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Showing posts from February, 2011

Raven, Painted Sketch

"Raven," image approximately 5" tall on an 8" x 10" piece of multimedia artboard. Commissioned painted sketch, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, starring a black Cocker Spaniel. This one is sold, but I'll be happy to paint others - inquiries may come to me.
Every couple of weeks I set up a stack of multimedia artboards, lay out my paints, and make a pile of sketches. Usually they are for my own enjoyment, but this week the sketches were for clients.
Tomorrow nearly 30 of my paintings will be delivered to a venue on the east side of the state. I'm filling the Shelby Community Center with a retrospect of sorts - paintings created during the past few years, including some larger than life sized canvases that haven't been exhibited in several years. It promises to be a fun installation!
Ok, back to the paint!
Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my artwork with your friends and family - Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

Art Show a…

Lolly Llama

"Lolly Llama," 6" square, portrait of a llama, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord. The painting can be yours for $299 - inquiries may come to me.
From photos taken at the Michigan State Fair a few years back, I present for your viewing pleasure a lovely llama draped in all the colors of spring. And then some.
Can you tell I'm in denial over the snow continually getting dumped on us? I have threatened to lay astroturf over our front walk and porch, just to add a much needed touch of green to the yard.
ORDER NOTECARDS. ORDER REPRODUCTIONS (once the original is sold).
Wishing everyone a safe and happy weekend!
Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my artwork with your friends and family - Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
A demo page from my journal done with watercolor crayons and Ebony pencil
Journal, Baby!
I'm leading my fearless group of young journallers in a class focused on texture and color this weekend.
I'm also organizing a new grownUPs …

Hippity Hop (A Gratitude Painting)

"Hippity Hop," 5" x 7", portrait of a fat white rabbit, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord. This piece is part of my Gratitude Project, and as such, proceeds from it's sale will support Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (BFAS). The painting can be yours for $289 - inquiries may come to me.
Another critter from last summer's visit to BFAS. I met so many during my visit, and the afterglow of the serenity I absorbed when there still lingers.
You may order notecards of "Hippity Hop" here (wouldn't they make for fun Spring announcements? I've heard a rumor that Spring is coming......), and once the original sells, I will also offer poster quality reproductions (using this same link). Proceeds from these sales will also go to BFAS.
Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my artwork with your friends and family - Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

Itch (A Gratitude Painting)

"Itch," 8" x 8", portrait of a black and white mixed breed puppy, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord. This piece is part of my Gratitude Project, and as such, proceeds from it's sale will support Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (BFAS). The painting can be yours for $399 - inquiries may come to me.
SOLD (thank you!)

This is one of the "G" puppies from a litter I met at BFAS last summer. I volunteered to help out with a puppy kindergarten class, and it was a delight.
The philosophy at BFAS is that a well socialized pup with basic manners will settle more happily into a new home and grow into a well adjusted companion. Myself and about 9 others spent an hour with a litter of wee ones, introducing them to a variety of household noises and things like skateboards and vacuum cleaners, while also walking them on leashes, handling mouths and ears and toes, and giving out treats.
A great photo opportunity, to be sure! You can see my reference pi…

Neighborhood Watch (Shadow & Charlotte)

"Neighborhood Watch (Shadow & Charlotte)," 8" x 10", portrait of a Cocker Spaniel and a Beagle, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord. This painting is headed to a new home - but if you are interested in something similar, contact me.
My end of year studio purge unearthed the original of this composition, an unfinished 16" x 22" gallery stretched canvas. A few days later, Shadow and Charlotte's Mom emailed me.
"Do you remember that painting you started of my two years ago? you were doing it for an exhibition.... did you ever finish it?" she asked.
"No," I answered, rather sheepishly. "But I'd love to revisit it!"
She was enthusiastic. So was I.
So today they got another turn on my easel. I decided a fresh start would give the painting a brighter outlook. Besides, I really love painting on Ampersand Gessobord. The idea of working on canvas again gave me the heebie-jeebies. I know. Crazy. (I've been cal…

