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Showing posts from March, 2009

Lucy, a colorful black lab

"Poignant (Lucy)," 8" square, commissioned pet portrait of a mixed lab, acrylic on canvasboard, possibly sold. Inquiries may come to me via email. It doesn't happen often, but this painting stopped me dead in my tracks. I got about 75% done, and was terrified to go any further. I began to doubt myself. Did I go for the likeness? Did I go with the color? I agonized long enough that my muse packed up and left. It was tough pulling her back into the studio. A pep talk got me on track (thanks to all my twitter peeps who reminded me that it's only paint, I can do this again and again until I get it right, stop overanalyzing, trust in my hand). A handful of Hershey Kisses got the energy level going. A shift in music kept me moving forward (Amy Winehouse can croon lullabys and still drip with attitude). I opted to allow color to take over the painting, but am awaiting the verdict from my client as to whether I lost Lucy's likeness because of that choice. I …

Lazy Day Kitty

"Lazy Day Kitty (Spooky)," 8" x 16", commissioned tuxedo kitty portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. I've just sent this image to my client, and therefore do not know if this is truly "Spooky." Should you be interested in this painting please send me an email and I'll keep you posted. The last couple of days have not been lazy - far from it. However, I found great solace after the insanity of the weekend (let's go Spartans!!! I just love March Madness!!!) to work on such a peaceful painting. I've mentioned it before, but it's worth saying again - painting is my mental health time. It was doubly so today. I must apologize to the dog fans for the recent preponderance of cats. Like I mentioned last week, I am waiting on reference photos for about a dozen different clients. I hope to go back to the dog commissions very soon. Meanwhile, for whatever reason, I had the materials on hand to do a handful of cat portraits. Never fear - Pai…

Bored, 2 Versions of a Calico

FROM LEFT:  "Bored I (Pounce)," and "Bored II (Pounce)," each painting 6" x 8", depicting a calico in acrylic on canvasboard, $324 each. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
BOTH SOLD. This is what Pounce thought of having her portrait painted. Not terribly exciting. At least not to her. But I enjoyed myself. Thoroughly. Wouldn't these two be great framed identically and hinged together? (they will be! hooray!) Buy one get the other 10% off. If you are a returning client, you get 10% off both (or any other painting you choose to add to your collection, for that matter) - that's my Dog-a-Day Collector's Discount, and it's always honored. Thanks as always for sharing my paintings with your friends and family. Enjoy your weekend, and I'll be back on Monday, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

High Noon, Toogie

"High Noon Toogie," 12" square, commissioned equine portrait depicting a palomino, acrylic on board. 
SOLD.
Proceeds from this painting will benefit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kenab Utah. And just a warning - get yourself a snack before pulling up the Best Friends site - you'll get lost in all the stories & great information. Notice the new header for today's email? I've decided to periodically share the inventory numbers for the Dog-a-Day paintings. Toogie's is painting #67 for 2009 and #641 from the Painting a Dog a Day project. Hard to believe I'm closing in on painting #700 - sounds like the making for a party.... This piece was a challenge in values - I didn't want the darks too heavy or devoid of color, and I didn't want my lights washed out and flat. I do not use black in my palette - I mix my darks with a three way combo of the primarys, which gives me a richly colored variety of shadows. When tinting, I use a lot of ca…

Contented, a Silver Tabby

"Contented (Tabby)," 11" x 14", feline portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Inquiries may come to me.

This painting is a play of warm and cool temperatures. Essentially the sidewalk concrete is a cooler gray mix, while the cat has touches of cadmium and pthalo blue red, warming his grays up and thus placing him firmly in the middle-ground.

I still have much to learn about the push and pull I can create with slight color temperature shifts, but I am very happy with the progress I am making via my latest paintings. Each day I become a little wiser and a little better.

And wouldn't this painting make the most fabulous Mother's Day gift?

