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, December 31, 2012

January Desktop Calendar



To implement this month's desktop calendar, simply download the file directly from my website. I've set up a couple different ways to do this, either via the photo album or a direct link.

I am by no means an expert on the variety of operating systems, so I highly recommend that if you don't know how to change your desktop wallpaper, don't email me for advice. Instead consult your computer's help files - they will be more concise, more knowledgeable and more responsive than I could ever hope to be. 

I've sized this to fit a standard screen height of 768 - I realize there are lots of variables that could impact how the file displays on your screen. Let me know if, once you get the file installed, there are display quality issues (keep in mind, too, that options such as "stretching to fit," "tiling" and "cropping" will impact your display, so check those first!).

Meanwhile, enjoy that mug of tea and whatever this month brings you, celebrate with your whole heart!! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Liquid Sunshine


"Liquid Sunshine," 10" x 10", another Water Dog painting starring the same muse as "August," from last week. Done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, "Liquid Sunshine" is available for $539 to the first one asking nicely

May your coming days be packed full of joy and sunshine and treasured moments. I will return to daily painting in the New Year.

Merry, merry!!
Kim, who cannot believe another year has come and gone - thank you for keeping me company

Friday, December 21, 2012

YELLOW Has a Home!!


"YELLOW," 8" x 10", portrait of a sunshiney yellow lab, valued at $469US.

I knew I could count on you!

On Monday of this week I announced a fundraiser for my local shelter, with the grand prize being the above painting or a gift certificate for a commissioned pet portrait. The event ran through noon today.

I just wrote a check to the Oakland Pet Adoption Center for $860! I can't wait to deliver it - I am filled with gladness, as this is a gift of pure compassion. Thank you to all who participated in the promotion!!

And earlier this afternoon I sent a congradulatory email to our lucky winner - I am imaging great rejoicing at their end, too. **UPDATE: The winner is torn between choosing YELLOW or a portrait of her orange tabby..... stay tuned for future developments!!

As a thank you, I have set up YELLOW for reproductions at cost through FineArtAmerica. Prints on paper start at $13. Grab a mess of them and spread the smiles!

Happy Friday!!
Kim, who's happy it's Friday

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Getting It Done

I'm asked all the time how I get seemingly so much accomplished. I feel like I don't get nearly enough done, but I guess that's my problem......

Anyway, I've adapted a couple tricks over the course of the years and I thought I would share:
  • I take advantage of block scheduling, like running all my errands together one day every week. I also consolidate studio chores - for instance, Sunday evenings are spent varnishing paintings, Monday mornings are packing and shipping days.
  • I schedule myself one half-day a week for client consults, photo shoots, painting deliveries, visits and other things that may take me out of the studio.
  • I have a daily routine - household chores followed by several hours of computer work, with my end goal being getting to the easel by noon. Because everything else is done, I can paint until afternoon activities start up with my kids, typically around 4 or 5. My Better Half chips in and does carpools and dinners when home in time, and The Man Child gets recruited to drive carpools at least once a week. And the added bonus? the more efficiently I run my morning, the faster I get to the easel - since all I really want to do is paint, it's a great prize.
  • In the evenings I check email prior to bedtime. I can also duck in and check while dinner's simmering or kids are doing homework. Things needing immediate attention are flagged as such, so when I come into the studio in the morning I can get straight to work.
  • I use a planning software program (Palm Software from an ancient Palm Pilot phone!) to track all my tasks. I color code - studio, family, volunteer, etc - and tag if they can be delegated (you never know when someone will offer to help!). I build tasks with due dates and reminders and set them up to repeat if they are things I do cyclically. This way I do not have to remember a thing, and my brain is free to focus on the more important stuff.
  • Everything I need during the course of my work day is here in the studio. Including a girl scout cookie stash. (I had a chocolate one, but someone raided it. That someone's on my radar and karma's tough.)
  • I do better with a tightly scheduled day. If I have a shorter to-do list, I will waste time on Pinterest or ebay, for example. So I lean towards overscheduling in the hope that it'll keep me on track.
  • I also am a rabid list maker. Understanding that and forcing myself to make one list (the Palm Software) allows me to control and leverage what could end up being a crutch.

