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.

Monday, April 27, 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 I wore it with my paint smock. It really snazzed things up!). Seriously, if you want something special, PLEASE consider Tippy Stockton.
 
Worked a bit on the recital program for the dance studio (have you ordered your poster yet?)

Collected my repaired Derby dress (daVinci ATE the tulle underlayer, and lived to talk about it, in case you missed that news) from my most spectacular seamstress. Made an excellent plan to pay her back, too (sometimes $$ just isn't enough!). And can I just say for the record that litter box scooping is not any more exciting when punctuated with red tulle?

Built my itinerary for the week, which includes farm visits, dinners, mint juleps and flip flop wearing at Churchill Downs!!

Now I'm off for a little reading with my favorite non-dress-eating cat. Tomorrow morning I hit the road - you can follow along here.

I will try to post updates to the blog during the week as internet connectivity presents itself. 

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

Friday, April 24, 2015

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 purchase via commenting "Mine Please" on the one you wish. If you do not have Facebook (and therefore can view but not comment) just shoot me an email with the name of the drawing you wish, and I'll mark it sold.

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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

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 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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 loosening up while still retaining the essence of the subject matter.

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

Monday, April 20, 2015

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 tuning into intuition allows us to take risks that our inner critic would not allow. At least, not quietly.
 
So this piece was me embracing intuition while my inner critic was duct taped into silence.
 
Oh, and then, I got to finger paint.
 
And dance badly to very loud music.
 
And look what came of it all!! The world did not end, nor did my easel self combust.
 
(If you are a Stanka fan, check out the new video outlining her painting process. It's sublime.)
 
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

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 team (30+, aged 6-18). It's tremendous fun.

Every year I paint something inspired by our production number and sell posters to benefit the dance team. Two years ago the girls were Renegades (danced to Styx's song of the same name), and last year it was Miami Heat (an energetic hip hop/contemporary compilation that resulted in a pound of micro beads flying off the fringed costumes every performance!). Usually I shoot the references for my painting at our January dress rehearsal and that gives a few months to work up the painting.

But that wasn't an option this year. Because The Princess has a costume change, a shoe change, and a second costume change, which meant I was busy in the wings holding various pieces of clothing, staging shoes for an easy transition, and adding headpieces/jewelry as needed. Not to mention letting off one of the confetti poppers at the end of the show! So there was no opportunity for reference photo taking, let alone even seeing the dance from the audience's perspective! I was getting nervous, and I was running out of time.

And then, at our last performance, while backstage waiting for the music to queue, THIS is what I saw. The dancers lined up in the wings, ready to step into the light. THIS was my painting! Defying the event's "no camera rules," I snuck my cell phone out of my pocket and snapped a few frames just as the dance began. Anything for art, right? It's not like I was shooting photos that would take business away from the official event photographer.

I know. I'm bad. But it was all for the Sake of Art.

So next up is designing the poster, getting it to the printers, and collecting orders. Posters will be available for $25, with all proceeds benefitting our dancers. If you would like one, let me know, and we'll coordinate shipping and delivery details.

And The Princess says "thank you!"

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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


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





"Spring," 8" x 30", $699, mixed media and reverse painting on plexi. Inquire directly to me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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 then auctioned off to benefit the Museum. Grindstone's sire, Unbridled, won the Derby in 1990 (who can forget the trainer giving the play by play of the race to Unbridled's elderly owner, who could not actually see what was happening? ). Subsequently, Unbridled's connections donated a breeding to the Museum, and Grindstone was the resulting foal - how serendipitous that he followed along in his father's footsteps! It's no wonder the Museum wanted to honor his victory and their shared history with a portrait!

Museum staff eagerly gathered reference materials for me, obtained the proper permissions for photo usage, and I then got to work. A videographer shadowed me during the process, and this neat little video is a result. (And there's always in process pics over on Facebook, too)

The painting itself was unveiled at the Museum this past weekend as part of their 30th anniversary celebration. It will be auctioned off this coming Friday as part of their "It's My Derby" Gala D. Wayne Lucas (trainer of Grindstone) will be the auctioneer, selling a variety of wonderful packages and items to benefit the Museum.

