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Showing posts from December, 2008

NEW! Etsy Store

One of my favorite unsold paintings from 2008, "Lashes & Corkscrews," 5" x 8", acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a tobiano buckskin curly horse, $289. Inquiries to (but read further on how you can get a special deal on this painting!). Now it's ridiculously easy to browse my painting archives. All you have to do is visit my Etsy store . Etsy has a Shopping Cart (so you can pile it high with purchases from a variety of artists), is integrated with Paypal (although you may still pay by check if you prefer to), and is terribly simple to navigate. When the week has ended, I will have listed almost 100 of my favorite (UNSOLD!) paintings here, grouped loosely by subject matter. During 2009 I'll update the shop regularly, and add non-Dog-a-Day pieces as a bonus, thus making it easy to search for that perfect gift. Watch my daily postings for announcements, promotions and discount codes. If you do not receive the Dog-a-Day emails (

Hunting Pals

FROM TOP: "Blissfully Pink (Bliss)," 6" square, German Shorthaired Pointer dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard; "Katie," 6" x 8," brittany spaniel dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries to . Now that I see her on my computer screen, I realize that Katie isn't quite the right color - her fur was more like a burnished penny. I'll have to correct that, but later. It's been a loooong day, and like the winter gear filled dryer that's run nonstop for hours, I'm tired and need a break. These paintings will get wrapped and tucked under my tree. I had to delete my parents from the Dog-a-Day distribution so as to hopefully keep them a secret for just a few more days. They'll look great added to my father's Dog-a-Day collection of past and present hunting buddies. I have one other painting that I am finishing as a (personal) Christmas gift. It's a view of an uncle's backyard in the sum

Mr. Congeniality, Basil

"Basil," 6" square, commissioned golden retriever dog portait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries to . True confessions: today's painting was really done yesterday. Between tomorrow's forecasted 10" of snow and my complete lack of Christmas preparedness (meaning I'd done zero shopping), I realized I had a 24 hour timeframe to complete all my Christmas lists - and that was today. So I worked into the wee hours last night/this morning, hit the road first thing, and got it all done just in time to greet my oldest son as he got off the schoolbus. Unbeknownst to him and the other two kids (well, actually, I think Domenic is clued in to Santa's true identity, just too scared to say so), Santa is locked up in the studio closet. Too bad I can't bribe him to do our Christmas cards, too!! Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my paintings with your friends and family.See you tomorrow! (


"Shitake," 6" square, mixed breed dog portait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries to . I'm reading Harley Brown's "Eternal Truths for Every Artist." It's a book that nearly every successful artist I know speaks highly of, but it's also a title that's very difficult to find, and therefore pricey. I snagged one (bargain priced, no less!!) on-line as an early Christmas gift to myself, and have been curling up with it each night for an hour or so. It is sheer brilliance! One of his many Truths is to start your painting with confidence. Attack the blank canvas with attitude, and carry that momentum through. Your initial attack should be an underpainting, regardless of the color, just as an exercise to "own" the surface and create a middle value upon which you can start your composition. Shitake has a seafoam green, brilliant teal and cadmium red underneath - you can see bits

"Pure Joy," Ozzie, a Yorkie mix

"Pure Joy (Ozzie)," 8" square, commissioned pet portrait depicting Ozzie, a yorkie-maltese mix, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may come to . There's been so much gloom and doom in the news lately, especially around Detroit. In 2009 I will focus on beauty and laughter more often. Not that I plan to turn my back on the hardship - I simply want to set time aside daily where I am consciously grateful for the wonderful things in my life. I want to wrap my joy in a smile or hug, and pass it on - happiness is something that has gone missing in many lives lately. And we all deserve at least a glimmer of it each day, regardless of our circumstances. Here's a bit of a serendipitous poem that a friend shared this morning. From Solitude, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox - "LAUGH, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone. For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth, But has trouble enough of it&

