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Showing posts from August, 2010

I'm Baaa-ck !!

Me with the famous Theresa. Theresa is a resident of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, quite a diva and the dog I've painted the most (11 times! you can see 8 of the paintings here). Huge thanks are due to Pat and Justine, who worked out the logistics of bringing Theresa to my opening last Friday night. Photo most likely taken by Cyrus Mejia, who carried my camera around for a good chunk of the night - thanks, Cyrus!
Here are additional photos of "Happily Ever Afters," installed last week at The Village inside Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. The show will hang through October 21st, 2010. Please stop by and visit if you can!
It's been a whirlwind of a couple weeks, especially for a home body like myself. I've been to Sonoma, California, helping unveil the "Rusty" Muttitage Mutt Lynch winebearing a label of my own design. And most recently I spent 5 days in Kanab, Utah, hobknobbing with the likes of Theresa and painting my 1000th daily painting.
B…

Painting #1000: The Sound of Souls

“The Sound of Souls,” 6” x 8”, casein on panel, depicting wind chimes from Angel's Rest, the memorial garden at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. This painting will be auctioned via ebay at the end of September (after the September Blessing of the Pets at Best Friends) with all the proceeds benefitting Best Friends. Stay tuned for more details.
For quite some time I've known what the subject matter of Dog a Day painting #1000 would be. Actually, as soon as I realized I'd be painting it at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the choice was easy.
I would paint Angel's Rest, their pet memorial grounds.
However, little did I fully comprehend the spirituality and sense of healing this place carried. At first (real life) glance, I was overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude, visualizing all the lost souls and literally sensing the love these animals carried. My second visit was a bit less teary (although notice I did not say it was tear-free). My third and fourth visits als…

The Wishing Pond

“The Wishing Pond,” 6” x 8”, casein (milk based paint) on panel, Dog a Day painting #999. This painting will be available for purchase via auction (along with some other sketches and watercolor paintings from my visit) next week. In the meanwhile, inquiries may always come to me.
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a blessed place. My eyes have been dazzled all week with the natural beauty of the canyon, the commitment of the animals' caretakers, and the sanctity of certain spots within the grounds.
The Wishing Garden is one of those spots. Hummingbirds buzz visitors, the pond gently bubbles, and mammoth koi calmly circle in their oasis of blue green.
Just another slice of heaven that I've been enjoying.
Shortly we'll begin unpacking the crates containing my art and hanging the “Happily Ever Afters” exhibition. If you are in the area, please stop by The Village for tonite's opening, which runs 5:30-7pm. It promises to be a wonderful evening.
It'll also include painting #10…

Cat World

An extremely contented Cat World resident, this kitty is from the FIV positive building. The FIV positive kitties lead just as rich a life as the others.
“Why do the dogs have Dog Town and the cats get Cat World?” a curious little boy asked on the tour. Another visitor piped up “Because they are cats.”
So began my first full day at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (or Society, as I really should be calling them, given the outreach and education programming that has grown from their rescue efforts). I got the grand tour, followed by volunteer orientation, after which I was set loose in the sanctuary.
I spent today with the cats. Each one was sweeter than the prior. Even Winston, who's reputation preceded him.
I narrowed my photographs down to about 130 and worked on three sketches in the evening. I'll scan and share those when I return to the studio. If I am ever able to complete each of the paintings I began in my head today, I will die a happy woman indeed.
In the meanwhile I'm u…

Kanab, A Visual Memory

Yesterday afternoon I drove from Las Vegas Nevada to Kanab Utah, through the desert and mountains, listening to Stravinsky and watching the sun slowly drop lower in the sky, casting lovely deep purple shadows through the landscape. I arrived in Kanab too late in the day to visit Best Friends, but made the most of my evening settling in and getting to know my roomie Dottie, a wonderfully opinion gray and white kitty wise in years. We are getting along famously.
I then pulled out my paints and decided to try an exercise in visual memory. Using casein (a milk based paint with some wonderful properties – I am just learning to work with it), I quickly laid down boldly colored stripes that would make up my landscape, adding layers of glaze (watered down casein) and modeling the shapes of the cliffs, sky and desert all from memory.
I can't wait to take my paints into the sanctuary! I'll be there first thing tomorrow......
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and …

Happily Ever Afters!

