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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bath Time (Connor)

"Bath Time (Connor)," 4" square, commissioned dog portrait in acrylic on board, sold (or so I think - pending client's feedback). Inquiries may always come to me.

I've painted Connor before, but didn't do anything (regrettably) with some reference of him getting bathed in the kitchen sink. Today I got to work with those.

And continue working on my Imagekind shop, a place where you can order notecards and prints of favorite Painting a Dog a Day paintings. I continue to be touched by the response to this, and am uploading images as time allows and in the order requests are received.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Notecards & Prints

This is a pretty big deal (at least to me!).

After much research and vetting, I've decided to offer the option of ordering notecards of the Dog a Day paintings.

Additionally, one can order prints as well.

Here's how it works. will process your order, create the product, and ship it out - all I have to do is provide them with the jpg (digital file). There are a variety of paper & card stocks, different surfaces/finishes, and quantities or sizes that impact your ultimate cost. Their prices are across the board (regardless of the image), so if you have a question about the cost, take a peek at how another image is priced - they will all be the same.

My game plan is to add 3-4 images to the ImageKind website daily. There's 750+ Dog a Day paintings, so if you are looking for something in particular, please let me know & I will prioritize accordingly.

ImageKind's prints are completely different than the limited edition giclees I offer on a few select paintings. Limited edition giclees are limited to a mere 25 copies, color matched to the original painting, printed in archival inks on artists' paper, and signed in pencil. Paintings that are available as limited edition giclees will not be made available on ImageKind or for any other sort of reproduction until the edition is sold out. As of today, I do not have any limited editions that are sold out.

Please note that the limited edition giclees are an entirely different product than the digitally created prints that ImageKind offers - not that one is any better than the other, but they are different products, and priced accordingly.

Ok, are you ready to shop like mad? Go go go to And if you don't see what you want, let me know so that I can get it up there!!

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Origami (Broncs #1)

Origami (Broncs #1), 8" x 16", acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a variety of broncs, $599 to the first taker. Inquiries may always come to me.

My friend Donna Ridgway is a gifted artist and photographer. Last summer she took a series of rodeo shots, photos which called to me so strongly I asked for permission to paint them. I purchased the rights to create a series of paintings from her photographs, but hadn't gotten the chance to get the pieces started until today. (By the way, Donna sells both reprints of her photos and copyrights, in addition to her artwork - you can catch up with her life here.)

And I started today simply because of a looming deadline. I have yet to get juried into Ex Arte Equinas, a prestigious equine art exhibition and publication, but being the eternal optimist, I am not nearly ready to throw in the towel. Nothing's due till the end of October, so I've still got plenty of time to continue tweaking and working these ideas out.

Meanwhile, the notecard storefront is coming along! I'll be open for business tomorrow, so if you are interested in ordering cards with a Painting a Dog a Day image on them, let me know what you are looking for so that I can get it set up.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Friday, September 25, 2009


"Yoda," 8" x 10", commissioned pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. If you would like information on how you can commission a Dog-a-Day painting of your own, you can check out some details here or send an inquiry directly to me.

If you haven't yet purchased your copy of Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year, you can now preview the book in it's entirety before ordering. Orders placed through Blurb (the link above) will be shipped directly to you. Orders placed through me can be inscribed with a personal message for no additional cost prior to shipping.

The editorial process is ongoing with the second book, That's Fourteen in Dog Years, and I'm working towards another release in time for holiday gift giving. This year my biggest challenge has been weeding down the number of images included and controlling the page count. It's hard work!

I'll get the notecard storefront (what I mentioned in yesterday's posting) operational by next week. If you are interested in purchasing cards with images of your painting (or another one from my portfolio), please let me know. I'll process requested images in the order received. As to cost, there are several options available dependent upon the card surface, quality of the paper and the quantity ordered. Pricing information will be ready when the storefront is published.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family. Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beach Bums

"Beach Bums," 8" x 10", portrait of a woman and her horse, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to me.

This is another piece that came about from my request for black (or white) subjects. When my client read that I was looking for muses, she sent photos of her big, black horse. Already having several paintings of her (not black or white) dogs, she rightly predicted I would flip over the photo that inspired this composition - the lighting, coupled with the fact they both were in stride together, was downright irresistable.

