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Showing posts from April, 2009

Untitled, Bay Mare

WORK IN PROCESS, "Untitled," acrylic on Raymar panel, 11" x 14", available for purchase. Inquiries and title suggestions may come to me. I started this painting yesterday and continued to work on it all day today. It's quite a bit larger then the paintings I normally try to complete in one day and the composition is also more complex. However I found myself reveling in the challenge it presented. It is so key for artists to push the envelope - how else are we to learn new things? The mare is close to being finished, however the rider needs additional attention. I'll gray down the jacket and add additional details to the tack and shift a few values one way or the other. It shouldn't take me too long, but it most definately will take me longer than I have this evening. Tomorrow I will be stepping into new territory as well. Another artist friend, Linda Shantz, and I will be having our own Kentucky Derby pARTy. What's a pARTy you ask? A pARTy …

Two for One - Bay Mares

FROM TOP: "Illy," 4" x 8", equine portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!) and "Bay Mare," 5" x 7", horse painting, $249. Both in acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries may come to me. The brushwork in both these paintings makes me happy. I've learned to say more with less, and I very much like this style of painting. There's new paintings added to my Etsy store. This is a great location where it is easy to browse through unsold Dog-a-Day artwork, and there is a mess of other wildly talented artists and artisans over there as well. Enjoy your time on Etsy, and pick up something special for Mother's Day. For that matter, if you tell me your purchase is for a Mom, I'll give you 10% off. What the heck, let's include newly booked commissions for Moms in that as well - through Mother's Day, all purchases intended for Mom's qualify for 10% off. Sound good? hope so!! Meanwhile, I'm headed back to the easel to work on a…

Go!

"Go!," 8" x 16", draft horse portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection. Inquiries may come to me. I did two paintings yesterday of Tony, and my friend has chosen this one to hang on her wall. I think I have now painted every one of her animals at least once..... (I know she'll correct me if I'm wrong). I wish it were otherwise, but this was one of those days spent focused on the business aspect of studio operations. There is a myth that artists paint all day and do little else - it's actually the opposite. I'm lucky to paint 2-3 hours 5 days a week - it's a constant balancing act and battle to carve more creation time out of my work days. But both sorts of tasks are absolutely necessary in a thriving business. Today was spent (or rather still is being spent) corresponding with clients, following up on inquiries, wrapping and shipping a number of paintings, touching up another portrait, starting a studio deep-clean, and getting …

It's Derby Week!! how's about a little "Afternoon Sun"

"Afternoon Sun," 6" x 12," acrylic on canvasboard, $359 to the first one raising their hand. On your mark, get set, go!!  ....inquiries may come to me. As tradition in Painting a Dog a Day, the week before the Kentucky Derby is turned over to the horses. This week is an excuse to indulge in my lifelong love - I don't specifically paint Thoroughbreds during Derby Week but revel in all equine shapes and colors.  So here's your first piece, a draft mix lazily grazing his way into the picture plane while the sun glances off his flanks. This is Tony, a huge lug of a sweetheart belonging to a good friend of mine who also happens to be a brilliant equine photographer. Check out Juliet's work at her website, including her newly published book. Tony's piece is a lovely quiet painting that would make a nice accent to a variety of interiors. Email me if you have any questions about how to get this one on your wall.  I can squeeze in one or two more equin…

Out of the Dark, Beagle Portrait

"Out of the Dark," 4" x 8", beagle portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $249. 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.
Busy day today - I've got an event this evening. It's an Arts Night at an elementary school. I'm given a classroom, which I turn into a pet portrait gallery, complete with a digital slideshow, finished artwork and pieces in process, including preparatory sketches and studies. For 4 hours tonight I will lead short drawing lessons and talk about the faces you have all seen as part of Painting a Dog a Day, encouraging children and young adults to consider their love for art as they plan for their futures. It's always a great night, and I return home exhausted yet painfully energized. I'm looking forward to it. And exercising the option of not painting tomorrow, should I feel like I need a little down time. So perhaps I'll see …

A Stiff Wind

"A Stiff Wind ," 4" x 8," dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may come to me. I would love to slip this painting in a deep frame and delight at the illusion of the little dog straining on tip-toe, trying to peek out at the viewer! Thank you to Paige at The Equinest for a great article on my art. If you have the time, browse through her interviews with other artists - they are wonderful! I finished the Brittany painting today too, and added the image and some notes to yesterday's posting. You can view the in process and final versions here. Thanks so much for sharing my art with your friends and family. See you tomorrow, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

