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, May 29, 2015

Hat Trick


"Hat Trick," 8" x 11", acrylics on panel depicting a magical white rabbit. The inspiration photo for this painting came from the archives at www.PaintMyPhoto.ning.com. Hat Trick needs a home - just $439 will get him to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US). Inquiries may come directly to me. In process photos here (thank you for peeking!).


The Weekend? Already?

Yes, that is a lament, for real. Because I feel as though I'm onto something with these new paintings. My brain is leapfrogging through them and making connections and spooling off a mess of new ideas, and it doesn't slow down, not even at night (I've been painting in my sleep, too).

 And this week, today, ends my post-Derby buffer zone. I scheduled a generous no commission timeframe so that I could roll with whatever inspiration or ideas hit me immediately after my Kentucky Derby experience.

 I think it's too soon to look back and make any sweeping statements, but I do see how the pagentry and color of Churchill Downs has come back to my studio. And I'm excited to see what is to come. Who knows?

I can feel it in my bones, though. It's going to be good. Really good. 

And have lots of color!

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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sir Bun


"Sir Bun," 6" x 8", acrylics on panel depicting a lop eared bunny found in the archives at www.PaintMyPhoto.ning.com. This bunny would love a home - just $299 will get Sir Bun delivered to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US). Inquiries may come directly to me. In process photos  here (thank you for peeking!). 

More Experimenting

I find the most satisfaction lately working on non-portrait pieces, allowing them to grow their voice and steer the end result of the painting as it progresses.

Sir Bun here, in the earlier stages, was pretty sinister looking. I realized it was because I was trying to force my agenda of high chroma and contrast, instead of listening to what he was saying.

"Layers, my dear, gently layer that color. And drizzle it with a tender line. Take sandpaper to the entire surface and scumble things into a grainy softness. Be generous with those lost edges, too. And then will you just sit quietly here with me when you are done?"

Would anyone like to join us?

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


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Steam


"Steam," 9" x 12", acrylics on panel depicting a lovely and powerful Warmblood (horse) galloping in the snow. This painting needs a home - it's only $539, which includes special delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US). Inquiries may come directly to me. In process photos here (thank you for peeking!). 

Is Spring FINALLY Here?

Today's temperature was in the 80s (nearly 40 degrees warmer than a week ago!), so it seemed safe enough to paint some snow. If Michigan gets some freakishly cole weather tonite and tomorrow, I will totally take the blame.
 
This concept appealed to me because of the steam blowing across the dark body. And then, once I started it really really big, I struggled with the extreme value shifts - darkest darks and lightest lights - and couldn't get things to work. I fought with the painting for the better half of Friday and then threw in the towel.
 
I looked at the hot mess of a painting all weekend long, and questioned what my true issue was. I couldn't figure it out, and still believed this morning that the concept had merit.

So I tried it again on a smaller scale. Sort of like a painting thumbnail, instead of a graphite/charcoal one.

And in the process I learned that it was the partly the contrast of extremes with respect to the values, but it was also the contrast in edges - either crisp or soft, nothing in between - that was throwing me for a loop.

Now I'm ready to try this one bigger again and see if I have better luck the second time around!

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

Friday, May 22, 2015

In Process Detail: The First Furlong


In Process Detail, "The First Furlong," 11" x 24", acrylics on panel depicting a quartet of Thoroughbreds just a few strides from the starting gate. When finished, this painting will be available for purchase for $1399, which includes special delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US). Inquiries may come directly to me. In process photos here

Where Did the Day Go?
 
Today was one of those days that zipped by without my knowledge. 
 
I did a mess of emails, made a couple phone calls, reviewed reference photos, planned two exhibition pieces, got high resolution image files off to a licensing agent, paid bills, unpacked from last night's class, and yet it feels like it should only be 1pm or so, not 4:30. Ah well, I guess that means the weekend is that much closer, right?
 
Hoping you have some wonderful plans for your Memorial Day Weekend. We will be getting our veggie garden in and spending time with family - three whole days of togetherness, which I am really looking forward to, since lacrosse is done and the dance studio is closed. Seems perfect to spend this weekend as a family, given it's in honor of those who sacrificed for our larger family of countrymen.
 
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Airplane


"Airplane," 9" x 12" x 3/4", acrylics on Raymar panel (all 5 sides so no need to frame), depicting a friend's Golden Retriever, photo used with permission from Team Husar Photography. This painting is $629, which includes special delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US). Inquiries may come directly to me. In process photos here

I Have a Confession

You might not have seen it on the surface, but the last couple years have been very difficult. My Grandmother passed away, suddenly but peacefully, in March 2013, and that ushered a string of immeasurable losses - pillars of my family, dear friends, mentors, a friend's child, mothers of my kid's friends, one of my daughter's teenage friends. It was (and is) never ending. Life does that sometimes.

Not only was I feeling unrooted in my personal life, but there was an emptiness in my painting process that began to loom and gather momentum. I had been battling burnout for a while, and with the hurt washing over my personal life, creative burnout moved in.

Many, many days the only reason I came into the studio was because of my commitment to paint daily - it was a promise I had made to the universe and I felt an irrational need to uphold that. But the cathartic mental benefits that creating used to provide were out of reach. It was unsettling and terrifying.