With this painting and a few other recent ones, I'm gathering confidence with my human portrait abilities. (Of course, it's far easier when their faces are turned away....) I hope to be able to accept commissions for them in the coming year.

Are you thinking about the holidays yet? I have been and there are a couple studio projects in the works, one being a storefront for greeting and note cards. If you are interested in ordering cards with a reproduction of your painting (or another image from the Painting a Dog a Day archives) please let me know. Include the title of the painting or the date it was shared (you can get this from the blog), and I'll create them on a first come first served basis. Raise your hand now and we'll get going!!

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Stick

"The Stick," 8" x 16", triple dog portrait (including a Labradoodle, a mixed breed, and a Labrador Retriever) in acrylic on canvasboard, $599 to the first taker. Inquiries may always come to me.

The idea for this painting was supplied by some photos taken by long time Dog-a-Day collector Mia Bartlett, who responded to my request for pictures of black and white dogs. She regularly walks a mess of dogs in this creek, and sent over a good amount of exciting photographs showing them splashing and wrestling in the summer sunlight.

I was drawn to all the color reflected in the water, while the three dark dogs created a mass or shape of their own. It was a great exercise to take my color outside of my subject, and use a tighter range of values and darks for the objects I normally saturate with expressive color.

There's only a week left to earn an opportunity to win a Dog-a-Day painting of your own for the holidays. Get a friend to subscribe to the dailies, and each of you will get a chance to win your own 6" x 6" painting. For each friend who signs up, you receive another chance to win. Winners of the two portraits will be announced by October 8th. All the info is on the project blog, .

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

PS For those of you still reading, I am always looking for photos of black and/or white animals. I want to practice painting the subtle shifts in the lightest lights and darkest darks that they are the perfect foils for. You may send your photos to me, and I'll acknowledge their receipt. Thanks so very much!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


"Oscar," 4" square commissioned portrait of a mixed breed terrier, acrylic on board, sold. Inquiries may always come to me.

Oscar's family gets an A+ for patience (as do all my clients these days!). They have been waiting since last July for his portrait - that's how long the wait list for Dog a Day paintings has been.

I'm currently booking portraits for April 2010 - if you would like one of these little gems for yourself (they also make great gifts!) please let me know. Prices start at $159, a true value for a custom piece of original artwork that will steal your heart.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Siblings, 12" x 14", acrylic on gallery stretched linen, depicting a litter of pit bull puppies, $799. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to my shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may come to me.
I was so excited about the outcome of this painting that I could not wait to share it with you. The light, the relaxed poses, the color, and that dark brindled pup in the back - I just smile as my eye roves over this one.
This painting will go to the Canine Art Guild's Helping Paws exhibition. I'll share the details of that show with you once it is published online.
And it's headed to a host of shows after that.
A special thanks (again) to Lisa Fishler for sharing the inspirational photo.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Siblings (In Process)

"Siblings," 12" x 16", acrylic on gallery stretched linen, depicting a litter of pit bull mixed breed puppies, not for sale. Inquiries may come to me.
Inspired by a photograph sent in by Lisa Fishler, a photographer specializing in pet portraits, this painting has been in process most of this week. (You can see more of Lisa's work at Printz Photography.) Lisa responded to my request for rescue stories - this litter is from a shelter in her area (Poughkeepsie, NY).
I'm prepping this painting for a special Canine Art Guild exhibition centered on shelter support and rescued dogs, but the further I get into it, the more possibilities I see. You know I'll keep you posted!
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


"Lucy," 6" x 12", commissioned dog portrait of a mixed breed, acrylic on canvasboard. (I think Lucy's sold, but it's too late tonight for me to hear back from my client. I'll be happy to start a wait list for anyone interested.) Inquiries, including how you can commission a portrait of your own special pet, may always come directly to me.

I discovered some key elements when working on this painting, brought on by a review of one of my favorite books, Richard Schmid's Alla Prima. Unexpectedly I found myself cross-legged in the middle of the studio this morning, thumbing through the pages of his Alla Prima.

I've been considering following along with Katie Swatland's monthly lessons. Katie is part of the group of painters that study with and regularly work alongside Richard Schmid, and I imagine I would learn a whole host of great things despite the fact that I paint entirely differently.

