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Showing posts from January, 2009

Sweet Reprieve

FROM TOP: "Lindt Lindor in Red" and "Lindt Lindor in Blue," both 4" x 5", acrylic on canvasboard depictions of Lindt truffles, each painting $184, or both for $349. Inquiries may always come to me via email. BOTH SOLD.
Can you tell I'm on a diet? I've been painting lots of candy lately, haven't I. And no, I did not eat these. Yet. Painting them is almost as satisfying as eating them. Almost!! Wouldn't they make a great Valentine's gift for your chocoholic?! There's lots of other paintings at my etsy store, and through Saturday I have 20% off all paintings on canvasboard. This special will only last until Saturday...... I spent this morning tweaking the Chesapeake Bay portrait from earlier this week. As much as I'd like to think that I can nail portraits fairly consistently, there are occasions when I've gotten critical details wrong. I don't beat myself up too much over it, because there is nothing wrong with ask…

Black Thoroughbred

FROM TOP:  "Relaxed," 6" x 12", and "Joy," 8" square; commissioned Thoroughbred portraits, both sold (THANK YOU!). Inquiries - including how you may commission your own painting - may still come to me via email . Horses are a favorite subject of mine. I've wanted a horse for as long as I can remember, and only recently stopped asking Santa for one. He clearly wasn't delivering (I can hear you snickering - it was not because I was on his "Bad" list!). Since I never had a horse of my own, as compensation of sorts I turned to drawing (then painting) them. But things didn't work out so badly in the end. I can have all the horses I want right here in the studio, without having to muck stalls or pay any farrier bills. Yeah, you don't have to tell me. I know it's not the same. But I can pretend. A very warm thanks to all my esty shoppers and new Dog-a-Day collectors. We are coming into the final days of my etsy store sale! …

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

"Shelly (Chesapeake Bay Retriever Study)," 8" square, acrylic on canvasboard, $349. Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . I've recently become enamored of the square format - I'm reaching for them more so than usual lately. And I've noticed I've begun breaking my compositions down into equal parts - I used to set things off-center most of the time. I'm also consciously choosing complimentary colors whenever possible - as I learn more about the subtleties of color harmony, I'm using compliments instead of saturation to amp things up. Shelly's painting has all three of these packed in!! Thanks for all the great comments on yesterday's painting - I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. Did you know that you can comment directly on the blog itself? You are welcome to start conversations right here using Google's comment feature. Thank you to all who have been shopping my etsy store the past few days. I appreci…

Yellow Lab in - GASP! - Water

"Swim (Beau)," 6" x 12", yellow lab portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. I think this one is spoken for - I've been waiting to hear back from my client as to the likeness - but I'm happy to start a list for anyone interested! Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . This is one of my all-time favorite Dog-a-Day paintings. The brushwork and subtle coloring do not show up well on the monitor, but they are loose and drippy and delightful. If I didn't know better, I would have thought someone else painted in my studio today!!  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, time is running out on my etsy sale! 20% off the Dog-a-Day paintings (pieces done on canvasboard) runs through Saturday, January 31st. Key in "DOGADAY" during your checkout process, and I'll re-invoice you with the discount. There are lots of fun paintings over there, including some that would make excellent Valentines - happy shopping!! Thanks, as always, for lookin…

Lola, Jack Russell Terror

FROM TOP:  "Lola II," 8" square ($349), and "Lola I," 6" x 8" (SOLD). Portraits of a Jack Russell spitfire - err, terrier - done in acrylic on canvasboard. One has already found her home (THANK YOU!). Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . Our vacation was beautiful - long and lingering walks, mountains of excellent food, a couple of entertaining books, and hours spent just watching the sky. But now I'm back (freezing my butt off, I might add!) and ready to work on some stellar portraits. I've got a few dear dogs like Lola, as well as a horse booked this week, so stay tuned. These are the last days for the DOGADAY sale at my etsy shop - 20% off all the Dog-a-Day paintings listed on etsy. The sale lasts through Saturday, January 31st. In addition to the dog, cat and horse pieces, there are a good number of candy paintings available that would make darling Valentines. To find them, take a peek under the "Tags, Toys & Tr…

VACATION

For those of you who perhaps blinked and missed it, I will be on vacation from January 17th through the 24th. I will reply to emails and inquiries as soon as possible after my return. 
As always, paintings sell on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested in a painting purchase, please send an email to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com - the date stamp on your email message will act as your request to purchase.
Thank you so much, and have a great week! See you in a few, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com
"Brindles & Stripes," 6" x 12", acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a mixed breed dog and her girl, $359. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I am a huge fan of Karin Jurick's work, and her imagery has ruled my subconscious lately. She often paints subjects with their back to the viewer, absorbed in their own pursuits, delicately lit, all handled in a painterly fashion. Today this preoccupation led me to tackle some of my "leashed" references.

