This is Yellow, a portrait I did in 2012. Originally, this was a commissioned painting, but my client disappeared. The portrait looked at me for months while I kept hoping that her person would just show up out of the blue. When it became obvious that wasn't going to happen, I made an executive decision.
I re-worked the piece using lots of yellow. Because yellow = hope, and that's what I wanted for this little face. Then, right before the holidays, I auctioned her off - $2 a ticket - with the proceeds going to my local skelter.
The homeless painting raised money for homeless animals. My collectors and fans delivered - the auction raised $860! It was the best feeling to walk into the shelter just a few days before Christmas and hand over that check.
(SIDE NOTE: We also unexpectedly adopted daVinci that day, a tiny little bean of an abandoned kitten with broken whiskers and one heck of a purr.)
All this good started with a project which I never got paid for, but in the end, that di…
Back at the beginning of the 30Dogs30Days challenge, I shared a video short of myself doing a quick sketch. I wasn't terribly pleased with the quality of the footage, and made a note to do something a bit more thorough that didn't involve so much of my arms blocking the canvas. LOL. So here you go!
I prefer the spontaneity that happens when i work directly with my brushes. Usually, a carefully drawn layout holds me back, as I focus more on keeping those edges in place and less on building dynamic marks. I have developed this process of working directly, from general to specific, with periods of re-drawing/establishing the edges, to best honor my own desire for expressive marks inside the boundaries of establishing a likeness.
Enjoy the video - and feel free to jump in and share a direct sketch of your own! Drawing in paint is far easier than a pencil - the brushes are bigger, and you can work so much faster!
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork and journey. War…
"All the Better to See You With," 24" x 20" x 1-1/2", acrylics on cradeled panel, featuring a wolf (inspired by Abby Wambauch's bookWolfpack). This painting is $999 plus s&h to the first asking nicely, because manners are always important. Inquiries may cometo me.
This wolf is a stand-in for powerful women the world over, who love unconditionally because their hearts are beating and their minds are open. You know who you are, and I see you too.
In other news, if you visitedmy Patreonpage that I shared yesterday - which is essentially a virtual classroom - you will find a lovelyvideo, along with step-by stepin process photosof this particular painting. This is a sampling of the content that student subscribers receive when they join my Patreon for about the cost of a cup of coffee (a mere $5/month).You are invited to learn more here.
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork and journey.
"Symbiosis," 24" x 30", acrylics on panel, $899 plus s&h to the first asking nicely. I accept paypal, venmo, personal checks and payment plans. Inquiries may cometo me.
This is another piece that has been loitering in the studio. At least 4 months or so. It happens to me all the time - an idea materializes, but it's only partially formed. If I wait for it to fully develop, it might fade away in the meanwhile. So I try to paint them as fast as they show up, and take them as far as I can. And then I wait.
And while I wait, I beat myself up. "Self," I ask, "why haven't you finished this one? or that one? and did you forget about this one over here too? what's wrong with you? why can't you see what they need? you are pathetic. You know nothing. You are a fraud."
Yup. The Fraud Police show up here too. Just in case you thought they only knew your address.
Thanks, as always, for following along with my art journey, Warmly, Kim Join My V…
I loveteaching- there's nothing like sharing all I've managed to cram into my brain with a group of like minds. And when those ah-ha moments happen, it's glorious - goosebumps, joy, pride - it's a great time all around. Because learning is most successful when the environment matches the students' needs, I offer three different ways for us to work together: in person, one on one via Facetime, and a new online community.
I travel once or twice a year and teach multi-day workshops. A host group sponsors, markets and sells the event, and then I show up to do my song and dance. I will be doing so inSaginaw, Michigan(this September) and in the Hudson River Valley of New York (next March). Links to the Saginaw workshop are onmy website; the New York event will be added once they begin accepting reservations. Workshops are priced based on the various groups' overhead and the number of days we get to paint together.
I've been a working artist for 18 years, and I learn something new every day. What I learned recently is that I've done a really poor job of sharing the fact that I wrote and published 3 volumes outlining the first years of Painting a Dog a Day. Above is the cover design of my 2nd book, "That's 14 in Dog Years."
How did I become an author? It started out as my wanting to review the work I had created in the first 18 months of the project, so that I could see what I accomplished and set some goals. Of course, being OCD, I couldn't just scroll through photos of the paintings on my laptop. Nope, I had to write an entire book.
And then I did one the next year, too.
And one the following year.
And then I was burned out. The act of designing, writing, editing, proofreading, marketing, pre-selling, and signing/wrapping/shipping was fun for a bit, but then it became something that took me away from the easel. I didn't start painting as a gateway to be an author/publ…
Once a year I would paint a mess of these little panels, roughly 4" square, featuring just a single dog tag. They typically sold pretty quickly. I wonder if I should paint some more of these in time for Mothers' and Fathers' Days..... It was great practice for painting shadows and learning how to stay loose, even when I wanted to paint all the itsy detail in whatever engraving remained.