To me, painting is about trying on a variety of different styles and techniques, and choosing the elements from each that best suit my vision. I would definately benefit from careful study of Richard Schmid's expert edgework (look at his soft and hard and lost edges and you'll see what I mean) and his innate ability to subtly manipulate values/contrast to drive the focal point/composition.

Now I've sold myself on the idea of signing up. That, along with his new book Landscapes, will be my Christmas gift to myself!

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Powernap (Jake, Labradoodle)

"Powernap (Jake, Labradoodle)," 6" x 8", dog portrait of a golden Labradoodle, acrylic on canvasboard, $324. Inquiries may always come to me.


I'm debating making the background a step or two darker in value - I wish my Photoshop skills were sharper so I could create a digital mockup in seconds. There's always something new to learn.

Today was my library's used book sale, and I am delighted with the treasures I found. I got a 1st edition of Aubrey Beardsley's Selected Drawings, a nice collection of Van Gogh reproductions that includes sketches and unfinished works, Phaidon's The Art Book, and my favorite, Andrew Loomis's Figure Drawing for All it's Worth. I grabbed a couple other titles, too, packed with artwork, a grocery sack worth of inspiration for only $7. I've got some excellent reading to look forward to, and owe a big thanks to the library patrons who donated my gems to the sale.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Peekaboo Toby (Yorkshire Terror)

"Peekaboo (Toby, Yorkshire Terror)," 4" x 6", Yorkshire Terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard.

There is something about a lifesize portrait that beckons the viewer, inviting their participation and demanding interaction. When planning the scale of your artwork (or choosing the size of a photographic enlargement) think about how the subject matter might be transformed if created lifesize (or larger).

I'll be adding new paintings for sale to my etsy store later tonight. Repeat offenders, err, collectors, get 10% off their purchases - just put "REPEAT" in the memo field during your checkout process, and I'll adjust your total accordingly.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Time for a Trim

"Time for a Trim (Yorkie)," 6" square, acrylic Yorkshire Terrier portrait on canvasboard, $249 to the first to ask nicely. Inquiries may come to me.

Today was a little bit of a challenge getting into my painting groove, since I had a child home from school. Four days into the school year and swine flu is already rearing it's ugly head around our parts, so I was especially grateful for Evan's strep verdict, although part of me felt terribly guilty cheering on those streptococcus cells. But at the very least, the rest of the Santini's won't fall victim - strep seems much more manageable than the flu.

That said, despite the interruptions, I found a quiet peace in setting down the layers of color that make up this yorkie's face. I started with the darkest orange (you can still see pockets of it peeking through the blue background) and worked my way to the highlights. moving from a 1/2" flat brush to a finer round.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Driving Ms Whitey

From the "Sunday Driver" series of paintings, this is "Driving Ms Whitey." This painting is 6" x 8", acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a mixed breed rescue. You can bring Whitey home to your wall for $324. Inquiries may come to me.

Well, the 49th Annual Thumb Area Artists Exhibition got juried and hung earlier this week and we are ready for tonight's opening (Starkweather Gallery in Romeo, Michigan, from 6-8pm). And yesterday I spent serving jury duty (or rather, editing Volume Two of the Painting a Dog a Day books while sitting in the county courthouse). So today was a true gift, getting to come into the studio after the morning rush of loading kids onto various buses.

It was wonderful to lose myself in the rhythm of painting after far too many days away from the easel. I completed this little piece of Whitey, a sweet girl who loves car rides (doesn't she look relaxed?!), and blocked in a larger multi-dog painting on stretched linen (which I'll share next week).

Can you see the smile on my face? it's a mile wide - feels SO good to be back to my routine.
Don't forget to earn your chance to win a Dog a Day painting in time for the holidays. If you missed it, you can learn how here.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Holiday Portrait Give Away

"Symmetry in White," acrylic on canvasboard, 6" x 12", exquisitely framed and ready for delivery to the 49th Annual Thumb Exhibition which opens later this week. Inquiries may come to me.

Ahh, summer's officially over. At least in these parts, since the kids got on their respective buses this morning and headed to school. The house seems empty, but it won't take me long to find solace in the studio. The dog certainly didn't waste time in finding a key napping spot and checking out for the morning.

