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, August 31, 2012

Two Bunnies

 
 
 

"Bunny 1" (on top) and "Bunny 2," image approximately 5-1/2" wide on a 9" x 12" sheet, done in acrylic on paper, depicting sweet and fluffy rabbits. One of these paintings is for my client (who plans on donating it to a shelter fundraiser), and the other one could be yours for $100 plus s&h. Let me know!!

 
Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!

 
Kim, who plans on losing her voice at tonite's high school football game

Hardley A. Hadley

 

"Hardley A. Hadley!!" 6" square, acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a dapper and delightful Pomeranian. This painting is a commissioned portrait and will be headed to his new home shortly (and is ALSO a gift, so shush please!!) - however, let me know if you want one for yourself!!

 
It's been an exhausting - but fun - week. Between daily 8 hour Marching Band practices that required dinner deliveries, daily football practices and 3 games (with the varsity team playing tomorrow on the Detroit Lions home field), and choreography week for the dance team (also complete with meal deliveries), I've enjoyed total immersion in each of my kids' activites.

 
And now we are headed into a long weekend that will be packed with family time and, despite complaints, earlier, back-to-school preparatory curfews.

 
How can the summer be over with? Didn't we just start this?

 
Kim, who's not really counting, but noticed there's only 5 more wakeups until full day(light) days in the studio return. What on earth will I do with myself then?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Snuggles, A Painted Sketch

 
 

"Snuggles," a painted sketch, approximately 4-1/2" x 6" roughly centered on a 9" x 12" paper, done in acrylics, depicting siblings, private collection (THANK YOU!).

 
Just like yesterday's painting, this one is another gift. So shhhh.....

 
And, yes, for those who asked, this morning brought about the return of my wits' end, and suprised me with moments of sheer joy. And, thanks to The Princess and her cohort, I also got homemade cookies -

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chester, A Painted Sketch

 

 
"Chester," a painted sketch, approximately 4" x 5" roughly centered on a 9" x 12" paper, done in acrylics, depicting a mixed breed dog, private collection (THANK YOU!).

 
Chester is a gift, so if you recognize him, help me keep the secret, ok?

 
I will be phasing these sketches out by year's end - lately they have been taking nearly as much time to complete as a panel painting and are far more laborious to pack and ship. So if you are interested, please speak up now and we can get it scheduled.

 
Thanks, as always, for supporting and following along with my artwork!

 
Hoping tomorrow brings along my wit's end, because today I think I lost it -

Monday, August 27, 2012

September Desktop Calendar

 

 

 

Every month, I travel back in time one year, and try to find my fav painting to make a calendar page. It's a grand journey, and the decision isn't usually that tough.

 
Except for this time.

 
Last September was a break through month for me - I made a number of paintings that I felt were important in my journey. But I chose this one, "Lady in Blue," because she represented triumph.

 
She initially was a sketch for a commission, and the client chose a different direction (here's "Gracie's Throne," the finished commission, here - I have no regrets whatsoever on this project!). Something wasn't quite right with the piece, and it languished on my shelf for months until I figured it out.

 
While I knew it wasn't quite right to begin with, I didn't yet have the knowledge to fix things. Once I figured it out (values, more grays, and some additional saturation in her body, along with a complete redraw of her skeleton), things were simple.

 
Yeah, right. I hear you all saying that.

 
Persevere and trust that the answers will come. Just be patient - some lessons take longer to learn than others.
 

So 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. 

 
Grace is sized to fit a standard screen height of 768 - I realize there are lots of variables that could impact how this 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!!! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Life is Not My Own


Finger puppets, born yesterday. Courtesy of The Princess, Elizabeth St Hilaire Nelson, and the Detroit Institute of Art.

 
My life is not my own.

 
These are hard words to spit out, being that I am a total, over-the-top, control freak. But it is the truth.

 
I can't tell you what I did yesterday, but at any given point I can tell you what I'm doing in 5 minutes, 5 hours, and 5 days. And, yet, despite my calendar, things are not playing out as I anticipated. 

 
And that's because of my kids. This last week, my life has become theirs. I am coordinating carpools, planning team meals, delivering forgotten bits of uniforms, volunteering behind the scenes, and cheering maniacally from the sidelines.

 
School starts on September 4th, but until then, I have my kids (mostly) undivided attention. I say mostly, because they are also focused on marching band, football, and dance, along with squeezing in as much time as possible with friends. And sleeping past noon. But let me tell you, I show up unexpectedly with slurpees for all, and they do pay attention.

