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, January 30, 2015

The Evolution of Inspiration


A photograph by moi of The Princess, one which I intend to paint shortly. Inquires may come directly to me

The Evolution of Inspiration

This is the path I've followed:

1.  Paint what I love. Madly, obsessively, with a focus purely on subject matter.

2.  Embrace a particular process, everything about it, until the approach is wrung dry.

3.  Fall in love with an element, like line, and relentlessly think about nothing else.

4.  Dissolve myself in the process of creating, running others' content through my own filter.

5.  Actively seek out new experiences and media, bringing freshness into my routine.

6.  Look inwards and to my own life for sublime moments, and linger in those via my process.

It's this last stage where I'm standing now, with great intent. And this weekend I will be deeply immersed there, in the backstage happenings at a dance convention, channeling all of the above.

1.  My daughter's passion for dance and movement.

2.  Studying light and limbs until my own muscles ache.

3.  Absorbing the costumes, music and choreography (how many different variations of Titanium do you think I'll hear?)

4.  Point my camera and make endless mental notes.

5.  Spend quiet time with my ipad, creating digital sketches from both the stage and memory.

6.  Delight in the fact that The Princess and I can share, albeit in different ways, out own passions, and make memories together.


What's been your Path of Inspiration?

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

Thursday, January 29, 2015

In Process, Zen Dog


In process image of "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 will be available when finished for $2999, including s&h within the contiguous US (and yes, I apologize, but there is glare on this image, which is what happens when one photographs at 10pm). In process photos are on the Studio FB page. Inquires may come directly to me

Before I committed to daily painting (in October 2006), I specialized in larger than life pet portraits and animal paintings. How I loved to work on a piece where I could use the gesture of my entire body to make a mark - it was a dance, just me and my painting and the brush/

The commitment of daily painting limited my ability to continue to work at this scale, but I also thoroughly enjoyed immersing in a new composition each day, and thusly kept myself busy for years without missing things too much.

But when my friend Juliet shared a photo of her new dog Zevon and challenged me to paint him, a smaller panel just wouldn't do. He had to be big.

Big, because, I mean, let's be real. Adoption, a second chance at life with a family, is a darned big deal. And the gratitude that just oozes from his body (photo taken on one of his first days enjoying the sunlight in his new backyard), it needed to be expressed in a huge way. Far bigger than an 8x10~

So here's my big panel, my return to larger than life, with a piece that screams gentility and graciousness. May we all enjoy a generous serving of it this evening.

And stay tuned - because I will be issuing a Zen Dog challenge shortly, inviting all of you to pick up your brushes and create something equally special!

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow Much Fun #InstantReplay


From January 2012, "Snow Much Fun," 36" x 14", acrylics on panel, depicting the singular muse Nita, the golden retriever extraordinaire who lives life large. This piece was done in acrylics on a museum quality panel and resides in a private collection. However, reproductions on a variety of surfaces and items remain available. Inquires may come directly to me

#InstantReplay

In light of the storm on the east coast, I thought I would re-run one of my all time favorite paintings, "Snow Much Fun." It's a compilation piece done from multiple photos supplied by (and used with permission) Team Husar Photography. If my memory serves me right, this was one of the first times I'd painted Nita - I've lost count by now how many paintings she and her brother Bear have starred in!

I don't mean to make light of the seriousness of blizzards. Just hoping all in the path of the accumulation and winds are staying warm and safe, and sharing a reminder that someone, somewhere, is always having the time of their life. 

Hoping your turn comes soon.

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

February 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,

 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Advice for Unsticking


"Dirty Bastard," 6" x 8", acrylics on panel, depicting a bottle of my favorite Founders beer, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel, $329 including s&h within the US. Inquires may come directly to me. In process photos are here. Thanks so much in advance!

#YourTurnChallenge, #DayFive

Today's #YourTurnChallenge (#YourTurnChallenge is a Seth Godin inspired weeklong blog commitment - learn more here) topic is "Advice for Unsticking." Which I swear I wasn't aware of until about an hour ago when I sat down to write this.

Kinda ironic, because my day started out smoothly. Then circumstances convened and I got stuck in a yucky mood, creating a traffic jam of negativity in my head. You could say I took my own advice, then, because this is what I did to solve things:

Stop
Back off
Clean yourself up
Vent (in a healthy way)
Change your playlist
Invite laughter (ask another party to supply it if you can't)
Try again from a different angle
Repeat as often as necessary

I'm off to try the repeat cycle yet again. Maybe I should add "sprinkle yourself with fairy dust" somewhere in that list?

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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Roscoe


"Roscoe," 8" x 10", acrylics on panel, depicting a mixed breed dog, done in acrylics on a museum quality panel. Inquires may come directly to me. In process photos are here. Thanks so much in advance!