Roxy, Red Merle

"Roxy (Cattle Dog)," 4" x 5", red heeler pet portrait, acrylic on board. Roxy's painting has a sale pending, but interested parties may email me - . (And that includes anyone considering booking their own Dog-a-Day portrait - I'm currently scheduling for January 2010.) Cattle dogs are an acquired taste, but, like steamed clams, they are delightfully slippery and delicious, with larger than life personalities. Being owned by one myself, I have a small bit of experience in that area (and I love steamers). From all I've heard, Roxy was no exception. Even blindness (at age 9) didn't slow her down. She's crossed the bridge now, but I know she's waiting to heartily greet only those she knows. And she'll "herd" them in the right direction when they do show. Speaking of herds, thanks to you, I've shipped close to 100 Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year books! I'll be putting together a second pre

Three Goldens

FROM TOP: "Golden Grin," 4" x 8"; "Golden Laughter," 8" x 10", $449, SOLD ; "Golden Gaze," 8" x 10", $449, SOLD ; all acrylic on board. Inquiries to . My client gets her choice of the above paintings. After she takes pick of the litter, the remaining ones are up for grabs. Please send me an email if you are interested in any of these portraits - a paypal payment and priority shipping should get the painting(s) in your hands by the holiday. Thanks, as always, for sharing my artwork with your friends and family. Enjoy your weekend, Kim

I Love Lucy

"I Love Lucy (Andy and Lucy)," 6" x 12", pug portrait, acrylic on board, private collection. Inquiries to . This piece has been on my easel for three days. More than twice the time of the typical Dog-a-Day painting. I justified that because of the double portrait bit, but really I think I spent a lot more time than usual relishing in the pugs' folds. It was worth it, though. And it'll be even better when this one gets unwrapped. This painting is going to someone special, someone I've been looking forward to painting for for a long time, someone especially appreciative of all things pug. It's been a long time coming, but Happy (belated) Birthday & Merry Christmas, Claire!! If you are considering gifting a Dog-a-Day portrait, please send me a note ( I have a few spaces reserved during the 2009 holiday season for repeat clients. Paintings make great birthday and anniversary gifts, too (I

Happy Holidays

Thank you for spending a small piece of your 2008 following along with my paintings and artistic journey. I'll be toasting you come New Year's Eve (and whatever other evenings between now and then that find me with a little bubbly in my glass - it is the holidays, after all!). I'm looking forward to sharing another year of tail wags and saturated color with old and new friends alike. Kimberly Kelly Santini TurtledoveDesigns website: & 346 N Anderson, Lake Orion, Michigan, 48362, USA
"Tia," 6" square, commissioned cat portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries (including how you can commission your own portrait) may come to . This painting seems to be all about contrast - anchored with a few basic shapes and carefully chosen edges around her face. As straightforward as it might look, it is not a painting I could have pulled off a few months ago. It's harder (at least for me) to say more with less. But it's also so much more satisfying! Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing these paintings with your friends and family. See you tomorrow! Kim PS Yes, I am feeling better. Thank you to all who asked!

Lopsided Grirn (Boston Terrier)

"Lopsided (Boston Terrier)," 4" square, Boston Terrier dog portrait, acrylic on boar. Inquiries to . I cannot always share what I paint these days because many are holiday gifts. Today I had to paint an extra face because the first two were surprises for Dog-a-Day readers. Which reminds me - I have a few remaining spaces for commissioned pet portraits for 2009's holiday gift giving - I am reserving them for repeat clients. Send me a note if you are interested, so I can pencil you in and lock down my current prices: . We have miserable weather creeping in - 2" of snow, some sleet, and all topped off with a predicted 1" of rain. Sounds like a possible snow day tomorrow. And on top of that I feel a cold creeping in - my brain is waterlogged and sluggish. I refuse to get sick - I have no time for this. Darn germs - why can't the kids keep them to themselves?!! Thanks, as always, for looking a

