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.

Monday, July 23, 2012

At the Gate


The newest painting in the Saratoga Series, "At the Gate," has been signed. The above photo is from my cell phone, and it's an in-process shot and a little blurry (my apologies) - I didn't think to take a clearer photo before delivering the panel to my framer for trimming. But I think you get the idea! Below is a detail of the same in-process stage.....

This painting will be coming with me to Spa Fine Art in Saratoga, New York - unless someone speaks up in the next 48 hours (email me!!).

The piece is roughly 4-1/2" x 18", done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, and $549.

In process images are on the studio Facebook page - you might have to scroll back through the weekend's posts, since I worked this one up on Saturday.

And yes I did say I was taking this with me to Saratoga - I leave tomorrow!! I'll be in New York through the weekend, and return to daily painting on Wednesday of next week.

Don't forget my live painting demonstration on Friday at Spa Fine Art!! You can call the gallery for details - 518-587-2411. I'm bringing a racing scene and another post parade composition along with me - both very challenging pieces, but ones that should prove to also be very entertaining

Kim, who cannot wait to watch the sunrise over the track (and I'm a girl who takes her sleep very seriously!)

Christmas in July

The Christmas in July Giveaway is going strong - and last nite I upped the ante and decided to give away TWO paintings - so head on over to the studio Facebook page, people!!

"Like" my page (if you haven't already) and share the Christmas in July Giveaway image on your own Facebook page.

You gotta do it by the end of this month, though, to be eligable to win.

More details are here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Christmas in July

Head on over to the studio Facebook page, people!!

If you aren't already a fan, start by "liking" the page.

Then look at my timeline and find the photo/graphic that, when shared, will get you an entry in a giveaway for one 8" x 10" commissioned portrait valued at $469. (Hint: It looks pretty much identical to the image above)

Share said image on your own Facebook timeline.

Now you are entered to win!! Easy peasy, huh?

This portrait will be created in time for 2012 holiday giving (gifting to yourself is A-OK). Winner is responsible for any applicable shipping costs and taxes.

Interested parties must share the aforementioned photo/graphic that is on the studio Facebook page. Shares must be public and from friends/fans of the studio page, and must be shared between now and the end of this month (July 31st). In exchange, the share-er earns one chance at winning the portrait.

Let me reiterate that I've got to be able to see the share - so things sent via private messaging or email or newsletter forwarding do not count. Only shares done publically on Facebook from friends or fans of the studio page are eligible. Sharing and then deleting said share will negate entry eligibility.

Odds of winning are totally determined by how many shares completed. However, odds of winner receiving an amazing portrait and skyrocketing to the top of recipient's Favorite Person list are pretty darned good.

Painting delivery hinges entirely upon winner providing suitable reference photos in a timely manner.

Winning entry will be chosen entirely at random in early August.

Don't you just love the thrill of a good contest?!

Kim, who still wishes she won a carnival goldfish all those years ago

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Prayer Flags

From my journal, a spread carrying prayer flags, which I will be leading my grownUP students in creating during tonite's class.

Did you know that we all breathe molecules that Leonardo da Vinci breathed himself? that we have the ability to put positive, brilliant energy out for others to benefit from? I'm fascinated as of late by the idea of karmic attraction - like attracting like. Our personal energy fields impact more than we realize.

Prayer flags are a beautiful manifestation of desires and wishes. Intentions are put onto a "flag" using symbols and text and a variety of media. That flag is hung in a window or outdoors, where the breeze can pick up those intentions and carry them into the world.

Ok, call me that kooky crazy artist lady. I've been called worse.

But the Princess and I made some healing flags together and strung them on the back porch - we talked about her baby cousin who's healing from heart surgery and visualized the flags traveling all the way to Canada to bless her little sleeping form. And you know what? We didn't feel so helpless afterwards.

Later that day, I spent some quiet time under the flags thinking about the friend of a friend who had a mastectomy earlier this week, other friends who are mourning, and the list just went on. I was able to connect with the people I cared about, near and far, and send them my love. The flags are a shrine of hope, right here in our home.