The combined brindling of the dog and the striped dress were challenging. The dog was especially demanding, I kept getting her coloring correct, but lost her shape. At one point I actually sketched her skeleton overtop everything in order to pull her form back.

The accident that worked very well in this painting was "discovering" the water's edge in my toned background, and adding the ripples to the pond. Another set of stripes, building a triad, further anchoring the composition.

My vacati…
They are original works of art, and there are just these four to go around. They will go to the first takers, so speak up quickly if you are interested. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Additional "Tags, Toys & Treasures" paintings (that would make excellent Valentines) are available through my etsy store. On etsy I've got heart shaped dog tag paintings and lots of candy pieces (and don't forget all the candy paintings I made just this week, too, that are visible on www.paintingadogaday.com !) Through the end of this month, I'm offering 20% off etsy purchases of unframed paintings on canvasboard. They are moving quickly, so please, if you had a favorite, better grab it while the grabbing is good!!

Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my paintings with your friends, family, and sweetheart!!
Take care,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/

Call the Dentist!! more candy....

FROM TOP: "Tootsie Roll Pop," 4" x 8," $249; "Bazooka," 4" x 5," $179; "Mini I," 4" x 5," $179; acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Yeah, I'm still stuck on candy. Continuing my thoughts from yesterday's museum visit, I wanted to work further with shadows and lighting. The dog portraits I had on my roster simply didn't provide that opportunity. So please allow me this infidelity today, and we'll see what I can come up with tomorrow as restitution.

By the way, I received several emails about painting conversation hearts with specific messages. Ironically, that's what yesterday's unshared paintings were. I'll get them scanned and over to the blog before the end of the weekend.

And just as a heads up (and perhaps because it's starting to sink in and I maybe want to gloat a little), next week I will be on vacation. I am bailing from miserable sub-zero Michigan temp…

Sweet Treet - Peppermints & Tootsie Rolls

FROM BOTTOM: "Peppermint" and "Tootsie Roll II", from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series, both 4" x 6", acrylic on canvasboard, each $199 to the first taker (HINT: these will make wonderful Valentines). Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Today was a day of eye candy on all sorts of levels. You see, I played hookie from the studio and went to the Detroit Institute of the Arts. In typical haphazard, spontaneous fashion, I had tried multiple times over the past few months to see the show "Monet to Dali." Today I was finally successful.

Monet's "Wheat Fields" literally moved me to tears. I could not get enough of Manet's portrait of Berthe Morisot. Van Gogh, well, Van Gogh will never have a comparison. I fell in love with Mondrian's floral paintings (who knew?!). Denis is (expletive) brilliant. Renoir, Fantin-Latour, Jongkind, Degas, Courbet, Cezanne, Tissot, Pissaro, Seurat, Redon, Magritte, Dali, Modi…

Red, White & Blue

"Red, White & Blue," 20" x 8", acrylic on gallery stretched canvas, complete with painted image stretching around the sides, thus eliminating the need to frame. This triple Labrador Retriever painting was inspired by prior Dog-a-Day portraits, and is available for $699. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

How do I build these montages? I basically "digitally scrapbook," using jpegs of my own paintings. I alter the jpegs with my computer, changing their value ranges, cropping the images or photoshopping them in some capacity. I love this process where I build relationships between individual portraits, "composing" stories. When I'm happy with the composition, my giclee guy archivally prints the design on canvas. Many, many hours and layers and layers of paint later (I paint over the entire surface multiple times, changing many details - this is not a stroke-for-stroke sort of copy of the prior portraits) I have an entir…

Lucy

"Lucy," 5" x 7", commissioned pet portrait of a mixed breed dog, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (I think this one has sold - I'm still waiting to hear back from my client as to final approval). Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

Lucy, a Beagle-English Pointer mix, was a dear, gentle soul. She's long since crossed the bridge, but left her pawprint firmly on her family's hearts. It's so rewarding to paint departed companions, and give my clients something tangible from the years shared with their dog (or cat). This piece was no exception, and perhaps even more special because Lucy will be joining several Dog-a-Day paintings already on my client's walls.

I spent this afternoon adding new paintings to my etsy store. I've added a number of pieces that previously have been hung in galleries and various exhibitions, most of which I haven't yet shared with the Dog-a-Day group. Take a peek at the store under "G…

"Nellie," Terrier Painting

"Terrier Pup (Nellie)," 5" x 7", JRT puppy portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

This puppy belongs to a friend of mine, who like everyone with a new puppy, feeds my frenzy by showering me with photos.

