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, February 25, 2009

Troll Baby


"Troll Baby," 12" square, acrylic on canvasboard, not currently available (but you know I will always do a wait-list, so email me if you can't live without it!).

This painting illustrates how I feel today. A cold has settled in my chest and ears, and I'm in a Nyquil-induced haze. Hopefully it'll run it's course and I'll be back to no good in no time. 

"Troll Baby" will be featured in my solo show at Flint Street Gallery in Lake Orion, Michigan during the month of April 2009. The show will feature paintings from the "Toys & Treasures" series (previously titled "Tags, Toys & Treasures") - Barbie portraits, sock monkeys, kewpie dolls, candies, Fisher Price Little People dogs, vintage pull toys, dog collars and all sorts of other items.
 
If you are in Michigan (and on my mailing list), I'll be sending postcards out in another week or so with the details of the exhibition. Flint Street Gallery is a very fun place, and the opening party promises to be a good time.
 
Thanks for sharing my paintings!
See you tomorrow,
Kim
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cody, Blue Merle Sheltie


"Cody," 8" square, commissioned pet portrait of a blue merle sheltie, private collection (THANK YOU!). As always, inquiries, including how you can get your own Dog-a-Day painting, may come to me.
 
I painted today in a deep fog, I suspect complicated by the lethal combination of cold medicine and a hearty mashed potato overdose. Cody, with his great markings, was the perfect antidote.
 
I'm ready for a serious nap right now.
 
But I'll be back tomorrow, with a new painting.
Thanks as always for sharing these portraits and following along!
Kim
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Monday, February 23, 2009

Winter Whiskers, Chestnut Horse


"Winter Whiskers II (Chestnut Horse)," 4" x 8", acrylic equine painting on canvasboard, $249 to the first taker, with proceeds going to the Oakland Pet Adoption Center (my local shelter). Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
 
I'm repeating my offer from Friday's posting - I want to hear your rescue stories. Send them to me via email. Include photos. I'll choose a couple to profile in the coming weeks, with proceeds from their sales going to my local shelter (read below).
 
No obligations or purchase requirements at all - although you are welcome to commit to purchasing a painting, my goal here is to help animals in need while also highlighting the benefits of adopting your next best friend from a shelter or rescue group.
 
I just can't say enough good things about my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. In the face of some tough times in our community, they are staying on track with respect to putting animal welfare first. I am so proud that the Dog-a-Day painting sales support their efforts. You can read about them and sign up for their newsletter here: www.michiganpetfund.org
 
Even if you do not have a shelter near by, did you know that Petfinder allows you to plug in your zip code along with other qualifications like breed specifics/animal's age/etc and see immediately what animals in your area are ready for new homes? Petfinder partners with shelters, foster homes, and various rescue groups - it's a great way to see a variety of options. And save a life, too.
 
Thanks as always for sharing my paintings!
See you tomorrow,
Kim
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Friday, February 20, 2009

Angie, Mixed Breed Rescue

"Angie," 8" x 10", commissioned mixed breed dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).
 
I love stories like this:  after adopting Angie from a local rescue, her owner got involved in rescue himself. Another friend with a rescued teddybear of a mastiff told me something to the effect that we don't rescue them, they rescue us. I liked her analogy.
 
I would really like to hear your rescue stories. You can commission a portrait (and I'll pledge a donation to my local shelter in your name), or just share your tale and some photos (and I will choose a couple to profile in the coming weeks, again with donations going to my local shelter when the pieces sell). Send me an email!!
 
Or even just share your rescue story in the blog's comments area. All it takes is one reader to be inspired to visit their local shelter or log in to Petfinder and help a homeless animal - who wants to make that happen?
 
Enjoy your weekend, and I'll see you on Monday!
Thanks, as always, for looking at my paintings,
Kim
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Frozen Whiskers, Vizsla

"Frozen Whiskers I (Vizsla),"5" x 7", dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the Vizsla Welfare Foundation. Inquiries may come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
 
Outside the studio, the wind has been whipping about while the snow fell sideways. I think that might have influenced today's choice of subject.
 
This painting was inspired by a photo a friend sent of her beautiful Vizsla Windy. I took the liberty of adding a few icicles to Windy's face. You can see more of Windy and her extended family (many of whom I've painted before) here.
 
