10", $449, SOLD; "Golden Gaze," 8" x 10", $449, SOLD; all acrylic on board. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

My client gets her choice of the above paintings. After she takes pick of the litter, the remaining ones are up for grabs. Please send me an email if you are interested in any of these portraits - a paypal payment and priority shipping should get the painting(s) in your hands by the holiday.

Thanks, as always, for sharing my artwork with your friends and family.
Enjoy your weekend,
Kim

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Love Lucy


"I Love Lucy (Andy and Lucy)," 6" x 12", pug portrait, acrylic on board, private collection. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This piece has been on my easel for three days. More than twice the time of the typical Dog-a-Day painting. I justified that because of the double portrait bit, but really I think I spent a lot more time than usual relishing in the pugs' folds. It was worth it, though.

And it'll be even better when this one gets unwrapped. This painting is going to someone special, someone I've been looking forward to painting for for a long time, someone especially appreciative of all things pug. It's been a long time coming, but Happy (belated) Birthday & Merry Christmas, Claire!!

If you are considering gifting a Dog-a-Day portrait, please send me a note (ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com). I have a few spaces reserved during the 2009 holiday season for repeat clients. Paintings make great birthday and anniversary gifts, too (I can book your actual day for an extra-special touch). I am currently scheduling non-holiday portraits for January 2010 and beyond.

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Holidays


Thank you for spending a small piece of your 2008 following along with my paintings and artistic journey. I'll be toasting you come New Year's Eve (and whatever other evenings between now and then that find me with a little bubbly in my glass - it is the holidays, after all!). I'm looking forward to sharing another year of tail wags and saturated color with old and new friends alike.

Kimberly Kelly Santini
TurtledoveDesigns

website: www.turtledovedesigns.com & www.paintingadogaday.com
346 N Anderson, Lake Orion, Michigan, 48362, USA

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


"Tia," 6" square, commissioned cat portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries (including how you can commission your own portrait) may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This painting seems to be all about contrast - anchored with a few basic shapes and carefully chosen edges around her face. As straightforward as it might look, it is not a painting I could have pulled off a few months ago. It's harder (at least for me) to say more with less. But it's also so much more satisfying!

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

See you tomorrow!
Kim
PS Yes, I am feeling better. Thank you to all who asked!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Lopsided Grirn (Boston Terrier)


"Lopsided (Boston Terrier)," 4" square, Boston Terrier dog portrait, acrylic on boar. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I cannot always share what I paint these days because many are holiday gifts. Today I had to paint an extra face because the first two were surprises for Dog-a-Day readers.
Which reminds me - I have a few remaining spaces for commissioned pet portraits for 2009's holiday gift giving - I am reserving them for repeat clients. Send me a note if you are interested, so I can pencil you in and lock down my current prices: ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
We have miserable weather creeping in - 2" of snow, some sleet, and all topped off with a predicted 1" of rain. Sounds like a possible snow day tomorrow. And on top of that I feel a cold creeping in - my brain is waterlogged and sluggish. I refuse to get sick - I have no time for this. Darn germs - why can't the kids keep them to themselves?!!
Thanks, as always, for looking at, and sharing, my paintings with your family and friends. I'm off for some vitamin C!!
See you tomorrow,
Kim

Friday, December 05, 2008

Chihuahua Portrait, Harley


"In Profile II (Harley)," 4" x 5", commissioned chihuahua portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (or so I think - don't be afraid to ask if you love her little face). Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

This little gem of a painting came about because my client wanted a holiday gift for Harley's breeder. I love doing little pieces like this, especially when I get to work with a face like Harley's, who I have painted before (http://t.ymlp67.com/ysataubeapamqaaausue/click.php).
And it gave me the perfect excuse to start another painting of her (a 4th one!), aimed for the Art Show at the Dog Show (http://t.ymlp67.com/yuaraubeavamqapausue/click.php).
This weekend promises to be busy - Annie and I go see the Nutcracker tomorrow (our annual tradition), and our town hosts their holiday lighted parade tomorrow night. We'll decorate the tree and watch the Red Wings game after warming up with huge bowls of steaming chili. And you know what's happening Sunday - the book signing at Margot's Gallery (248-628-5398). The weekend will be over with in a blur, and I will be back in the studio Monday morning trying to sort out all that happened.
Thanks, as always. Feel free to share these paintings with friends and family.
Enjoy your weekend, and I'll see you Monday!

Kim

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gypsy Vanner Mare, part II


Work in process, 10" x 12", depicting a Gypsy Vanner mare, acrylic on archival artists' panel. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

