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Showing posts from April, 2008


FROM TOP: "Looking Back (Palomino)" and "Palomino Profile," both 4" x 5", acrylic palomino equine paintings in acrylic on canvasboard, $114 each. Because these pieces look exquisite together and I would love to see them stay that way, I'll bundle the purchase of both into $215. Inquiries to . BOTH SOLD. I am thrilled with these paintings, as they summarize, even in their petite and intimate sizes, all that I've learned this last year. EDGES: See how there are soft and hard edges? I've learned that even though my photo references contain all hard edges (well, ideally they do!), that I can manipulate the crispness of an edge to produce a variety of form and shape, and build a sense of depth inside the picture plane. VALUE: Because I often work from photos, it's been a challenge for me to separate the sharp contrast of a photo reference from the reality of how my eye would see the horse. In reality the stronge

"Kentucky Skyline"

"Kentucky Skyline," 8" x 16", acrylic on canvasboard, equine landscape painting. Inquiries to . The Kentucky bluegrass area has to be, in all seriousness, one of the most beautiful areas of the country. I visited two springs ago, and my head still swims from all I saw. The landscape undulates in every direction, dotted with horses and outlines with pristine fencing or ancient stone walls, graced with the sun's smile and gentle breezes. I wanted to paint a landscape today that nodded to all I remembered from Kentucky. I've been looking at Wayne Thiebaud's landscape paintings which are aerial typographical sorts of maps, where each field or element has a separate and distinct shape and bright color. Obviously there is some influece creeping in from these. I also interested in intentionally placing the horizon line at the center of the canvas (a supposed "no-no" rule). I had tried a similar composition on a mu
"Lucy," 8" x 10", commissioned pet portrait of a lab mix, acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!). Lucy was acquired through a carefully orchestrated trade - a firetruck for a puppy. It was the largest firetruck the toy store had, but Lucy's family came way out ahead of the game. Lucy was the gentlest creature around, and loved pleasing everyone and enjoying every aspect of life, down to the tiniest details. Car rides, boat rides, ducks, squirrels, lizards. Lucy even had the same squeaky toy for 14 years (I wonder if that little boy could say the same about his firetruck?). She is sorely missed by her family, despite the efforts of new puppy Sophie. I was touched to have the honor of including Lucy in the Painting a Dog a Day project. Proceeds from the sale of Lucy's portrait support Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah ( ). The same goes for Sophie, when her turn comes up (we shall see if she's grown into Lucy'
FROM LEFT: "Paratrooper Puppy I," 6" x 12"; "Paratrooper Puppy II," 8" x 10"; "Paratrooper Puppy III," 12" square. All in acrylic on board. Each painting depicts a vintage Fisher Price Little People dog with a Fisher Price Adventure Family parachute (there's also actually a zip-tied involved, too, but I used artistic license and painted that out). Inquiries, including requests for higher resolution images, may come to . Yet another installment in the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series of paintings. These were done for my client who is decorating her nursery with vintage toys and my paintings. Her most recent additions to the decor include one of these Paratroopers along with "Shooting the Rapids," which I posted on Monday. (Thank you, Kelly! I can't wait for you to unwrap these most recent two!! ) You should have seen this photo shoot - my 13 year old was getting int

Daisy Mae's Bedhead

"Daisy Mae's Bedhead," 6"x8", commissioned dog portrait , terrier mix in acrylic on panel, private collection (THANK YOU!). Daisy Mae started as a shelter stray, then was fostered by a rescue until she found her forever home (until recently, I really had no concept of how hard these rescues work, and HOW MANY little souls they save - how's about a round of applause for them!!). Now Daisy Mae is busy operating a rescue of her own. She has adopted the feral cats in the neighborhood. She lets her family know when one (or more) is at the front door. The cats get a solid meal and some quality time with their terrier guardian. That's truly paying it forward! Thanks as always for looking. And for sharing these stories and paintings with your friends and family. I'll be back tomorrow with another painting, Kim Kimberly Kelly Santini distinctive pet portraits & 4-legged paintings come. sit