Thanks as always for sharing my artwork.
And I will see you tomorrow,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

PS Don't forget to shop my Etsy store - I'm covering the shipping costs on purcha…

Wide Eyed, Aussie Puppies

"Wide Eyed," 6" x 12", dog portrait depicting two merled Australian Shepherd pups, acrylic on canvasboard. As with yesterday's painting, proceeds from the sale of "Wide Eyed" will be donated to my shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may come to me. Another busy day spent juggling computer and paperwork with pushing paint. Wish I could spend the whole day at the easel, but there are other things to see to. Like the publication of my first article! Canine Collectibles Courier, a magazine based in Australia, has published an article I penned outlining my artist journey to date. If you are interested, you can visit their website and get information on how to subscribe/purchase this issue. Looking for more reading material? Consider purchasing a copy of my first book Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year. I've just received the third press run for this book. Softcovers are $39.95 and hardcovers are $54.95 - orders may come dire…

Little Masked Man, Australian Shepherd Pup

"Little Masked Man (Aussie Pup)," 4" x 6", Australian Shepherd puppy portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $199. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will support my shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center, who by the way, just announced they will hit their goal of being a no kill shelter by 2010!!! Inquiries may come to me. Those curious to hear how the Oakland Pet Adoption Center tackled the problem of homeless pets in our community may read more about it here. The inspiration for this painting came from photos submitted by a Dog-a-Day reader who does fostering and rescue work. Last fall she sent multiple pics of this litter, and I fell in love. I've got another painting in process on the easel - red and blue merled pups. I know I've fallen a little behind on my email and client correspondence, but was smacked silly today when I sat down to prep contact sheets and realized I had no photos from any of the four clients booked for this week. I went ahea…

Kewpie Dolls

FROM TOP: "Kewpie Sitting" and "Kewpie Standing," both 8" square, acrylic on canvasboard, $150 each. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . Being as I spent most of today preparing invitations announcing my solo show coming up next month, I thought it would be appropriate to share two new paintings from the Tags & Treasures series. Over the last year I've been collecting vintage toys and newer items that have a strong sense of whimsy and sentiment, and using them in simple still life settings. These kewpie dolls are just two of many that I have - I'm working my way through the stash of dolls, figurines, wind-up toys, game pieces, classic books, finger puppets, sock monkeys - you name it. If you have a special item(s) you would like to see in paint, please contact me. We can arrange a loan or I could add it to this season's flea market wish list. Meanwhile thanks for sharing my days! Happy weekend, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesi…

AM Nap, Kitty Portrait

"AM Nap (Oliver)," 6" x 8", white kitty portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $324 to a good home. Inquiries may come to me. SOLD.
Today life threw me a curve ball, as my son was home sick from school. Snuggling and reading aloud, followed by a mid-morning trip to the pediatrician then the pharmacy and the grocery (just for milk, yet walked out with 3 bags) and the movie rental and then for a take-out hamburger and then back to the pharmacy to pick up scrips. Home to soak child in tub, medicate him, take in a couple games of Scrabble, set up movie, start dinner, then drive older son to music lesson, then to the busstop to pick up youngest and race back home to check on dinner and now-fever-free boy. Back out to pick up oldest from his lesson, a quick stop at the bank, an ever quicker spin around the block with the dog and then home for dinner followed by troubleshooting the computer network that crashed mid-afternoon, while simultaneously supervising homewor…

Sweet Kisses

"Sweet Kisses (Bella & Dasher)," 8" x 16", commissioned pet portrait depicting two mixed breed dogs, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (thank you so much to my new collector!).  I paint at least three commissioned portraits each week. Would you like to get in on the fun? Send me an email so that we can discuss your dog (or cat or horse) and ideas for their special portrait. Don't think my style is right for you? that's ok too - I'll be more than happy to refer you to another artist. For that matter, take a peek at the artists exhibiting in the latest Canine Art Guild exhibition. "The Company Dogs Keep" is a great showcase of some of the talent lurking in the CAG, a group I helped found a few years back. Another great group of artists, many of whom do commission work, is the Equine Art Guild. I was honored to learn recently that my painting "Corkscrews & Lashes" (which is available to purchase through my Etsy …

A Kitty Sort of Day

"Molly," 5" x 7", cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Inquiries may come to me. Don't you just love the color in her? I do. There are untold layers of paint - this piece glows when you hold it in your hands. Paintings like Molly's are why I stand in front of the easel each day - a solid combination of color and loose brushwork. I may have another new love as well. Have you heard of creative journalling? It's a cross between writing, sketching, scrapbooking and collage, and a great way to feed one's energy. I've always kept diaries/journals/blogs, and I am in the studio creating nearly every day, so it seemed a natural choice. Below is today's page. (I don't do a page each day, but one every couple weeks - and sometimes I work on a page or spread for several weeks before moving on.) This is a silhouette of the original studio muse Miah who crossed the bridge almost a year ago. Wow. It's been almost a year. This page i…

