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.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Copleys

"The Copleys," a 16" square quadrup-tych comprised of 4 separate 8" square cradeled Ampersand Gessobord panels. From top left, clockwise: Bella, Candy, Tiny and Rosie. Headed to a proud new collector's home (THANK YOU!).

I spent the majority of today finessing the paintings I started on Wednesday (a step by step is viewable here), working on seemingly minute details like distinctive hair growth patterns, body language, fur depth and reflected light. I wish you could see these in person - the surface is littered with translucent brushwork and a depth that gets entirely washed out on the computer.

Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me. I've got only a few spaces left before I create Dog a Day painting #1000 this August - now might be a good time to get any holiday gifts/commissions on my calendar, too. Sketches start at $29, paintings at $209, and returning collectors receive a 10% discount.

This is your final weekend to cast a vote (if you haven't already) for the Daily Painter candidates. As of this writing, it would appear that I'm solidly placed in the top 10 (which means I would advance to round 3), but the competition is fierce and tight, and I would be remiss to not plug it one final time.

Thanks, as always, for sharing and supporting my artwork and musings with your friends and family.

Happy Memorial weekend to those in the US!!
Kim

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

OMGosh


Well, folks, we did it.

"Rusty" has won the Mutt Lunch Winery label contest!

After a day spent chaperoning The Princess's field trip to Cranbrook Science Center, then getting Manchild to his soccer game, arranging for the Middlechild's attendance at a school's talent show, and also successfully getting to The Princess's dance recital (different school, different performance from said talent show) with 10 minutes to spare, I came home to the news that Rusty's portrait was chosen to grace this year's Mutt Lynch limited release vintage.

A big tail-wagging thanks to all of you for voting, which got Rusty into the Top 10 and in front of the powers that be who made the ultimate choice.

And another warm furry thanks, in no particular order, to Moira McLaughlin of Dog Art Today, label designer Rae Huestis and Chris and Brenda Lynch of Mutt Lynch Winery, said powers that be.

And finally a special thanks to my Grandpa, Rusty's better half, who's sharing this victory with me from above. Maybe now, Grandpa, you can forgive him for eating that Christmas ham?? (and does ham go well with a red wine?)

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

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

THe Copleys - a Step by Step


I have been excited about this quadruple portrait since forever it seems (when my client first contacted me). The concept was to create four separate 8" square paintings on cradeled panels (you can see the generous 2" depth of the paintings in the 3rd view), each starring a different one of her dogs in a similar pose.

To create a sense of continuity, I wanted to paint them simultaneously and all in one sitting, or as far as I could take them at once. Hence, I ignored emails (my apologies if you've been waiting for a reply - I'll get to the oldest ones from last week later tonite) and went to the easel bright and early.

I'm sorry - these photos are really flat - which I didn't notice till they were downloaded onto my computer. But I'll share scanned versions of the final portraits in a couple days so that you can get a better sense of the vibrancy and detail, which I am very pleased about.

This is as far as I can go for now - I'm waiting for my client to take a peek at each one individually and give me some feedback on likenesses.

These pups were well worth the wait!!

Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.

Finally, a HUGE thank you to everyone who voted for "Rusty," my design submission for the Mutt Lynch Winery label contest. Voting closed last night and he is one of the finalists! The winner will be announced tomorrow - I promise to keep you posted.

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

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lily and Clover, Sketches


FROM TOP, CLOCKWISE: "Clo (Black Rabbit) Sketch I," 6" square, $49; "Lily (White Rabbit) Sketch I," 6" square, $49; and "Lily (White Rabbit) Sketch II," 3" x 6", $39. All done in watersoluble pencil and watercolor crayons on multimedia artboard.

Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me. Sketches (like the above ones) start at $29, finished paintings at $209.

I wasn't feeling well yesterday, and didn't get into the studio today until mid afternoon. However, it was the perfect opportunity to take my materials outside and study the bunnies a bit.

Drawing from life has become a key part of my creative growth. I fought it for a loooong time, preferring to work with photographs (of animals). That stubbornness held me back from really understanding qualities of light and reflection. There are so many nuances my eye sees when my object is in front of me.

Now the bigger challenge is building my visual memory. This basically means learning my subjects so well that I can draw them while they are in motion. I've been doing this with the ballerina sketches (they are posted on the studio's Facebook page), and this summer will work with the bunnies. (If you want to see someone who's visual memory is killer, visit V. Vaughan's "Passing America" blog - she does "drive by" paintings that will blow your mind!)

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

PS Voting for the next Daily Painter & the Mutt Lynch Winery label contest are both ongoing - thank you SO MUCH for your support! I have been floored with the emails and feedback - it's very gratifying to know that you enjoy my work and support my endeavors!

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Objects in Mirror


"Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear," a tiny 4" x 5" portrait, done in Golden Open Acrylics on board, private collection (an extra special thanks to my new collector!). 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 gem of a painting, the latest installment in my Sunday Drivers series (starring dogs and cars). I invite you to send me photos of your dog hanging in/near your car - while I can't guarantee I will paint him, I can certainly give it the old Spartan try! (And I'm wanting to paint dogs and horse trailers, too, so if you find yourself positioned to shoot a couple frames on my behalf, by all means, please do!!)