Golden in the Snow (Sadie)

"Golden in the Snow (Sadie)," 8" square, commissioned golden retriever dog portrait , acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!). If you thought yesterday's Walker was a character, wait'll you meet his sister Sadie. Sadie ruled the household for her first 3 years, entertaining the masses with her thievery. She will literally take shoes off feet, and steals napkins from laps at the dinner table. Sadie and Walker instantly connected (of course!), and have been best friends from the second they met. They've also become partners in crime. You see, Walker opens the kitchen cabinets and pulls items out for Sadie to shred/chew/destroy. Sadie mothers and grooms Walker, and he sleeps protectively with his head resting on her. They are quite the match. Proceeds from the sale of Sadie's portrait will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. I am very proud to support their efforts and help make a difference in a few animal's lives. If you men
Walker (Boxer Study)," 6" x 8", commissioned pet portrait , acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!). Walker was a rescue. Abused by his first owners, Walker was in foster care when he got sight of his new "Mom" across the way. She was visiting her friend, who lived next door to Walker's foster home. Her visits were longer stays, and several months apart, as she had to travel a distance to visit her friend. Each time she showed up, Walker glued himself to her side. She debated adopting him, but had concerns because of another dog already at home (you'll meet Sadie tomorrow). After serveral visits, Walker seemed to understand her indecision, and sat patiently by her car as she was packing to leave. This time she did not waver in her decision to leave without him, although it was so tough. Three months later she returned, specifically to bring him home. She arrived late at night, and there he was, waiting in her friend's driveway. He knew all

More from the Tags, Toys & Treasures series

CLOCKWISE, FROM UPPER LEFT: "Training Wheels," 6" x 6", depicting dog riding tricycle, acrylic on canvasboard, $149; "Spotty," 6" x 8", depicting vintage wheeled dalmation toy, acrylic on canvasboard, $199; "Shoot the Rapids," 4" x 8", depicting dog in kayak, acrylic on canvasboard, $149; "Dalmation Duckie," 4" x 5", rubber duck disguised as dalmation, acrylic on canvasboard, $114; "Puppy Kindergarten," 6" x 12", depicting dogs seated in schooldesks, acrylic on canvasboard, $219; . A client has requested a handful of paintings from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series for her nursery. She gets first pick out of this group, but I'll be more than happy to create a wait list for anyone else interested. Inquiries (along with requests for higher resolution images) can come to . These little paintings star vintage toys, mostly Fisher Price Litt

Workin on My Tan (Peanut #2)

"Working on My Tan (Peanut)," 8" x 16", terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $329. I was so excited about how the 2nd Peanut painting finished up that I had to share! Peanut's Mom wants to wait till all 4 paintings are completed before choosing. So if you are interested in Peanut sunbathing, or Wednesday's couch potato, please send an email to . I'll get wait lists started. This composition will definately be revisited, in a gallery stretched canvas that is at least lifesized. I've always wanted to do an richly colored oriental rug in strong shadows. The trick will be finding (and photographing) a rug with just the right sort of patterning to compliment the dog's markings. I can always take artistic license and modify the dog's patches to mirror the pattern in the rug, too. It's something for my brain to work on during the coming weeks. Ok, meanwhile it's back to the easel and another Peanut pain

Belle, a Chocolate Lab

Here's two studies of "Belle," a wonderful chocolate lab. "Chocolate Lab Study," 8" square. And "Hearty Laughter," 6" x 12". My client sent a number of nice reference photos, and I couldn't stop at just one painting. Seems like it's been a recurring problem this week, too many good references for each dog!! I haven't heard back, so do not know which she will choose as her own. However, I will start a wait list for anyone interested - inquiries to . Thank you and congratulations are due to returning client Liz Smith Yeats for her purchase of yesterday's painting of Jackpot, a Paws With a Cause service dog. 20% of the purchase will be donated to PAWS in her name. Behind the scenes, I'm working on some more vintage Fisher Price dog paintings. I had a client ask about commissioning some piecess from the "Tags, Toys & Treasures" series (

