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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Wishing Tree

The Wishing Tree, from the Salvadore Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Museum visitors tie their wishes onto ribbons attached to a tree on the museum grounds. And of course Elizabeth and I made wishes of our own.

Just an aside, when we arrived at the Museum I realized how much more entertaining our day would have been had we painted elaborate mustaches on our faces prior.

I never studied Salvadore Dali's work extensively, but let me tell you that this is changing. After today's museum visit, he is a new favorite - he was passionate about his materials, his process, and his beliefs.

On our drive home, I read aloud excerpts from a new acquisition - his book 50 Secrets of Master Craftsmanship. Brilliant!
Hope your wishes come true,

Monday, February 25, 2013


"Gator," 16" x 20", the latest Water Dog painting starring a golden retriever and a once-still body of water, acrylic on museum quality panel, available to the first asking nicely. Let me know if you are interested, and I will arrange for you to see a less-blurry jpg (I only packed my cell phone for this trip, and you all know how hard it is for me to take a non-blurry photo with my phone!!).


This is the painting I created in the lobby of the Grand Bohemian Hotel on Saturday evening. It was a fabulous nite spent meeting new fans and friends and working alongside Elizabeth. At the tail end of the night, she and I were treated to a tour of Mr Kessler's art collection, and I got a little teary eyed over Egon Schiele's sketches. Huge warm thanks go out to Debbie at the Kessler Gallery for putting this remarkable evening together for us both.

As always, there are a mess of photos on the studio Facebook page

I am hoping to paint with Elizabeth later this week - but immediate plans include my journaling class this evening and some museum hopping tomorrow.

Thanks for following along with my artwork!

Thursday, February 21, 2013



"Billmurray," 4" square, a commissioned dog tag painting, acrylic on museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!). Let me know if you want one of these done up custom with your dog's name.

And yes, I will be doing a mess of green tags for St Patty's Day, so stay tuned! It'll probably be the tail end of next week or early the following.

Don't forget the current auction going on over on Facebook - eight older paintings are looking for new homes. Bidding ends at 9pm EST. 

Hope everyone in the Midwest is holed up and safe as this newest storm moves through - grab a book and settle in if you can!

Elizabeth (on right) and I at The Heidelberg Project last 
summer, doing our best Charlie's Angels imitation
Up & Coming

Tonite, 6-8pm, grownUPs Journaling class at the Orion Art Center. Come join us for a special project focused on passion. RSVP to me.

Tomorrow, all day, The Man Child auditions for the school of music at my alma mater, Michigan State University. Send him lots of good vibes (ha!! pun intended - he's a percussionist).

Saturday, Feb 22nd, 3-9pm, live paint at theGrand Bohemian Hotel and Gallery in downtown Orlando, Florida. I'm bringing along two panels - a water dog composition and a painting of Mona and Vinnie (inspired by this photo shared last week). I'll also have the pleasure of painting alongside my bestie Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson. Please stop by to make sure we are working hard.

Monday, Feb 24th, 6-9pm, at The Craft Shack in Longwood, Florida, come learn some journaling techniques and make your own journal. Please RSVP with Debbie.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb 25th and 26th, I will be paling around sunny Florida with Elizabeth. We have a long checklist of activities, including painting together in her studio, visiting the Salvador Dali Museum, working on our book (yes, there has been a book in process for years and shamefully I am the holdup), planning our Artprize installation for 2013, and hanging with her family.

I return to the studio on Friday the 28th. I'll update Facebook as I can and try to post a couple times from Florida, but I may also just put my feet up and unplug. I know you'll forgive me if I do!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spring Cleaning


"Violet Rosie," one of eight older paintings I am auctioning off in the next 24 hours. More details below and on the studio's Facebook page.

The last couple years have seen galleries closing down, and a number of spaces that used to represent me no longer do. I was sorting through the beautiful returned inventory when I realized something.

These paintings deserve an audience! 

So right then and there I went through my archives, packed with artwork I kept for a variety of reasons - paintings from exhibitions, demos done for particular events, and the returned inventory mentioned above - and pulled out a handful of oldies but goodies that seemed especially lonely and in need of new homes.

These are daily pieces created during 2007 - 2010, done in acrylic on canvas boards. 

These paintings will be auctioned off over the next 24 hours on the studio Facebook's page. Place your bid by commenting on the photo of the painting you want. Bidding will continue until 9pm EST tomorrow evening (that's February 21st).

The entire album of available paintings is here

Hope you see a treasure or two you can't live without!! And thanks for helping me find these gems a home!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Art Journaling Classes

Go from a full sheet of pastel paper a homemade journal in a matter of hours, using some basic supplies like markers, inks, stencils, watercolor pencils, and masking tape.


I'll be leading fellow journalers through the steps at a class in Longwood, Florida (near Orlando) next Monday evening, February 25th. For more information, contact Debbie, your hostess with the mostest, at The Craft Shack.

