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 30, 2013

Cheyenne Can Fly

"Cheyenne," 5" x 7", commissioned portrait of a frisbee-loving aussie, done in acrylics on museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may come to me.

A sweet little treasure painted earlier that I couldn't share because she was a Christmas gift. Cheyenne was the perfect candidate for capturing attitude, energy and movement inside a small frame.

Thanks for following along with my artwork!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Mona Lisa's Rainbow

"Mona Lisa's Rainbow," 7" x 8", casein on museum quality panel, depicting that famous kitty with the elusive smile. I'm not certain that this piece is finished, but anticipate some will be in love with her as is, so set things up on FineArtAmerica (reproductions, notecards and smartphone cases) - order away right here. Meanwhile inquiries may come to moi.

I've cut back on commissions so as to actively study and play with my materials. Play is a huge part (for me) of maintaining creative energy, and it's the first thing that gets set aside when my calendar starts to fill.

It's important, too, that I continue to challenge myself to grow as an artist. Painting with other artists, exploring new media and approaches, along with continuing to work from life and study light and color, is mandatory. And these are all things set aside if I don't say "no" often enough.

Today was a "yes" day for me - a fun playlist cranked in the studio, kids wandering in and out, a box of Samoas (the cookies, not the people), the kitten making his presence known at key moments (Mona can't have ALL the limelight, after all), and lots of playing with my drawerful of casein paint.

I bought the paint several years ago and only dabbled with 2 or 3 pieces until today.

And I am falling in love with this stuff. I mean, just look at the texture of the paint. And I can scratch back through the layers, too. I'm feeling rather giddy with the new discoveries.

What did you play with today?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Finnigan, Courtesy of The Princess

"Finnigan," 8" square, painted by The Princess, casein on museum quality panel, depicting our very own Finnigan Jones Santini, not for sale.

The Princess painted beside me in the studio on Monday and Tuesday. She generously offered to share her piece via the newsletter and blog so that I could take a guilt-free day off this week (she knows me too well!). And then she upped the ante even more by secretly wrapping the painting and tucking it under the tree. With my name on it.

So that's the story of our own Christmas reveal and my newest acquisition. I just love it!!

Thanks, as always, for sharing the journey,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


"HoHoHo," 6" x 8", acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting a vintage roly-poly Santa doll, $329. Inquiries may come to me.

It's official - my Christmas break is beginning in a handful of minutes. Thank you SO much for a year of jolly cheer and sharing our love of painting.

Thanks, as always, for keeping me company,

Monday, December 23, 2013

Waiting for Santa

"Waiting for Santa," 8" x 10", acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting my blue heeler mix Finnigan lounging in My Better Half's quilt draped club chair, $469. In process pics are here. And inquiries may come to me - I'd love to share a little cattle dog craziness with another household!

Every year I do a holiday painting - Mona's inspired the last three (how did THAT happen?), so Finnigan's been way more than patient for his turn on the easel.

Thanks, as always, for keeping me company,

Friday, December 20, 2013


"Boutros," 8" x 10", acrylics on museum quality panel, commissioned portrait of a much loved and deerly missed lab mix, private collection (THANK YOU!). In process pics of his painting can be viewed on Facebook. And just because I anticipate that he will quickly become a favorite of everyone, I've set him up for reproductions/notecards/smartphone cases as well.

Inquiries may come to me - gift certificates can be delivered via email throughout the weekend. 

I'm officially done with commissions for the holiday!! It's always a great feeling, to think of all the treasures awaiting gift giving (and those who've already been shared). It expands my Christmas exponentially.

Thank YOU for making my holidays warmer,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Deep Cleaning

A new-to-me vintage plate rack is the perfect desk top hold-all for studio treasures - including an orchid from my Grandmother (I hope it'll be happier in here than it was in the kitchen), a Pillsbury Doughboy painting by The Princess, and my ever handy voodoo doll. Now my desk is spiffy clean.

Once I've shipped my last painting for the year, I do a happy dance and enjoy some really good chocolate. Then I roll up my sleeves and give the studio a deep cleaning.

A couple vintage discoveries made this morning, one of which is pictured above, prompted major reorganization along with the dusting. I'm delighted with the fresh look my work space has taken on and excited to pick the brushes up later tonite and make some magic happen in here.

Thanks so much for following along with my artwork,

2013 Stats

Created 154 paintings (got one more holiday commission left)

Shipped 121 paintings (thankfully that last one can be hand-delivered at the nth hour)

Bought $980 of paint and panels

Taught in Traverse City (MI), Baton Rouge (LA), Springfield (MO), Lake Orion (MI) and Orlando (FL).

Had paintings exhibited in Kansas, Wisconsin, New York, Florida and Michigan 

Won four prizes in international juried events

Got my first iPhone

FINALLY got an iPad

Gave 5 demos/lectures to small art groups

Danced every day

Sang off tune every day

Read 33 books

Published book #4

Was included in three other collections/ anthologies

Completed an ambitious composition in a marathon 8-1/2 hour live painting session

Began accepting figural commissions 

Added 23 dolls to my creepy doll collection

Thoroughly enjoyed meeting fans and making an untold number of new friends

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

For You!!

In process detail of a much larger mixed media piece intended as a gift for a friend.

I've been so busy making everyone else's holidays happen that I hadn't even started on my own until last nite. So today I got to work on a few handmade gifts from the heart of the studio. And tonite I just might start baking.