#YourTurnChallenge, #DayFour

The #YourTurnChallenge week includes topics for each days' blog posting. (#YourTurnChallenge is a Seth Godin inspired weeklong blog commitment - learn more here).

Today's is something to the effect about teaching what I do well. And while that might seem obvious to those of you who follow along because of my art, it's actually a little more complicated. While the obvious answer about what I do well may be to talk about my painting process, I think I actually excel at something completely different.

Pretending that all is well.

Yeah, clearly, the end of last year sent me reeling, but honestly, who wouldn't have crumpled after saying goodbye to 8 dear people during the course of the year?

But pretending I'm ok is something I am really really good at - seeing the positive in every situation. I have been accused of pooping glitter and rainbows. Honest. But pooping glitter and rainbows means I can stand at my easel every day and paint a pretty picture.

So this, seeing the positive in every situation, it is a blessing. While others may gripe, I wrap my arms around some detail or other and find at least a moment's joy to lose myself in. 

Yes, it can make other things difficult occasionally, but in my opinion, a dose of reality is so blase. Life is far more exciting when you run with the unicorns. Plus, if, someone messes with you, with the flick of your wrist, they are impaled by one of your running buddies.

Imagination can be a powerful thing, my friends. Embrace it!

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Welcome (Kari and Delta)


Painted overtop a bad painting (yes, I have lots of them!), "Welcome (Kari and Delta)," 6" x 8", acrylics on panel, depicting a Freelands Gypsy Vanner broodmare with her fresh little filly born last week. Painting was created with the permission of the farm's management from live footage (yes, this is an actual foal being born, so if you are not ready to witness the UNCENSORED miracle of birth, it's simple - don't click on the link!). This piece is available for $329, including s&h within the US. Inquires may come directly to me. Thanks so much in advance!

#YourTurnChallenge, #DayThree

We are rolling along into our #YourTurnChallenge week. (#YourTurnChallenge is a Seth Godin inspired weeklong blog commitment - learn more here).

Today the challenge is to address what can be improved. But as a recovering OCD Perfectionist, I don't think my list can be edited to merely one blog post.

So I'm going to throw it into your laps.

What do you think can be improved? What can YOU do to urge movement in that direction? Comment here or over on FB. Then ask a friend what they think. Keep the ball rolling.

(Ok, I can't just not say ANYTHING. I'll tell you one thing that an be improved - selfish, mean and hurtful people can just stop completely, and we can all of us show more compassion.)

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kisa


"Kisa," 8" x 10", acrylics on panel, depicting a gorgeous British Shorthair cancer survivor (she lost her eye to melanoma). This painting is done in acrylics on a Raymar panel, and will be headed home once the varnish dries. Inquires on acquiring one of my limited commissioned pieces may come directly to me. Thanks so much in advance!

#YourTurn, #DayTwo

As mentioned yesterday, this week I am participating in the #YourTurn Challenge. Inspired by Seth Godin, #YourTurn is made up of bloggers who recognize the privilege of an audience, and collectively are pledging to deliver content for 7 days straight. Today is #DayTwo, and my assignment is to share "What's Important to Me." I'll try to keep it short, in no particular order.
  • My family.
  • My insanely brilliant and cherished circle of friends.
  • The security of a roof over my head.
  • The tools of my trade.
  • Music to fit every possible mood (thank you Spotify and Soundcloud!)
  • Books, whether it's a worn paperback handed me by a friend, something from the library, or a digital download, content has never before been so easily available.
  • Kitten Therapy and walking the dog.
  • My yoga mat. My yogi master (I could call her a mistress, but that might raise eyebrows) and the dear beacons I practice with.
  • Eyesight, even though it be sorely nearsighted, it suffices to show me color and nuance and joy.
  • Inspiration (it's everywhere) and Whispers* (they are everywhere too!)
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

*Whispers are messages from the universe that one hears only when fully present

Monday, January 19, 2015

Renewing My Vows


"Turtledove," 2007, 8" square, acrylics on panel, depicting a wonderfully special ladybug, from my own personal collection. Fresh from the tough streets of Los Angeles, Turtle joined our family in 1991 - she came with both physical and emotional scars and an odd meow that sounded like a dove cooing. When I began the studio in 2000 (after leaving the traditional workforce), it seemed symbolically similar to the rebirth she experienced when adopted. And so it made perfect sense to name my business after her - and thus TurtledoveDesigns was born.

Why am I doing the #YourTurn Challenge??

In October 2006 I started painting and blogging daily. I did it quietly, and at first only told a few close souls, so that I felt a sense of accountability. But I also didn't want to fail miserably in front of a huge audience.

Clearly, in the past 7-/12 years, my audience has grown a bit beyond those first confidants. And there have been times I've dropped the ball, for whatever reason, and not gotten to the easel or even written a blog. It used to be that I would lose sleep when this sort of stuff happened, and I'm embarrassed to say that, especially in this past year, I was no longer stressed or ashamed when I failed to deliver.