My painting has been paired with race day accommodations for 8 in a Jockey Club Suite on April 25th, opening night of Churchill Downs' spring meet and the start of Kentucky Derby week. Included with the package is dinner and a tour to the saddling paddock to watch the call for riders up.
  
If you are interested in bidding on this item, you can contact Eric Brown at the Museum to arrange for live telephone bidding. Or, if you are able to attend, tickets can be purchased via the Kentucky Derby Museum.

And I will close by saying that it is simply wonderful to be a piece of the Kentucky Derby legacy - even though my role is a bit one, I am enjoying every second!

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


Monday, April 13, 2015

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 chocolates
  • Seeing the first peeks of green as we drove south
  • Dumplins
  • Meeting a friend over coffee and tea after morning workouts in the track kitchen at Keeneland
  • Southern hospitality
  • Watching races from an owner's box on the finish line at Keeneland
  • Limestone cliffs and cascading groundwater in the setting sun
  • Honey 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 November
  • Getting teary when honored with a distinctive Kentucky Derby Museum Membership
  • Sharing the painting process of "The First Saturday in May"  (the 2015 Kentucky Derby painting) with museum guests and staff
  • Unveiling "Grindstone," my painting that will be auctioned off this coming weekend at the It's My Derby Gala, with proceeds going to the Museum's educational efforts (more on that tomorrow!)
  • Interacting with Museum guests and signing Kentucky Derby and Oaks memorabilia
  • Taking in the beauty of Louisville's architecture, businesses and population
  • DERBY PIE!!
  • Listening to The Princess perfect her southern accent
     
I think I'm ready for The Derby! But I want to savor these days in between, too.

 
I have some sketches in the wings, a couple commissions, more contour drawings, a dance themed composition, and a few other things patiently waiting!
 
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork,
Warmly, Kim 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

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), "Don't think of the item, think of the shape."

Meaning, it's not a nose with a crisp bridge anchored by a round nostril. It's a wedge of purplish shadow with a sliver of watermelon at it's base that gently dissolves across the inner edge into the warmer gray of the cheek's flesh.

That's why she makes the big bucks and I am merely a minion. And her painted noses are glorious and believable, and mine are, well, triangular with nobules at the base.

More workshop photos are here - and I have to thank Stanka again for her mountains of inspiration. A fantastic teacher presents fresh ideas and nudges their students into eager exploration. She did just that, and I left her workshop with an eagerness to continue experimenting with edges, surface texture, and layered marks.

And finger painting.

 And moving directly into a new adventure, The Princess and I are heading to Kentucky for the weekend. I'll be speaking at The Kentucky Derby Museum on Saturday. We also hope to try Buckeye ice cream, go spelunking, hit the Louisville Zoo, take in a day of racing at Keeneland, and shoot random pointe (ballet) pics along the way (her in pointe shoes, as I'm sticking to my Converse). If the Gods smile upon us and I can bribe her with promises of bacon and sushi, I may even be able to fit in some creepy doll shopping too. Pics will be added here as our adventure unfolds, and it'll be back to the studio and routine come Monday.

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

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

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! 

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

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

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 favorite artists, Stanka Kordic. I am particularly entranced by how she mixes real life forms with an ethereal sense of space. Furthermore, her edgework makes me swoon, her sense of design is Olympian, and this woman can draw like nobody's business. 

This evening she bribed us with her father's wine (exquisite!), crudities, and a process centric video of her painting, followed by a tough q&a and baring of her soul. I learned that she buries all sorts of meaningful marks into her layers, including scribed prayers/mantras for the viewer, that a rag is her favorite tool, she (also) talks to herself, and that she fully embraces flying without a plan. 

And my fellow students? A humbling collection of talent, I have to say - I anticipate learning just as much from them as I do from Stanka.
 
I've gotten her permission to upload pics during the course of the workshop. You can follow along and comment here - we'll see how I handle flying without a plan (and I'm trying NOT to get intimidated by tomorrow's self portrait session - let's hope Betty, my inner critic, doesn't make a nuisance of herself!)

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

Monday, April 06, 2015

April 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, April 03, 2015

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 information where applicable.

So, once your holiday meal preps are under control, unpack your art materials and get pARTYing!

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