Black Lab Study (Jackpot)

"Black Lab Study (Jackpot)," 6" x 8", Paws With a Cause service dog painting in acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a black labrador retriever, $199 to the first buyer. 20% from the purchase of this painting will be donated to Paws With a Cause ( ). Inquiries to . SOLD. I have painted Jackpot before - his initial painting is featured on notecards ( ). At the time I did the first painting, I flagged one of his reference photos to paint at a later date. As you can see, he was - is - far too regal to pass up. I love painting dark animals because of the way the light plays off their fur. Earlier this week you saw a black/dark gray long haired cat where the light picked out orange and lavendar highlights in the fringes of her body. In Jackpot's instance, the light literally carved his skull out from underneath his skin, bleaching the fur to a pal
"Peanut's in the Couch," 8" x 10", terrier pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to . Today was a Peanut Fest. I worked on 4 different paintings of this little guy, and really thought I'd get them all done, but forgot that I had to clean up before dinner, as I actually have plans tonight. I'll get the rest finished in the coming days. I love the way Peanut's all curled up into his blanket, cozy and warm. Sort of like the best spot to be on a drizzly and damp day. (Not that today was one of those!) But it's a painting with a little bit of atmosphere to it. The other three Peanuts are playing outside, perched on the edge of a dock, and sunbathing. They vary in size from 8" x 16" all the way up to 16" x 20". This little dog has a precociousness about him that is precious, and his paintings are sure to draw the viewer in close for a better look. That's if my client lets me
"Black Cat Profile (Winnie)," 4" x 8", black long haired cat portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $149. Inquiries to . SOLD. I have literally been painting all day. Winnie's Mom sent so many great photos of Winnie and Bela, that I could not choose. I did 4 pieces today, two of each kitty, and am waiting to hear which ones she would like, if any (so this one could be sold). I thought I would post my favorite, but when I lined them up, again I couldn't choose. I'm a pro at waffling, I guess. I do love the sinuous shape of Winnie in this painting. The dashes of color, the highlights in her fur, the casual pose. A taller portrait is a tough one to pull off - I've tried, too, let me tell you! It works this time around, though. Thanks, as always for looking, and for sharing these paintings with your friends and family. I'm off to choose from an array of terrier photos for tomorrow's piece. Back to waffling again! Kim
At the tail end of June (the 28th and 29th to be exact), I will be a guest at the Shaggy Chic Boutique in Birmingham Michigan. This painting, "Baxter's Tartan Collar," is the first of several pieces being developed specifially for this event. It seemed to make sense that the announcements and press releases include the store's resident pooches, of which Baxter is only 1/2 (can you imagine, a terrier only being 1/2 of anything?!). I am guessing that Baxter's snazzy collar also came from Shaggy Chic. I'll be in the store (which is terribly wonderful if you have a soft spot for a furred one) the entire weekend,displaying my original artwork and accepting commissions for new dog-a-day portraits. You are welcome to bring your dog along since - weather permitting - I'll have my camera on hand to shoot reference photos (this will not be a typical portrait photo shoot - I work from candid, non-flash photos, and rely on Mother Nature's helping hand. The pics I
"Contentment", 6" square, acrylic boston terrier portrait on canvasboard; "BT Tongue," 4" x 8", acrylic boston terrier profile painting , $149. Inquiries to . Since I am now officially a hockey widow (playoffs have started) and had 6 kids (not all my own) plus an extra dog (who behaved better than Finnigan!) for the bulk of the day, I needed some mental health time. After tucking some kids in and shuttling another one to a sleepover, I ducked into the studio with a glass of wine and some m&ms (don't m&ms cure just about everything?), and decided to have a quick go at some reference photos from Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue here in Michigan. They have no idea I was painting for them (surprise!), but they are always terribly appreciative of the funds that the Painting a Dog a Day project is able to raise. 20% of the sales of the above 2 paintings will go to this 501c group, comprised of volunteers who u