Black Horse, Two Views

FROM THE TOP: "Frisky," 6" x 8," $324 and "Black," 8" x 16," $529. Both acrylic on canvasboards, depicting a dark bay or black warmblood horse. Inquiries may come to me.
Today's paintings were inspired by Alpac, who belongs to fellow artist Judy Wood. Last week Judy sent bragging photos of her handsome boy frolicking in the snow and I begged permission to paint him. Well, I didn't really beg - I asked politely, and Judy, being the wonderfully supportive friend that she is, immediately sent me hi-resolution pics and her blessing. I lost Alpac's likeness early on, but since I was striving for mood and light, and concentrating on color usage, I let it slide. It's harder for me to work in stricter value ranges than it is for me to work in saturated color, and I had many moments where I was fighting the paint. But I stuck it through, and all worked out in the end. I couldn't be happier with these paintings. If these pieces d…

Sadie, Mixed Breed Sweetheart

"Sadie," 6" x 8", commissioned dog portrait of a mixed breed, acrylic on canvasboard, in a private collection (thank you!!). Want a Dog-a-Day painting of your own? Check out how right here or send an inquiry my way -ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . Don't you love Sadie's eyes? I found myself wanting to cradle her head in my hands while I painted, she had such a strong presence here in the studio. This piece was done wet on wet, meaning that the paint was pushed around while the previous layer hadn't yet dried. This process makes for a very soft painting with beautiful color harmony, but when you are painting with acrylics you've got to work fast!! Speaking of painting with acrylics, I'm laying the groundwork for my first workshop. I'm leaning towards a 3 day session, with a focus on acrylic painting (although the principals will apply to a number of different media). I will emphasize using a restricted palette to improve knowledge o…

Grandpa's Hunting Buddies

"Grandpa's Hunting Buddies," 8" square, acrylic on canvasboard depicting vintage dog tags, $229. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . I've been slacking on handling emails and paperwork, and sat down this morning to return a couple phone calls and deal with a few pressing inquiries, advertising deadlines and computer projects. Before I knew it, the morning was gone as was 1/2 the afternoon. Somedays you've gotta play catchup at the desk, though. I probably spend 85% of my time doing tasks other than painting. Since the earlier part of this week has been very heavy on the painting hours, it was bound to catch up to me. So today's painting is a rerun, one of my favorite paintings ever. Inspired by a flea market find from last summer, "Grandpa's Hunting Buddies" is listed on my Etsy store, along with all the other remaining unsold Dog-a-Days and some large paintings on gallery stretched canvas (including some from th…

The BooBerries, Vizsla Puppies

"The BooBerries," 16" x 8", vizsla puppy portraits in acrylic on canvasboard, $529. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to the Vizsla Welfare Foundation. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com.
SOLD. I am lucky enough to know a Vizsla Goddess. In the years since we met she has graciously allowed me to paint her dogs (you can see them at her above link) numerous times, always with the understanding that I'll donate in return to the VWF. It's a wonderful arrangement - I get to paint some great dogs, and then future generations of Vizslas benefit. I had started a similar composition about 3 years back, but the painting was monstrously huge- the pups were larger than life. I got it all blocked in, and then was too scared to go any further (yes, I get intimidated by my own ideas - how wimpy is that?), so the canvas has languished in the studio ever since. I've always loved the concept of pups snuggled together, and wi…

Rest (Hachi)

"Rest (Hachi)," 6" x 12", commissioned pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. I think Hachi is sold, but am waiting to hear back from my clients. I would be happy to start a wait list of parties interested in purchasing this painting, should they opt to pass.* Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . *I paint the Dog-a-Days without any purchase commitment from my clients. They send photos, we book a date, and they patiently wait their turn. I send a jpg of the painting via email for approval, but sometimes life gets in the way and I don't hear back for several days. Meanwhile, I share the painting on the blog, and create a wait list for anyone interested in purchasing, should my client decline. No deposits and no money exchanges hands until I am able to show the painting. Wanna book a portrait of your own? email me! Hachi is a mixed breed rescue (Blue Heeler and German Shepherd?) who crossed the bridge far too soon. Hachi (named for…

Symphony in White - err, Calico

"Symphony in White (Calico)," 8" x 16", acrylic on canvasboard, portrait of a calico cat. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will support my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . The painting didn't photograph terribly well, which seems to always be the case with pieces that fall at either end of the value chart. It's reading more pink on my monitor than it truly is in real life, and there is a lovely soft glow to the cat's eye that is washed out on the computer. This piece was inspired by James McNeil Whistler's "Symphony in White," which you can see here. I wanted to paint in the same sort of key as the original "Symphony of White" without sacrificing color. That must seem contradictory to some of you, and I'll try to explain better. What I wanted was the cat's markings to "float," while carefully controlled color temperature c…

