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, February 28, 2014

Luna



"Luna," 7" x 12", acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting a stunning paint horse, in process photos here. Thank you Maggie Weakley (friend and fellow artist) for sharing your muse with me. $499, inquiries may come to me.

I know I've always preached that black paint can be a crutch. And I've never used it. 

Then Robert Genn called it the Queen of Color. And friend and mentor Vianna Szabo told me she was using it in her new limited palette (and she's taking a group to Italy to paint, in case you are interested).

I was already painting black and white horses, falling in love with the abstractions of their markings and the play of light. The next step was to push the boundary even further and eliminate the middle ground.

Hence The Luna Series has been born. There's another Luna piece in process on the studio Facebook page. And one in my head, ready to spill out. And more in the works.

Black CAN be a powerful tool when used in moderation and tinted with strong blues and reds.

I love making new discoveries!

Thanks for following along,
Kim

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Flushing Copyright Thieves



Clinker was one of the 20 illegally copied images of my paintings I discovered on ebay yesterday, thanks to a heads up from a colleague and friend who found the same "Artist" copying her work and that of other daily painters. Ebay has been notified and is taking appropriate action. I suspect Karma will be making a house call shortly as well.

In the light of yesterday's situation, I got many emails and messages asking how one learns of copyright violations. Here are a couple suggestions:

  • Become a watchdog on the sites you frequent. Don't hesitate to let the originating artist know if you see a copy of their work elsewhere - send them the webaddress and suspected infringer's name. If you come across copies in person, collect the infringer's name and contact information along with the painting's title and pass that along to the originating artist.
  • Set up google alerts for keywords pertaining to your own work, like your name, your studio name, and other relevant phrases.
  • If you suspect or have heard of an image's misappropriation, use google image search and find out for yourself.

As far as protecting your work, copyright is an automatic deferral the moment you create something. One does not have to file for copyright with the government in order to claim it (although filing/registering does help in cases that go to court).

  • Assert your copyright ownership by placing a watermark on every image you share online. Include your name in the watermark so that wherever the image travels, it has your identity attached.
  • Only post low resolution images (I prefer 4" wide at 100dpi for finished works). Consult your photo editing software for how to resize images.
  • Only post images to sites you trust (take time to read Terms of Service agreements - some sites reserve the right to repurpose or sell your imagery).

If you discover your copyright has been violated:

  • Take screen shots of everything you discover online prior to filing any reports or contacting any individuals. Please note that a screen shot is different than merely noting the web address.
  • Retain all documentation pertaining to any discussions you have had about the suspected thief.
  • Report violaters to the appropriate host (Facebook, eBay, Etsy, and other sites have published processes and specific forms for reporting intellectual property theft).
  • If the artwork is on a private website, find out who hosts the site - then follow their instructions for reporting the theft (websites will be taken down by hosts for copyright infringements).
  • Be prepared to show your original artwork, the date it was completed, and any reference or process information as proof of ownership.
  • It is sometimes helpful to do a side-by-side comparison of the original with the suspected theft as part of your documentation submitted to the appropriate authorities.
  • Copycat "Artists" don't always limit themselves to stealing just one artists work - review their portfolio to see if you recognize or can identify other copies.

If you are comfortable contacting the artist directly, do so gently, asking them to supply their references, concept or preliminary work. It sometimes happens that artists working in different methods come up with the same idea/concept. But even when this happens, the works fit within the context of other pieces, so there is extenuating evidence to support the dovetailing. Remember if you do contact the artist, retain all correspondence.

Keep everything in writing, as tempted as you might be to telephone the purported thief. Heated emotions can get out of hand easily - you are feeling violated and the other party may be defensive or accusatory in response.

Always keep a clear head. You are the victim, but do not allow yourself to make choices in the heat of the moment that will reflect poorly on your character later. 

If you have other suggestions for any of the above points, please let me know!

Copyright violation is stealing. It is akin to having your car or home broken into, your purse stolen, private property vandalized or taken. It is a real crime, and sadly, becoming an all too common one. I hope you never have to deal with this.

I am moving to the easel today with the reassuring thought that I can create, and feeling badly for those with so little faith in their own talent that they resort to stealing,
Kim


PS If you are an artist struggling with copyright issues, feel free to share an earlier blog post I wrote, An Open Letter to Copyright Thieves. You are also welcome to share this post.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kidney Stones and Copyright Thieves

Betcha you thought you'de never see that blog header!

For starters, after 10 rather agonizing days, I've finally passed my kidney stone. There was much celebration this morning.

But now I have another headache to deal with. Yup. Another copyright thief.

Seems like a certain "Artist" has been paying honor to those who's work she likes by painting copies. Then this certain "Artist" sells these copies as their own on ebay. 1300 sales to their name over the course of the years with 100% satisfaction. Because they ship on time. Too bad there isn't an ebay rating for originality and integrity.

So after celebrating The Passing of My Stone, I spent my morning filling out forms and doing the legal paperwork so that ebay removes the listings from their site. Keep in mind these are sales which were already completed. The "Artist" has her money. Nothing will really happen to her.