Golden Open Acrylics

I get all sorts of process oriented questions. Most recently I've been getting asked a lot about my paints and palette, which made me realize what a nice blog topic this would make!
I use a Masterson Sta-Wet Premier palette box. This is comprised of a box (think Tupperware) with a sponge liner and a slice of palette paper that work together to keep my paints wet. This setup allows me to work with the same palette for about a full week, having the box open for multiple hours every day. You can see what the palette looks like at the beginning of a new session above - below the exact same palette after this week's work.
For the last 25 years I have used Golden brand acrylics, mediums, and varnish. I love the overall quality of these paints and the fact that, when I have a question, their customer service department is made up of artists who actually use the products.
Until last year, I used their Heavy Body paints exclusively. They have a buttery consistency, a little looser than oi…

A Gentle Breeze

NEARLY FINISHED: "Gentle Breeze (Nitro)," from the "Black and Whites" series, 8" x 10", portrait of a horse, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessoboard. Almost completed - and can be pre-purchased for $469. Please send your inquiries to me.
Those of you who follow the studio on Facebook heard me bragging last week about an ambitious piece I started. Monday had me lamenting about a painting that was giving me problems. They were one and the same, the piece I'm sharing with you today.
First it sunk deep into "The Uglies" - that stage where the artist is still working things out, and nothing quite yet meshes or works visually. Every piece goes through this phase - it's just that some linger longer than others.
And Nitro refused to budge from "The Uglies." And I didn't know how to fix him.
Over multiple days, I studied the piece in a mirror, upside down, and from my periphery. I used red cellophane to work out issues with…

Shipping Day

As exciting as it is to get a piece juried into an exhibition, I dread the next step.
Packing and shipping.
It's different than merely sending a painting off to a new home because exhibition pieces are framed and wired for hanging, and the packaging must be such that it accommodates a return trip home.
Today I built boxes to house three pieces headed to Kansas for next month's 25th Annual Art Show at the Dog Show.
I photographed them in their finest (see above, below, and a little further beyond that), labeled them according to the event's instructions, and delivered them to the shipper.
Now I'd like to get to the easel and distract myself from thinking about their road trip, but there's a few days worth of emails that deserve my attention first.
And I've got to start a pot of chili.
It probably wouldn't hurt, either, to get out (with the kids) and spend some time deep cleaning the bunny hutch, since the temperature is above freezing. I'm sure they'd appre…

What a Lady

"What a Lady," image approximately 6" x 8", paper size 8" x 10", a special commission from a group of friends depicting a certain birthday girl's beautiful chestnut mare "Lady." This piece was done in Golden Open Acrylics on multimedia artboard, a fabulous surface that I enjoy using for sketches.
Reproductions and notecards of "What a Lady" can be ordered via my FineArtAmerica storefront.
I offer what I call "Painted Sketches" as a lower cost alternative to my traditional Dog a Day portraits. Painted Sketches are still done in color, with my Golden paints, but they are on paper (acid free, museum quality still - only the best will do in these parts!!) instead of a panel. These can be sized to match your budget (or a standard frame), take less time to prep (and finish!), and are easy to mail - yet they remain just as charming and delightful as the Dog a Day paintings.
So if the cost of a commissioned Dog a Day has been hold…

You WILL Be Mine

"You WILL Be Mine (Pearl and Arty)," 6" x 8", a special Valentine's Day portrait depicting a yellow lab and a black standard poodle. This piece was done in Golden Open Acrylics on a Raymar Panel, and is the first ever Dog a Day Valentine GiveAway portrait!
Reproductions and notecards of "You WILL Be Mine" can be ordered via my FineArtAmerica storefront.
Doesn't this remind you of the whole elementary school playground bit?
Today's painting belongs to Lisa Stahlberg, who last week submitted the hysterical photo (scroll down, please) of Pearl and Arty playing in the snow. Little did I know, but Arty is a PAWS With a Cause service pup in training, and Pearl is a face I painted many years ago. Congratulations to Lisa and her two sidekicks for inspiring this year's Valentine!
And thank you to all who so graciously sent in photos of your loved companions - I'll be responding personally to everyone. It was beyond rewarding to see the response t…