And for you locals who are excited about this idea, just hold tight - I'll offer the same class this fall in Rochester, Michigan.

Meanwhile my grownUP Journalers are meeting this Thursday evening from 6-8pm at the Orion Art Center. Being as February is the month of love, we'll be focused on journaling about our passions. Class is $15 and there's a little bit of mental homework to prepare - please RSVP to me and I'll get you started.

Have a great evening!

Group, Solo & Invitational Shows

These exhibitions are different in nature in that a curator has an idea and collects specific artists and works that exemplify their concept.

These exhibitions can be hosted in a number of spaces from a regular gallery setting, to a museum or even a restaurant or other public space.

A group show contains multiple pieces from a select number of invited artists.

A solo show contains the work of just one artist.
An invitational show can contain the work of many artists.

Typically it is the artists' responsibility to create and prepare the work for exhibition, which means they assume all the costs of making and framing the art.

Opening reception and marketing/promotional costs are usually part of the hosts' responsibility, but circumstances do vary.

Commissions paid on sales differ depending upon the arrangement with the host space and are outlined in a contract as part of the artist-curator negotiations.

Participating in these types of shows, especially when the curator or included artists have an excellent reputation, can be a powerful addition to an artists' resume. It also provides a fabulous opportunity to network with other artists and build relationships with those responsible for recommending artists to collectors and exhibition spaces.

Friday, February 15, 2013


"Tilly," 5" x 7", commissioned portrait of a terrier, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Don't those eyebrows just drive you crazy with love?

Stay warm this weekend,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Introducing Gigi, Your Valentine!


"Gigi," 10" x 10", portrait of a fluff ball, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, my gift to Gigi's Mom for playing along with the Dog a Day Valentine's Giveaway.

Over 100 faces were submitted for consideration this year and it was difficult to narrow them down. I choose 22 finalists, but honestly didn't know until the absolute last possible minute who I was going to paint. And how I wish I could have painted each of them.

And I chose Gigi because she seemed to be overflowing with love, today's theme.

Happy Valentines Day from all the Santinis,


PS  In process pictures are on the studio's Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013



"Pile," 12" x16", commissioned portrait of a litter of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, to be available at a future date.

"When?" you ask. Let me tell you when.

This painting was commissioned with the intent of donating it to the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel specialty show in Arizona this April. The painting will be auctioned off by Westminster's own David Frei, with the monies going into a trust that funds canine health resarch.

If you are interested in bidding, please let me know, and I will connect you with those putting the event together.

And meanwhile, many, many thanks to my big-hearted client for coordinating such a special painting!

In process pictures are on the studio's Facebook page.

Thanks so much for following along!!
Kim, who still doesn't know who she's painting tomorrow.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Warrior Princess & A Few Muses


"Warrior Princess," 6" x13", portrait of my daughter and friends, acrylics on a museum quality panel, depicting a scene from their group ballet number of the same title, collection of The Princess.

I wish wish wish wish wish wish wish wish I had paid better attention in my life drawing classes many moons ago. Because now this sort of stuff - drawing my kids doing the things they love - would be so much easier.

In process pictures are on the studio's Facebook page along with.....


Go take a peek and see if you can predict who I'm going to paint on Thursday (honestly, I don't know yet!!)

Kim, who wants to start a new painting now but her calendar is full of other things. Wah.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Warrior Princess, In Process


IN PROCESS:  "Warrior Princess," 6" x13", an ongoing portrait of The Princess and her partners in crime (yet to be added to the piece), done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, depicting a group of ballerinas I've grown to love, collection of The Princess.

I spent the weekend at my second dance competition, surrounded by the most fabulous costumes and music and elegance, and the whole time my hands itched to hold brushes and bring it all to life.

So tonite, after yet another snow day and a houseful of kiddos, I indulged.

I am sipping wine during the evening as I continue working on this piece (and hoping hoping hoping that everyone gets on the bus tomorrow morning!) - and I'll post lots of pictures to the studio's Facebook page (not of the victorious moment at the busstop, but of what plays out in the studio tonite). Thank you for following along.

And before I get 100 requests - these dance paintings are for my own princess. I'm not ready to take commissions yet, so please enjoy them at face value. And I honestly thank you for your interest - I really do!!

Kim, who's listening to Tchiavkosky and Regina Spektor and wishing they could have collaborated on some fabulous dance music

Thursday, February 07, 2013

JT, Finished

"JT," 30" x30", commissioned portrait of a Thoroughbred, done in acrylics on a museum quality cradeled panel, private collection (THANK YOU!).

My apologies for the photo - I've lost my natural lighting and this painting is so large that my studio equipment doesn't light it evenly. I'll shoot a better pic tomorrow.

But isn't he just lovely?