Kim, who's delighted to have a new-to-her means to send good vibes to those who might benefit from it

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


"Oliver", a commissioned pet portrait, 8" x 10", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a yellow lab, private collection (THANK YOU!!). Inquiries can come my way.

So today I didn't wear my Wonder Woman shoes (which served me so well when painting Cooper earlier this week), but I did have on a vintage Gucci-esque peasant skirt. I needed something boldly colored to carry me through this rainy day.

Oliver, though, he was my sunshine substitute.

In process views are in the Mobile Uploads folder insidethe studio Facebook page.

Kim, who's wondering what to wear tomorrow

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


"Cooper", from the Cherished series, 12" square, acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a black and white Boston Terrier. This painting will be part of ArtPrize in Grand Rapids this fall and available for purchase there. Inquiries may be directed my way.

Cooper fell off my brushes during last night's painting session. This is what happens when I put on my Wonder Woman tennies and eat Girl Scout cookies until 3am.

In process views are in the Mobile Uploads folder insidethe studio Facebook page.

Its going to be a fabulous week!!

Five paintings headed to new homes today and three others took off for Spa Fine Art in New York.

Which means I now have space on the studio floor for another pile. Hmmm......


Monday, July 16, 2012

Insert Cooper Here

As I type this, it's closing in on 10pm on Monday. I've just laid out a fresh palette and chosen a 12" square panel that will soon tell the story of Cooper, a little lump of spunk wrapped up as a Boston Terrier.

However, even overly optimistic me knows that I won't be finishing this ambitious painting by my midnite posting deadline.

So, the next best thing? Regular updates to Facebook.

I'll be updating the progress of Cooper's portrait onto the studio Facebook page, so if you are up working too (or just playing), please follow along and comment. If you are reading this in the morning, feel free to check in and add your two - or ten - cents.

Meanwhile, I'm turning up Pandora and putting on my Wonder Woman cons. It's that sorta night!

Happy Monday -
Saratoga Bound

This time next week, I'll be heading off to upstate New York for my annual artists' retreat weekend.

Five of us rent a house in Saratoga, and spend a looong weekend at the track, gallery hopping, making meals of ice cream and wine, and talking shop.

This year I'll also be doing a live paint at Spa Fine Art, on Broadway in downtown 'Toga. Stay tuned for more deets.

Friday, July 13, 2012


"Cleo," an 8" square commissioned portrait of a beloved kitty. Done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, this one is headed to a private collection where she will join her kitty siblings on the wall.

In process pics are on the studio Facebook wall.

And while I'd like to write more, it's been a long, exhausting week. I'm ready to call it a nite - with a nightcap and a great book (right now I'm enjoying Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker).

And I know I owe you some deets about the Christmas in July giveaway - lots has been going on in the background here, but I am nearly ready to announce this. I'm hoping to do so with great fanfare next week!!

Enjoy yourselves this weekend!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Green Framing

"Momma and Me," mounted on a silk covered board and framed in a handsome black molding with gilt trim.Available for purchase.

My framer's hubby beefed to me a few years back that he was no fan of how close I took my compositions to the edge. He struggled with how much of the painting to tuck inside the molding (we're talking less than a 1/4" all around). We both agreed that my work could look better with more breathing room.

I asked him how we might best address this. He suggested I not crop my paintings in as closely, which we both had a good laugh over. Then he went off to play with his tools and see what came to mind.

And this is what he devised - a floating frame environment where my work (painted on flat panels) is roughly centered and mounted to a scrap of linen or silk covered matboard. This board then gets framed in a fabulous box he builds (also from scraps - molding scraps, that is).

I love that I am using "recycled" frames (keep in mind my work is predominantly 8x10s or smaller, so this doesn't necessarily work for larger pieces), but I love even more that the presentation is unique and that it perfectly sets the paintings off.

And now I am not restricted to standard sizes in any way. Only the mat board upon which my work is mounted needs to fit inside the box frames.