To me, time management is understanding the circumstances under which we best perform (and knowing what works for one person may not work for another) and building habits that best match up.

Now I am off for a little holiday shopping with The Princess!
Kim, who loves helping Santa get it done

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



"August," 10" x 14", another Water Dog painting, depicting a golden retriever playing in the sprinkler. This painting will hopefully get juried intoThe Art Show at the Dog Show next month, and, if so, will be available for purchase through them. Let me know if you are interested, and I'll keep you in the loop.
Wishing you all a quiet and beautiful evening,
Kim, who plans on having double helpings of quiet and beautiful tonite

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Gift for Moi

I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point I started measuring production instead of growth. I've been thinking a lot about this since the soul searching I did in October 2012 regarding authenticity and seeking direction. 

Therefore I've given myself permission to actively pursue knowledge this coming year - whether that's via reading, painting lessons, taking in an exhibition, class study - whatever. And yes, that means some necessary time away from the easel and a decrease in production - but hopefully it will also result in an increase in quality.

Because while it is all about the end product, it is also very much about the journey to get there. 

I'll spend at least one day each week in active learning mode - and I started last week by working out some color theory concepts I couldn't wrap my brain around a few years ago. They are slowly making sense now!

What will you give yourself permission to do in 2013?
Kim, who's looking forward to setting new boundaries

Monday, December 17, 2012

YELLOW - The Color of Hope

If you have ever wanted one of my paintings but not been able to make it happen, now is your chance - read on!
"YELLOW," 8" x 10", portrait of a sunshiney yellow lab, valued at $469US.

The first layer of paint on this panel was a commission, and my buyer inexplicably flew the coop. After months of no response and feeling sad for this little face staring at me, I decided to make something positive happen.

So, I got out my brightest paints and reveled in yellow. She got a facelift and a new name, with the intention of bringing sunshine where it is most needed. Then I got to work figuring out the best way to send YELLOW into the world.

Here's what's going down - I'm raffling YELLOW off.  Proceeds will go to my local shelter - and I know there are many, many wonderful causes out there - but the giving does not end here - so, please, read on some more!!

The winner can choose to take YELLOW for themselves, or they may choose a gift certificate of equal value. In either instance, the painting or the gift certificate can be donated by the winner to their favorite cause - I will provide proper tax valuation paperwork to all involved.

And if your favorite cause is yourself, no explanation necessary - I understand completely!

YELLOW will be raffled on Friday, December 21st, after 1pm EST. All tickets purchased by noon EST on Friday will be included. (My apologies to those of you who follow the Mayan Calendar, but in all honesty, i couldn't have gotten the painting to you in time to enjoy anyways!) Tickets can be purchased starting now.

$2 is one raffle ticket. If you want more than one ticket, practice your math skills!  Use the Paypal button above or visit the raffle's webpage to purchase tickets. will choose the winner, and odds are based entirely on number of tickets sold.

I think that's all the deets you need!!

Except for one more thing - please accept my challenge to go out into the world and perform a random act of kindness. No need to report back - Karma knows how to find you - just send the challenge onwards. Everyone seems to be struggling today, and let's collectively do what we can to make things a smidge easier.

Kim, who's hugging you - yes you - today

Friday, December 14, 2012



"Mazey," 12" x 16", a commissioned portrait, depicting a cherished family member. In process pics of Mazey's portrait are on the studio Facebook page.

I am devastated by the news coming from Connecticut today. My heart goes out to all those touched by this senseless tragedy.

Doing my best to hold onto a holiday frame-of-mind,
Kim, who's hugging her kids when they come in the door

Napalm, A Painted Sketch


"Napalm," a commissioned painted sketch, image approximately 4-1/2" square centered on a 9" x 12" page depicting one very furry mixed breed. 