In process images are on the studio's Facebook page, and thank you for looking.

Kim, who's hoping everyone stays battened down in this newest storm. Me? I'm stocked up with chocolate, so all is well!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Painting a Dog a Day Valentine Giveaway, Day Two


I'm getting some beautiful entries like the one above - thanks so much for sending in your pics!! I am already super excited to pick up my brushes on Valentine's Day!!

Right now I'm working on two top-secret portraits, so thought I would rerun the rules for the painting giveaway, along with some tips.

I receive well over 100 faces every time I do this and I cannot stress enough that I will not consider photos that do not meet my criteria. Not to be petty or mean, but it is a LOT of work to sift through the images, and then discover after the fact that the copyright wasn't the submitter's to grant or that the resolution is too small.

So, if you want me to gift you a painting, please invest a few extra minutes in your entry to read the guidelines and make certain your photos are eligible. 


Send 2-3 clear, non-flash, copyright free photos of your pet to me. (TIP: I see flash bulb or blurry focus or studio-like shots and red flags go up)

Use the subject line of "Valentine." (TIP: My email auto-sorts based on subject line, so having the right one means your email will end up in the right folder.)

JPG files (the photos you submit) should be at least 5" wide on the longest side and at 100dpi. (TIP: Sometimes I crop or manipulate a photo and need this resolution in order to make it work.)

Entries must be received by midnight EST on Sunday, February 10th, 2013.

One entry (2-3 photos of same pet = one entry) per household, please. (TIP: Those who have been following my artwork will know already what sorts of ideas and compositions I am already attracted to.)

Prior Valentine winners are not eligable to participate.

I will acknowledge receipt of all entries - it's taking me a day or two, and I appreciate your patience!!


On Tuesday, February 12th, I will share the finalists' photos on the studio Facebook page, and on Thursday (Valentine's Day) I will reveal this year's Dog a Day Valentine.

The winning image will be chosen based on design elements inspired by the photograph and my own vision of what will make the best Valentines Day painting. 

The painting will be sized according to what best suits the composition, measuring at least 5"x7". You will receive the original, museum quality portrait - this is a guaranteed prize of $289 or more!!

Winner is responsible for shipping costs or applicable taxes.

VERY IMPORTANT: By submitting your photos you are guaranteeing that you personally pressed the shutter button and are granting me copyright permission to create derivative art both as part of this contest and in the future. You have absolutely no obligation to purchase any paintings your photos or pet inspire, but you will have first right of refusal. 

Thanks so much for inspiring new paintings and sharing your pets with me!!


Monday, February 04, 2013

Painting a Dog a Day Valentine Giveaway!!

2012's Dog a Day Valentine Giveaway winner Violet starred in her own 8" x 10" portrait, my gift to her family as thanks for following along with my paintings.

I love this time of year. Why? Because I get the honor of gifting a painting to someone special as appreciation for their support!

That's right, it's time for the Dog a Day Valentine Giveaway!

Here's how it works:

Send 2-3 clear, non-flash copyright free photos of your pet to me, using the subject line of "Valentine." Be creative in your photos - I will be looking for artistic merit, not just cuteness!!

JPG files (the photos you submit) should be at least 5" wide on the longest side and at 100dpi.

Entries must be received by midnight EST on Sunday, February 10th, 2013.

One entry (2-3 photos of same pet = one entry) per household, please. 

Prior Valentine winners are not eligable to participate.

I will do my best to acknowledge receipt of all entries, but depending upon entry volume, it might take me a day or two.


Only photos submitted using the above guidelines will be considered. No exceptions, so please don't ask!

On Tuesday, February 12th, I will share the finalists' photos on the studio Facebook page, and on Thursday (Valentine's Day) I will reveal this year's Dog a Day Valentine via this blog.

The winning image will be chosen exclusively based on design elements apparent/inspired by the photographs and my own vision of what will make the best Valentines Day painting. 

The painting will be sized according to the composition, at least a 5"x7" museum quality panel - this is a guaranteed prize of $289 or more!!

Winner is responsible for shipping costs or applicable taxes.

VERY IMPORTANT: By submitting your photos you are (1) guaranteeing that you own the copyright to the photos in question (meaning you took them yourself) and (2) granting me permission to use your photos/pet's likeness in a future painting. Thirdly, you have no obligation to purchase future paintings your photos or pet inspire, but you will have first right of refusal.

Now go, off with you, and take some amazing photos!!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Bucky, A Painted Sketch


"Bucky," image approximately 5-1/2" x 5" roughly centered on a 9" x 12" bristol board, done in acrylics, depicting a much beloved Daschund, private collection (THANK YOU!!).

Bucky's over on the studio Facebook page - there's a couple pics of his portrait in process.

Want a Santini original of your own? email me and we can talk about a portrait of your four legged family member!

Kim Santini


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