I have kept all our dogs' tags. I am particularly fond of the ones worn illegibly, with barely any color left to them.
Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork and journey. Warmly, Kim
With over 2000 paintings created since 2006, sometimes a title gets reused. I thought it would be fun to show and tell you about three of my Poppies.
At the top is my first ever Poppy, so named for the pattern on the couch. The reference photo for this one came from a fellow artist (TY JT!), but I opted to change the couch and blanket to add color to the piece. I thought it would be "punny" to have the dog sleeping on a bed of poppies, aka Wizard of Oz-ish. I actually still own this painting (she's got the most gorgeous custom frame on her), so if you are falling in love with her,reach out to mefor purchase details.
In the middle is larger than life Poppy, named for her floral crown/drop. This painting is 36" x 48" and sits in a private collection (thank you!!). The muse for this came from none other than Lisa Husar ofTeam Husar Photography. There are prints and other items available carrying this image of Poppy throughmy FIneArtAmerica storefront.
"The Road Ahead," 5" x 5", acrylics on panel, private collection (thank you so much!).
HOWEVER, prints and other items are availablehere.
This is another oldie but goodie, a quiet favorite of mine from 2011 I think. I had to lift the image off my FIneArtAmerica site because the high resolution original file was lost when the harddrive holding my image archives failed and my backup drive which backed up said archives crashed. My mouth probably should have been washed out with soap that day. The verbal antics rivaled those from this past winter when I accidentally deleted 6 months of daily painting inventory logs from the original and backed up files. Don't ask.
Anywho, if you find yourself looking at a journey of sorts, may you find a sassy traveling companion, literally and figuratively. Thanks, as always, for following along with my artwork and journey. Warmly, Kim
"Every Little Thing She Does is Magic," 24" x 36" x 1-1/2", acrylics on gallery stretched canvas, imaged painted around the sides so no need to frame, $1899 plus s&h to the first asking nicely. I accept paypal, venmo, personal checks and payment plans. Inquiries may cometo me.
Magic has been patiently waiting here in the studio for about 2 months now. She showed up one day rather unexpectedly, trotting her way onto a canvas, and then, there she sat, unresolved. Whether she was telling me what to do next and I wasn't listening, I don't know. But suddenly, after signing "Not Little Red" yesterday, I saw her, and knew what I had to do.
Yes, she's titled after The Police's song of the same name. It makes my feet move the same way her little hooves dance about.
Thanks, as always, for following along with my art journey, Warmly, Kim
"Salvador Doggie," 24" x 48", acrylics on panel, $1499 plua a&h to the first asking nicely. I accept paypal, venmo, personal checks and payment plans. Inquiries may come directlyto moi- and thank you very much!
A couple years ago, the kids and my hub got it in their heads that they wanted another dog, a little lap warmer. I wasn't so sure. With a senior dog, two cats, a bunny, hamsters and a constant flow of kids at our house, I felt we already had enough going on. They ganged up for months, sending me links to Petfinder dogs with the saddest little faces, and I was the Mean Mom, saying nope. No. Nadda. It's not happening.
And then, while walking into the pet store to get food for the three thousand animals we already were caring for, we ran into this little guy. There was an adoption event, and he was there, sitting on someone's lap. He locked eyes with The Princess, and then my hub, and he fell apart. It was like they were separated at birth. How …
Above, in process, working title "Not Little Red," 24" x 30" x 1-1/2", acrylics on cradeled panel, $1299 plua a&h (when finished). I accept paypal, venmo, personal checks and payment plans. Inquiries may come directlyto moi- and thank you very much!
Last night I readAbby Wambach'snew bookWolfpack, cover to cover. It woke my head and heart up in a quite remarkable way. And for a change, last night's dreams were not doom and gloom - they were packed full of women doing kind things for each other despite stressful and miserable circumstances. And there was always a wolf there, ever present.
So I HAD to indulge myself today, despite a challenging to-do list. I HAD to acknowledge the wolf and spend more time with book's message - that women have the power within themselves to rewrite the rules.
The painting's title hails from Abby's belief that we were never Riding Hood, we were always the wolf. I rather like the idea myself, given that any…
Here's a fun project to do with your kids or a group of friends or a group of kid-like friends. This is a workshop I've done with elementary students as well as adults, and it's always a good time.
Materials needed: substrate (paper, a journal/sketchbook page, a panel, cardboard, whatever) collage papers/magazines to cut from scissors glue a photo of your dog printed to the scale you wish to use paint pens/opaque markers acrylic paints and brushes (optional) Choose a substrate of the desired end size. Plan ahead if you are thinking of framing this, and work in a standard size so that you can slip the piece right into an off-the-shelf frame. OPTIONAL: Paint the substrate one solid background color using the acrylic paint (in my example, the background was first painted teal).Cut your dog photo out so that you have the silhouette of his/her bodyBrainstorm a list of your dogs' favorite commands/words. Using a different colored/patterned collage paper, cut out thought bubbles for …
THIS was crazy fun - settle in, here, because THIS is a good story.
