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Showing posts from December, 2010

A New Year, A New Beginning

a new year, a new beginning no matter how you celebrate, may you do so with exhuberance and peace wishing a very happy holiday season to each of you and your loved ones Kim
Hi. It's me again, Anna. My Mom went off to play Santa, or so she says. She's just delivering cheesecakes and wine and cookies and cards and stuff in regular clothes, but she's acting like it's a big deal and she's running about with flying reindeer. Mom, you drive a minivan. That's what I say. So I'm in charge of the blog again today. In honor of flying reindeer, I chose a page from my journal where I collaged birds. There's torn papers and cut edges, and some of the shapes were pieced from lots of little bits of tissue while the one bird was cut with a stencil I made and is just one big piece. This is a page that I did in one of Mom's Creative Journalling classes. Sometimes I go as her helper, and sometimes I go as a student. I like doing both for different reasons. I like getting to journal because you never know what will show up on your page when you are done. So that is it for today. I don't know if Mom will let me blog again tomorrow

Toy Dog

Hi. I'm Anna Santini. Sometimes my mom calls me "The Princess" but I'm not really one. Mom can be delusional at times. But I don't really mind. It can make things a little more exciting. I wanted to help her out this week. Because I'm not in school, I asked if there was any studio work. She said I could be her guest blogger. Then she got a big grin. Probably because this would give her all sorts of extra time to bake cookies for me and my brothers. So this is a sketch from my journal. I will tell you a little bit about it. It is a toy dog from the bins of old toys my Mom has in the studio. There's more in her closet and the garage. And some others in storage, too. We like to hunt for fun things to draw and paint when we go to the flea market. This page has colored pencils and drawing pencil and pen on it. I like to mix materials up like this. So that is it for today. Thank you for reading and being our friends. Sincerely, Anna Santini PS My Mom say


"Othello," 6" x 8", Golden Open Acrylics on Raymar panel, commissioned equine portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!), and the last of my commissioned holiday pieces. Yesterday was my shipping deadline for the holiday, after which the studio slides into a more indulgent frame of mine. This week I shipped out 14 paintings to new homes (including Othello, above). I'm more than ready to kick back. I have several weeks without commissions ahead of me, my reward for sticking it through the year. Now I'm painting purely for myself, working out ideas that have been simmering all year and trying out new things. It'll set the stage for a new year and new beginnings. But meanwhile, if you want to get on the bus and commission something for 2011, please let me know . I'm getting plans made and the route planned and would love you and your pet to be a part of it! Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family - Happy holidays

Open Up and Say......

"Open Up.......," 4" x 6", Golden Open Acrylics on Raymar panel, portrait of a wee Brittany Spaniel pup, $239 to the first taker. Inquiries (including how you may commission something extraordinary for yourself) may always come to me. This little guy showed up at one of my son's football games this past fall. I loved watching him bounce around and trip over his own feet, then slowly get boneless as his energy wore out. He finally tucked his chin overtop his girl's arms and gave it up. I'm sorta feeling that way, too. This week was shepherded in by a snowstorm that kept the entire family home for 2 days. I loved having them around, but the activity level was tiring, and I was already running on empty. :) All are at work/school today, and the quiet house (or is it the purring kitten?) is lulling me to curl up and take a break. But there's lots to do still - I'm taking another half dozen paintings to the Post Office, for one, and regaling The P


"Ziggy," 6" x 8", Golden Open Acrylics on Raymar panel, commissioned rescued Havanese portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!). Ziggy has recently found his forever home, and his portrait will join that of his siblings Milo and Emma , who I painted a few years back. Ziggy's family fosters for a group that's new to my radar, Mill Dog Rescue . They've recently saved dog #4001 - can you imagine?! What a dedicated group they must be - I'm looking forward to getting to know this group and learning more about the personalities behind the scenes. There's so many people who go above and beyond every single day. And I'm blessed to have many of them within my circle - thank you! Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family - Happy holidays - Kim Tuck a Gift Certificate Under The Tree Looking for a last minute gift? A certificate for a pet portrait is a great idea that will give the

Andre, An Ink Sketch

"Andre," 7" x 10", ink on multimedia artboard, commissioned Boxer portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!). This is another holiday gift that will be headed home shortly. Andre's health took an unexpected turn for the worst last week, and my collector asked if I could put together a portrait in time for the holidays. We got to talking about the concept and this sweet lug of a boy, and I realized that an ink drawing would be the perfect touch. I used to do these ink drawings all the time when I was a teenager. They are such a great exercise in reducing your subject to values - darks and lights - and are a nice way to deliver an intimate depiction. I hadn't done one in years, and thoroughly enjoyed myself this morning. I like the contrast between the delicate lines and the big ole dog, too. Let's hope that Andre remains comfortable through the next few weeks and blesses his family with one more holiday. My fingers and toes are crossed for them all.