Two more portraits to go before I can start my own Christmas shopping!!
Kim, who's making a list and checking it twice

Wednesday, December 12, 2012



"Buddy," 8" x 10", commissioned dog portrait, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel. Buddy's painting has a home (THANK YOU!), and in process pics are on the studio's Facebook page.

So, like, this is one of my all time favorite pieces to come off my easel. 

I'm feeling rather pleased with myself right now. 

Kim, who's head might have grown a couple sizes this afternoon

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


"Ali," 5" x 7", commissioned dog portrait of a Belgian Malinois, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel. I don't get asked to paint these gorgeous dogs nearly enough - isn't her smile just amazing?
I'll answer any questions you might have about getting a smiling portrait of your own dog in your own home. Just let me know.
Again, this is my final week for commissions - I'm spending most of every day and a good chunk of the nights at the easel. All because I love sending paintings like Ali's out into the world.
Want a gift certificate? well then, let me know!!
Kim, who cannot read minds but is happy to make your portrait wishes come true

Monday, December 10, 2012



"Rocky," 6" square, commissioned portrait of a Golden Retriever senior citizen, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel. Rocky has a home (THANK YOU!) but I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have about getting one of my paintings in to your own home.

This is my final week for commissions - and in addition to celebrating the end of another spectacular year (including nearly 150 new paintings!!), the Santini family is marking two very special days.

The Man Child turns 18 today, and The Princess will be 12 on Saturday.

Chocolate cake for everyone!!

(And Psst, let me know if you want to be added to the A-List of gift-givers, because I can totally hook you up with a gift certificate),

Kim, who is ready to start the party

Friday, December 07, 2012



"Beare," 6" square, commissioned portrait of an Aussie, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel. Beare has a home (THANK YOU!) but I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have about getting one of my paintings in to your own home.

It's been busy here - I'm now offering gift certificates to anyone wishing to gift a portrait for the holidays. Gift certificates are customized and full color, and can be emailed for easy-peasy shopping.

Let me know if you want to be added to the A-List of gift-givers,
Kim, who is down to her last week of holiday commissions before punching out until the New Year - how did this happen?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Bah Humbug


"Bah Humbug," 12" square, portrait of studio muse Mona Lisa, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, $599 to the first asking nicely. Just don't disturb her sleep!

In-process photos can be seen on the studio Facebook page.

And my Christmas gift to you? I've set Bah Humbug up on Fine Art America so that you may order prints or notecards. Right. Now. 

(You can also order prints of Mona's other two seasonal portraits, "Holiday Lights" and "Candy Cane."  Prints start at only $22 and make a fantastic gift!)

Happy holidays!!
Kim, who is tip-toeing around quietly

Wednesday, December 05, 2012



"Scout," 5" x 7", commissioned portrait of a well-dressed kitty, acrylics on a museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!). In-process photos can be see in the studio Facebook page.

Don't you just love those whiskers? I think they are rather Santa-like,
Kim, who still believes, and asks for a pony each Christmas

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Greta II


"Greta II," 8" square, companion piece to Greta I (painted yesterday), commissioned portrait of a mixed breed dog, acrylics on a museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!). In-process photos of both Gretas are available on the studio Facebook page.

Kim, who loves to work in series' like the Greta's, and is looking formore water dog muses - feel free to email me your pics

Monday, December 03, 2012


"Greta," 8" square, commissioned portrait of a mixed breed dog, acrylics on a museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!). Greta's blessed her family with 18 years of love and companionship - she was well due her time on the easel. In-process photos of her portrait are available on the studio Facebook page.

There's lots more paintings where Greta came from - just shoot me an emal and we can plan your own portrait. I'm currently booking for 2013 (think Valentine's Day.....) and can deliver a gift certificate well in time for the holidays.

Kim, who is off to mail five holiday gift paintings to their new homes

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