 
Don't get me wrong - it's extremely difficult for me to not be at the easel. Painting is my mental health. But I am also a work-from-home Mom so that I can flex around my kids' calendars. 
 

And now, they sorta want me (or maybe it's the slurpees, but don't ruin the illusion). So I plan on working it.

 
Fondly,
Kim, who is ok with disillusionment, at least for today
 
 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Friendship

 

Long time Dog-a-Day readers may remember the spring of 2010 when I won a wine label contest with my collage"Rusty," pictured above. The winning artwork was based on childhood memories of my recently deceased Grandfather's hunting dog, and the piece itself was inspired by a collage artist, Elizabeth St Hilaire Nelson, who's work I greatly admired.

 
I sent her a thank you letter by means of introduction, and the rest, as they say, is history.

 
We discovered we had much in common - a love of incredibly eclectic music, daughters who were both passionate about dance, husbands perplexed by but oh-so-very-supportive of our ceaseless desire to create, the shared isolation of painting alone in a studio, what one might call an addiction to all that is Anthropologie, a touch of OCD (ok, admittedly, I have far more than a touch), a singular enjoyment of a fine glass of wine at the end of the day......

 
Two years later, daily emails, texting and frequent phone calls have resulted in collaborations (we are doing an installation at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids together) and a solid friendship.

 
A friendship that will be cemented this weekend when we meet in person for the very first time.

 
I'll be picking Elizabeth up at the airport on Thursday, and we're immediately roadtripping to northern Michigan. She's teaching a workshop in Traverse City, and I'm going to try to keep up with her (she is the epitomy of the Energizer Bunny, I kid you not!).

 
Then we are returning to Casa Santini for a week of fun and games, including her attendance at one of my grownUPs journaling workshops, a visit to Arts & Scraps,The Heidelberg Projectthe DIA, the Detroit Eastern Market, and taking in one of The Caped Crusader's football games.

 
But the highlight of the trip will be our sharing a bottle of Rusty and toasting all the blessings that art has brought our way.

 
Fondly,
Kim, who is demonstrating her fine procrastination skills by starting (and hopefully finishing) her workshop homework tonite - the design and blocking in of two large compositions to be collaged at Elizabeth's workshop


 
The Other Side of the Story
 

Anyone interested in hearing Elizabeth's take on all this, can read her newsletter from last week.
 
 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Splash, Anna and Finnigan


 

"Splash," 9" x 12", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a certain Princess and her rather neurotic Cattle Dog partner in crime, playing together in Paint Creek. This painting was done in acrylics on museum quality panel, and is the latest acquisition by the artist. Yes, me. I'm allowed to claim one every so often, no?

 
This is one of my favorite memories of this summer - taking Finnigan down to the creek, and watching him play water frisbee with his girl.

 
What's your favorite summer memory?

 
Kim, who is fearing the day when The Princess will be too cool to need me for anything other than a clothes allowance, but savoring and loving every single moment between now and then, including today's emergency trip to the library for "brain food"

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sal

 

"Sal," 6" x 8", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a blood bay Quarter Horse. This is a commissioned portrait and a Christmas surprise, and as such will be headed to a good hiding spot in his new home shortly.

 
But never fear - I am able to paint something just as special for you - shoot me an email and we'll get your project started!! Sketches start at $99 and panels like Sal's start at $329.

 
Happy Friday!!

 
And thanks for following along,
Kim, who is throwing together a pot of veggie soup and getting herself ready for some high school football Caped Crusader style. Join me in crossing fingers and toes so that the predicted thunderstorms skirt the stadium and our boys get to play some ball!!!

 
 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Cannonball!!

 

"Cannonball!!" 11-3/4" x 19", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a fearless dock-diving Nita. I have big plans for this painting, but if you are interested in purchasing, let me know, and I'll get you on the list. I don't doubt that "Cannonball" will find a home quickly, and I do want it to be yours, but I also want to exhibit her for just a wee bit in the meanwhile, so please bear with me.

 
I started this painting late last nite - in process photos are on the studio facebook page.

 
My favorite part of the painting? the water bits, where, close-up, they become entirely abstract, just pure color and shape.

 
And Nita's squinched eyes.

 
You might recognize this girl....... I've painted her before. Huge thanks to Nita's mom who shared some most extraordinary photos when I told her of my dogs-playing-in-water-ideas (and there are more of these paintings to come!).

 
I'm lining works up for a fall series of exhibitions and installations. Then it'll be time to buckle down and focus on holiday commissions (you want in? better email me now!)

 
Kim, who might just treat herself to a plate full of cookies just because of this painting. And finding the $%^#ing retainer (please see below for full details), which I did, all on my own, because while some people look for things, they look with eyes not entirely opened.
 
