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Showing posts from April, 2015

Kentucky Derby Preparations

IT'S DERBY WEEK! (and yes I'm screaming!)
So here's a few of the things I did today:
Unpacked my suitcase from this weekend's dance competition (SO inspiring!). Intended to repack, but got sidetracked by child with flu. Lysoled entire house. Three times. 
Made chicken soup. The aroma made me feel better. Sick child wanted none of it. Neither did children-who-are-healthy-for-the-moment. Didn't take it personally.
Escaped to get a pedi and a mani. After all, I will be signing 100s of Kentucky Derby posters this week, and I have to look professional. Well, now that I think about it, it IS professional for an artist to have paint under their nails as opposed to on top of them.....
Shipped out drawings and sketches - no other shipments will be leaving the studio until next week. Also shipped new equine inventory to Spa Fine Art. All of my galleries have a beautiful, deep selection of inventory going into May.
Admired my Derby necklace (it arrived over the weekend, and …

Contour Drawings for Sale

One of 8 contour drawings made available today, all equine related. Because I couldn't wait ANY longer to start celebrating Derby Week!

Contour drawings were something I learned in college as part of my life drawing class. The model would hold a pose for 10 minutes, and we were to draw the edges of her form. In 10 minutes. I know it sounds impossible, and at the beginning, it very nearly was. With practice, those contour drawings became blind ones (meaning that we couldn't look at our paper while drawing), and those poses shortened to 2 minutes. It's all a matter of training one's eye and hand.
At the time I enjoyed the exercise, but didn't think much of it, and stopped doing drawings shortly thereafter. What the heck was wrong with me? (I know what it was - I got seduced by COLOR and all her mysterious ways!)
Now that I've rediscovered contours, and begun doing them in colored inks, it seems to be a happy marriage. 
You can see all of the drawings here, and p…

Fingerpainting, in Process - Siesta

Detail of the in process painting "Siesta", 12" x 16", acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting a napping foal. Yet another exploration of edges, layers and blending courtesy of inspiration from studies with Stanka Kordic. This painting will need a home. $959 will bring her to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US) - inquire directly to moi, with in process photos  here.
Finger painting - That's what I did all day! Well, I also used a variety of wedges and spatulas and knives, scraping and spreading and building up texture.
Then I ran out of time to finish him - dashing off to a Derby poster signing right now! Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork! Warmly, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

Frolic

"Frolic", 12" x 16", acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting a foal (photo reference courtesy of PaintMyPhoto.ning.com) stretching her legs. Further exploration of edges and blending courtesy of inspiration from studies with Stanka Kordic. This painting, this little one, she need a home. $959 will bring her to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US) - inquire directly to moi, with in process photos here.
More Gut Listening
Pursuant to Puff Ball's painting on Monday, I bring you Frolic.
Painted mostly with a wedge and my fingers, with a conscious effort to lose edges, and a focus on super fun color. And size - if you haven't noticed, I've been painting larger lately, too - and this one carries some moderate texture.
I'm liking this approach. A lot. It's a new way of capturing energy and motion, all the while allowing me to also dabble with the abstract qualities of the composition.
What do you think? I'd love to hear your ideas on loose…

Painting Intuitively - Puff Ball

"Puff Ball", 10" x 10" acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting a sweet little Pomeranian from my archives. A result of the active pursuit of lessons learned from one Stanka Kordic. The painting is not for sale, but as always, inquiries may come directly to me. Oh, and in process photos are here
Painting Intuitively
It's an admirable goal. Just picking up the brushes and sliding into some alternate consciousness while the piece paints itself. For the record, THAT never happens here.
But I AM trying to listen more to what the painting tells me it needs, and less to that annoying voice in my head that is quick to remind me of all that I'm doing wrong. Which, apparently, is a heck of a lot. This was something that Stanka Kordic really hammered home during her workshop. We have intuition for a reason, and stifling it serves nobody, least of all the painting. Of course there is a difference between intuition and inner critic. Just need to clarify that. And t…

A Whole New World

"A Whole New World", 10" x 12" acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting some of my favorite young dancers. This painting has a good story behind it - and posters will be sold - read more below! The painting itself belongs to The Princess (that's her on the left), but as always, inquiries may come directly to me. Oh, and in process photos are here
Production Numbers
In the world of competitive dance, a production number is a dance that tells a story, and typically features every dancer from the team. Production numbers are nearly double the length of other dances, and are tremendous fun, as they usually include props, fabulous costumes, and incredible music mixes.
This year, The Princess's production number tells the story of Aladdin. It's complete with neon orange beaded harem pants, a flying carpet, a marketplace and a magic genie lamp. It also includes lyrical movement, musical theater, acrobatics, pointe and tap, and stars every dancer from the t…

Available Paintings, April 15th, 2015

The following paintings are available for purchase directly from my studio. These original works, unless noted, are acrylic on museum quality panel. All prices include s&h within the US. Multiple paintings can typically be shipped together, returning collectors receive 10% off purchases, and I do accept payment plans (6 month plan with art shipped upon completion of payments). 
Links to reproductions and other products are at the bottom of this newsletter. 
Thanks so much for your interest in my artwork!  Warmly, Kim ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com

"Nicker," 16" x 16" x 2" (note that this piece is on a cradeled panel, with the image wrapped around the sides), $999. Inquire directly to me.





"Momma's Got Your Back," 10" x 12", $599. Inquire directly to me.




"Blue Gypsies," 12" x 12", $599. Inquire directly to me.