This sort of thing drives me absolutely mad. This "Artist" has sold over 250 paintings in the last two months, at least 20 of which I identified this morning as copies of MINE. I recognized another 30 of those 250 pieces of this "Artists" work as copies belonging to friends of mine (who have been alerted).

And I know that this "Artist" was already reported for the same thing last week.

"Artist" has a statement about copyright on their ebay listings. Ironic given that they themselves do not honor copyright laws.

I need to move past this. I allowed "Artist" to steal a huge chunk of my day and cloak it in anger.

I will refocus on the good news - I've passed a rather hefty kidney stone. 

This "Artist" too shall pass.

And I have the skills to make my own truly original, non derivative, art. Which I plan to do right after driving The Princess to ballet.

Thanks for letting me vent,
Kim


PS If you are an artist struggling with copyright issues, feel free to share an earlier blog post I wrote, An Open Letter to Copyright Thieves.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Margot's Apples




Apples, 30" square, oil on canvas, by Margot van Horn, proudly hanging in my family room. They are flanked with a landscape by Linda Shantz and three ATC sized silver prints by Juliet Harrison, along with a couple of my creepy dolls. To the right on the wall, a drawing by Susan Leyland hangs above an oil painting by Virginia Vaughan.

In addition to all the pieces from the artists she represented, Margot had a sampling of her own artwork at her Gallery. She was always thinking about the next half dozen pieces to come out of her studio, and she was never at a loss for ideas.

The instant I saw these apples, I was in love. She had been painting shadows without using black - you know that's a concept close to my heart - and pushing the boundaries of representation vs a flat picture plane. I gushed to her over this painting, then came home and gushed to My Better Half. 

When I called later, wanting to buy the painting, Margot told me it had sold. I was disappointed but also thrilled for her to have found a buyer so easily. 

Fast forward a couple weeks. My Better Half and I are carrying sleeping children into a dark house after a week spent camping. The lights get switched on and there the apples were, in my own family room. Surprise!

My Better Half connived with Margot. He then recruited a friend to pick the painting up and sneak it into our house. 

I smile every time I look at it. 

Margot's memorial was beautiful, and the gathering of friends a testament to how generously she supported the arts, nurtured creativity and shared her talents. She made us all believe we were extra special and was always wildly waving to us from the cheering section.

Thanks for all of your notes and emails and messages. I couldn't respond to all of them, there were so very many, but please know that I am touched by your outpouring of love.

And thanks, too, for following along with my artwork,
Kim 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Missing You Already




A journal page done after Margot's diagnosis, where I "spilled" stream of consciouness writing, layering the words overtop each other, then returned to pick out pattern and symbol.

Margot has been my biggest fan since we met over 13 years ago. As a gallery owner, she worked her tail off to promote and sell my work. As a fellow artist, we hashed through all sorts of artsy things together while trying out new ideas. And as a friend, she relentlessly kicked my butt into gear on pretty much everything.

"Just shut up and paint," she would tell me when I was over analyzing and trying to drag her into my mess. She knew painting would provide the clarity I needed.

Margot passed away early Tuesday morning after a brief illness. The last two weeks I've been repeatedly rocked to my core - first with her diagnosis, then her move to hospice, and now with saying goodbye. She was always so damned matter of fact about things, but did she have to tackle dying with the same sort of practicality?

I know she can hear me. And I see her looking over her shoulder, one eyebrow cocked, a wry smile touching her lips. And I hear her laughing.

Perhaps I should just shut up and paint today. 

Please keep Margot's family in your thoughts - they are even more wrung out than myself,
Kim 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Braids




"Braids," 6" x 8", acrylics on a museum quality panel, depicting a Gypsy Vanner mare with her hair done. A couple in process photos are here, and if you want to add this one to your collection ($329) email me.

SOLD

This is the same mare from Baby Steps and Like Her Momma, in case you are looking for a threesome. Of paintings, that is.

Thanks for following along with my artwork, 
Kim 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Getting Cozy, Our 2014 Valentine Giveaway Painting




"Getting Cozy," 8" x 10", acrylics on a museum quality panel, depicting Dugger, our 2014 Valentine's Day winner! This portrait will be shipped to his family early next week. In process photos are here, and you can see how tough a choice I had to make here.

Extra special warm thanks to everyone who helped make this year's contest so much fun. I wish I could have painted more than one image....

Hoping your day has been sprinkled with love!

Thanks for following along with my artwork, 
Kim 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Into the Light



"Into the Light," 10" square, acrylics on a museum quality panel, depicting Mona Lisa snuggled into a sliver of light, $499 to the first one emailing. In process photos are here.

Mona snuggled in deep and slept soundly on The Caped Crusader's lap last nite, and I knew the image would haunt me until I painted it.

Some days you just have to go with the flow - when inspiration strikes, I juggle things about and make the most of it.

Next up? After dinner I'm teaching a couple dozen kids how to draw their pets' faces. And tomorrow I paint the Valentine portrait.

Thanks for following along with my artwork, 
Kim 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Baby Steps



"Baby Steps," 10" x 5-3/4", acrylics on a museum quality panel, depicting a Gypsy Vanner mare and new foal, $399 to the first one to email. In process photos are here.