Thanks, as always, for looking at my paintings!
See you tomorrow,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lacey, Mixed Breed


"Lacey," 6" x 8", mixed breed dog, commissioned pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (or so I think - I've tweaked my original version, and hope this one is in line with what the client wanted - a sweet and gentle face). Inquiries may always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
 
Such a busy day today. Started out with a wonderful visit with my Grandmother, who regaled us with stories of her childhood, hearing homemade root beer bottles explode in the cellar (my husband and son have embarked on some serious soda-brewing). The day drew to an end at a local cantina, surrounded by friends, watching a good friend's teenage daughter's band perform their first gig (oh to have the talent they do in just the tip of my pinky - become a fan at their website - the band is called Church & Broadway.).
 
Anyways, that takes me to this moment, an event later one, when my family is all tucked in, quietly asleep. Except for the dog, who is contentedly snoring at my feet. And I'm trying to post my painting and sneak up to bed myself, to spend a little time with the latest issue of American
 Art Collector Magazine before having to rise early and get the kids all on the bus (winter break is over with in the morning!).
 
I dream that one day I'll be on the cover American Art Collector, just like one day Mosey, Jordan and Connor (aka Church & Broadway) will have a recording contract.
 
I bet they'll beat me to the punch, but I'm ok with that.
Thanks so much for looking at my artwork,
Kim
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Allie, Terrier Portrait


"Allie," 6" x 12", commissioned Terrier dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). I would love to chat about commissioning a pet portrait - all interested parties may send me an email.
 
I wish you could hold this painting and see it for yourself. Even though the boldest color is in Allie's mask and ears, the part that I am most in love with is the wirey fur underneath her chin and neck on the shadowed side. Oodles of glaze and lazy brushwork balance out the contrast immediately above it nicely.
 
I want to paint like this every day!! We'll see what tomorrow brings.....
 
Thanks, as always, for looking at my paintings!
Kim

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rambo, Boxer Portrait


"Rambo," 8" square, commissioned Boxer dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!!). Inquiries on how you may commission a painting of your own pet may come to me via email.
 
Last week I mentioned wanting to expand my palette colors. Today I added Raw Ochre and Anthraquinone Blue to my other colors (Cad Yellow Light, Cad Yellow Dark, Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue Red, Cad Red Light, Cad Red Dark, Quinacridone Red Light and Titanium White). I'll play with these newbies all week - maybe you'll see a difference in the resulting colors of my paintings.
 
Today's piece has a lot of Anthraquinone Blue, which is a warmer transparent color similar to Prussian Blue, but not as inky.
 
Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my art with your friends and family,
See you tomorrow,
Kim

Friday, February 13, 2009

Casey's Valentine

"Casey's Valentine," 4" x 6", commissioned mixed breed dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. I think this painting is already spoken for, but my client is unavailable until next week. I do want to see Casey find a home, though, so please email me if you are interested, and I'll start a wait list.
 
After painting the handkerchief, I realized it was pink AND heart shaped. With tomorrow being Valentine's Day, there were too many coincidences - hence the painting's title.
 
Casey crossed the bridge several years ago. I'm hopeful that the glimpse of her face will be a sweet valentine for her family or anyone else who enjoys this painting.
 
Wishing everyone a fun-filled weekend!
Thanks for sharing my artwork,
Kim
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eyeliner, Terrier Puppy Portrait


"Eyeliner (Terrier Study)," 6" square, terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Inquiries may come to me via email.

SOLD.
 
I prefer to work with the same dozen tubes of paint, but every so often I will reach a plateau and realize that my paints are holding me back. That I need to do something to mix it up and take me to the next level. I'm at that point right now, and am trying to choose a new red, yellow and blue to play with.
 
The underpainting in this one is a vibrant red I have been flirting with lately - Quinacridone Red Light (Golden Brand), to be exact. Until this painting, I had been using the Quin Red Light in tiny amounts, to help model or shape the farthest edges of a form as they rolled into shadow. In larger amounts, it really heats things up, yet it's a cooler red than my usual cadmiums.
 
It's a strongly saturated color (which I love!), but also transparent. I am looking forward to getting to know it better.
 
Now off to find a suitable yellow and blue.
Thanks for sharing my paintings!
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com 
www.turtledovedesigns.com 

Wisps, Terrier Portrait

WHOOPS!! Such a busy day yesterday that I entirely neglected to post my painting. My apologies!! -Kim

"Wisps," 5" x 7", dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Inquiries may always come to me via email.
 