Hope your season so far is warm and welcoming,

Monday, December 16, 2013


"George," 8" square, acrylic on museum quality panel, portrait of the one and only, Curious George, $399 to the first asking nicely. In process photos are here.

Want this one under your tree? Overnight shipping within the US ($30) and paypal will do it. Email me!!

Still thinking about old dolls and that whole creepiness factor that happens once they are painted. Now this little guy isn't creepy - why is that?!

Thanks so much for supporting my artwork,

Thursday, December 12, 2013


"Mel," 6" square, acrylic on museum quality panel, commissioned portrait of a loved and sorely missed little guy. I predict that Mel's portrait will be a cherished gift, perhaps the one most cherished of all.

We're out of time for me to get a painting under your tree this year, but I can deliver a gift certificate. These are wonderful in that they allow the recipient to participate in the process, and that's a pretty fun time. Paintings are priced by size and complexity, starting around $300. Inquiries may always come to me

I have one final portrait left that is due prior to Christmas, and this one is a local delivery.

Which means I'm shifting gears and preparing exhibition pieces for the winter season of juried shows and my extra special show with Laura Locke.

You can always send me pics of your muse - who knows what it will inspire?! Non flash photos, please, that you yourself have taken. I'll see if I can't figure out a way for photos to be shared on Facebook too - there has to be a way that you can upload directly to the studio's page.

Thanks so much for supporting my artwork,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The 4-Legged Mona Lisa

"Mona Lisa," 8" x 11" (no that's not a typo!), acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting everyone's favorite muse. Act quickly, because I suspect that this Mona is going to find a home very easily. She's $489 and inquiries may always come to moi. In process pics of her are here and yes, I do set up payment plans - email me.

For those who are new to my art, Mona Lisa is one of my studio muses. We adopted her two years ago - well, actually, she adopted us, given that she latched onto The Caped Crusader's sleeve when he had his back turned to her crate at the shelter.
Mona has inspired many a painting (here's just a few), and taught me how to properly appreciate the beauty of the striped feline form. 
She's also a fantastic snuggler when I settle down with a book.
I hope you have a good snuggler yourself on this cold winter's evening,

Monday, December 09, 2013

Frog Dog

"Frog Dog," 10" x 16", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a very flexible chocolate lab named Ace. This painting is hopefully heading to a juried exhibition in early 2014, but inquiries may always come to moi. In process pics of Ace are here and yes, I do accept a limited number of commissions - email me.
A friend shared Ace's photo on Instagram and I called her up, begging to paint him. Thankfully she gave me permission - I would have been haunted by this composition otherwise!
In other news, the studio got a much needed cleaning and reorganizing over the weekend, which means I purged some of my art books and put them up for sale on Facebook. There are a few still available here.
And in still more news, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting one of my idols and long time inspirations, cellist Zoe Keating, over the weekend. If you don't know her music, you no longer have an excuse, and if she's playing near you, treat yourself. She is a delightful, honest, deeply talented musician, a complete one-woman show, and one of the original group of bloggers and marketers that inspired me to take the daily creating plunge.
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork,
Upcoming Workshops and Talks

Friday, December 06, 2013

Miss Kitty

"Miss Kitty," 8" x 10", commissioned calico cat portrait, acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a lovely long haired tortoiseshell kitty, private collection (THANK YOU!). 
Petite in size but huge in personality - isn't that how it usually goes? Miss Kitty was a rescue who became well known in the neighborhood for accompanying her family when they walked the dogs. She crossed the bridge about five years ago, but still holds a special spot in many hearts.
Her family will be very excited to have a portrait of her in their home. I wish I could be there for the reveal!
In process pics here.
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork,
Upcoming Workshops and Talks

Thursday, December 05, 2013


"Ginger," 6" x 8", commissioned cat portrait, acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a lovely diluted tortie, private collection (THANK YOU!). 
Ginger was adopted by her family this summer - the Humane Society thought she was about 8 years old, but they were off a bit. The love of her family got Ginger digging deep to find a 9th life when she had a recent health scare.
This painting is intended for her special someone. What an awesome gift!
In process pics of Ginger's portrait are here.
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork,
Upcoming Workshops and Talks

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Oliver - a colorful blonde

"Oliver," 6" x 8", commissioned portrait intended as a Christmas gift, acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a suspected labradoodle, private collection (THANK YOU!). In process images are here

ORDER PRINTS/NOTECARDS/SMARTPHONE CASES (you won't BELIEVE how cute Oliver is on a smartphone case!!)

This painting was a challenge on many fronts - Oliver passed away suddenly, and the only photos my clients could squirrel away from his family were less than stellar. Nevertheless, I think he's got a dashing sense of color. And some excellent hair going on, too!

And he's so darned cute, that I also activated reproduction ordering so that everyone could have a little bit of Oliver for themselves.

Thanks so much for following along with my artwork,

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


"Bailey," 8" x 10", commissioned portrait intended as a Christmas gift, acrylic on museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!). In process images are on Facebook. Inquiries may come to me.

I painted ahead yesterday, planning to take a personal day today (the 3rd). Hoping you have a great Tuesday and that your December is progressing rather merrily.

Thanks so much for following along with my artwork,

Monday, December 02, 2013

He's making a list and checking it twice.....

Just a few gift ideas for those on your list:
Thanks for considering the gift of art and artist-created items. 

May your gift giving be joyful and heartfelt,


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