"Penny," 8" x 10", Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, commissioned Yorkshire Terrier portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!). I painted an earlier version of Penny a few weeks back, but afterwards we decided that portrait, while beautiful, was a bit too pensive.** My client wanted to remember her as a bright little spark, and the first painting was a bit too quiet. I was happy to give Penny another shot, and this version has gotten the two thumbs up. It'll get shipped home on Monday, and then carefully wrapped and held till Christmas. It's fascinating how color choice and body language can completely change a painting. These two pieces aren't quite so subtle, but sometimes it boils down to my minutely changing something and the expression is entirely transformed. So this little one ties up the Yorkie portraits for a bit. I've got a Havanese and a Boxer and a German Shorthaired Pointer and an equine and a few other faces lined up fo

Jojo & Tuffy

ABOVE: "Jojo," 8" square. BELOW: "Tuffy," 8" x 10". Both done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, both commissioned portraits of a Yorkshire Terriers, private collection (THANK YOU!) These two are companions to "Couch Potato (Sophia)" (from Tuesday). I worked on Jojo and Tuffy simultaneously yesterday, with Sophia's portrait in my peripheral, so that there was a continuity to the works. They will make an excellent grouping, don't you think? Now I'm off to put a dent in the few remaining commissions I have due prior to the holidays. My own ship date and deadline is next Monday - I've already got 7 paintings heading out. Let's see how many more I can add to that mix. Wish me luck! Thank YOU for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family - Wishing you a very happy holiday season - Kim Tuck a Gift Certificate Under The Tree Looking for a last minut

Ho Ho Ho

It's hard work, decorating for the Holly-Days. Tires a sweet little kitten plumb out. So while Mona Bug (and Finni too!) catches up on her beauty sleep, I'm working on two other portraits, companion pieces to yesterday's "Couch Potato (Sophia)." Meanwhile, enjoy the "Siblings" slideshow of Finnigan and Mona Lisa. Thank YOU for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family - Wishing you a very happy holiday season - Kim Finnigan: "hmmm, I don't think I've thoroughly smelled this end yet....." "Yum, she's got nasty smelling fish breath!" "But now, what's she doing, what's she doing...?! OH NO!!" "MOM! Mona's touching me!!" The Third Book!! Over the weekend I completed - and published - my newest book, "Come Sit Stay." This volume summarizes all the Dog a Day paintings from 2009 and has lots of other extras. I'

Couch Potato (Sophia)

"Couch Potato (Sophia)," 12" x 7", Golden Open Acrylics on an Ampersand Gessobord, commissioned Yorkshire Terrier portrait, one of 4 Yorkies I'll be painting this week. I've added some new colors to my palette. For those of you new to the Dog a Day project and my artwork, I paint with what's referred to as a limited palette. This means I set the exact same colors out for every single painting. One of the benefits of working this way is that because I am always working with the same ones, I become more intimate with the properties of specific colors, leading to a better understanding of mixing. It also ensures perfect color harmony every time. I'm continually using a balanced selection of pigments that compliment each other, and never introducing a new color that might throw that harmony off. And now, after working this way for 4+ years, I can almost mix color without having to look at my palette. However, I found myself wanting to improve my un

Marc Anthony

"Marc Anthony," 6" square, Golden Open Acrylics on an Ampersand Gessobord, commissioned Bulldog portrait that was SUPPOSED to be a surprise but someone started reading someone else's emails and the cat (or Bulldog, as the case may be) is out of the bag! I've been painting holiday commissions since September, but it's finally starting to feel a bit like Christmas. Was it freezing our pa-tooties off at our Holiday Lighted Parade (GO DRAGONS!! our State Football Champs, wahoo!!)? Was it putting up the (mostly naked) tree (because we were a-feared that Mona would run haywire inside it)? Was it designing the Santini holiday card? Was it starting holiday baking (mmm, chocolate turnovers.....)? Was it placing the first (and homemade) gift under the tree? It might have been those things. But I think the clincher was the fresh snowfall we got this morning. It made everything look like a winter wonderland. So to celebrate, I splurged on a steaming hot gingerbr

The Third Book !!

Congratulations to our cover boy - Cosmo from November 2009! He graces the third Painting a Dog a Day catalogue, this one covering the artwork from 2009. It's been literally almost 2 years in the making, so you can imagine the overwhelming relief I feel announcing that my latest book is available! "Come Sit Stay" is the third volume dedicated to the Painting a Dog a Day project. It joins my two prior publications "The First Year" and "That's 14 in Dog Years." Each book chronicles the details of one year's worth of daily paintings from Painting a Dog a Day. "Come Sit Stay" focuses on 2009's artwork, a year that included over 230 new paintings, the advent of creative journalling and Virtual pARTys, a trip to upstate New York, and a studio remodel. This title is a natural extension of my daily blog, where I chronicle details of each animal crossing my easel. The book includes insights to my process that the bl

Artist Q&A Day

Today's the day - been saving up your questions for me? A few months ago I started up Q&A Days (actually, I "borrowed" the idea from another artist, Karin Jurick ). They seemed like a great way to address the volume of emails I receive asking about various elements of my process. So, the last Friday of each month I set aside as a Q&A Day, a sort of informal way for you to visit my studio and hang for a bit (don't panic - today is NOT the last Friday of the month, but is actually November's Q&A that got pushed back because of the US holiday last Friday). So, go ahead and post your art related questions as comments to this, and I'll respond to them in the order received. Because of those annoying spammers, I've had to activate comment moderation, but don't worry - I'll get them reviewed and published for you! Today I'm also finalizing my third book, "Come Sit Stay," for publication, so it looks like it'll be a day spent


"Balto," 8" x 10", done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, private collection (THANK YOU!). I painted Balto at the end of October for one of my collectors' families. It was a birthday gift intended for Balto's Mom, especially important because Balto had crossed the bridge a few months prior. Balto's reference photos were accompanied with letters from the kids who grew up with him, sharing fond memories of what made this guy so very special to their family. I felt like I knew, I mean really knew, this dog. And that showed, I think, when it came down to the painting process. I am so touched to have been asked to memorialize this guy for a family that's begun to feel as though they are an extension of mine. Thank YOU for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family - Kim PS Don't forget!! Tomorrow will be Artist Q&A Day on the blog - ask any art related questions over there