If I sell a piece without the frame, I open up the back of the frame and remove the mat board and painting. Now I have a backer board that automatically protects the paintings' corners during shipment, and with a little bit of wrapping and padding, the piece is good to go and will ship affordably in a flat parcel.

Check your community for a framer who builds their own frames, and see if you can't work out a similar arrangement. If you are on a tighter budget, look into purchasing pre-assembled frames and using the panel-mounted-on-mat approach, purchasing mat blanks from a local framer and trimming them to size yourself.

And meanwhile, if you are in my area and want to work with a framer who knows their business (and respects your wallet at the same time), please visit Diana and DJ at Accent on Art in Lake Orion - 248-693-9826. Tell them I sent you!!

Have a great day,

Making a Mark

A few weeks back on Katherine Tyrrell's blog (which should be mandatory reading for all artists, btw), there was a poll on the various elements impacting an artist's choice of painting sizes.

And, being Katherine Tyrrell (which also means "incredibly thorough"), conversations ensued on the framing and finishing costs of choosing non-standard over standard sized images. I piped in with my recycled framing idea, and Kathering asked me to write a post about it.

So this one's for you, Katherine!
"A Gentle Breeze," beautifully framed in a gilt box, available for purchase.
Detail of "You Are My Sunshine," mounted on a rough linen set flush inside a deep gold box frame, collection of the artist..

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


"Flopsy," the newest Cherished painting, 9" x 12", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting an extremely charming and very cherished bunny.

"Flopsy" is also headed to ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan in September, and will be available for purchase then. Please email me if you are interested in purchasing him, and I will be happy to make the necessary arrangements.

In process pics of Flopsy are on the studio Facebook page.

What did I think of when painting this one? The opened package of Oreos in my cupboard. Which I left alone. For the record. Honest. And no, my fingers aren't crossed.

Thanks for supporting my art!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Koi I

"Koi I," from the Cherished series of paintings, 16" x 20", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting some pretty muscular goldfish. This painting is headed to ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan in September, and will be available for purchase there. Please email me if you are interested in it and I will be happy to make the necessary arrangements.

So, the whole time I'm painting Koi (and it was a conscious decision to break away from my regular subject matter), I'm thinking we choose the sort of water we swim in. 

We cannot choose what we swim with (or against), but we can control where inside that school of fish (or sharks!) we choose to be and whether to tread water or move forward or turn around and return to where we started.

So it was these sort of circuitious thoughts that filled my head while I worked away.

And I'd love to paint more koi and goldfish! Let me know if you have a pond or bowl I can come photograph, or you can send your own (non-flash) pics to me.

In process pics of Koi I are on the studio Facebook page.

Thanks for supporting my art!!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Thank YOU

Another pic from my visit to The Heidelberg Project this last weekend. This is the view from the window below. The black shapes in this photo are burnt supports/lumber from a house.

So, if you missed it, I ranted a just a little bit in Friday's newsletter/blog posting.

You see, yet another "artist" copied one of my paintings and had it for sale on their website (as of Friday's posting, five other artists' work had been identified on her site as being stolen/pirated, so this was not an isolated circumstance or an innocently made decision).

This was the latest in a recent string of people who had stolen imagery and content from my website. It's become more and more common that copycats pad their own bank accounts with sales of copied and pirated art. Frustrated to a point I hadn't ever reached before, I sat down and wrote an open letter to the thieves who seem to be a dime a dozen anymore.

Then My Better Half whisked me away for a weekend saturated with art and food and laughter - just what the doctor ordered.

When I opened my emails late last nite, the response was overwhelming - hundreds of messages applauding my words. Many cross posted and shared the letter via their own channels. And far too many more wrote of their frustration after being stolen from, too. Katherine Tyrell of Making a Mark fame included a link to my letter in herweekly wrap up. I even heard from several arts councils that they will start offering workshops to guide artists through such a situation!