In Process - Brittany Portrait

FROM TOP : in process and bottom completed painting. "Cody," commissioned 8" x 10" portrait of a Brittany Spaniel. I love my wet palette box - it works wonders with acrylics. The setup is a shallow plastic box with a sealed lid. A thin sponge rests across the base of the box, and you lay a piece of specially prepared paper overtop that, upon which you can then lay out your acrylics and mix your paints. The beauty of a fresh palette is inviting, with the neatly lined up rows of color waiting to be introduced to each other. But there's also an incredible lure to a palette that's hosted a wild party, with hues and tints racously lying about. It's hard for me to roll up that piece of palette paper and say goodbye to the remnants. I can see the next 12 shades I'm going to mix right in front of me. And I don't want to waste the paint. Yet I should have done that tonight. My paint was forming a skin on it, and while the puddles of flesh and vio…

Purpose (Terrier)

"Purpose," 8" x 16", terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $529. Inquiries may come to me. SOLD.
It's gray and miserable and damp and downright yechy outside, but here in the studio, all is aglow from the light emanating from this little terrier. She has set the tone for the week - despite the weather, I, too, will step forward with purpose and get much accomplished (I'd better, as there's a lot on my plate in the coming days, and I ain't talking turkey, either). Did you remember the painting I am auctioning off for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary? It is an octo-portrait of the pit bull Theresa who you might have met via last week's television episode of Dog Town. The painting is on ebay, and the sale ends tonite. Please please please share this ebay link with any animal lovers you know! One of my goals is to work on improving my writing and earn the opportunity to be published. I've already had one article picked up by a magazin…

Happy Sunshiney Friday

"Sun Salutation," 20" x 10", acrylic on canvasboard, dog portrait of an Australian Cattle Dog. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to my local shelter, The Oakland Pet Adoption Center as well as Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Inquiries may come to me. After a gorgeous walk with Finnigan (my dog) this morning, I came home wanting to paint something that was all about sun worship. This piece is much larger than how I typically work, but my love for the sunshine today was enormous and could not be contained in a smaller painting. This isn't Finni but another cattle dog rescue named Arrow. Cattle dogs are an acquired taste (I think that could safely be said about a number of breeds), but once you are owned by one, you are seriously hooked. Arrow's family and ours are both caught fast. Thank you to Judy Wood (she's an artist too) for sharing Arrow's photos with me. I need to also extend a big thank you to Best Friends Animal…

Ms Puffer Pants

Meet Puff, beloved little troublemaker #2, from a busy household here in Lake Orion. I haven't titled this painting yet - am trying to figure out what she might be thinking - but it is 10" x 12" and on a beautiful Raymar artist's panel. This is the beginning of a number of new paintings starring Puff. The day we did her photo shoot, she played hard to get, lounging in the sunshine and paying very little attention to the camera. I got marvelous shots of her stretching, preening and pretending she had absolutely no interest in getting her portrait painted. I am especially drawn to Puff's shape and how it plays out across the sun and shadows. The next paintings will contain lines of mullions and repeated windows motifs. However this first piece was essential because it allowed me to step into Puff's mindset, focus on her little face, and better learn her lithe body. Puff's family may choose this painting as a companion piece to hang alongside older …

Sly Guy

"Sly Guy," 8" square, commissioned border collie dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. If you would like to commission a pet portrait of your own, please email me! I have been working with a new color system (those of you who are curious, check out Elin Pendleton's website for her ideas on color), and I see lots of improvement in my recent pieces. Working in a different fashion slows down my process tremendously (a BIG challenge when one's creating a painting a day), but it allows for more careful decision making and more conscious effort. I think those are part of the reason for the strength of this week's paintings. Tomorrow I will start a series of paintings starring a dear little siamese kitty. They will put all I've learned to the test, as I plan on pushing my knowledge of light and shadow and purrs to an entirely new level. Thanks as always for sharing my paintings with your friends and family. See you tomorrow! Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.…

Painting (Two) Dogs-a-Day - Meet Abbey

BOTTOM'S UP: "Mmm, Good Stick! (Abbey)," 8" x 10" and "Bleached Blonde (Abbey)," 6" x 8." Both portraits of a Yellow Labrador Retriever done in acrylic on canvasboard, both headed to a new home. It's super easy to commission a pet portrait of your own - inquiries may always come to me. Sometimes I get so caught up in the actual painting process that I lose sight of consciously striving for that physical likeness. It's tougher for me to gauge this when I'm working from compellingly gorgeous photos of a dog I've never met. That was the case today - I started with the smaller landscape, and became absorbed by all the lavenders, oranges and blues in the shadow of Abbey's neck and shoulder. I love the atmosphere in the painting, but the painting itself seemed more about the setting and not as much about the personality of the dog. I wasn't certain this was what my client wanted. That's ok, I thought - I'll t…

Dog-a-Day Painting #650 - HAH!!

