Paintings With Soul

Since October 2006 I've been a daily painter, creating a new pet portrait at least 5 times per week. At first the paintings were mostly dogs, but over the years I've expanded my offerings to include a variety of animals, pets, children and other treasured heirlooms.

And yes, I accept commissions!

You are invited to sign up using the links at the left to receive the dailies via email or follow my blog with a feed. I post additional info, including in-process jpgs and other related information, on the studio Facebook page as well.

Thanks
so much for your continued support of my artwork.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


"Filmore," 6x12, commissioned pet portrait, mixed breed (greyhound) dog painting in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I love the soft light that's falling on this gentle dog's head. And how the shape of the piece mirrors his profile. It's a quiet and contemplative painting.

Sort of the exact opposite of the kind of day I had, packing up and getting ready to head to the AKC/Eukanaba National Championships tomorrow. I will not be posting any paintings until next Tuesday due to the trip, but if time allows, I may pop in and give you an update. Let you know how my poster unveiling goes, and show you some of the imagery that will be inspiring future dog-a-day paintings.

For those of you in the Long Beach, California area, I will be at the AKC booth from 10-2 on Saturday and Sunday. I would love to meet you!

Don't forget, too, that next week is Animal Welfare Week (formerly called Shelter & Rescue Week), where I'll be profiling adoptable animals from the Oakland Pet Adoption Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Proceeds from the sale of these paintings (and all of them will be available to the first buyer) will be donated to the Oakland Pet Fund, an organization who's mission is to make Oakland County euthanasia-free by 2010.

Looking forward to painting again (it will be odd to be away from my brushes for 4 straight days - I have not packed any art supplies whatsoever!), but in the meanwhile, enjoy your weekend, and I will talk to you soon,
Thanks, as always, for looking and sharing,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, November 28, 2007



"Brittany Study (Bud)," 6" square, commissioned pet portrait, acrylic dog painting depicting a brittany spaniel, private collection (THANK YOU!).

When my client first contacted me last summer about painting Bud, she was a little hesitant. Bud was the dog she had grown up with, and finding photos was going to be a chore. COuld i work from old polaroids and other scanned images? of course! She came through with a handful of beautiful, albeit faded, photos, most taken in natural lighting. I was able to paint a portrait for her to give her mother from those. I cannot wait to hear of her family's reaction on Christmas morning, for even after all these years, Bud has a hold of them all.

This has been a week full of rumination on the power of these sweet souls. How they tag our hearts for a lifetime, and leave us in their gentle wake.

My oldest son and I visited the Oakland Pet Adoption Center today to shoot reference photos of adoptable animals for profiling during next weeks' Animal Welfare Week. We walked into Kitty City, a large room where the older cats who have been longer term residents at the shelter are able to stretch their legs and play. We were immediately greeted by the sweetest calico. While the other residents summed us up from their various perches, she popped from the depths of a kitty condo and waltzed right on over, begging for love.

I scooped her up and held her while that purr reverberated through my whole body. She was entirely different than Turtle, yet so very similar. She looked into my eyes and meowed, that distinctive cooing sort of noise that had earned Turtle her name. She rubbed her face into mine, while I held her and thought of what I - my family - had just lost. This little homeless calico had complete power over comforting me. I might have melted completely if Domenic hadn't been there. As it was, we both teared up, and talked about the eerie way this cat seemed to know what we both needed.

(For those of you wondering why I didn't bring her home with me, the choice really isn't just mine. We have another elderly and ill cat, along with Finnigan (who thinks kitties are squirrels on steroids), and an active sort of household that goes along with three kids. Choosing another cat cannot be a spontaneous choice on my part. Although, if you're reading this on the sly, Rick, my vote is to consider giving this little one a try......)

Stay tuned next week for at least 5 paintings that will be available to the first buyer, with proceeds going to the Oakland Pet Fund, a non-profit dedicated to turning our county shelters into no-kill operations by 2010. These paintings will make wonderful holiday gifts, and you'll be supporting an incredible cause at the same time.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings and stories with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


"German Shepherd Study (Cujo)," 6" square, commissioned pet portrait, acrylic painting of a german shepherd on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Today's painting is another one packed with vibrant color. I am searching to find that perfect balance between color harmony and oversaturation. This piece works well in that regard - when I squint down at it, the values all read properly.