However there was one sole note from a Dog a Day fan who was offended. I've apologized to her - I did not intend to blindly accuse people of wrong doings. I know if one person felt strongly enough to write, there are others who share her feelings but remain silent. Please know if you are in this group, I value your time and attention and business tremendously and I am so very sorry if I offended you.

Thank you so much for your continued support! 

And now I am delighted to move to my easel and paint an image entirely of my own making. It'll feel oh-so-good!! I'll share with you tomorrow!!

Thanks for supporting my art!!

A photo I took from this weekend's visit to 
The Heidelberg Project, the text above the 
window reads "Happiness is Only Real When Shared."
Today I Did
  • Two carpools
  • Three loads of laundry
  • Changed the litterbox
  • Fed a section of the marching band (so it was only pizza, but I delivered it piping hot!)
  • Took the dog for a swim
  • Fielded about a gajillion emails
  • Finished a tattoo design
  • Edited an article for our local paper
  • Laid out some marketing materials for a friend starting a new business
  • Prepped the next lesson and materials' mailing for my AirMail Journal workshop
  • Bought materials to try out homemade alcohol inks (for next weeks' grownUPs journaling class???)
  • Sketched three concepts for this year's marching band show tshirts
  • Made a killer dinner
  • Squeaked in a hour of quiet time with My Better Half
  • Talked on the phone with my Grandma (she's my hero)
  • Started my daily painting at 11pm

Friday, July 06, 2012

Dear Copyright Thieves

Dear Copyright Thieves,
Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's free for the taking. So let's just stop pretending the internet is a free-for-all.
Don't play the card that you didn't know - that's insulting. And don't also tell me that you meant to follow up and get permission but never got a chance to. That's insulting too. And by the way, don't you have a copyright protection notice on your own site?
And don't even try and point the finger at a third party who commissioned you to make a copy of my painting - again, an insult - you and I both know the difference between a reference photo and a painting.
And don't tell me that I asked for it because I share my artwork on the internet. I share my paintings and ideas and the stories behind them so as to encourage others to pursue their own passions. I do not share so that those lacking integrity and morals can copy and market the images as their own.
Don't waste your breath and tell me that imitation is a form of flattery. And don't try to flatter me further by saying you meant no harm. I know what you meant to do - you blatantly copied a copyrighted image and presented it as your own in an attempt to line your pockets in some way. And you thought you would get away with it.
So you've already gotten an individualized cease and desist note from my lawyer. 
And now along with that mess, there's a couple other things you should start preparing for:
  • Your entire website will be deleted from your host. They don't smile upon infringers.
  • The infringing images are all being dumped from your online storefronts. Again, their terms of service agreements state they don't tolerate copyright violations, and a simple Google search showed me all the places where you were marketing your unauthorized copies of my paintings, selling prints of my pirated art, and using my stolen imagery to advertise your own product.
  • And the infringing artwork will be removed from that juried exhibition - I called the exhibition space and spoke with the director personally. I imagine you'll be hearing from her too, because that award has been rescinded.
  • I went ahead and emailed the professional affiliations listed on your website and alerted them to the fact that you have misrepresented your artwork. You'll most likely be hearing from them, too.
  • I also took the liberty of letting the art guilds and spaces you teach at know that your recent workshops were based exclusively on artwork stolen from my website. I sent them all sorts of supplemental information, too, including an overlay of your recent demo paintings which are tracings of work I created years ago.
I suppose these are minor inconveniences, really. Because tomorrow you most likely will just look elsewhere for someone else's work to flagrantly misappropriate.
However, keep in mind that various artists groups and online communities watch each other's backs. The internet has made our world smaller, and it's just a matter of time before you are discovered and exposed. As a matter of fact, that's how I found you - another watchdog sent me a note with a couple of links.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot - just to err on the side of caution, I alerted several groups to your piracy, and shared saved images of your website inside their archives. So who knows - you might be getting personal introductions in the coming days to some other artists you cared enough about to "flatter" !!
Dear, dear copyright infringers, because you don't know how to create - you just know how to copy - you won't ever understand the thrill of pursuing your own ideas. How sad is that? And while you might call yourself artists, you're really just playing make believe.
I'm watching you now. As is a growing army of angry artists you've also taken advantage of.
We've heard the pathetic excuses too many times. We're not buying them anymore.
Proudly signed by an artist who prides herself on working hard and making an honest living,
Kimberly Kelly Santini
Dear Fellow Artists,

You have my complete and total permission to share this open letter in any format you choose.