From the "Happily Ever Afters" exhibition, the painting "Sun Salutations," depicting rescued cattle dog Arrow, 10" x 20", acrylics on panel, exquisitely framed, $729, with proceeds going to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, which if you mention BFAS will also result in 20% of your purchase being donated to the sanctuary) may always come to me.
Tomorrow I set off on a great western adventure. After years of longing, I am finally headed to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab Utah. Not just to volunteer and play with the animals, but to also bring the whole Painting a Dog a Day project full circle. I'm hanging my first ever solo show comprised entirely of Dog a Day paintings (and all rescues!) within the confines of the sanctuary. BFAS was one of the first organizations to stand behind my initial year long challenge of painting daily pet portraits - and here we are, 4 years later and nearing daily painti…

Red, At the Fence

WORK IN PROCESS: "Red, At the Fence," 16" x 20", Golden Open Acrylics on a 2" cradeled Ampersand Gessobord, commissioned painting. I might change this title to "Wide Open Skies" - what do you think the title should be?
A few weeks back, I worked up a number of different compositional ideas for my client. The idea was to use color in an equine composition that evoked the landscape.
This was the concept she chose, with my assignment being to brighten the colors and eliminate the majority of the fencerow along with the halter.
So this is my progress after a day's work. I started with bright, saturated color, and am laying translucent glazes overtop, gradually bringing the saturation down while enhancing the subtleties and nuances of color. There's still a little bit of of ways to go, especially in properly capturing the fall of light across his withers/shoulders. But the layers of paint were getting a little gummy, and I decided to take a break a…

A Multi-Colored Merle

"Multi-Colored Merle," 6" x 8", Golden Open acrylics on panel, depicting a blue heeler mix, based loosely on my shadow Finnigan. You can add this painting to your collection for $324 - shoot me an email if you are interested.

It's been a long time since I last painted my boy, and I figured I would try my hand at him today and share the little stinker's face.

I never tire of painting black and white animals and Finni is no exception. His glossy coat reflects all the color around him, and that merled fur resonates with blues and lavendars.

And it's nice every so often to have Finnigan, even if it is merely a painted version of him, sit still and be quiet. Although the other version is currently prone on the floor, sighing at my feet. He's had a busy day herding kids, running in the sprinkler, and playing frisbee.

Shhh..... don't say "squirrel."

Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larg…

The De Young Museum

The above painting is by the American artist Thomas Wilmer Dewing, painted near the end of the 19th century. Part of the collection of the De Young Museum in San Francisco, it is titled "Elizabeth Platt Jenks" and is a stunning example of his masterful use of blended edges and limited detail.
I visited the De Young Museum this last weekend when in San Francisco. I went specifically to see their exhibition "The Birth of Impressionism," a collection of over 100 paintings on loan from the Musee D'Orsay in Paris. I was awed by my favorites (Bougereau, Tissot, Moreau, de Chavanne, Millet, Regnault, Fantin Latour, Caillebotte, Cezanne, Pissarro, Whistler, Manet and of course Monet, too -- google each of these artists if you are so inclined - but get yourself a drink, too, and kick back and enjoy).
But I also had the pleasure of discovering a Dewing in their permanent collection, one I hadn't seen before.
Dewing is one of my favorite artists. His paintings evoke a …

Pup-illion

"Pup-illion," 8" x 10", Golden Open acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, portrait of a young Papillion. This painting will go to the first one asking nicely - just $469 plus shipping and handling. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size to larger than life) may always come to me.
I cannot send huge enough thanks to Brenda and Chris Lynch for the most fab weekend ever (the unveiling of the "Rusty" Muttitage wine bearing my label design at their Dog Days event). But what I can do is recommend you buy their wine, in copious quantities. They are amazing people, their wine is fabulous, and with your purchase you'll be supporting a company that does everything it can to foster and support animal welfare. Doesn't get much better than that. So check their goods out here and tell them I sent you. Please and thank you.
And if you want to see pics from the weekend, they are on the studio Facebook page.There are a couple of albums (n…

Rusty, A Limited Edition Giclee

Are you tired of seeing "Rusty" yet?
For those who are newly initiated Dog a Day readers, Rusty is the newest wine released by Mutt Lynch Winery, and it bears a label designed from my artwork and carries the name of my Grandfather's most ornery dog.
The wine is being unveiled this weekend at their Dog Days of Summer event, for which I am currently en route to today. You are cordially invited to join us - there is all sorts of information on the Mutt Lynch website.

I am releasing a limited edition of 25 giclees (computer generated archival prints) of "Rusty," with 20% of the proceeds being donated to the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The image is 8" x 8", printed on a generous paper measuring 12" square, and is available for $39 plus any applicable shipping and handling.
The giclees will be available on a first come basis to those at the Mutt Lynch Winery tomorrow (August 14th), after which they can be purchased dire…

Sawyer

"Sawyer," 6" x 8," sketch done in Golden Open acrylics on multimedia artboard, commissioned pet portrait of a black and white mixed breed dog, headed to a private collection (for which I thank you, SF!!). Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait) may always come to me.
Between "sketching" Miller (yesterday) and Sawyer today, I am feeling all loosened up and ready to tackle something larger. Which is convenient, given that I have two bigger commissioned paintings to complete next week, a double Maltese portrait and a large horse painting.
You can read up on what's happening in the studio over the next couple weeks on today's Dog Art Today blog - Moira McLaughlin did an excellent article on my artwork and most recent honors. It's all here.
Let's send a huge and warm welcome to all the new Painting a Dog a Day followers and readers - there's a dozen or so who I met at last weekend's event, new ones who have discovered my art fr…

Miller

FROM TOP: "Miller I" and "Miller II", 6" x 8", Golden Open acrylics artboard, commissioned pet portrait sketches of a yellow lab. My client will choose one, and the other can be yours for $60 plus s&h. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait - come on, you know that you want one!!) may always come to me.
"Miller I" SOLD (thank you!)