I hope everyone had a glorious summer full of skeeter bites and bar-b-qs and late night laughter around campfires, for that's what summertime is all about in these parts. We did that and then some and then a little more. There didn't seem to be enough time to get to everything we would have liked, but we gave it an honest try, and had a darned great time in the process.
But now it's back to work, with a vengeance.

This week I'm volunteering at Starkweather Gallery, helping to receive artwork and facilitate the jury process for the 49th Annual Thumb Show Exhibition which opens this coming Friday. I've also been called up for jury duty at the tail end of the week. So despite my itching to return to the daily painting routine, it looks as though things will need to be held off for a little longer.

However, it's long past time that I share an opportunity with you, one that I've tweeted (follow ksantini) and facebooked (Kimberly Kelly Santini) about in the last couple weeks.

I'm giving away - totally for free, no strings attached - two portraits for holiday gift giving, approximately 6"x6" each, valued at over $250 each. I've scheduled these paintings for the week of November 2nd, 2009, which gives the lucky recipients the opportunity to have a painting created for someone special on their lists. I'll also offer the option of a gift certificate, should the winner(s) not have immediate access to reference photos or wish to involve others in the actual portrait process.

How do you qualify to win your own Dog-a-Day portrait? It couldn't be any easier - you sign up for a new subscription to the Painting a Dog a Day emails (sign up over here on the right). If you are already a subscriber, no problems either - just refer Painting a Dog a Day to your friends and family and receive one portrait raffle ticket for each new subscriber you bring on board (again, sign up over here on the right). You gotta do either of the above by the end of this month - September 2009.

I'll raffle off one portrait to a brand new subscriber, and one portrait to those loyal referring subscribers (both to be chosen completely at random, perhaps by a total stranger I pull off the street). Winners will be notified by October 7th, 2009. Portrait completion relies upon winners' ability to provide quality reference photos prior to November 1st, 2009. Obviously odds of winning are relative to participation levels, but you are pretty much guaranteed not to win if you don't enter.

This is my way of thanking all of you who have followed along and shared my journey. And to those of you who are just joining, consider it a warm welcome. A huge part of Painting a Dog a Day is the giving back bit - whether it's sharing information or donating to animal rescue/welfare, or now, bringing original artwork into your home and on your walls. It's always my pleasure.

On another note, I've gotten an email from a subscriber that she hasn't been able to read the Painting a Dog a Day emails as of late - that they are coming through as a blank email with a big red "X". I redesigned the emails in August and fear that she may not be alone. Please let me know if you are having the same problems - shoot me an email if you are, and let me know what your email program is and what your Dog-a-Day email looks like, and I'll see if I can't get to the bottom of this.

For that matter, if your emailed Dog-a-Day ever looks honkey, you can visit and see the real thing for yourself without having to rely on your email server or any of that other stuff.

Ok, think that's it for now. For now. There's always more to come.
Thanks as always for following along - and recommending!! - Painting a Dog a Day to your friends and family.
Talk very soon,

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sun Coma

"Sun Coma," 12" square, English Bull Terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, not for sale. Inquiries may come to me.

This piece is alllllmosssst done. I can see now that there should be another window mullion shadow in the upper left, the ears need to be a little larger, and I'm going to play with that far front leg and foot some. I'm creating this painting for a juried exhibition, which, of course, has a deadline of next week. Thankfully I already have a frame, so that part will be easy as pie. I'll sleep on this painting for a day or two and go back into it with fresh eyes. And deliver it still sticky, most likely. I set a horrible example.

A shout out of THANKS goes to Dog-a-Day reader Anne Allen for sending me a photo of her bully Billy which inspired this painting. I'm still looking for black &/or white animals to paint. You may send your photos and pictures to me. I'll acknowledge receipt of all materials, although it might take a couple days (I am slowly catching up on emails).

For those of you who are Michigan based artists, there is an exhibition coming up in several weeks you might be interested in. Margot's Gallery in Oxford, Michigan is hosting an all media show titled All Creatures Great and Small, juried by yours truly. The prospectus is available online - artwork must to be delivered by September 25th, 2009. Put it on your calendar and swing by the opening to have a glass of wine with Margot and I.

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork with your friends and family.

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