Busy day today in the studio!
 
I added about 2 dozen older Dog a Day paintings to those already for sale on Etsy. The paintings I added are some of my favorites, many of which were included in Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year. I listed them at my old prices, which sounded like a darned good deal to me, and a nice treat for loyal Dog-a-Day readers.
 
I added two completely new pages to the studio's main website, which I am enjoying building on my iMac. Macs make life so much simpler, you know?
 
And I published my newsletter today. If you did not receive it and would like to, please let me know (via email). I'll get you all set up with this one and signed up for future newsletter issues.
 
Thanks as always for looking at my paintings!
See you tomorrow (if we don't float away first - why rain in Michigan in February? and does this then mean we will have snow in July?)
Kim
www.turtledovedesigns.com 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ozzie, Terrier


"Ozzie's Smile," 6" x 8", terrier dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. I believe Ozzie's portrait is already spoken for, but if you are interested, please send me an email at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com  .

Being terribly nearsighted has its benefits. For example, I am great at digging out slivers.

And does my nearsightedness positively impact my ability to paint? I always want "in your face" sorts of paintings. I am more comfortable painting larger than life or larger than my references. I see color over value. And I'm very comfortable with the whole less is more mentality. These are things not everyone gets, and I'm curious if they are mine because of my eyes.

Are there any other nearsighted people out there? Please sound in on how you think your vision (or lack thereof) has impacted your life by commenting here. 

Thanks for sharing my paintings!!
See you tomorrow,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Monday, February 09, 2009

Shoulder Scratches


"Shoulder Scratches," 4" x 6", acrylic on canvasboard depicting a terrier and young girl, $199. Inquiries may always come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
 
There is a lot going on in this tiny little painting. I was limited as to how much detail I could build up because of the board's rough surface. Lesson learned - the next time I try a composition and scale of this nature I will choose a smoother support. 
 
I have a great respect for artists who work at this scale consistently. It takes patience, confidence, and a steady hand. The results are a condensed and intimate view of a private moment.
 
This little painting is going to be entered in the Canine Art Guild's upcoming online exhibition "The Company Dogs Keep." The show will go live in early March.  I will share the website with you when it opens, along with information on how you can cast your vote for the People's Choice Award.
 
Meanwhile, I'm off to take the kids' to their music lessons and finish making dinner (putanseca sauce with fried polenta cakes and bruschetta).
 
Thanks for sharing my paintings!
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.paintingadogaday.com

Friday, February 06, 2009

Molly on Deck

"Molly on Deck," 8" x 10", mixed breed dog portrait in acrylic on board, not for sale.
 
When we went on vacation in January, my sister-in-law watched the kids for us. Huge task, that was, leaving her quiet home (her kids have grown and moved out) and moving into our boisterous household. She held her own very well with the kids, the neighbor kids, and even Finnigan. She deserved a special token of gratitude.
 
Hence Molly's painting. Molly crossed the bridge last summer, but I had heaps of photos of her from other get-togethers. I know the painting will be met with smiles and maybe a tear or two. (Hey all you Santini's reading this - please don't ruin my surprise - do you think you can keep quiet till Sunday!!)
 
Inquiries may always come to me via email - ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . I am currently booking portraits for February 2010, and would love to talk to you about your own painting.
 
Thanks as always for sharing my paintings.
I wish everyone a safe and warm weekend,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.paintingadogaday.com

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Doggles, Terrier Mix



"Doggles," 4" x 8", mixed breed terrier portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries may always come to me via email.
I've had this photo in my to-paint pile for about 2 years now. Originally I had wanted to paint her nice and big, but ultimately changed my mind. I've learned to appreciate the value of an intimately sized painting. Seems like the dog's joy and the sunshine grows more potent when compacted.
I anticipate that this painting will sell fairly quickly - my terrier pieces usually do (thank you to all my terrier collectors!!!). Did you know that subscribers to the Painting a Dog a Day newsgroup receive the paintings several hours before they are posted to the blog, thus getting advance purchasing opportunities?
If you are already receiving the Dog-a-Day paintings via email, you are already part of this privileged group and I thank you.
If someone has forwarded "Doggles" to you, and you would like to be one of the first to see fresh-off-the-easel Dog-a-Day paintings, there's a simple fix. Just sign up to receive the newsgroup in your email box! (I promise not to sell your addresses or use them for anything other than sharing my artwork. Honest injun.) You may use the box over to the right hand side on the blog.

