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, May 31, 2013

Exercising

 
 

"Tiny Anne II," 6" x 6", portrait of an old Raggedy Anne doll, done in acrylics on museum quality panel, not for sale. 

 
There is the popular belief that we artists just sit back and the paintings just paint themselves, and I want to assure you that this isn't further from the truth!

 
Artists work hard, honing how they see the world, practicing with their tools, and throwing out a LOT of art in the process. You don't see it because you aren't in the studio with us, but trust me, it happens. And even when I'm not in the studio, I'm painting in my head. Always mixing colors and rearranging form.

 
Ok, but I digress - back to Anne.
 

I repainted her (and cursed profoundly while doing so) probably 6 times yesterday. I knew that my issue was separating color from value, and because my doll was mostly flat, I needed to be paying extra attention to the values NOT the colors. And I also had to be studying color temperatures, because with a flatter form, the only way I was going to get depth of field was through pushing my hots and colds.

 
Today I started directly with value studies (props to Vianna Szabo, the very same who twisted my arm to work a limited palette (and changed my life all for the better) now has me doing value studies). I lined up a bunch of doll faces, including Raggedy Anne, and worked with only three gray puddles of paint, sketching form using value instead of color for at least an hour (see image at left)

 
Then, before I could psyche myself out, I hurried and started a new Anne. Right overtop the old one.

 
And I saw her differently. Completely differently.

 
Still not perfectly, but I'm working on that. I know it won't come overnite. But I'm not afraid of all the hard work it'll take to get me there!

 
Have a great weekend,
Kim


 
 
 
How Do Artists Learn?
 
 
Making art is not inherant - don't buy into that myth. It is something honed over a lifetime. Here are just a few of the ways that artists can improve their skills:
 
Looking at other art
Talking to other artists
Studying art history
Visiting galleries and museums
Experimenting in their own studio
Stepping out of their comfort zone
Asking questions
Returning to school
Taking a class through an art center
Private or group lessons
Traveling to a workshop
Watching other artists work
Attending lectures/talks 
Reading
Thinking
Practicing
Creating
Making LOTS of Mistakes (I excel at this one!)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This and That

 
 
ABOVE: Detail of "Helper," 30" x 13", portrait of a Golden Retriever, done in acrylics on 1/2" birch hardwood, $899. I made revisions to this guy, including adding more drips and slimming his body down - lots of pics are on FB, including Helper Finnigan and Helper daVinci - email me for purchase details

 
I realized AFTER THE FACT, that my easel settled into a deeper angle yesterday when I was working on the heavier birch panel. Which means I should have been paying attention to the distortion that happens when something is not perpendicular to the picture plane/my eyes. Poor Helper was all foreshortened, but I fixed him this morning. He's happier now. So am I.

 
I also got final approval on Mya and Ally's portraits, both pictured below. I can't wait to deliver these two!!

 

 

Enjoy your evening,
Kim

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Helper

 
 

"Helper," 30" x 13", portrait of a Golden Retriever, done in acrylics on 1/2" birch hardwood, $899. I see some drawing corrections and a couple other tweaks to this one before I'm 110% happy with it. But he still needs a home for when I'm finished - email me for purchase details

 
This is quite the diversion, painting directly on wood, but it's something I've been thinking about doing for a long time. I still have some kinks to work out - like being patient enough to sand the clear gesso down prior to painting - but I'll get there.

 
I'm very fond of the combination of wood grain and painterly brushwork. And the depth inside the snowy ground is wonderful fun to lose oneself in.

 
Loads of in process pics on Facebook.

 
Now who wants to add Helper to their collection?

 
I'm off to fire up the grill!!
Thanks so much,
Kim
 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

June Desktop Calendar


 

Wow! It's June, which means school's out (or nearly so), and is a ready excuse for daily popsicles and brightly colored toes in flip-flops. Enjoy it!!

 
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!).

 
Thanks so much for following along!
Kim
 

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Girls, In Process

 
 

IN PROCESS, "The Girls," at left is Mya and Ally is on the right, both 8" x 10", portraits of mixed breed young ladies (ladylike behavior is totally optional for Mya), done in acrylics on museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!!).

 
In process pics, lots of them, are on Facebook. I hope to finish both these paintings tonite, so don't forget to check back in to see their cute little faces!!

 
Years ago when a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, our community took a collective deep breath and rallied with a fundraising event. I donated a gift certificate to the cause - which was won by her daughter! These paintings of her grand-dogs are the delightful result.

 
I'm happy to report she is healthy and loving life, two years post surgery and treatment.

 
Shall we go into the weekend with that visual? Let's all take a collective, victorious breath on her behalf, and for everyone else staring this beast down.

 
Happy, happy weekend!
Kim
 

Taking Flight

 
 

"Taking Flight," 8" x 10", portrait of a tri-colored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, done in acrylics on museum quality panel, $469. Email me for purchase details.