Chihuahua Portrait, Harley

"In Profile II (Harley)," 4" x 5", commissioned chihuahua portrait, acrylic on board, private collection (or so I think - don't be afraid to ask if you love her little face). Inquiries to . This little gem of a painting came about because my client wanted a holiday gift for Harley's breeder. I love doing little pieces like this, especially when I get to work with a face like Harley's, who I have painted before ( ). And it gave me the perfect excuse to start another painting of her (a 4th one!), aimed for the Art Show at the Dog Show ( ). This weekend promises to be busy - Annie and I go see the Nutcracker tomorrow (our annual tradition), and our town hosts their holiday lighted parade tomorrow night. We'll decorate the tree and watch the Red Wings game after warming up with huge bowls of steaming chili. And you know wh

Gypsy Vanner Mare, part II

Work in process, 10" x 12", depicting a Gypsy Vanner mare, acrylic on archival artists' panel. Inquiries to . In the version I posted earlier this week, I had beautiful color happening amidst drawing errors. Correcting these were complicated by porr photo references and my lack of intimate equine anatomical knowledge. I allowed the piece to simmer until today, when I felt a little bit of confidance going back into it. Nevertheless, I still ended up painting the whole thing out and starting over. In order to finish the painting true to my vision, it was easiest to start over. Which is exactly what I did (that doesn't mean the "painting out" bit was painless, though. Or that the second time around wasn't also challenging.). She's not finished yet, but more solidly on the road to being done. There is a sense of mass, movement, and light which personifies the ideas I wanted this painting to express. Another day and she sho

Yorkie in the Grass, second time 'round

"Yorkie in the Grass," 12" square, Yorkshire Terrier dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, box framed, $599. She's already been exhibited (and won an award) here in Michigan, and therefore will be one of my entries to next year's Art Show at the Dog Show (in Kansas). That is, if she doesn't find a home first, which in all honesty I would rather see. I can always paint another piece for the show. Inquiries to . SALE PENDING. Yes I am recycling a painting from earlier in the year, but it's justifiable (at least in my mind). My daughter has been sick for almost a week, and today it's been difficult for me to concentrate at the easel. I'm whipped. Therefore, I've decided to give myself a little break, sneak some chocolate from the freezer stash, and challenge Annie to a game of checkers. Are you following me on twitter? not that I share anything more earth shattering than what music is currently cranked in the studi

"Droopy," the 8th Dwarf

"Droopy," 4" x 5", basset hound mix dog portrait, acrylic on board. Won't he look darling framed and tucked into a special place? Inquiries may come to . After painting Droopy, I got the idea to paint the dwarfs from Snow White. Don't ask me how I made that connection - I'm not certain myself. But can't you see it? A bulldog as Grumpy, a golden retriever as Happy, a sheepdog as Sneezy, a mastiff as Sleepy - ahh, this could be really fun. Now all I have to do is carve out the time to paint them!! And to paint the foil wrapped holiday chocolates I picked up, too - truffles, Santas, and other great shapes. Gotta paint those before I eat them. So many ideas, so little time. But first it's off to make dinner. I've decided to grill a steak (in the falling snow, no less). Sweet potatos are in the oven and we'll have a big salad. Thinking of doing all these paintings works up a good appetite! Thanks, as always,

Painting a Dog - err, Horse - a Day

Untitled work in process ("Fading Light"?), depicting a Gypsy Vanner mare, acrylic on archival artists' panel, 10" x 12". Inquiries to . The year is winding down, and that means I have several juried competition deadlines sneaking up. I've had this same mare on my studio wall for several years now - a huge stretched canvas that is at least 40" high - a canvas that I didn't take much further than an initial block in. I've loved the backlighting that tickles her fetlocks, and thought I'd give it a try on a smaller scale, conquer the fear of messing up, and see if I can't get a solid little painting for one of the exhibitions in my radar. I started with toning the panel a pepto bismol pink - it's easier (and way more fun) to paint on a colored ground than a white one. I then began massing in the areas of light and dark. I'll continue to refine the shapes and get her drawn in properly as I lay addition