Ike

"Ike," 5" square, portrait of a Black Lab service dog. This piece was done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, and is not for sale. Inquiries may always come to me.
I'm going to leave it to Ike's person to introduce him:
"Right from the day I picked him up from PAWS HQ ... he decided I was the one he had to take care of. There was no bonding time... he just decided I was his and he would do whatever I needed whenever I needed it.
"We never had to work hard on anything .. we just blended as a team.... He was always ready and almost anticipating my next move before I even knew what it was. He was my heart, my soul, my everything.
"I was his world and he opened mine."
Ike's crossed the Rainbow Bridge for a while now. It was my extreme honor to give her a little slice of him, this time to stay for good.
Thanks so very much for following along with my artwork! Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
Will U B My Valentine?
I am painting a sp…

Billie's Sweater

"Billie's Sweater," 5" x 7", portrait of a French Bulldog, yet another installment in the "Black and Whites" series. This piece was done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, and is looking for a new home. The painting is $289 plus applicable shipping and handling. Inquiries may always come to me.
Guess I've been on a roll lately with all the black and white paintings. Sometimes I get obsessed with a particular idea and just can't let go; I've been having a jolly good time painting these, so why should I?!
I'm also learning a lot. Working in series' is a great way to explore a concept in greater depth. And based on all the muses you've been emailing me about, I'll have plenty of material to keep this series going strong.
Thanks so very much for following along with my artwork! Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
PS Here's another "Black and Whites" painting! My goal with these pieces is to demonstrate the …

Here Comes Meatball!!

"Here Comes Meatball!," 5" x 7", commissioned portrait of a mixed breed stinker (Rat Terrier mix?), done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to me.
Meatball won the lottery. Not only did he get a great family after being adopted from a local shelter, but he also won Best Dog Name Ever.
What color do you think his underpainting (the very first layer of paint I covered the canvas with) was?
Thanks so very much for following along with my artwork! Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
PS Here's another "Black and Whites" painting! My goal with these pieces is to demonstrate the wealth of color apparent in objects that are seemingly straightforward.
Is a black dog really black? you tell me......
And if you have a four legged friend (or even a 3 legged - I don't want to discriminate here) that might qualify as a "Black and Whites" muse, please let me know!

Be My Valentine
Earlier this…

Comfortable With His Masculinity (Solomon)

"Comfortable With His Masculinity (Solomon)," 8" square, commissioned portrait of a Samoyed, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to me.
Like it or not, Solomon is following in his big brother Rudy's footprints. Solomon's painting had to also measure up to Rudy's. Ah, the curse of the middle child, eh?
Thanks so very much for following along with my artwork! Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com
PS Yes, Solomon's painting is part of my ongoing "Black and Whites" series. My goal with these pieces is to demonstrate the wealth of color apparent in objects that are seemingly straightforward.
For example, a white dog.
Solomon isn't really white to my eyes - the pinkness of his skin glows from underneath that crown of fur, and all sorts of beautiful violets and blues can be seen in the shadows.
Feel free to browse through other pieces in the "Black and Whites" series and…

Stretched (Amelia)

"Stretched (Amelia)," 6" square, commissioned portrait of a rescued black lab, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, private collection (THANK YOU!).
Amelia's portrait was done using photos her family shared - would you like to commission a custom painting of your dog (or cat or horse or guinea pig or bunny or.......)? I've made it as simple as possible. Sketches start at $29, paintings at $200 - and inquiries may always come to me.**
Some families I never tire working with, and Amelia's is no exception. I think Amelia's painting is number 6 for them...... and painting her soulful face was even more rewarding, knowing the other portraits (also all rescues) she would eventually be joining.
Painting a Dog a Day has brought some rather amazing people into my life, one of the many blessings I am grateful for daily. Please consider yourself hugged and appreciated today!
Thanks so very much for following along with my artwork! Kim ksantini@turtledoved…