It's always great when I get to paint for a friend. Miller's family are old neighbors (I forget how many times as a puppy Finnigan made a mad dash for Miller's house - there was a big goofy dog and a herd of kids, so it was heaven to him!). They are returning next week for a visit. It'll be wonderful to send them home with a portrait, but not before I get to pinch all the kids and ply them with popsicles.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and musings with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com
PS Are you in the San Fran…

Mary Jane

"Mary Jane," 6" square, acrylic on panel, commissioned pet portrait of a mixed breed dog, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
Mary Jane is a Catahoula mix from an abusive environment - but she hit the jackpot when my client adopted her. She is a lovely merle, black, gray and tan with white toes, and has made fast friends with her "sister" Savannah (Savannah's portrait is here). It won't be long before MJ's gobbling up all the love and affection she can.
I'm still looking for rescue stories to include with the artwork headed to my solo exhibition at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. If you have one, please send it to me atksantini@turtledovedesigns.com . Thanks in advance!
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and musings with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingado…

Dog Days of August, Lake Orion

"Pigtails," 12" square, acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a little girl with her Yorkie, $599. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
This is a painting inspired by prior participants' at Lake Orion's Dog Days of August event, which takes place tomorrow. "Pigtails" will be one of approximately 100 original paintings filling my booth, on the East side of the greenspace between the Orion Art Center and the Firestation.
I'll have my camera in hand, looking for fresh muses. I'll also be happy to talk about getting an original work of art into your home, something with sentimental value starring a loved one of your own.
So swing on by. The event runs from 10-2 and the weather should be perfect!
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and musings with your friends and family. Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com www.paintingadogaday.com
FACEBOO…

The Best Day Ever

"The Best Day Ever," 8" x 16", Golden Open Acrylics on Raymar panel, portrait of a Thoroughbred racehorse, collection of the artist. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
Some of you might remember that last summer I road tripped it to Saratoga Race Track with my girlfriends Linda Shantz and Juliet Harrison. I had planned on going again this year, but things happened (like the solo show in Utah and the wine label win) that required my attention elsewhere.
Meanwhile, they went without me (the horror!!), and another dear friend, Sharon Passmore (yes, she should have a website but does not - yet!), joined them (see how replaceable I am?!).
Like a junkie I hung on their every Facebook status update and lingered over the photos they shared, hunting down the same Ben & Jerry's flavors they were indulging in and wishing there was a Lake Orion based Mrs London's to fi…

Tangles

"Tangles," 6" square, Golden Open acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, portrait of a mixed breed dog. This particular painting will be available for purchase at my solo show "Happily Ever Afters" which is opening at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary the end of August 2010. "Tangles" will be finished off in a gorgeous custom molding, and her dear face will be one of 40 others, all rescued companion animals. If you are interested in purchasing her ($369, framed), let me know.
SOLD.
I am now working on the final details of this exhibition - arranging for shipping, preparing the labels, and coordinating the details of the interactive guest book along with other tasks. Which leads to a favor I must ask. You see, these faces each have a story to share, but there are many others' who's faces I didn't get a chance to paint with stories just as compelling. So here's my favor:
If your life has been touched by a rescue, could you take a minute to shoot me …

Traveller

"Traveller," 6" x 8", Golden Open acrylics on panel, commissioned pet portrait of a Sheltie, private collection (THANK YOU!). Trav's portrait will be joining that of his "sister" Sassy, who I painted on Friday.
I've got a busy month coming up - well, I guess, when are my days NOT busy? But this one is especially packed -
I have Lake Orion's Dog Days of Summer coming up this Saturday (I'll have a booth packed with lots of art for you to browse through!). Not sure if I'll be set up at the Orion Art Center or in Children's Park, but since they are within spitting distance of each other it isn't really that big of a deal.There is a Creative Journalling workshop this coming Sunday at Little Monsters Toy Store (sorry, this one's got a wait list).I am flying to Mutt Lynch Winery in California next weekend for the unveiling of their "Rusty" muttitage wine. While enjoying their Dog Days event, I'll also be booking commis…