Which is wrong on so many levels. 

If I make a promise to deliver content, than I need to deliver. The internet is full of those who are delivering, and doing so as promised. Furthermore, your time and attention is a valuable commodity - it is wrong for me to disrespect your own commitment to follow along with my artwork by not, err, making any artwork. Or at least creating content when life happens and artwork doesn't get made.

So this week I am participating in the #YourTurn Challenge. Inspired by Seth Godin, #YourTurn is essentially a group of bloggers who recognize what a privilege it is to have your attention. Collectively we are renewing our commitment to deliver for 7 days straight. Together we will hold each other accountable, but it is also my hope that I will rediscover and reconnect with old habits and my initial passion for blogging.

Meanwhile, I apologize if you feel as though you were taken for granted. I am working hard to make sure that never happens again. 

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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mousers, In Process


In process, working title, "Mousers," 18" x 24" x 1-1/2", acrylic on museum quality panel, depicting a golden retriever and a black labrador retriever digging in a snow drift, presumably for a mouse, but one never knows what treasure will be unearthed! The painting carries around the sides of the cradle (aka "gallery wrap" style) and does not mandate a frame (although one is indeed possible if desired). Available for $2399 which includes s&h inside the US. Inquiries may come to me. Please and thank you!

I Can't Stop!

But I will have to soon - I have three portrait projects in the wings here that need to be done next week. Hoping to get a little easel time over the weekend with these two Mousers while the kids are off doing their thing, and then I can buckle down and work work work on those other paintings next week. Cross your fingers and toes for me.

And thanks, too, for indulging my kindergarten humor this week. There's been a lot of giggling at the easel along with some most excellent email/messaging exchanges, and that was sorely missing the last couple months.

In process images are here.  And, assuming the stars align and I am able to get some studio time in the next day or two, they will be updated over the course of the weekend, if you are so inclined to check in.

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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Because He Can (Even More Butt)


"Because He Can," 8" x 10", Golden acrylics on a Raymar panel. Who else could this be but the one and only daVinci, my studio kitty? The painting is available for $469 which includes s&h inside the US. Inquiries may come to me. Please and thank you!

daVinci has no problem dropping everything to clean his butt, no matter where he is or who might be in the room with him. 

He purrs while cleaning himself too. What do you suppose that means?

Here's your chance to get a piece of him without his stinky-ness. Too bad I can't wrap up some kitten snuggles, too.


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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Golden Butt


"Golden Butt," 7" x 16", Golden acrylics on an Ampersand Gessobord. This newest painting is a back side portrait of a Golden Retriever puppy. The painting is available for $589, which includes s&h inside the US - and returning collectors get 10% off. Better yet, if a new collector would like to take both butts (meaning today's and yesterday's), I'll give 10% off each piece, just to keep them together! Inquiries may come to me. Please and thank you!

I can't get enough butt.

Here's another Morgue File (an online copyright free photo library) puppy. How does one resist that stretched out little puppy body? and those ears? double whammy.

In process images are here . And click through so that you can see closeups of ALL the color in his sweet little body!

And next I will tackle kitty butt. Stay tuned! 

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

January (cough) 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,

 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pinscher Butt


"Pinscher Butt," 8" x 8", Golden acrylics on an Ampersand Gessobord. This newest painting is a back side portrait of a little puppy, either a Doberman or a Miniature Pinscher, I'm not certain entirely. The painting is available for $399, which includes s&h inside the US - and returning collectors get 10% off. Inquiries may come to me. Please and thank you!

I had a hankering for puppy butt, but my archives weren't delivering anything terribly exciting. So I went to Morgue File, an online copyright free photo library, to see what options I could dig up (pun intended!).

And I found little Chewy! And a couple others that I'll take on shortly as well. (Keep in mind that when you use a resource like Morgue File, there is a possibility that other creatives may choose to work from the same reference material.)

You can see a handful of in process images here.

Yes, the still life materials are packed away for a little bit. I needed to step back inside my comfort zone - it's important, I think, to remind oneself of one's strengths instead of always focusing on one's weaknesses. 

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

Monday, January 12, 2015

Plumb Tired Out


"Exhausted," 6" x 8", Golden acrylics on an Ampersand gessobord. This painting depicts a small bean bag Madame Alexander doll, and it also reflects my energy level today. The painting is $329, including s&h inside the US. Inquiries may come to me.

This weekend was a loooooong one - The Princess danced at a convention (7 hours of class daily) then opened her dance competition season with a total of 6 dance numbers (5 done within the span of 3 hours, including costume, makeup and hair changes), running into the wee hours of the night (she did fabulously both on and off stage). 