"Dreamer," 11" x 14", $599. Inquire directly to me.




"Silly Old Girl," 11&quo…

Grindstone

"Grindstone", 16" x 20" acrylics on museum quality panel, depicting Grindstone, just a few strides away from winning The Kentucky Derby in 1996. Read more about this painting's story below - it's a good one! And inquiries may come directly to me
Paying it Forward
Shortly after getting The Derby Gig, which neatly dovetailed my childhood passion for horse racing with my grown up obsession with painting, I started formulating a plan to give back to the universe. As it played out, The Kentucky Derby Museum got involved, and it was decided I would donate a piece to them, something they could use as a fundraising tool to further their education efforts. 
"Would I be interested in painting Grindstone, the winner of the 1996 Derby?" they asked.
But of course!
Little did I know the background story, though. Every year the Museum asks the owners of the Kentucky Derby winner to donate one breeding to the Museum when they retire the horse. This donation is…

Kentucky in the Spring

I got to try out my new camera in Kentucky, and got quite a few beautiful shots of the light and the horses while visiting Keeneland and Churchill Downs (pictured above, in the early morning).
Highlights From Our Roadtrip: Dietsch's chocolatesSeeing the first peeks of green as we drove southDumplinsMeeting a friend over coffee and tea after morning workouts in the track kitchen at KeenelandSouthern hospitalityWatching races from an owner's box on the finish line at KeenelandLimestone cliffs and cascading groundwater in the setting sunHoney crusted salmon from Bluegrass Brewing Company (their porter wasn't half bad either!)Churchill Downs at sunrise (see above!)Reconnecting with the same smiling faces from the Derby artwork reveal in NovemberGetting teary when honored with a distinctive Kentucky Derby Museum MembershipSharing the painting process of "The First Saturday in May"  (the 2015 Kentucky Derby painting) with museum guests and staffUnveiling "Grindsto…

Stanka Kordic Workshop, Day 2

Rubbing elbows with The Master, Stanka Kordic, who's work is at top left. Today we painted alla prima (meaning wet on wet, in one cohesive session) from a live model. The approach was a little different than previous efforts set down overtop prepared grisaille underpaintings, but the expressive potential was just as enormous. AND, I got so excited watching her paint, I decided to try my hand at oils again. It's your job now to hold me to that. Just let me ride The Derby Wave first.... (I know, famous last words)
My Brain Has Officially Exploded. Good News? Gray Matter Doesn't Stain.
The most important thing I left the workshop with? Ironically, it is something I already knew.
"Paint what you see, not what you THINK you see." 
If you've painted with me, you have heard my broken record version of this.
Stanka gave it an entirely zen-like twist, one which resonated deeply, followed almost immediately by impact from The Irony Truck. She said (and I paraphrase), …

Stanka Kordic, Day 1

In process detail from "Once Upon Another Time (Self Portrait)," 16" x 20", acrylic glazes and other magic on an Ampersand gessobord, all inspired by the wizard of scumbling and all sorts of mark making, Stanka Kordic.
My Brain is Exploding
After just one day. And I think she was holding back, too. Very graciously, I may add, just pacing herself so as to not overwhelm us. Ok, me.
My biggest ah-ha moments (and there were plenty!):
Burnt sienna + cobalt blue + white = flesh tone when layered overtop a raw umber wash.Optically mixing color (ie layering glazes on a painting surface) achieves color you cannot mix on a palette.It's a challenge to focus on the surface effects and patterned marks and NOT on the form, but that's where the magic happens, so get over it.If using a grisaille beginning, accentuate the highlights, so that the layered glazes eventually settle at the correct value.

More photos are here - tomorrow is another day of braving new frontiers! 
T…

I LOVE Being a Student!

My bags are packed - including a lunch! I'm ready to tackle all that gets thrown my way - paints, palette, easel, tripod, brushes and other mark making tools, and 6 panels prepared with various underpaintings. The adventure officially begins tomorrow! (Wonder Woman backpack courtesy of my sister in law and LL Bean, vintage Samsonite suitcase from Sal Val, tote bag carries Michele Allen's artwork.)
I LOVE School!
Well, not so much the elementary, middle or high school experience. But when I got to college and was able to study - in depth - the sorts of things that fascinated me (making art, art history, and writing), I discovered how much I enjoyed the simple act of learning.
Stepping onto a ledge, trying out new things, making discoveries, connections, mistakes, having conversations, picking others' brains, learning/adapting/discarding processes. It's a wonderful journey!
And this week I'm stepping back into that role. I'm taking a workshop with one of my favo…

April Desktop Calendar

You can download the filedirectly 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,
Kim

Dark Brown or Bay, In Process, and a pARTy

IN PROCESS: "Dark Brown or Bay", 10" x 20" acrylics on museum quality panel depicting a dark Thoroughbred. This painting is available (when finished) for $999. In process photos are here, and purchase inquiries may come directly to me

I didn't post much at all this week, but I've been oh-so-very-busy in the studio, shipping out sketches, creating new marketing materials, planning painting inventory, connecting with clients, doing homework, preparing for next week's workshop, creating a donation piece for The Caped Crusader's lacrosse team, and starting to monitor my Kentucky Derby fever. This image, "Dark Brown or Bay," is this month's pARTy. What's a pARTy, you ask? It's when artists work from the same reference material to create wildly unique artwork. I've posted the reference photo here along with complete submission details. All pARTy attendees' artwork will be shared on my Facebook page, along with purchase inf…