During that time I found great strength in talking to other artists and learning they, too, were battling burnout. I was not alone. Morbid, I know, to find pleasure in other's lack of it, but also such a relief! And if you are there now, you are absolutely not alone, I promise you that. And I will say that it's all beatable, because I have dug my way out.

My recipe for falling back in love with painting? I attribute it to a few things:

I acknowledged that my personal life needed to come first. Pledges to daily painting aside, I had an obligation first of all to myself to work through my losses and come to peace with my memories. I was no good to anyone were I to get both lost in life and in the studio, and while one does not come without the other, one had to be served first in order for the other to return.

I eliminated my personal goal of a new painting each day - but I did not retract my daily painting pledge. Reducing that stress of having to create something start to finish and instead focusing on picking up my brushes and just playing with my materials put a spring in my step.

I accepted fewer commissions, which meant more days when I could paint what I felt like and how I felt like. Learning to play again was very foreign at first. But taking the pressure off of having to make each piece wall-worthy, invigorating!

I took painting process classes - because nothing kicks my butt into overdrive like watching a master throw it down. 

I took journaling classes, still creatively based, but not focused on painting. They prompted me to look inside myself for ideas, even when said ideas were a big dark cloudy mess, and gave me different ways to let that mess out. They also introduced a new range of materials and processes, all which sparked entirely new creative pathways, and oddly enough, are now finding their way into my paintings.

I changed my studio soundtrack. I built an entirely new playlist. I gave myself permission to MOVE when an especially fun song came on and was reminded that dancing while painting results in spectacularly gestural marks. 

If I truly didn't feel like painting, that was ok, but I needed to then do something to feed my soul. Cook a healthy meal, practice yoga or meditate, take a nap, lose myself in a good book, laugh hard. You know the routine - those things that always make us feel good, but oddly enough, are the first set aside when life gets crazy.

I found a counselor who seriously could be a best friend, except for the fact that she gets paid to talk to me. Working through and categorizing my losses with her - and yes, my creative juju was a significant loss - has helped me identify triggers and build boundaries. And those will help me protect what I've rebuilt and rediscovered.

I have been doing all the above for a long time - like I said, this has been going on for years. And some days felt better than others, but it was always a rollercoaster of sorts. 

And then, in the shadow of post-Kentucky Derby days, when I was supposed to fall into a that predictable ginormous-event-letdown, the oddest thing happened. I couldn't wait to paint something glorious and celebrate the joyous pagentry of the Derby project. 

Suddenly my easel didn't hold an obligation, it held a promise. Something only I could unearth.

My nails are pretty dirty right now, rhetorically speaking. And it feels fantastic. And while it might disappear in the morning, I am savoring this moment. I need to remember it for one of those days when promises are broken and undeliverable.

I hope that you can see AND feel my passion and happiness in these newer works. Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Monday, May 18, 2015

White Blinkers, FInished


"White Blinkers," 15" x 24", acrylics on Raymar panel depicting a Thoroughbred race horse, inspired by one seen in the paddock at Keeneland Race Track last month. This painting is available for $1799, which includes special delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US).  That is, if I can part with him. I am in love with this guy! Inquire directly to me. In process photos here

I spent a good time the last few days just studying this painting. Mentally making changes and measuring how they impacted the overall piece. It's a luxury I don't often give myself, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. I got to see the painting in a variety of different endings, each one pretty spectacular, but ultimately, I chose the ending that seemed to best suit what the piece was telling me. And yes, it did speak up, when I allowed myself to be quiet.
It told me it was all about the blinkers. That white space has to be bright so that the rest of the color can sing loudly. And it gives the viewers' eyes a resting spot. And the background had to be toned just a smidge down and gently simplified, also to push the colors of the horse forward. 
Because this guy KNOWS he is gorgeous and strong and fast and focused entirely on what's to come, and that was the best way to convey it.

Now what to paint next? And how on EARTH am I going to top this one?

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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

White Blinkers - In Process


In Process: "White Blinkers," 16" x 24", acrylics on Raymar panel depicting a Thoroughbred race horse, inspired by one seen in the paddock at Keeneland Race Track last month. This painting is available for $1899, which includes special delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US) - inquire directly to me. In process photos here. And can I take just a moment to pat myself on the back? I am totally in love with the things that have come off my easel since The Kentucky Derby. Which was the #BestDerbyEver. Just saying..... 

Giving Into My Gut - Circumstances this last week or so have demonstrated to me the importance of listening to my gut. Instincts are there for a reason, and while they cannot be measured with logic, they are spot on correct.

Which I think is one of the reasons why I have had so much success with my most recent paintings (What's a Little Mud, Swishy, Stallion, Sprout, and Dark Brown or Bay), all of which have come from a conscious effort to listen to the piece and put down the marks it asks for, even when they seem ambiguous, random, or contrary.

Based on the response I've gotten, you are appreciating the results as well!

And someone should add these paintings to their collection soon - my gut is also telling me that down the road, these breakthrough pieces will be highly valued.