Sunday I left the convention early because The Caped Crusader played for the lacrosse tourney league championship, his team's first game since the death of a teammate's mother (which they won while sporting purple bandannas in her memory!).

In between and in betwixt I put together this week's journaling lesson, did some volunteer work, and prepped healthy meals and snacks on the go using nothing more than a hot plate and microwave. 

Got to the easel late today, but I am proud that I made it there!

Planning to finish unpacking and laundry this evening so that tomorrow will include a longer stint with my paints!

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

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Dark Knight (yes, it's Batman!!)


"The Dark Knight," 6" x 18", Golden acrylics on a Raymar panel. This portrait of the original Caped Crusader (not to be confused with my son The Caped Crusader) is inspired by an action figure I snagged at a flea market this summer. You can tuck this masked man somewhere special in your home and never even have to reach for the batphone. The painting is $329, including s&h inside the US. Batphone, Robin, Alfred and the Commissioner not included. Inquiries may come to me.

Oy. Yesterday Was Difficult.

The proof is here. I tried to finish The Princess's dance portrait. And then I tried again. And again. But it just wasn't happening. I struggled with my drawing, her anatomy, and then the value of the background. Nothing was working (and yes, I have these days too!).

I thought I'd tackle her today, but when I stood in front of my easel this morning, honestly, the painting was a hot mess. And I got a little intimidated (and yes, I have that same inner critic you do!).

The painting can be worked out. But I wasn't feeling the love today.

So I reached for something a little more inside my comfort zone than the human figure all twisty and foreshortened and graceful and in movement and stuff (what the <> was I thinking????). I grabbed a toy.

Don't judge me. He's still a human figure, albeit a plastic one.  I added a little torso twist. Got that fan going, too, to billow his cape properly and add a suggestion of movement to the painting.

He's a couple steps down the difficulty scale from my dancer, but he was totally doable. And my painting mojo doesn't feel as bruised today.


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

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

I Give You Grace


In process detail from a newly wet painting titled "Grace," 11" x 14", Golden acrylics on an Ampersand Gessobord. This is a portrait of my daughter, inspired by a photo I snapped at her dress rehearsal this last weekend. I'm not sure if this one will be put on the market, but nevertheless, inquiries may come to me. Please and thank you!

She sure didn't get it from me.

The Princess's passion is dance. And the last couple weeks have been all about it - between a master class with a cast member from Wicked, attending the show, painting murals on props, pointe shoe fittings, costume fittings and alterations, a makeup clinic, designing face painting for a group number, two full days of rehearsals and a glorious day long dress rehearsal (including run throughs for the face painting and makeup re-dos), it's all we've lived and breathed.

And things are about to get real. Her competition season starts this weekend.

Meanwhile, I am getting myself mentally prepped to play Dance Mom by daily meditation and playing with my paints. Focusing on line, movement, light and energy, all the while enjoying a great soundtrack. You can see in process images here.

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

Friday, January 02, 2015

Polar



"Polar," 8" x 8", Golden acrylics on an Ampersand Gessobord, still life painting depicting an old stuffed polar bear on a white ground. Polar can be yours for $399, which includes shipping and handling inside the continental US - inquiries may come to me. Please and thank you!

Look Again - White isn't White.

You've heard me say it before. 

And to prove my point, I'll share a little exercise I do with my students.

Take a white object (Starbucks cup, coffee mug, etc) and set it on your kitchen table. Observe how the apparent color of that white object shifts - it reflects the light around it, including whatever color your kitchen table is.

Now take a bright tea towel or tshirt, and place it under the white object. See how that object changes again?

This happens with everything in our world - it absorbs and reflects the color of everything around it (including the color of the light).

The object is still "white," we aren't changing it's local color. But we are changing it's surroundings, and that reflects/impacts the variations of "white" that we see across it's surface.

This is most easily experienced with our own eyes - cameras rarely capture it (go ahead - take a photo of that same setup with your cell phone - see the difference?). Hence the importance of painting from life, so that our paintings capture the essence of how we move through the real world.

And the importance of painting what you SEE vs  painting the LABEL your brain assigns a "white" object" - there is no pure white paint in this piece, despite how it may look on your monitor.

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

Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Year's Queen


"New Year's Queen," 12" x 16", Golden acrylics on an Ampersand Gessobord, depicting a vintage doll head accessorized with Salvation Army treasures. She can be yours for $768, which includes shipping and handling inside the continental US - inquiries may come to me. Please and thank you!

Yes, she's been beheaded, but that won't stop her. This Queen is stepping out proudly, with her love beads and tiara, and she is going to rule 2015.

Carrying on with studies from Vianna Szabo's workshop last month, and inspired by some of the brush and edgework seen first hand at the DIA yesterday, I am starting the year out strong, pushing forward, trying new things and taking notes along the way.

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