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FROM TOP: "Winter Sunlight #1," 6" x 8", black cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $199. SOLD. "Winter Sunlight #2," 5" x 7", black cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, collection of the artist. Inquiries to .

These are a couple of studies I've been making of Miah while I think through the composition of a larger than life piece. It's been serendipitous, painting her this time around, because it very well may be the last time I get to work from life. And I want to do at least one more large scale portrait of her before she leaves me.

Nearing 19, Miah is far from the little sprite who used to ride on my shoulders. Deaf, toothless, with persistant drool and sneezes, Miah's daily adventures involve migration from the heat duct to a patch of sunlight a few feet away. She still follows her nighttime routine of moving from my oldest son's pillow to mine, trots over when she sees someone beckoning, and occasionally will bat at a toy with mild interest. I am hopeful that as the sun strengthens she finds more energy, but in the meanwhile I am happy to supply a warm lap and soak up the resonance of her purr.

I am offering these paintings today as a benefit for Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter in Lake Elsinore, California. Two Friday's ago this shelter suffered the unfathomable loss of one of their buildings to fire. 39 dogs and cats perished. You may read about the fire online at .

They still have approximately 150 animals in their care, and are working towards the rebuilding of a temporary space along with the longterm goal of constructing a permanent home (which had been in process prior to the fire).

20% of these paintings' sales will go to the relief fund. I challenge my readers to contribute as well. The shelter can be reached at 951-674-0618. Contributions may be sent to the Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter Relief Fund, Guaranty Bank, 31740 Railroad Canyon Road, Canyon Lake, California, 92587.

And stay tuned - over the next couple weeks I'll squeak in a painting here and there to help them even further.

Thanks to fellow artist and mentor Elin Pendleton ( for sharing the shelter's story with me. (Elin is largely at fault for encouraging me to rise to the challenge of daily painting.) She knows the shelter well, and says they provide a much needed service to the area. Her own studio muse, "Pesto," a bright faced tabby gracing many of Elin's paintings, came from there.

Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow,

Kimberly Kelly Santini
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
the gateway to canine art on the web


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