In the early part of 2007, the American Kennel Club invited artists to submit artwork for consideration as imagery for the 2007 Dog Show Championships. I couldn't decide on which Dog a Day piece to enter, so I decided to do a compilation. Actually, I did two of them, because I simply couldn't narrow things down.
Using my scant photoshop skills (I am SO bad at Photoshop, still!) and scanned images of my paintings, I built composite designs which a local printer inked onto canvas for me. I stretched the canvases (as I recall they were about 18" x 24", not terribly large), and then went back into them with teeny tiny brushes, repainting the whole surface.** It wasn't a standard paint-by-numbers sort of pass - as I reworked things, I changed out the background on some of the paintings, modified dogs to better match breed standards, added different accents of color, changed the value patterns from one …
As thePainting a Dog a Dayproject grew, so, too, did my own to-do list. My studio profitability had shifted from larger commissioned works which took weeks to complete to the smaller daily paintings. I was doing 3-5 daily commissions each week, varnishing and shipping them out within days. In between creating/ blogging/shipping each piece, I was fielding emails, perusing reference photos, writing quotes and having conversations with new collectors about their own portraits
Each commissioned portrait brought new people into my life, and with that came all the stories inherent with getting to know a pet and what they meant to their family. (Do you know that the vast majority of the animals I paint I never meet? I rely on email communication and a mess of photos to piece things together.) It was always fascinating, getting a glimpse into others' lives and loves.
I think it was 2010 or so when Nita's Mom, Lisa, first reached out about a portrait. Her dogs were goofy, grinning Gold…
Puppy Butt, pictured above, is one of my all time favorite Dog a Day paintings because it provided a critical Ah-Ha moment. It's a little piece, 6" square, that hammered in a big lesson. He sold right away, but you can order reproductions and other items throughmy FineArtAmerica storefront.
I remember painting it - keep in mind that after more than 1300 Dog a Day paintings, I don't recall actively creating too many of them. I remember being excited to start, so excited that I jumped right in, sweeping the background in with a wide brush I hadn't bothered to clean or wipe off. My color became grayed out and muted color. I cursed myself for being lazy (it's my greatest painting vice), but then I said, hey, lazy girl, you might have just done something pretty cool.
Laying the background colors down with a dirty brush mucked them up (I work in layers, and paint the entire background first before putting the dog/foreground shape in). They were grayed out, and not as pre…
A process video from 2010 featuring two Frenchies
Watching this video was quite the step back in time!
In order to make these sorts of films the camera was set up - and not touched - for days. In some households that wouldn't be an issue, but in this one, it was a ginormous challenge. Because as soon as the camera was set up, someone needed to get into the closet behind it. Or a dog would come ramming into the tripod. Or I would forget it was there and back straight up into it. The real life hazards of filming at home.
On top of that, I had to remember to turn the camera off when I left the easel (to take a phone call, lock a kid out of the house, set dinner to burning on the stove) and, most critically, turn it back on when I returned. You'll see a shining example at about the 56 second mark when I forgot to do just that.
I spend a lot of time laughing at myself. It's a coping mechanism.
My process has changed some in the last 9 years. But it's still essentially the same…
The Caped Crusader (my middle child) was enamored with dogs from the very beginning. We were so excited to welcome a puppy into our family when he was old enough to help out. We chose a cattle dog mix because we wanted a clever guy with enough energy to keep up with our boy who never stopped. Finnigan and The Caped Crusader had some pretty amazing adventures together - they got into all sorts of trouble, like any dynamic duo should.
Finnigan has slowed down - at over 16, he's earned that right - but he remains eager to accompany one of the kids on whatever adventure they propose, whether it's a good couch snuggle or a drive to Starbucks. It's hard to summon up any memory of my kids' childhood that doesn't also feature this guy. Thankfully, over the years I have accumulated a number of paintings that will keep the memories bright once he is no longer welcoming us home.
Pictured above are two pieces from my personal collection.
This is Blue, and he joined our family last last summer. This little guy owns me completely. We're not entirely certain of Blue's story, since he's a rescue, but he's found his forever home with us.
It didn't take long after Blue moved into our home for him to make himself home on my easel, too. He's been painted numerous times, and will be painted numerous more, I dare say.
Over the years I've discovered that there's so much more to painting a portrait than capturing a likeness. Truly wonderful portraits don't just fill a spot on the wall - they step into our hearts. When I add elements of emotion to a portrait, the piece elevates into a conversation between the subject and the viewer. It's as if the painting is alive, even if it's not painted photo representationally. Particularly if it's not, perhaps. Blue's portrait above is an example of the marriage of likeness and emotive content - it transcends either to become something bigge…