"Honey," 8" x 10", commissioned mixed breed dog portrait , private collection (THANK YOU!). Don't fear - I am still on vacation. Spent today at the library (pouring over wordless childrens' books - the stories told through pictures/artwork alone), took a long walk with the kids - and dog - discovering signs of spring, did a little putzing in the yard (my daughter discovered with much excitement that the fairies had migrated home for the summer!), briefly met with a client and got the ok to glaze her portrait, and managed to start blocking in a very exciting and very larger than life terrier painting (28" x 20"!). But this little piece is from a few weeks back, one of those days when I was rather productive, and had already posted 3 paintings. I know Honey's family wanted to see her "officially" on the blog, and she truly deserves it. Look at those eyes, with her dark eyeliner. And that pink, damp nose! And floppy velvety ears that are
"Catch the Wind (Sage)," 8" x 16", shepherd mix dog portrait , sale pending. Inquiries may come to . I have a number of photos of Sage, and she's constantly in motion. Legs blurred, tongue slopping every which way, she's a dog of action. I wanted to capture that essence in her painting. Aiming her profile into an imagined wind and painting the background as though it was flowing into her were two tricks I employed. Loose and juicy brushwork compliments the sense of motion. Today is the last regular dog-a-day painting for a little bit. I've decided to take spring break with my kids this year. We won't be doing anything grander than raking the yard and walking the dog. But they will be delighted that my anthem "you may be off school, but it's still a work day for me" will be unsung in the coming week. Besides, you know me - I always manage to sneak into the studio and paint, even when I'm not officially
"Lila," 11" x 14", commissioned boxer portrait , acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!). My client flooded me with all sorts of Lila photos, but there was one that smacked me fairly hard. When that happens, I have a tough time messing up. Lila's color is simply perfect - that dark mask, the darling snippet and white chest... The orange and green and violet undertones created a solid triad of color that anchors the painting. If you squint down at the piece, it becomes pure abstraction, shapes gently jostling each other. I love it!! A big thank you and welcome to new dog-a-day collector Jeannette Levene. She found a painting on the Dog a Day webpages, and snapped it up. One of my favorites, too. :) Visit for more information. In today's mail came the notice that my painting "Spot" ( , and scroll all the way down to the bottom) won the People's Choice Award at th
"Baroo I (Sadie-Sage)," 6" x 8", commissioned pet portrait depicting a Beag-ador, private collection (or so I think - I haven't heard back from my client yet!). Inquiries on "Baroo I" or any other dog-a-day paintings (including how to get one of your own) may always come to me at . A Beag-ador !? Yes, that is Sadie-Sage's proud lineage. In this day and age of gourmet doggie-partnering, Sadie-Sage is a blueblooded mutt through and through. It is suspected she is a beagle-lab mix, but it is no secret that she is a doll with the sweetest face ever. Look at those eyes!! Sadie-Sage's portrait also benefits the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. Last summer, BFAS's publication "Best Friends Magazine" did a feature article on the Painting a Dog a Day project, I was touched by the enormity of their readers' response, so much so that I pledged a donation in the purchaser's name for all subsequen
ABOVE, FROM TOP: "Remembering Puddles," 5" x 7", SOLD , and "Yum IV (Puddles)," 4" x 5", $ 114. Both portraits depict a very loved beagle/hound mix. Inquiries may come to . I had a busy day Monday. Spent the morning in the studio, actively painting and getting substantial work done on a number of pieces. In the afternoon I taped a segment for a cable show in my area called "Lunch at CJs." I showed a number of recent paintings and talked about the Painting a Dog a Day project - it was a great time! I will share a link to the digital broadcast when the editing has been completed and the show is scheduled to air - stay tuned! Raced home from that to get dinner going and the kids off to music lessons. My oldest then got shuttled to soccer practice, and the remaining Santini's settled around the kitchen table for the Checkers Championship of the Universe. I was narrowly defeated in the final match by a c