"Hah! (Arly)," 6" square, commissioned pet portrait, depicting a mixed breed dog in acrylic on canvasboard. (And  yes, Arly does have a funky blue-violet streak on his tongue.) My client's on vacation for another couple of days, but I suspect Arly will be headed to his new home shortly. Meanwhile, inquiries on how you can commission your own special dog (or cat) painting may always come to me. And remember, return clients get 10% off newly booked portraits - so don't be shy, seize the moment and flaunt your collection!

I spent a good amount of time this morning going through my references trying to find a Portuguese Water Dog class I photographed years ago at some dog show. I couldn't find any shots I hadn't already painted (see above Dog-a-Day painting "Bumblebee," from last July, which is available for purchase through Etsy). Alas I am stuck with Porties on my mind (I wonder why?). That creative itch is lingering. So, if any Dog a Day…

Bunny Kisses

"Bunny Kisses," 9" x 12", acrylic on gallery stretched linen. This is what the Easter Bunny brought me last year - and no, she's not still around. The kids polished her off about 5 minutes after I told them I had finally finished the painting. You should have seen them eyeballing the still life setup like savages!! This painting will make for a great springtime decoration in your home. As my Easter gift to the most loyal Dog-a-Day readers who are checking emails and blogs on a holiday, I'll ship her off to the first one who wants her for a one time price of $199. This is a large painting, on linen, gallery wrapped so there is no need to frame her (the colors go around the sides of the canvas to the back). I think I've had my share of too much candy today!! Meanwhile, a round of chocolate rabbits for all!! Inquiries about "Bunny Kisses" may come to me. I'd also love the opportunity to talk to you about any still life ideas you may h…

Winter lingers, Journal Pages

You can read about my latest journal page, titled "Winter Lingers" on my studio blog.
Hope this is the last snowfall of the season - and that the sun is shining in your neck of the woods - Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

Juried Equine Exhibition!!

FROM TOP:  "Chestnut Plains," 6" x 8"; "Lashes & Corkscrews," 6" x 8"; and "Black," 8" x 16"; equine paintings, all in acrylic on canvasboard, each available for purchase. I received notice that the above paintings were juried into the esteemed Third Annual Dancing Horse Farm Equine Art Exhibition. The exhibition will be held at the world class Dancing Horse Farm in Lebanon, Ohio from May 2nd through May 10th, 2009. This will overlap with the farm's Spring Fling Weekend, a horse show with Dressage, Combined Test and Fun Classes. For more information, please visit Dancing Horse Farm's website. These paintings have been exquisitely framed in custom moldings and will be available for purchase through Dancing Horse Farm. Inquiries may come via email to the exhibition coordinators. Meanwhile, per Painting a Dog a Day rituals of year's past, I will be creating new equine paintings during Derby Week, which i…

What Happened to Spring?

I feel jipped - there's no "Spring" in my Spring Break. We've got 6" of freshly fallen new white stuff, and the remainder of the week's forecast isn't looking springlike in the least. So, we were trapped inside today (wet and windy, with heavy snow on limbs and electrical wires). I managed to steal a little bit of computer time from the kids, and got a couple things done. There are new paintings listed on my Etsy store (including Frisky, pictured above). And I uploaded a slideshow of images from Friday's solo show opening onto the blog (over to the right, up near the top). Hope the sun is shining on you, wherever you are, and the sidewalks are not beckoning to be shoveled. I'm off to throw snowballs for Finnigan to chase, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

Seeing Double - Connor

FROM LEFT:  "Coy (Connor)," and "Sentinel (Connor)," each 8" x 10", portraits of a chihuahua mix, in acrylic on canvasboard, each $449. My client will choose one, and you can bring home the other. Inquiries may come to me.
Sentinel is SOLD. I painted Sentinel yesterday, and did Coy this evening. Each painting involved a highly saturated underpainting, with paint laid down and worked wet-on-wet overtop the dry base. Consequently the brushwork is very raw on the surface, and adds an exciting element to the otherwise static poses. I love painting this way! I do not plan on painting tomorrow, hence the two pieces this evening. It'll be a busy day of errands and other tasks, followed by my solo show opening in the evening (Flint Street Gallery in Lake Orion, from 7-9pm, 248-314-8697). I hope that those of you in the area will be able to stop by and visit. I'm also going to take some time off next week for Spring Break. They'll be lots of bike…

Another Black Lab

"You Owned My Heart (Lucy)," 6" x 8", pet portrait of a black lab mix, acrylic on canvasboard, $324. Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD. Lucy's saga continues. Here is another portrait of the same dog that inspired yesterday's painting, but this one is a more literal likeness. What makes this painting hum? The tension between the orange and blue - opposites on the color wheel, that, when placed alongside each other, amp up the others' presence. Experiment with opposites at home and see the great combinations you get - this can work with a centerpiece built of limes and eggplant as well as it can with paint. Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my paintings with friends and family. I'm looking forward to painting again for you tomorrow, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com