 
Remember "Pile," the painting I was commissioned to do that was then donated to a Cavalier King Charles fundraiser? (It raised them a very nice chunk of change, by the way!) Well, my client sent me many wonderful inspiration photos and I'm slowly working through my favorites. This breed is truly a joy to paint.

 
In process pics of this guy are on Facebook.

 
And after starting this one, I realized he looks a lot likeanother piece I did nearly 5 years ago to this date starring my friend Dee Dee Murray's dog Hallie. How weird is that?

 

 
Enjoy your evening,
Kim
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Grace

 
 

"Grace," 5" x 7", commissioned portrait of a yellow lab, done in acrylics on museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!).
 
I tell my students all the time to listen to the painting. Today I had to do just that - Grace really wanted to be front and center, and the portrait ended up being cropped far more tightly than I had planned. I could have fought it, but I decided instead to see where it took me and what I learned along the way.

 
I love the intimacy of this piece, though. It is perfectly sized for such a snug composition, and Grace looks completely at home.
 
Enjoy your evening,
Kim
 

 
 
 
Don't forget that through 9pm EST tomorrow evening "Snaps I" and "Snaps II," both original paintings, are being Facebook auctioned

 
Thanks so much for bidding!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Snaps I and Snaps II, An Online Auction

 
 

"Snaps I" and "Snaps II," each 5" x 5", depicting a small stack of Alpha Snaps dog treats, done in acrylics on museum quality panel, for sale via Facebook auction

 
All the rules are spelled out clearly on my Facebook page - and just FYI, bids are only accepted via Facebook comments. I regret that it's not possible for me to manage bids via email and FB both.

 
Also, for the record, daVinci (the kitten) likes dog treats more than Finnigan (the dog). I had to shoo Vinnie off my little stacks of cookies multiple times while I was painting.

 
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork!
Kim
 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Emma

 
 

"Emma," 5" x 7", commissioned portrait of the cutest terrier ever, acrylics on museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!!!).

 
I can absolutely paint your dog (or cat or horse or bunny or guinea pig) - inquiries may come to me!

 
Commissioned portraits start at $209, and are one of the best ways ever to commemorate your relationship with a beloved pet. Gift certificates available, too, so that the recipient can be involved in the process of choosing reference materials and building the composition.

 
(Ahem, Father's Day is coming up, hint hint)

 
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork!
Kim

 
PS Those of you who have painted with me in the past - do you see how Emma is "White-ish"? there isn't a speck of pure white pigment on her - everything is relative!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Parson, A Painted Sketch

 
 

"Parson," painted sketch roughly 5" x 8" centered on a 9" x 12" paper, posthumous commissioned portrait of a most gentlemanly Golden Retriever, done in acrylics, private collection (THANK YOU!).

 
How better to sum up the week than with this face? eh?

 
Unless you want to see a new doll painting...... I'm starting another ArtPrize piece this afternoon, and will post imagesof her throughout the day.

 
Enjoy your weekend - hope it's not haunted by wicked dolls and things that go bump in the night -
Kim

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Precocious

 
 

"Precocious," 9" x 12", portrait of a stinking cute German Shorthaired Pointer puppy, acrylics on museum quality panel, available to the first asking nicely for $549.

 
Ask nicely by emailing me!

 
In process pics are here.

 
And if this little guy doesn't find a home soon, I'll send him off to a local exhibition. Because while I love shipping and sharing my art around the country, I also think it's important to support art groups close to my own stomping grounds.

 
And now I'm off to teach tonite's grownUPs Journaling class, where will will be using lyrics as a starting point to create collages. $20 says I come home with glue in my hair.

 
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork!
Kim

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Beamer

 
"Beamer," 6" x 6", commissioned portrait of a ridiculously cute mixed breed stinker, acrylics on museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!!).
 

Want a pet portrait of your own? What are you waiting for? email me!

 
In process pics of Beamer's portrait are on the studio Facebook page - and thanks to my new iPhone, I can create separate photo albums for the paintings, making it easier for you (moving forward) to locate the in process pics of a specific piece!! Yeah for iPhones!!

 
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork!
Kim

 
Last Chance to Order!!
 
 

This poster was created specifically to benefit the dancers at Broadway Dance Studio (where The Princess studies), and it features a beautiful full color reproduction of my painting "Dress Rehearsal." Proceeds from poster sales are earmarked for the team's trip to a Nationals Convention and Competition next year.

 
Order your copy by 5pm EST tomorrow and support the dreams of a young dancer!

 
Posters are 20" x 26" and will be shipped in a tube. They are $25 each, with S&H $15/order.

 

 
Thanks so much for helping these young dancers and supporting the arts in ALL it's forms!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Steffi

 
"Steffi," 5" x 7", commissioned portrait of a much loved and dearly missed Westie, acrylics on museum quality panel, private collection (THANK YOU!!). Inquiries may always come  to me.
 
 

Who would have thought the ratty doll I picked up at a flea market would elicit such great conversation?!
 