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and musings with your friends and family. Wishing you a weekend full of sunshine -
Kim

PS PLEEEEASE don't forget to cast your vote for the next Daily Painter. The last I checked I was tied for third by 2 tenths of a point. Your vote counts H.U.G.E. Visit Daily Painters and let them know that Painting a Dog a Day should be their newest addition. Then forward this to a friend and ask them to do the same. Pretty please and muchas gracias.

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Untitled Grace, a 2nd Study


Here is a second study for Gracie's larger portrait, this one 6" x 8", done in Golden Open acrylics on a Raymar panel. (The first one, in case you missed it, is here) Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.

As you might recall, Grace's final portrait will be sized approximately 18" x 24". Because I prefer to work alla prima (meaning all in one session) and I didn't have a clear cut favorite pose, I decided to do a couple smaller studies first. This allowed me to work through the painting concept on a couple different levels, and gave my client a few visuals to help steer his decision making.

This one has a Richard Schmid flavor to it - the woven paws and legs tucked under her chin were the perfect backdrop for the concentrated brushwork, greatest areas of contrast, most saturated color and sharpest edges.

SOLD

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and musings with your friends and family.
Kim
PS At the risk of sounding like a broken record, don't forget to cast your vote for the next Daily Painter, for which Painting a Dog a Day is a solid contender. Visitthe website and let them know what you think. And then go give yourself a cookie on my behalf. THANK YOU!

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Princess Grace, a study


"Princess Grace," study for a larger portrait, 8" square, Golden Open acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, commissioned pet portrait of a chocolate lab. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.

Grace comes with an entire line of furnishings and household items. Well, not really, but she is the official mascot of a furniture store in Brentwood (CA), so it's close enough. And the concept for her portrait was to include some of the exquisite items from the retail environment, showing her completely at home in her surroundings.

This is one of several ideas I'm sketching out for my clients' consideration. Grace's final portrait will be in the range of 18" x 24", so there will be plenty of opportunity to add additional detail and range of color - including the elaborate fleur de lis pattern on this settee, which I would not mind having here in the studio.....

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

PS Don't forget to cast your vote for the next Daily Painter (this is a big thing, trust me), for which Painting a Dog a Day is a solid contender. Visit the website and let them know what you think. And then go give yourself a cookie on my behalf. THANK YOU!

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shaggy Schatzi


"Shaggy Schatzi," 8" square, commissioned dog portrait done in Golden Open Acrylics on canvasboard, 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.

Schatzi was adopted as a pup from a Maryland Amish farm. When her family asked what type of dog she was, the Amish farmer replied "Medium." (Perhaps I should have titled her painting "Medium.")

Now 14, Schatzi has long grown into her name (a strong, German woman not much unlike that played by Lauren Bacall in 'How to Marry a Millionaire'), proudly leading the family pack of dogs on the hunt for field mice or moles or other fierce animals. She prefers her hair wild, sprinkled with bits of souvenirs from the outdoors, but enjoys getting primped and cleaned up as well. Favorite playthings? her people, who are kept busy letting her out, then in, then out, then in......

Take a peek at the making of Schatzi's portrait - I've uploaded my first You Tube video. Hooray for technology!! (although I think my brain is mush!) I am open to suggestions on how I can improve my videos, so have at it! (via emails please)

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

PS Please don't forget to cast your vote and bring Painting a Dog a Day into the Daily Painters group. This is a highly respected group of daily artists, hailing from around the world. Popular votes determine their newest member - I made it to the top 20, and am counting on you to help me out. Thanks so much for your consideration and support!!

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer Creative Journalling Workshops!

I am thrilled to announce this summer's Creative Journalling classes, which will be held at Little Monsters Toy Store in Lake Orion, Michigan.

The classes will introduce K-8 students to Creative Journalling (recording ideas and memories via use of a variety of art and writing techniques). Students will be introduced to a variety of art concepts and materials, allowed hands on time each week to actively work on their journals, and encouraged to continue exploring the various approaches outside of class time. Ultimately, participants will emerge from class with a means of personal expression not solely based in writing or artmaking, but with a developing voice that embraces the elements of storytelling using a variety of tools.

Classes are structured for 5 concepts, one per session, and set up so that students may choose to attend all or several. Classes are 1-1/2 hours, with a cost of $15 each or one may enroll in all 5 sessions for $60. Cost includes all materials excepting the journal itself (students may bring a blank book to class or purchase one at Little Monsters). Due to limited space, classes will be held to the first dozen students registering each week. Registration requests (along with requests for additional information) may come to me.

June 27th, 1-2:30 Introduction, discussion of combined text and visuals, parts of a book, and finding inspiration.
July 11th, 1-2:30 Color, discussion about how color makes you feel, touch on basic color theory, experiment with mixing colors.
July 25th, 1-2:30 Pattern, building designs from basic doodles (also called "zentangles"), discuss the power of a line, and incorporating symbols.
August 8th, 1-2:30 Collage, building layers of color both as a base for other mark making or as an end product itself.
August 22nd, 1-2:30 Portraits, using the materials/approaches touched upon in prior weeks, there will be discussion about how a likeness can include details like text, pattern, color and symbols to further the "portrait".

Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and musings with your friends and family. I've got a great (rescued) shaggy face lined up for you tomorrow!
Kim

PS I am thrilled to have made it to the top 20 in the Daily Painter's contest - the winner will be chosen by popular vote (and gets some nice swag!). Please take a moment to visit the Daily Painter's website and cast your vote. What an opportunity this is to share the Dog a Day experience with an entirely new crowd!
TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Scrappy & Lena


ABOVE: "Scrappy," 4" square, commissioned dog portrait of a pit bull. BELOW: "Lena," 4" square, commissioned kitty portrait. Both paintings done in Golden Open Acrylics on canvasboard, both paintings in a private collection (THANK YOU!). Scrappy and Lena's portraits join a collection of four other commissions - the family is now almost complete!

Both Scrappy and Lena are rescues - Scrappy came complete with a set of battle scars, and Lena's eyes were damaged so much so that she lost them. Despite their physical challenges or past, each animal became a delightful and loving companion.

Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.


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

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cody Dog


"Cody Dog," 4" x 6", commissioned dog portrait, done in Golden Open Acrylics on canvasboard, 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.

Mr. Cody has been loving on his family for 15 years, enjoying long walks on the beach (who DOESN'T love a good run in the sand?) and all sorts of other good fun. His time to cross the bridge is fast approaching, but it is my hope that his painting finds it's way home before he leaves. Keeping my fingers crossed....

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

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feeding Creativity

I get asked all the time about how I manage to continue finding joy and inspiration in the studio every single day. So I thought I'd share some tips on how I try to keep creativity flowing.
Mix it Up – set your regular materials aside, change up your subject matter or style, and try something entirely new. If doing this on a canvas or panel is intimidating, then just open a sketchbook and have at it. What you are creating this time around isn't meant to be a masterpiece of anything except experimentation, so take the pressure off and just enjoy. (Pictured above is The Princess and a handful of finger puppets we made using paper mache and tissue.)
Break your routine – I am such a creature of habit, that even my thought processes follow similar paths after a period of time. It always helps for me to break up my routine – as simple as walking a different route with the dog each morning. Listening to NPR or an audio book instead of music while I paint is another switch-up.
Soak Your Senses – visiting a gallery or museum is a start, but there's a multitude of other stimulating experiences that will boost your creative spirit. Enjoy a fabulous meal (either dine out of cook something new at home), listen to live music (many communities offer free outdoor performances during warmer seasons), go for a walk, visit a park and soak up the beauty of Mother Nature - you get the idea, right?
Pay It Forward – feed your soul with volunteer efforts. Senior centers, libraries, community centers, food banks, schools, and animal shelters are just some of the places that will welcome your time and talents.
An Unexpected Gift – surprise someone with an entirely unexpected gift. A heartfelt letter, a plate of warm cookies, a potted plant left on a neighbor's porch, a bauble or trinket found at a flea market, or even a book chosen especially for the reader. This works even better if you do it anonymously – the secret fills your heart with joy and will bleed into other areas of your life.
Pamper Yourself – you know best what you enjoy the utmost. A long bath? An afternoon of silence? Time spent gardening? Whatever it is, make it happen for yourself, guilt free.
Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and musings with your friends and family.
Kim
TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rusty

"Rusty," 8" square, acrylic and collaged papers on Ampersand Gessobord, pet portrait of an Irish Setter. Inquiries (including booking your own pet portrait, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.

Rusty, my Grandparent's dog, had personality. The stories were flying this past week, and he populated his fair share. My favorite was when Grandma left the Christmas dinner to cool on the countertop while she enjoyed a sherry with Grandpa. They returned to find that Rusty had served himself a rather generous portion of ham, leaving nothing for the family.

I didn't have any photos detailed enough that would allow me to paint Rusty's true likeness. Which gave me the chance to try my hand at a more stylized method, something I've been wanting to try for a bit now - paper painting, or collage, inspired by the artwork of Elizabeth St Hilaire Nelson.

I began with a panel, painted it a dark, deep blue, and then layered tissues to create the green ground. Another layer of paint went down, a nice and loose depiction of the dog's face, to which I added more papers. Then more paint and more papers and the process continued.

It looks as though a bomb's gone off in the studio, but I don't mind cleaning up this mess. I just might try my hand at another collage before sweeping up.

My sincerest thanks for your emailed condolances. I cannot respond to all of them, but each one is just as precious as the other. I cherish your thoughts and prayers very much.

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

TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Grandpa


I took last week off, solely intending to rejuice, but there were other plans in the works.

You see, my Grandfather passed away on Thursday. What I wouldn't give for another bear hug. This man invented them.

He went the way everyone deserves to go, peacefully and surrounded by family. Which doesn't make it that much easier for those left behind, but in the whole scheme of things, this was the moment when he deserved the most consideration, so I'm not about to begrudge anything.

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

SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: at Imagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) and That's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.
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