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, August 13, 2015

What's Your Kentucky Derby Story?

We've watched the Kentucky Derby for years.

And for many of us, attending The Kentucky Derby is a bucket list item.
I knew one day I'd make it to the grounds of Churchill Downs, but never thought it would be on Derby Day as a special guest in my capacity as The Official Artist of The Kentucky Derby. 

So it goes to reason that watching from our seats at the finish line was pretty emotional. 

I grew up painting, of course, but I also grew up watching horse racing with my Grandfather. The best part of the springtime classics was comparing notes and debating our picks (and scouring newspapers for grainy photos of horses in training to sketch). He always chose the Arkansas Derby winner, and I went for the underdog, the gray, or the filly. And there was always art inspired by the pagentry.

After Grandpa passed away in 2010 navigating Derby Week felt hollow.

But this year, things were different. I wasn't just another horse racing fan. I was the Official Artist of the Kentucky Derby. Derby Week 2015 was a whirlwind of signing events and southern hospitality. Seeing new sights and meeting new people. Recognizing that for a large majority of those in attendance, The Kentucky Derby was highly personal. It was about family, friends, memories, anniversaries, traditions, things much, much bigger than the race itself. I forged an immediate connection with everyone who shared their Derby story.

Not to say that the race wasn't big. Because this year, as you know, the race was huge. It cemented a new champion and ushered in the end of a 37 year Triple Crown drought. But that wasn't all it did - this year, my own personal Derby story added a chapter. The year I was the official artist, an honor my Grandfather would have surely burst with pride over, The Arkansas Derby champion won. And I felt my Grandfather's embrace at the end of the race. I realized that he has always been with me, even these past 5 years, and that he truly was bursting with pride.

Which leads me to ask, what's YOUR Derby Experience. I want to hear it, because telling stories is what I do for a living. I do it unconventionally, with paint as opposed to words, but I paint moments that connect with your soul. And hearing your stories, connecting with you, provides me with material to create.

Please share your stories - you are welcome to send them via email:

Please peek at the stories I have told - there's numerous ways to see them, on my website or Facebook or my blog or my digital storefront.

Please listen for the stories that are to come - sign up for my daily newsletter and get them delivered to your mailbox (I am currently working through painting 100 toys, and have a larger painting of American Pharoah on Derby Day in process).

Who knows, perhaps one day we can work together to bring one of your stories from my easel to your home. How marvelous would that be?

With great warmth,
Kimberly Kelly Santini

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