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.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Poppy Puppy, In Process

IN PROCESS "Poppy Puppy," 12" x 16", acrylics on a museum quality panel, depicting the most perfect Frenchie ever, Poppy has a home (and what a magnificent one it is!), but I am always happy to talk about creating a custom painting just for you - inquires may come directly to me. Oh, and in process pics are here. (PS, I couldn't love that periwinkle in the background shadow any more. Here's hoping I can figure out a way to marry it to the rest of the painting, because right now it's just a tad too saturated.)

The Big Easy

I have really behaved myself, because Dianna (A.K.A. Stella Gray) and I have been talking for moons about adding my artwork to her bohemian lifestyle offerings. There were all sorts of things rearing their sometimes ugly sometimes painfully beautiful heads, and so we just bid our time.

But now, my pretties, now is the time! (and I am planning a Wizard of Oz series of doll paintings, in case you were losing sleep over it!)

13 of my pieces survived Mardi Gras (not so sure I could brag that myself!) and are gracing the lovely walls of A.K.A. Stella Gray.

And they soon will be joined by this one. Poppy is the resident Prince (let's not call him a dog to his face, ok?!), and this piece will shortly head south as a representation of what I could do for your royalty (Prince or Princess, I don't discriminate).

Meanwhile, seriously, check out all that Stella offers - insanely wonderful things (where else can you get a bat skeleton under glass!) that will make you smile. Plus, they are ridiculously fun to work with.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

March Desktop Calendar

You can 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 not an expert on operating systems, so if you don't know how to change your desktop wallpaper, please don't email me - I will indubitably steer you wrong. Your computer's help files 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, as always, for following along with my artwork,


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chasing Rabbits

"Dorrit," 9" x 12", ink and acrylics on sketch paper, depicting our lionhead bunny. This piece will go to the first one offering $100 - with the added bonus of getting a house bunny who doesn't need a litter box! As always, inquires may always come directly to me.  

SOLD (thank you!)

Chasing Rabbits

That's the phrase Carla Sonheim uses to describe active play. The homework she assigned us this week is to actively play with our supplies.

Ahh, yeah, I can SO do that! (and feel like I kinda did yesterday when playing around with the background to Dreamer). 

Ever since the bunny took up residence inside the house (to avoid the polar vortex), I've been itching to sketch her. Which I finally did today. AFTER I blocked in a new commissioned portrait. This is a single lined contour drawing, laid down in pencil first, then embellished with a little paint, then inked. I'm calling these Contour Doodles. They are grand fun!

So, you see, I did a little work first, then rewarded myself with my play. Which actually was work, homework, that is. Wait a minute....

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Building New Dreams

"Dreamer (formerly Ballerina)," 9" x 12", acrylics on a museum quality panel, depicting a pretty filly playing in an imaginary space. She's looking for a new home - $599 includes s&h to any US doorway. As always, inquires may always come directly to me. Oh, and in process pics are here

I've been looking at a lot of art lately (that might be a separate blog post!), measuring it against my inner vision (notice I didn't say measuring it against my work!! that is a no-no!!), and figuring out where I want to go with my work (because yes, I do get bored painting the same thing the same way, day after day).

I have plans right now for two workshops this spring (focused on expressive, ambiguous, and loose mark making) and am currently deep inside two others (examining joy and acceptance). Plus I have compositions that have been in my head since December's still life workshop with Vianna Szabo (continuing my love affair with light and color). Continued learning is a bit part of advocating for my own growth, and so far this year I am doing a much better job of juggling this with other commitments.

So here's my lesson today - do you remember her from before? Well, in the midst of a giant AH-HA moment this weekend, I realized that the contrast was quite theatrical, but that it didn't serve her. So I eliminated it, and played instead with the background, mirroring her color, adding some of my favorite symbols and patterns from my journal, and then I stopped.