Feel free to substitute your name or add any necessary bullet points.

Post it and links where ever you deem appropriate.

Don't be shy to announce to copyright thieves that you won't take it anymore.

United we stand!

En Garde! 


Thursday, July 05, 2012

Mini Halo

"Mini Halo," from the "Cherished" series.

This new favorite of mine (sorry, "Momma," but you've been replaced) is this 5" square painting, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel and available for purchase for $269.

That is, if Halo's Mom decides to let this one go, which she might, because there's a bigger Halo portrait fighting for wall space, too.

UPDATE: The bigger Halo has a home (THANK YOU!). "Mini Halo" is actively seeking one. Inquiries may come to me.

Inquiries on either piece may come to me. And check out below if you want to play along in the "Cherished" game!

Thanks for supporting my art!!

Cherished Paintings

A collection of "Cherished" series of paintings will be displayed as part of this year's ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

It is an honor to be included in ArtPrize, and a wonderful challenge to be creating paintings for their audience.

More information on nominating your dog/cat/whatever for the "Cherished" series is here on my blog.

And you can see all the "Cherished" muses here - I've added links to the finished paintings inside the photo captions.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Like Her Momma


"Like Her Momma," from the "Cherished" series. This little gem is 6" x 8", acrylics on a museum quality panel, and not currently for sale. However, inquiries may always come to me.

And in process views of this painting are on the studio's Facebook page.

I've entered this painting into an international juried equine art exhibition (for those who are curious, the Equine Jubilee in Delaware, Ohio from August through October of this year). And as such, if accepted, the painting will have to be available for purchase at the event.

I sent these ladies along with two other paintings from the Saratoga series - fingers and toes crossed that the jurors like my work enough to include them all. (And yes, I get rejected regularly from shows - it's all about one person's opinion at one particular moment in time, so 
don't beat yourself up over it should the same thing happen to you)

Meanwhile, if you really, really, really want to purchase "Like Her Momma" (and I totally get it, because she's my current all time favorite painting to come off the easel), shoot me an email and I'll make sure you get first dibs on her via the event coordinators. Or myself, should she not make the cut (I don't want to jinx anything).

Thanks for supporting my art!!

Happy 4th of July!!

I'll be chill-axing tomorrow, painting the front and back porches and doing yard work while tossing the frisbee and setting the sprinkler up for this guy.

I hope that your mid-week holiday is equally productive or equally peaceful - however you ordered it up!

And let's hope that all those fireworks crazed critters, like Finnigan, stay safe.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Striped, Finito !!

"Striped," from the "Cherished" series. A portrait done to celebrate Mona Lisa's 2nd birthday - tuna sandwiches for all!! This is 12" x 16", acrylics on a museum quality panel, and $629. Inquiries may come to me.

(Mona's first birthday portrait, "You Are My Sunshine," ishere. Her "official" kitten portrait, "Tiny Kitten, Big Dreams," is here.)

There are many, many, many, many in process views of "Striped" on the studio's Facebook page. This painting was a bear to finish - taking me 4 days instead of the usual one. But I wasn't going to give up!

It's a great feeling, to look a demon in the face and tame it. Even if it does take 4 times longer than usual!!

I suppose if everything in life was easy, we would have no adventures.

Thanks for adventuring along with me!!

"hmmm, who would I gift a portrait to? perhaps the answer will be clearer after a nap....."

Christmas in July!!

Later this week, I'll reveal the details of my Christmas in July promotion.

But in the meanwhile, your homework assignment is to think about if you were gifting a commissioned portrait, who might you gift it to.

Ok? Now back to your regularly scheduled program!!

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