Does art HAVE to be comfortable or easy to look at?
 

Why are dolls creepy for so many and yet for others the keystone to a sentimental memory?
 

How does scale impact our comfort zone with respect to certain objects?
 

And most importantly, is she an evil talisman or just a sweet little thing?
 

 

And she needs a title, too. I'm drawing a complete and total blank. She must be sucking my brains out in my sleep......

 
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork!
Kim



 

This poster was created specifically to benefit the dancers at Broadway Dance Studio (where The Princess studies), and it features a beautiful full color reproduction of my painting "Dress Rehearsal." Proceeds from poster sales are earmarked for the team's trip to a Nationals Convention and Competition next year.

 
Order your copy by 5pm EST tomorrow and support the dreams of a young dancer!

 
Posters are 20" x 26" and will be shipped in a tube. They are $25 each, with S&H $15/order.

 

 
Thanks so much for helping these young dancers and supporting the arts in ALL it's forms!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

ArtPrize 2013

 
Painting in process in my studio, complete with still life setup of vintage Playmate doll, acrylics on cradeled panel, 16" square. Inquiries may come to me (including special requests to paint your treasured childhood toy).
 
 

Last year my good friend Elizabeth St Hilaire Nelson and I participated in ArtPrize, what I think is the largest art festival in the world. It's an annual event, happening in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about 2 hours west of my home. As I recall, 2012 involved over 1700 works of art displayed throughout the Grand Rapids area. It's a big deal.

 
It was great fun preparing my ArtPrize paintings last year - I put a call out for muses in April 2012 and painted right up until days before the installation.

 
Our work was very well received, we enjoyed our time in Grand Rapids and couldn't wait to began planning for this year. 

 
Elizabeth's way ahead of me - her 2013 piece, an astounding mural depicting a mermaid and goldfish, is nearing completion, whereas I just got started this weekend. I've been busy percolating, though!

 
I decided to step away from animals just a bit, try out new subject matter and take advantage of a scale that screamed F.U.N.

 
So they are not Dog a Days, and I do beg your forgiveness, but here is the first of my new series "Family Portraits," starring the faces of some very well loved dolls. I'm planning at least a dozen of these paintings, and they will be displayed in a row, just like traditional family portraits on a mantel.

 
Regular updates on "Family Portraits" and my journey to ArtPrize 2013 will be posted to a folder on the studio Facebook page. Along with a final version of this portrait (whe will need a name eventually - I'm thinking "Phyllis" after Phyllis Diller). You are welcome to check in, make comments or ask questions.

 
And thanks so much for following along with my artwork!
Kim

Friday, May 10, 2013

Keelie, A Painted Sketch

 
Keelie, commissioned portrait of a Sheltie, done in acrylics on paper, image roughly 5" x 5" centered on a 9" x 12" paper. Private collection (THANK YOU!)
 
 
Below you can see Keelie and her brother Keenan, the Shelti duo captured in paint.
 
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork!
Kim
 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Keenan, A Painted Sketch

 
Keenan, commissioned portrait of a Sheltie, done in acrylics on paper, image roughly 5" x 5" centered on a 9" x 12" paper. Private collection (THANK YOU!)
 
 

Keenan is one half of a pair of shelties I sketched today - his older sister Keelie will be shared with you tomorrow.

 
Thanks so much for following along with my artwork!
Kim

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Ursula, A Painted Sketch

 
Ursula, commissioned portrait of an Australian Shepherd, done in acrylisc on paper, image roughly 4" x 5" centered on a 9" x 12" paper. Private collection (THANK YOU!)
 
 

I planned on working on sketches all day, but got sidetracked by following an idea into my own sketchbook. Like Alice, I fell down the rabbit hole for a little.

 
It was a marvelous adventure!

 
Oh, and thanks, too, for helping me title yesterday's painting! "Curtain Call" it is!!

 
Now I'm off to a Lacrosse game - let's hope The Caped Crusader brings home a win for his Dad's birthday!

 
Thanks so much for supporting my artwork!
Kim

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Curtain Call


Curtain Call, 12" x 1", portrait of a pair of kitties, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel. Warm, warm thanks to Dog a Day fan EW for her laughable series of photos that inspired this painting. $599 to the first asking nicely.

NOTE: Thanks to all who submitted title suggestions for this painting! I think you done good!!


Wow, but did I have a blast reading all your title suggestions for yesterday's painting!! Between FB comments and direct emails, I had well over 200 entries! It was tough picking a winner - congratulations go to Laura Williams for her suggestion "Fiddlesticks."

So let's do this again, shall we? suggestions for today's painting can come to Facebook. If the volume is at all like yesterday's, I can't possibly respond to them all, but know that I'm reading them with a smile on my face and a box of Girl Scout cookies at hand. 

And while you are there, you can see the in-process pics of this painting, too! It wasn't an easy one - I had to remind myself of a very important lesson. Multiple times.

Thanks so much for supporting my artwork!
Kim
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