My original plan was to paint Nellie as the New Year's Baby, but at the end of December there weren't enough quality references for me to build a painting from. You see, Nellie, being a busy little terrier, isn't the most perfect model. I have many blurred shots of her in motion, including several of her bum as she dashed out of the camera's range.

Shift to Plan B, which was just to paint the portrait on her timetable. Then fast forward to today. Your 2009 New Year's Baby!

Recently I've gotten several requests: "is it ok if I forward your emails or information onto a friend?" YES! Please do - referrals are the best sorts of compliments. Feel free to share Painting a Dog a Day with your…

Sweet Dreams, a portrait of my son

"Sweet Dreams," 8" square, acrylic on canvasboard, collection of the artist. Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

We really got our dog Finnigan for our son Evan. Evan's first word was "dog." My feelings were hurt, but only for a minute, because I realized I had a dog-loving soulmate.

BF (Before Finnigan), we were a cat household. As much as I loved dogs, I had been unable to convince my husband of the same. All he saw was poop getting tracked into the house by little shoes, those tell-tale yellow spots in the lawn, and a housesitter (or kennel) each time we went away.

But Evan persisted. And persisted. And persisted.

Finni (a blue heeler cattle dog mix) has been around for years now, but from the very beginning, he knew Evan was his partner in crime. He herded Evan and his buddies around the yard, then graduated to accompanying him on hikes and bike rides. Evan's taught him to play tag football (Finni is a great cornerback) and to…

Little Britches, Boxer Pup

"Little Britches," 6" x 12", acrylic on canvasboard, $359 to the first taker. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I've just finished re-reading Harley Brown's Eternal Truths and Richard Schmid's Alla Prima (has anyone read Richard Schmid's new book yet? I'm curious....). These books are Bibles for the aspiring artist, and can be tough to find. Try to get them through an interlibrary loan, or if you can swing the purchase, look for used copies on Ebay/Alibris/Amazon. Owning these books is totally worth it - I try to read them each at least once per year, although I have been known to get lost in the pages more often than that. Consider them an investment similar to a workshop, and that makes their price much easier to swallow.

This painting carries many hallmarks of Brown's & Scnmid's style - loose, juicy brushstrokes and a variety of edgework, with the detail concentrated in the focal point.

One thing I especially enjoy when w…

Tribute (Augie's Collar), from the Tags, Toys & Treasures Series

"Tribute," from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series, 12" square, acrylic on canvasboard, still life depicting dog collar and tags, exquisitely framed, $749 to the first taker. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

I have a similar painting hanging here in my studio. It's a favorite because it reminds me of what I had, what I have, and what will come to me. The proverbial circle of life.

Today's piece is a tribute to all who have crossed the bridge. I know the Dog-a-Day family lost quite a few over the holidays. I have friends and family who's lives are emptier now, too. My heart goes out to all of you.

This collar belonged to a friend's dog (thank you, Juliet). I tried to light it evenly, but you can actually see traces of my easel lamp along with a paler shadow cast from the window. I need to figure out a way …

Day One, Golden Retriever portraits

"Day One," 11" x 14", original acrylic painting, depicting Paws With a Cause Golden Retriever mother and her new baby, private collection. Limited edition giclees on artists' paper remain available, image size approximately 8" x 10" with a generous white margin, priced at $50 each plus $15 s&h. $10 from the sale of each giclee will be donated to Paws With a Cause. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope this finds you well into a year of great promise. The Santini family enjoyed a wonderful holiday together, sharing and building memories regularly into the wee hours. I am back in the studio a little wider and a little wearier (gotta get my body used to only 3 meals a day & an earlier bedtime!!), but ready to take on all that comes my way in 2009!
I had not planned properly for the sheer quantity of emails - inquiries, requests, orders - that would face me on my first official day back in the studio after the…
Many of you purchased my book Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year as a holiday gift. It was crazy in the studio, getting 100 copies of the book mailed in time for Christmas, but we did it!! The past few days I have been overwhelmed with the notes and emails of gratitude - seriously, though, I should be thanking YOU for your business!

The consensus it that the book was overwhelmingly appreciated and passed around - and the second press run has almost sold out in 10 days!! There will be a third run processed in January - I'll keep the copies coming for as long as you continue to order them!

Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year is available in both soft and hardcover. It is over 100 pages, with well over 100 full color reproductions of the paintings. It also includes an essay outlining the artistic journey I took in the first 15 months of daily painting. You may order the book directly from the publisher Blurb, using the link on the Dog-a-Day blog, or you may opt to order the book f…