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dark Brown or Bay


"Dark Brown or Bay," 10" x 20", acrylics on Raymar panel depicting a foal. This painting is available for $999, which includes special delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US) - inquire directly to me. In process photos here (this is a pARTy image, the one from April, which I started a million years ago (translation: pre Kentucky Derby) and have just now finished). And it is stunning, not that I am biased or anything.

It seems like a million years ago when I started this painting



Those things seem like a million years ago, and yet, they were just a few weeks ago.

Which gets me kinda excited. What will the next 6 weeks deliver?

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sprout

"Sprout," 12" x 16, acrylics on Raymar panel depicting a foal. This painting is available for $959, which includes special delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US) - inquire directly to me. In process photos here.

I Need a Name

Not me (I've got lots of them, some not suitable for print), but this little baby.

Originally I had titled this piece "Siesta," because the foal looked incredibly sleepy in my reference photo. However, somewhere along the way, that changed a bit. So I'm open to suggestions!

Congratulations to JR who titled this painting "Sprout" - as appreciation, I will be sending her a cell phone case starring this little guy. Want one for yourself? 
  
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Stallion


"Stallion," 16" x 20" x 3/4", acrylics on museum quality cradeled panel (no need to frame!), depicting a Thoroughbred stallion (inspired by Sydney's Candy at WinStar Farms). This painting is available for $1799, including delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US) - inquire directly to me. In process photos here.

NOTE: "Stallion" has been entered in the 2015 Equine Jubilee exhibition, and as such, will now be available for purchase directly through the show coordinators. The exhibition will run from August 31st - October 16th. Additional information will follow once I have it.

Artistic Growth - It's a natural pathway, just like with learning any other process.

A dozen years ago, I was searching for a better understanding of color. Then I became interested in gestural brushwork and saying more with less marks. Then it turned to edges, balancing crisp refined ones with softer loss edges. And now it's sort of a free for all - I'm consciously working all of those areas in the earliest stages, but then allowing my intuition to steer the direction of the piece.

It sounds cliche, but it's a lot of fun, communing with my materials and muse.

And dancing badly in front of my easel.

Soundtrack to today's progress:  Deorro (I streamed it from Soundcloud, and just as a warning, there is some language in his lyrics).
  
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Friday, May 08, 2015

A Swishy pARTy


"Swishy," 18" x 24" x 1-1/2", acrylics on museum quality cradeled panel (no need to frame!), depicting an unusually still Border Collie (she's not always like this!). Reference photo used with permission from Linda Shantz (my Derby date!). This painting can be yours for $2299, including delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US) - inquire directly to moi. Oh, and there are in process photos here.

pARTy, pARTy, pARTy !!!I

It's our fourth pARTY since the beginning of the year!
 
What's a pARTy? It's where artists use the same photo (with permission, of course) to create work. In this case, our muse is Swish, belonging to my friend Linda, who has graciously allowed us to work from her photo. (Please respect that this photo is being shared purely for the creation of artwork, and is not to be repurposed in any other way.)

I take the pARTy one step further by creating a photo album on Facebook where artists can share their pARTy creations. Send a watermarked jpg of your artwork to me, along with the pertinent photo details, and I will upload it. (We have had sales as a result of pARTy exposure, so please include your contact information with your photo caption!).

pARTy creations must be original, meaning while it is ok to use the photograph as inspiration, it is not ok to copy anyone else's artwork derived from that photo.

I will add all artwork created by June 30th, 2015, to the Swishy pARTy album.

Ready? set? paint!!
  
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork!
Warmly, Kim 

Thursday, May 07, 2015

May 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, May 06, 2015

What's a Little Mud?


"What's a Little Mud?," 18" x 24" x 1-1/2", acrylics on museum quality cradeled panel (no need to frame!), depicting a muddy Golden Retriever. This painting can be yours for $2299, including delivery to your doorstep (inside the contiguous US) - inquire directly to moi. Oh, and there are in process photos here, along with some great detail shots.

Wet dog.

We all know that smell. 

This piece truly has to be experienced in person - so many layers, so many textures, and a huge variety of marks. The piece breathes.

Ohhhh. Now I'm smelling dog breath!

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

Monday, May 04, 2015

Kentucky Derby Week Recap


American Pharoah Won the Derby !!!

I snapped the above iPhone photo from our seats near the finish line at Churchill Downs, as American Pharoah was making his way to the winner's circle.  Yeah, I did just say that. Our seats. At the finish line. 

Here's some other way amazing things I got to do while in Kentucky:
 
Hang at Keeneland Race Track for morning workouts with some friends, after which we enjoyed breakfast afterwards at the track kitchen.

Take in the artwork at Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington.

Sip wine on the banks of the Ohio River.

Get pink and freckled (yes, I had sunscreen on!).

Practiced yoga in the dappled light of a glorious tree drenched in a Kentucky sunrise each morning.

Signed about a gajillion posters, tickets, programs and tote bags for the kindest people.

Made some new-to-me friends that feel as though I've known them my whole life.

Ate the most exquisite meals - I kid you not - they were cray cray!

Learned to curse with a southern accent.

I shared lots of photos on Facebook here

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