I don't have a clear vision of what to do next, so I put my brushes down. Sure, I could continue to push her edges and have them dissolve entirely, or I could bring the pattern up to compete with her form, but since I can't visualize either of those choices clearly, I'm going to hold off.

Besides, right now, that background serves her very well. Very well indeed.

And now I plan to enjoy her. Maybe you would like to enjoy her too? She is for sale..... 

Up next is a commissioned portrait. I'll have to play by the rules with that one! hee hee!!

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dapples and Braided, a Contour Doodle

"Dapples and Braided," a contour doodle, roughly 9" x 12", acrylics and ink on paper. This piece has been donated to the Equis Gallery Relocation Fund and is available via auction - learn more and bid here. And as always, inquires may always come directly to me

A Contour Doodle?

Yup, you read it right. It's a contour drawing done with great joi de vivre, then embellished with spirited color (acrylic paint).

It's something I discovered via Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple's class The Year of the Spark (get used to me talking about the class, because it's gonna carry me through all of 2015 - you can see my homework, and even order prints of some of the assignments). I combined Carla's "one-liners" - drawings done with, literally, one line - with my paints, and a new idea was born!

I've been playing around with these the past couple days. I think it's pretty obvious I am having a good time, too!

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blue Gypsies

"Blue Gypsies," 12" wide, acrylics on an Ampersand gessobord, depicting a Gypsy Vanner mare and foal from my own photo archives. This painting needs a new home - added bonus? these two beautiful ladies do not need their stall mucked and no farrier or vet bills! $599 includes s&h inside the US. In process photos are here and inquires about getting your own commission or a different painting may always come directly to me

The Gypsy Ladies are one of my entries in the 2015 Equus Film Festival. This is an event relatively new to my radar, one that I hope will help me get my equine paintings in front of an equine-centric audience.

Because, truly, I am so much more than The Dog Lady. Honest to god, that's what I get called all the time.

So here's how the poster thing works - the film festival has a ginormous album of images on their Facebook page, and if you like and share mine (assuming that you do like them and do want to share them), it'll help get my paintings in front of the judges. In June the Top 10 favorites will be juried/considered for poster and marketing materials. Yes, this is rather different than the norm, but that's ok by me. It'll be fun to play by a new set of rules and see how things shake out.

So here's where you just like or share Blue Gypsies. 

I'll promo the other two paintings down the road a bit, but if you can't wait and want to hit all of them up at once, be my guest and thank you very much!

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

"Let Sleeping Dogs Lay," 11" x 6", acrylics on an Ampersand gessobord, this year's Valentine painting giveaway. My apologies for the bit of glare on the right side of the piece - this one needs to be cut out of the larger board I painted on, so I had to photograph it (vs scanning). This painting will shortly be headed home! In process photos are here and inquires about getting your own pet portrait come directly to me

Last week I put out a call for photos - it was time for my annual Valentine's Day Painting Giveaway. I received 77 entries and narrowed them down to 9 wonderful finalists. Today I chose one of those 9 photos, and created the piece at left.

Ultimately, this guy (or girl - I have no information on the dog's name or sex) won because he was all warm and cozy, something I totally envied given our extreme cold here in Michigan this week. I painted him while standing in front of a portable heater, swathed in layers of sweaters, with a scarf and fingerless gloves. 

Wishing you a good, warm snuggle with someone you love on Valentine's Day.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Want a Painted Sketch?!

They are Popular, That's For Certain!

And I only offer then once a year - this time around, last year's biggest collectors
got first dibs on the spots. I contacted them privately earlier this month, which
means I already have 11 sketches booked (thank you SO much!!).

So the remaining 9 spots will go to those first able to supply suitable photos and
payment. Please refer to the flyer above for all pertinent details. And let's be
nice to each other, please? no pushing, shoving, or cutting in line - I will respond
to all inquiries in the order received.

But again, if there's questions, please check the flyer above. I don't want you 
to lose your spot because you were waiting on my response to an email (and we know
that I try so hard to keep up with email!!). And I expect these spots will go F.A.S.T.