Pink, Terrier Painting at The Art Show at the Dog Show

"Pink," 8" square, original painting in acrylic on canvasboard, all dressed up and ready for the prom (aka, the Art Show at the Dog Show). "Pink" has been honored with Third Place in the Oil & Acrylic Painting division of the Art Show at the Dog Show. The Art Show at the Dog Show is the only juried exhibition focusing solely on canine art, and as you may remember, I was beyond thrilled to have two paintings accepted this year. To have my work hanging in the esteemed company of these international artists and just participate in the exhibition is perk enough. To receive an award is icing on the cake. I'd like to extend my thanks to the show organizers and the jurors. Those of you in the Wichita Kansas area are welcome to stop by and view the show in it's entirety - it's open to the public (details on the website). If you are like me and can't make it there, the winning entries will be posted online in the coming days. Happy weekend, Kim ksa…

D is for Dog, Toys & Treasures Painting

"D is for Dog," from the "Toys & Treasures" series of paintings, 6" square, acrylic on canvasboard. This painting is priced to sell at $99. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . Wouldn't this be darling in a nursery or child's room? I'm working on several paintings right now for two lucky baby boys - one with a goldfish theme, the other sock monkeys. These paintings are such a fun break from the portraits. Don't get me wrong - I love my pet portraits! But I also like keeping things mixed up, and the nursery work is doing just that for me right now. Thanks for following along with me through another week! Please do share these paintings with your friends, and I'll be back Monday - Happy weekend! Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

Pushkin, Tuxedo Cat

"Pushkin," 12" square, commissioned portrait of a tuxedo-ed cat, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). For information on how your cat or dog can be part of Painting a Dog a Day, please email me. It's not often that the Dog-a-Days get to be larger than life. Prior to the daily paintings, I preferred to work at larger than lifesize - the scale allows for all sorts of exciting brushwork without my having to worry about compromising the animal's likeness. Pushkin's portrait is no exception here - there is color and brushwork galore! My favorite part of this painting? Pushkin's profile, with it's great variety of edges. Thanks, as always, for sharing my paintings with your friends and family. See you tomorrow, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

Three's Company, Pointers

"Three's Company," 8" x 16", triple German Shorthaired Pointer portrait inspired by (from left) Tater, Desmo and Ripley, acrylic on canvasboard, $529. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may come to me via email. These three characters came from the German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue in Southern California. They are the latest three of 9 GSDs this family has loved. And what's there not to love? These guys are goofy, eager, sincere, and always ready for a great romp. Word has it they are evil-good cuddlers, too. (Big, wet, sloppy kisses go to the long-time Dog-a-Day readers who shared Tater, Desmo and Ripley with us.) Thank you to my new collectors who purchased yesterday's "Bobblehead." Want to add to your own Dog-a-Day collection? visit my Etsy store - with over 80 original paintings available, there's bound to be at least one you can't live wi…

Bobblehead (Sam), Mr. Bass-ador

"Bobblehead (Sam)," 6" square, Basset Hound Labrador Retriever mixed breed pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Proceeds from the sale of "Bobblehead" will go to my shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may always come to me. I asked for your rescue stories, and they are pouring in. Thank you! You may continue to send them, and I'll work the stories and faces into the daily paintings as I can. Submissions may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com or get keyed as comments right here. Sam was the featured "Shelter Pet of the Week" in his community's newspaper. His family saw that face and couldn't resist - Dad was immediately dispatched with specific directions to bring home Sam. And bring him home he did!! All 55 lbs of clowning, loveable "Bass-ador." Thanks, as always, for sharing my paintings. See you tomorrow, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

Little One, Puppy Painting

"Little One," 4" x 5", portrait of a mixed breed puppy, $184. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may come to me. SOLD.
This painting was inspired by the story of Biscuit, a homeless puppy who quite unexpectedly changed the lives of her family. Already active in rescue, transporting foster dogs from point A to point B, this family found themselves temporarily housing little Biscuit and 9 other dogs while waiting for the second leg of a transport to get finalized. Biscuit wasn't even supposed to be part of the original group - she was a last minute addition, having been found in a ditch alongside the highway. She made herself right at home, sleeping on feet, frolicking in the yard, and filling the big empty pawprints left by another who had crossed the bridge. Long story short, this family fell in love with Biscuit, and she never made it to the second half of her journe…