While you're at it, sign up to receive the studio newsletter as well. I'm planning on sending updates about exhibitions, classes and other events periodically, maybe every second or third month. I promise it won't be a ton of extra email clogging your in-box.
Thanks as always for sharing my paintings.
See you tomorrow!
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Robbie, Cocker Spaniel

Currently untitled, portrait of Robbie, a Blue Roan English Cocker Spaniel, 8" x 10", acrylic on Raymar panel. Inquiries may always come to me via email, and comments are welcomed on the blog. 
 
My client hasn't seen this painting yet, since she left for vacation today. It is the final in the group of pieces I created starring Robbie and his energetic brother Eric (yesterday's and Monday's paintings). She'll get to choose which of the images she would like for her home, after which the others will become available for purchase.
 
Robbie is the more reserved of the two, watching life from underneath his cap of roan curls with a seriousness befitting a wise old man. Consequently I chose to paint him head on, confronting the viewer with his steadfast gaze. 
 
I really enjoyed painting these dogs, with their expressive faces and distinctive coloring. Now comes the hardest part - waiting for my clients' decision.
 
Thanks, as always, for sharing my artwork.
See you tomorrow,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com 

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fetch, Cocker Spaniel

"Fetch," 10" x 12", acrylic on raymar artists panel, depicting a blue roan English Cocker Spaniel. This is the second in a series of pieces I am creating starring two wonderful little guys, and my client will get first pick. Meanwhile, inquiries may always come to me. 
 
You saw Eric's back side in yesterday's "Fall Foliage" painting, and today you get a peek at the troublemaker's mug. Just like yesterday's piece, this painting is far larger than what I typically paint in one day, yet this one practically fell off my brushes this morning.
 
I treated the background like an abstract painting (betcha didn't know I used to create mammoth color field abstract paintings!). Once I had achieved the value patterns that I wanted, I went in overtop and added looser marks in gradually smaller sizes and shapes to create a vibrant and interesting surface. There is that suggestion of space when one steps back from the piece, yet up close it is fascinating to study.
 
It's also important to make certain that the background played second fiddle to Eric. His body carries the most contrast, the crispest edges, the greatest range of color, and the most energetic of the brushwork. I can just see him dancing across the lawn, fringe swaying, ears swinging, and tail wagging. I love the sense of atmosphere and place that this painting conveys.
 
Ironically, my client asked for Eric's portrait to be similar to another painting of mine "Glee." This afternoon's mail brought the news that "Glee," along with "Pink,"  were juried into the prestigious 2009 Art Show at the Dog Show in Wichita, Kansas. I'm honored to be a part of this year's exhibition and especially pleased that the Dog-a-Days will be well represented!!
 
Thanks, as always, for sharing my art.
See you tomorrow,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com

Monday, February 02, 2009

Cocker Spaniels, Fall Foliage

"Fall Foliage," 12" square, acrylic on canvasboard depicting two Cocker Spaniels. This painting is bigger and more complex that what I usually take on in one day, and I do still see some changes I'd like to make. But sometimes you just have to draw the line at a stopping point, and this is where I have to stop and clean my brushes tonight. Inquiries may come to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . 
 
This is the first of a handful of pieces I am working on starring these two Blue Roan English Cocker Spaniels. Aren't they darling? Once I complete the group of paintings, my client will get her choice. Any of the remaining paintings could be yours - I'll keep you posted as to what is available via this blog.
 
By the way, I really needed this painting today, full of hot colors and a reminder that, ultimately there will be something more exciting than 2 feet of snow to look at outside my front window. Guess it's the whole Groundhog-Day-hoping-for-a-shadow syndrome.
 
If you find yourself in need of some light winter reading (aka a distraction!), may I suggest a copy of Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year? Softcovers are only $39.99 while hardcovers are $54.99. I would love to ship an inscribed copy your way - just send me an email. 
 
Meanwhile I've been asked to reschedule one commission and am awaiting photos for another, so will be able to squeeze in a couple of bonus Dog-a-Day paintings this week or next. If you would like to nominate your dog or cat or horse or rabbit or guinea pig or whatever for consideration (I would love to expand my horizons!!), please send an email along with several non-flash photographs and his/her story. Entries can be sent to me at ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . 
 
Thanks as always for looking at my paintings!
See you tomorrow,
Kim
ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
www.turtledovedesigns.com 
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