In the version I posted earlier this week, I had beautiful color happening amidst drawing errors. Correcting these were complicated by porr photo references and my lack of intimate equine anatomical knowledge. I allowed the piece to simmer until today, when I felt a little bit of confidance going back into it. Nevertheless, I still ended up painting the whole thing out and starting over.
In order to finish the painting true to my vision, it was easiest to start over. Which is exactly what I did (that doesn't mean the "painting out" bit was painless, though. Or that the second time around wasn't also challenging.).
She's not finished yet, but more solidly on the road to being done. There is a sense of mass, movement, and light which personifies the ideas I wanted this painting to express. Another day and she should be done. Then I'll have to come up with a title.
Meanwhile I have been inundated with positive responses to the Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year book. Thank you so much for letting me know your copies have arrived and how much you are enjoying them. Your reactions make the work worthwhile. I plan to respond personally to each of your notes in the coming days.
In answer to your most commonly asked question: there will be at least two additional Painting a Dog a Day volumes - one for 2008, and another for 2009. I have already started working on book #2, and should have it released earlier in the fall next year (sooner than Thanksgiving, at least!)
If you are interested in a copy of Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year, please let me know - ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . (Do I sound like a broken record yet?). I'm having a book signing party at Margot's Gallery in Oxford Michigan this coming Sunday (the 7th) from noon until 4pm - call 248-628-5398 for directions.
Thank you to everyone else for following along and providing incentive and motivation to keep me painting.
Take care and I'll see you tomorrow,
Kim

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Yorkie in the Grass, second time 'round


"Yorkie in the Grass," 12" square, Yorkshire Terrier dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, box framed, $599. She's already been exhibited (and won an award) here in Michigan, and therefore will be one of my entries to next year's Art Show at the Dog Show (in Kansas). That is, if she doesn't find a home first, which in all honesty I would rather see. I can always paint another piece for the show. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SALE PENDING.
Yes I am recycling a painting from earlier in the year, but it's justifiable (at least in my mind). My daughter has been sick for almost a week, and today it's been difficult for me to concentrate at the easel. I'm whipped. Therefore, I've decided to give myself a little break, sneak some chocolate from the freezer stash, and challenge Annie to a game of checkers.
Are you following me on twitter? not that I share anything more earth shattering than what music is currently cranked in the studio or the particular palette issues I'm conquering or what's for dinner in the Santini household (or who's home sick from school!!), but at the very least it's mildly entertaining (ok, so I might be flattering myself). http://t.ymlp67.com/qhakaubuatausheapausmm/click.php will get you hooked in.
Better yet, tweet about the Painting a Dog a Day project (http://t.ymlp67.com/qwaxaubuavausheafausmm/click.php). Send me your twitter profile after you tweet and I'll put you in the running for your own little Dog-a-Day painting at no cost.
Have a great afternoon!
Kim

PS Don't forget about Sunday's booksigning at Margot's Gallery in Oxford Michigan (248-628-5398). If you cannot make it but want a book, let me know - ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"Droopy," the 8th Dwarf


"Droopy," 4" x 5", basset hound mix dog portrait, acrylic on board. Won't he look darling framed and tucked into a special place? Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

After painting Droopy, I got the idea to paint the dwarfs from Snow White. Don't ask me how I made that connection - I'm not certain myself. But can't you see it? A bulldog as Grumpy, a golden retriever as Happy, a sheepdog as Sneezy, a mastiff as Sleepy - ahh, this could be really fun. Now all I have to do is carve out the time to paint them!!
And to paint the foil wrapped holiday chocolates I picked up, too - truffles, Santas, and other great shapes. Gotta paint those before I eat them.
So many ideas, so little time.

But first it's off to make dinner. I've decided to grill a steak (in the falling snow, no less). Sweet potatos are in the oven and we'll have a big salad. Thinking of doing all these paintings works up a good appetite!

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

See you tomorrow!



PS Don't forget that I'll be doing a book signing at Margot's Gallery in Oxford Michigan this Sunday from noon until 4pm (call for directions: 248-628-5398). Stop by to pick up your own copy of Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year, browse through Dog-a-Day paintings available for purchase, and share stories/pictures of your own pets with me. I'm looking forward to spending some time with you.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Painting a Dog - err, Horse - a Day


Untitled work in process ("Fading Light"?), depicting a Gypsy Vanner mare, acrylic on archival artists' panel, 10" x 12". Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

The year is winding down, and that means I have several juried competition deadlines sneaking up. I've had this same mare on my studio wall for several years now - a huge stretched canvas that is at least 40" high - a canvas that I didn't take much further than an initial block in. I've loved the backlighting that tickles her fetlocks, and thought I'd give it a try on a smaller scale, conquer the fear of messing up, and see if I can't get a solid little painting for one of the exhibitions in my radar.

I started with toning the panel a pepto bismol pink - it's easier (and way more fun) to paint on a colored ground than a white one. I then began massing in the areas of light and dark. I'll continue to refine the shapes and get her drawn in properly as I lay additional colors down. In these earlier stages I'm not so worried about the edges or anatomy, but more so in balancing the values and creating a dynamic composition. Some people I know would call this stage "the uglies" - but trust me, she'll pull out of them! Just wait and see.

It was a busy weekend around these parts, readying the Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year books to ship out today. But ready them we did, and they have officially been mailed. Everything went out via US Priority Mail today, and with the exception of the international orders, all should be in new homes by Wednesday or Thursday.

I have a book signing at Margot's Gallery on Sunday (in Oxford, Michigan - call for directions - 248-628-5398), and will continue filling orders next week. Softcovers are $39.95, hardbound copies are $54.95. Shipping and handling is now $9.99 (the books, when sealed in padded envelopes, do not fit inside the flat rate priority pouches - guess I should have checked that out first, huh?). Please send your orders to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com - we are running out of time to get these into your hands by the holiday.

Thanks, as always for looking at and sharing my paintings with your friends and family.
I'll see you tomorrow, Kim
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