I will confirm reservations in the order received. Pinky promise. But now I'm moving
to the easel, so you won't hear from me email wise for a few hours. Which means 
you can sort through pics and get those sent over while you are waiting!

Thanks, as always, for your interest in my artwork! I really hope to be able to 
paint for you!

Warmly, Kim

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Walk Down Memory Lane

"Wally's Garden," 12" x 16", acrylics on an Ampersand panel, depicting Wally, a kitty from my childhood, and some special guests. You can read more about the idea behind this painting in the captions accompanying the in process photos. This painting will be heading to my childhood best friend's home shortly.  

My childhood BFF lost her both parents last month. I have so much more than merely fond memories of them, because I am living a life that they actively nurtured and set me upon.

You see, her Mom introduced me to the fine art of throwing a tea party. To taking pride in your work (this woman embroidered enough fabric to reupholster her entire house - and did!). To fairies (she sprinkled me with fairy dust the day of my high school graduation). She took me to my first symphony. And my first visit to a museum. Her home was my introduction to playing piano and PBS. She regularly took me to Baskin Robbins (and patiently waited for me to try a good amount of the 31 flavors before settling, like always, on rainbow sherbet, not because of the taste, but because of the colors). She introduced me to Beatrix Potter, Shel Silverstein, and Shakespeare. The mystery of cats, but black ones in particular. And above all, she hinted there was far more to life than what our small town promised.

Her Father demonstrated mountains of patience, waiting years for a new seed to show it's merit. In forethought, as each square in his garden (which spilled from their yard into neighbors' properties) was meticulously planned, edged and labeled. The beauty of a line, a true and honest line like only Mother Nature can trace, like the arch of a frond or the curve of a branch. The value of a good day's work, even better if finished with dirt under your nails. The anticipation of a promising read - stacks of material encircled his chair, tagged with slips of paper and dogeared pages, and every room of their home (minus the kitchen) included wall to ceiling builtins packed with books (all of which were happily loaned out). And the value of listening as opposed to being the center of attention, because listening meant one could take more careful notes.

This painting was born out of sitting quietly with my memories over the course of a week. The process of creating unearthed laugh aloud moments and some tears, but it also brought me a truer appreciation for this remarkably generous and loving couple. Talk about art as therapy.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Monday, February 09, 2015

Momma's Got Your Back

"Momma's Got Your Back," 10" x 12", acrylics on a Raymar panel, depicting a spanking new filly and her momma, both from Freelands Gypsy Horses. Photo used with permission. This painting can be yours for $500, including s&h within the contiguous US. In process photos are here and inquires may come directly to me

Sometimes time is all you need.

After taking a break from this piece over the weekend, this morning I saw immediately what needed to be done. And I did it. Or so I think - we'll see what my eyes tell me tomorrow morning!

Meanwhile, I sorted through 77 Valentines Day Painting Giveaway entries - you can see the finalists on FB. Which photo do you think I'll be painting on Friday?

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Friday, February 06, 2015

Who's Got Your Back?

IN PROCESS: "Momma's Got Your Back," 10" x 12", acrylics on a Raymar panel, depicting spanking new filly and her momma, both from Freelands Gypsy Horses. Their photo used with permission. This painting can be yours for $599, including s&h within the contiguous US. In process photos are here and inquires may come directly to me

This painting is particularly challenging because it is high contrast and has very few crisp edges. And I am head over heels in love so far because it is mostly light and dark shapes and has lots of lost edges.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

I'm off to a show opening, but remain excited to return to this one with some fresh eyes and perhaps a glass of wine later on.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Thursday, February 05, 2015


"Nicker," 16" x 16" x 2", acrylics on a cradeled Ampersand gessobord panel, depicting a pensioner from Old Friends in upstate New York. This painting can be yours for $999, including s&h within the contiguous US. In process photos are here and inquires may come directly to me

Two summers ago I visited Old Friends, a retirement home for Thoroughbreds who were done with lives on the track or in the breeding shed. I wish I could remember who this fellow was - maybe Thunder Rumble? - but it was someone I recalled watching run.

