Skip to main content

My Kentucky Derby Gig

In the studio with Kimberly Santini, the official artist of the 2015 Kentucky Derby
In the summer of 2014, I received a phone call inviting me to be the official artist of the 2015 Kentucky Derby. I thought it was a prank call. Seriously, I did. But we sorted things out, and I stayed professional during the entire conversation. After we disconnected, I screamed with joy, and the kids and I had a good couple laps outside the house. And then, they had to be sworn to secrecy, because no one in the universe was supposed to know until the formal announcement in November.

That was a LOOOOOOOONNNNG 5 months.

Then, everything after that, was a whirlwind.

I painted all summer in secret and shipped the piece off to Louisville in October. At that time, The Caped Crusader was taking a sports marketing class, and I asked if he would come with me to the reveal at Churchill Downs. We set off, just the two of us, on an early morning flight. Starting at the airport gate, I began posting photos, documenting the entire journey, straight through to Derby Day.

I think the rest of it is history.

Meanwhile, here is a video short of the making of another race painting, that being Grindstone, the previous  year's Kentucky Derby winner. I donated this piece to The Kentucky Derby Museum as part of their spring fundraiser.

It still feels like a dream, but it's a dream I am so delighted to have had. Many thanks to Clare Jett of JettStream Production and Pat Propes the graphic designer, along with their team at Churchill Downs,  for taking care of every single detail along the way. And to my kids, for sharing a most extraordinary secret with me.

Meanwhile, I painted today - but didn't finish the piece, and it's deep in the uglies, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see her!

Thanks as always for following along,
Warmly, Kim


Popular posts from this blog


"Blue," 16" x 20", acrylics on panel, not for sale. Not even if you ask nicely. My family will burn me at the stake if I let this one go.

When My Better Half works nights (like he is tonite), I play while the sun's up and work at the end of the day. It's a fun change to my normal routine.

Today included a little day trip with one of my favorite peeps in one of our favorite places. It was a delight to enjoy each other's company while the rest of the world was at work.

And tonight I had blocked time out to paint for a juried exhibit. My entry is due next week, and, true to form I waited until the nth hour. Because the next painting is always going to be the better one. Well, not always, but I do like to pretend. And I think tonite I might have played my cards well.

Well, mostly I played my cards well. You see, I turned my back, and Blue - yes, sweet little adorable - ate half my pizza** while I was feeding Gertrude Stein. Gertie the bunny, not Gertie the art…

The Spell She Casts (Medicine Hat #13)

Kimberly Kelly Santini
paintings with soul
because our world needs more beauty
"The Spell She Casts (Medicine Hat #13)," 16" x 20" x 1", acrylics on gallery wrapped canvas, image painted around the side, so no need to frame unless you wish. And yes, that glow you see in the image is gold paint reflecting the light - this piece will move and shimmer as you pass by. She is $649 plus s&h to the first one asking nicely. Inquire directlyto me- I accept personal checks, paypal, venmo and will arrange payment plans.

This Medicine Hat painting is number 13, so of course that association alone had me thinking about magic. If you love the company of equines, you know first hand the spells they cast. And that their magic lingers long after they have left.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my art journey,
Warmly, Kim

Made of Starlight (Medicine Hat #16)

"Made of Starlight (Medicine Hat #16)," 18" x 24" x 1", acrylics on gallery wrapped canvas, image painted around the edges, so no need to frame. $899 plus s&h, message mefor more details.

Yes, that is copper paint reflecting the studio lights on the horse's shoulder, and yes, that is a silvery haze around her face. Because starlight sparkles. Just like you.

Thanks, as always, for following along with my art journey,
Warmly, Kim