Fun and Games
 

Unlimited Fun and Games were had at the Santini household last nite when someone mentioned that they had lost their retainer.

 
I am not afraid of dumpster diving, and I will freely admit to cementing an appliance into a child's mouth after several such events (with our dentist's approval - don't go calling social services on me). But I was not thrilled at all to hear that dreaded question, "Has anyone seen my retainer?" Especially after we'd only had the darned thing for 6 - count em, 6 -days.
 

The whole search conveniently overlapped with a neighbor dog's insane 2+ hour bark fest. Which supplied the perfect excuse to uncork a bottle of red and clean out cupboards.

 
Which is also why I didn't get a painting finished and posted last nite.

 
However the orthodontics were found, the dog eventually got let into the house, I blocked in "Cannonball," someone went to bed with their blessed retainer in place, and everyone slept like babies.

 
 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Stretch Run

 

The initial block in happened overtop an orange underpainting (above).
 
 
 

I slowly worked my way across the panel, defining shapes and forms as I went.
 
 
 

Photo courtesy of the amazing Jen Trottier. Hair courtesy of the lovely Saratoga Humidity. White House Black Market dress courtesy of the Salvation Army.
 
 
ALl photos in process of "The Stretch Run," 9" x 36", acrylics on museum quality panel, $699 unframed. Inquiries may come to me.

 
When in Saratoga two weeks back, I spent a day at Spa Fine Art, painting and mingling with the public. This is the piece I finished while there, a painting I left in their care. I don't doubt that they will find the perfect home for it.

 
Meanwhile, if you are interested, let me know, and I'll introduce you to the Spa staff. And arrange for you to see a true completed painting image, too.

 
Kim, who is ever so eager to start painting some of her Saratoga shots, but has to focus on more immediate deadlines (aka The Real World) first

Monday, August 06, 2012

Lily and Clarence

 

"Lily and Clarence," 6" x 12", a commissioned portrait of a pair of King Charles Cavalier Spaniels. This portrait is done in acrylics on a museum quality panel and is directly headed to a private collection - BUT, I'm happy to create something equally special just for you. Just ask.

 
Signed
Kim, who had a crazy busy day between football carpools, marching band sectionals, collecting children from sleepovers, delivering others to friends' homes, visiting the library, treasure hunting, dog walking, packaging and shipping paintings, and catching up on laundry.

The BIG Studio Clean
 

So last week I was bemoaning the fact that my studio needed serious housekeeping, but I was lacking equally serious motivation.

 
I ate my wheaties on Saturday, and spent nearly the whole day in there. And I wasn't painting.

 
Only my desk remains. Which could be the most daunting of it all.

 
But I'm oddly excited to reclaim my space and move the laptop back in there (from the kitchen table).

 
When I'm done, I'll think I'll reward myself with a box of Girl Scout cookies...... I rediscovered my stash behind the canvas panels in the closet!!

 
Cleaning isn't all that bad after all!!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Cooper


"Cooper," 8" x 10", a commissioned portrait of a dearly beloved golden retriever who recently crossed the bridge. This is done in acrylics on a museum quality panel. Cooper's painting has been spoken for, but I'm happy to privately discuss painting something like this starring your dog (or cat or horse or rabbit or guinea pig or whatever). Inquiries may come to me.

In process images are on the studio Facebook page.

Signed
Kim, who was delighted to open her palette up today, even if it did smell rather skunky and had a bit of a science project growing over the cadmiums.......

The Lure of the Easel

It's been 2 weeks since I painted in my studio. It's been nearly a year since I did a deep clean in there.

This week my goal was to do a wall each day - pull things down, wipe every surface, purge and reorganize.

A great concept, but not terribly realistic.

Monday I unpacked and did laundry. Tuesday I tried to dent my email volumes. Wednesday I buckled down and cleared off a wall of bookshelves. Yesterday I bailed for time with the kids. Today the easel won out.

What are the odds of another wall getting some attention this week?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Sights and Sounds of Saratoga


I spent last week in the clutches of Saratoga, one of my most favorite places in the world. Attached are just a few of the photos I snapped that capture the sights and sounds.....
 
Fondly,
Kim, who will never get enough of the front - and back - side of a racetrack. Or Mrs Londons (pastry shop).

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

August Desktop Calendar

 

 

 

How is it August already?

 
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. 

 
Maggie is sized to fit a standard screen height of 768 - I realize there are lots of variables that could impact how this 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!!! 

 
Enjoy!!
Kim

 
 
 
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