I needed a breath of spring in the studio today, so I spoiled myself with some bright green grass. And indulged in another favorite of mine - black and white. Which as you know isn't really black or white. But that green? It is most definately green.

Horses courtesy of Mt Christie Gypsy Horses, which I visited two springs ago with a friend, just days after this little one hit the ground. 

Is it possible to have spring fever in early February? I'm in for a long couple of months if so.....

Thanks for following along with my artwork, 
Kim 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Congratulations!



Ruby, one of the finalists for a free portrait - talk about beautiful eyes!

That's the subject line of the email I just sent out to the 12 finalists in this year's Valentine Painting Giveaway.

There was well over 100 entries received this year (and sadly, they are still arriving, even after the deadline has passed). I have spent the entire day looking at photos, tagging and flagging and resorting and painting each of them in my head. It's been a grand old time!

Thank you to all who sent in photos - the choices were varied and inspiring and heartwarming. Nothing tells a more compelling story about love than the slideshow I watched this morning.

Meanwhile I'm looking forward to picking up my brushes on Friday and painting someone a most excellent Valentine. Which one would you choose to paint?

Thanks for following along with my artwork, 
Kim 

Friday, February 07, 2014

Rosie and Abby






AT TOP, "Rosie," below, "Abby," two 5"x7" commissioned kitty portraits I completed today. Each of them are in acrylics on museum quality panels, and both are headed to a new home next week.

Want something like this for yourself? email me.

I worked on these two simultaneously - there's plenty of in process images over on the studio FB page.

Also, don't forget to send in your photos - you just might be gifted a Valentine's day portrait next week! Complete rules to below - please take a minute and make certain your submission follows the guidelines. It makes my decision making process so much easier.

Thanks for following along with my artwork, 
Kim 



Above one of the Valentine Day entries - Zoey wants her portrait painted!

Here's how it works:

Send 2-3 clear, non-flash copyright free photos of your pet to me via email, 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 9th, 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. I have to establish a commonality for fair judging, so please don't ask for special consideration.

On Tuesday, February 11th, I will share the finalists' photos on the studio Facebook page, and on Friday (Valentine's Day) I will reveal this year's Dog a Day Valentine via this blog and on Facebook.

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 - which is a guaranteed prize of $309 or more (but we all know that this prize is priceless!!).

Winner is responsible for shipping costs or applicable taxes.

Odds of winning entirely dependent upon number of entries received - last year it was over 100.

VERY IMPORTANT: By submitting photos you are (1) guaranteeing that you own the copyright to the photos in question (meaning you took the photos yourself) and (2) granting me permission to use your photos/pet's likeness in a future painting not limited to the Valentine's giveaway. Thirdly, you have no obligation to purchase future paintings your photos or pet inspire, but you will have first right of refusal.



Thursday, February 06, 2014

2014 Valentine Painting Giveaway!




2013's Dog a Day Valentine Giveaway winner Gigi starred in her own 10" x 10" portrait, my gift to her family as thanks for following along with my artwork.

What's better than a box of conversation hearts? Winning one of my paintings starring your favorite furry Valentine!

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 via email, 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 9th, 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. I have to establish a commonality for fair judging, so please don't ask for special consideration.

On Tuesday, February 11th, I will share the finalists' photos on the studio Facebook page, and on Friday (Valentine's Day) I will reveal this year's Dog a Day Valentine via this blog and on Facebook.

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 - which is a guaranteed prize of $309 or more (but we all know that this prize is priceless!!).

Winner is responsible for shipping costs or applicable taxes.

Odds of winning entirely dependent upon number of entries received - last year it was over 100.

VERY IMPORTANT: By submitting photos you are (1) guaranteeing that you own the copyright to the photos in question (meaning you took the photos yourself) and (2) granting me permission to use your photos/pet's likeness in a future painting not limited to the Valentine's giveaway. 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!!

Thanks for following along with my artwork, 
Kim 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A Baker's Dozen





Demo-ing the idea of blocking in quickly, photo courtesy of Douglas Nelson Photography  

Last weekend I had the distinct priviledge of painting with a baker's dozen. Artists, that is. (Although painting donuts would be a lot of fun (a la Kelley Macdonald), hmmm.)

Not to be sidetracked by cruellers, I was truly impressed by the work ethic and attitude these painters possessed - I pushed them far out of their comfort zones and they didn't complain one tiny bit.

Warm thanks to The Craft Shack for hosting our days, and many hugs going out to my new students and friends. See what they did and find out how you can be a part of the paint slinging.

It's rumored I'll be returning to the Orlando area to teach again next year. I'm making a mental note to add donuts to our list of still life props!

Thanks for following along with my artwork, 
Kim 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

#BestBuds




Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson and yours truly, goofing off and doing what we love to do, make art together. 

I am sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight home and reviewing photos from the last five days with a full heart.

I made some wonderful new friends, enjoyed the company of a dear one and her family, and am now looking forward to returning to my own kids and Better Half.

But NOT the snow. Let the record reflect that I am NOT pleased to be going home to 9 more inches of snow.

Thanks for following along with my artwork, 
Kim 
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