Whomever this particular horse was, he was living a dignified life, with plenty of space to roam, friends to socialize with, and lots of love. What every horse deserves.

I started this painting last night, and there's plenty of in process images on line. You can follow along in my decision making process and see how he looked in the earliest stages. And I may be making another adjustment to him tomorrow - we shall see how I feel in the morning, but I see one thing that could be changed.......

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Valentine's Day Painting Giveaway!!

"Getting Cozy," 8" x 10", Golden acrylics on a Raymar panel, last year's Valentine winner. Read on to find out how you can play along and potentially win an original Santini painting of your own! And, as always, let me know if you would like something similar for yourself!

Nothing says "I Love You" quite as much as gifting one of my paintings starring your favorite furry Valentine!. At left is last year's Valentine Giveaway winner Dugger. Dugger starred in his own 8" x 10" portrait, my gift to his family as thanks for following along with my artwork.

Can you believe that it's that time again? Yup, the Valentine Giveaway is back!

Here's how it works:

Send 2-3 clear, non-flash copyright free photos (meaning you took them yourself AND you had the flash turned off on your camera) 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!! (View last year's finalists.)

JPG files (the photos you submit) should be at least 5" wide on the longest side and at 100dpi. (Please don't ask me how to edit your files - a google search or asking a teenager is your best bet!)

Entries must be received by midnight EST on Sunday, February 8th, 2015.

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

Prior Valentine winners are not eligible to participate.

I will do my best to acknowledge receipt of all entries, but depending upon entry volume, it might take 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 10th, I will share the finalists' photos on the studio Facebook page, and on Friday I will reveal this year's Dog a Day Valentine via this blog and on Facebook.

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

The painting will be sized according to the composition. It will be at least a 5"x7" museum quality panel - which is a guaranteed prize of $399 or more (but we all know that, truly, this prize is priceless!!).

Winner is responsible for shipping costs and/or applicable taxes.

Odds of winning entirely dependent upon number of entries received.

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, purchasing the photos from a third party does not include copyright transfer) 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, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim

Paco Pug

"Paco Pug," 8" x 10", Golden acrylics on a Raymar panel. I have seen pics of Paco in my FB photo stream for a loooooong time, as he belongs to fellow daily painter Kelley MacDonald - I was pretty pleased to get to paint him for her today! Paco's portrait is Kelley's, but let me know if you would like something similar for yourself!

This is how I love to paint.

Layers of loose and gloppy brush strokes.

Glorious harmonic color.

Just enough light to make me swoon.

A face you want to squeeze.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim

Monday, February 02, 2015

Feeling Zen?

"Zen Dog," 36" x 14", acrylics on panel, depicting Zevon, a friend's newly rescued family member. This is Golden acrylics on a Raymar panel and can be yours for $2999, including s&h within the contiguous US. In process photos are on the Studio FB page. pARTy details are here. Inquires may come directly to me

It's Long Past Time for a pARTy

Have you ever attended a pARTy before? The idea is simple - someone shares the rights to one of their photographs, and challenges creatives to make artwork inspired by the photo. All of the work is then displayed collectively, for the whole world to see the variety of interpretations and possibilities resulting from the one image.

Now here's the good part - Photographer Juliet Harrison granted us permission to throw a pARTy in Zevon's honor! So here's the details:

The reference photograph is here. Please respect that this photo is being shared purely for the creation of artwork, and is not to be repurposed in any other way.

The idea is to create your own interpretation of the photograph. Please respect each artists' creations and do not copy any of the other art being displayed (because that would be violating copyright law).

Send jpgs of your finished work, watermarked with your name/website, to me. Include in your email any text you would like to appear in the caption.

I will add all artwork created by March 31, 2015, to a photo album on my Facebook page created specifically for this purpose.

Ready? set? paint!!

Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

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