And when I open my eyes back up, I can't help myself - I grin right back at Cujo.

The Landscape 75 international show at the Richeson Gallery and School of Art in Wisconson has gone online - you can view my painting there, in some excellent company, at http://www.richeson75.com/ . It's not too hard to pick out which one came from my studio (although it IS NOT a dog!). I've been told that People's Choice voting will be online soon. Not that I'm suggesting anything......

I am also getting ready for my trip to the AKC/Eukanaba National Championship Dog Show later this week. I'll be flying to California to sign the posters made from my winning design (a collage of dog-a-day paintings) and wandering through the show. If you are able to attend the show, please stop by the AKC booth where I will be both days, from 10-2. It would be great to meet some of the human faces that go along with the dog-a-day project!

While in California I also plan on returning to some favorite haunts (The Getty Museum, Santa Monica's Promenade, driving through Kanan Canyon, and trying to catch a sunset dinner in Malibu for a start). I'm also looking forward to the sunshine - today the wind chill is a whopping 17 degrees!! The glass panes in the studio windows have been rattling, and I'm back to working in my layers of woolens and fingerless gloves. I don't do cold, yet I live in Michigan. Yeah, it makes no sense to me either!

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
Take care and I'll give you yet another face come tomorrow,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Monday, November 26, 2007



"Dashing Daphne," 8x10, commmissioned pet portrait, acrylic grayhound painting on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I needed a smiling face to paint today, and Daphne fit the bill to a T. The exhuberance and delight in her face flowed directly onto my palette, and influenced my color choices.

I started by toning the canvas a wonderful apple green, and then sketched Daphne's form in overtop it while still wet. Painting quickly at first, so that I could lift that green and mix it into my shadows, was liberating. Then, after that first layer dried, I went in with glazes of violets and pinks and blues, building the sense of light, and carefully defining my edges.

Even though my reference photo was crisp, I wanted to capture that sense of movement - so only Daphne's face has crisp edges, while the rest of the painting seems to fade away. I also pushed her body further from the viewer's eye back into the picture plane by graying the shadows out, instead of maintaining that equally dark value that my reference photo shared with her eyes and mouth.

I can't help but look at this painting and grin. Along with the other one I completed today, which I'll share after the holidays.

On another note, writing Turtle's obituary last night was tough. I was even more terrified to send it - it seemed so very final. But I have been overwhelmed, literally, as your notes flew into my email box all day. Your words, shared tears, virtual hugs, and similar memories, have given me immense comfort.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The dog-a-day family is beyond phenomenal. What a gift you have given me,
See you tomorrow,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Sunday, November 25, 2007



"Turtledove," 8x8, calico pet portrait painting, acrylic on canvasboard, collection of the artist.

I spent the bulk of Thanksgiving day trying to remind myself how blessed my family is in so many ways, but it was so very difficult, because it was also Turtle's last day.

Turtledove was a rescued kitty Rick and I adopted shortly after we got married and moved cross-country to California (oh so many years ago). Scarred with cigarette burns and nameless other hurts, she was understandably fearful of strangers, but oddly trusted the two of us unconditionally right from the start. We chose her as a companion for our spoiled black cat, Miah, who was alone for the first time in her short life all day long.

Turtle befriended Miah, and wormed her way into everyone else's hearts too. She became my muse right from the start, and then the studio's namesake years later..

We buried her underneath the maple tree, the one that shelters our home, stretching far beyond the roof's confines into the sky. In the spring I will plant a bed of catnip overtop her grave, and carve something fitting into the smooth round stone that marks where her head lays.

We spent Friday setting up the Christmas tree, telling the kids stories of a younger cat who loved to climb and hide amongst the branches. When the kids were infants, she slept underneath their crib, coming to wake me moments before their cries did. Every full moon, she would hunt monsters, racing up and down the stairs all night long (Domenic remembers hearing her going up and down, up and down, up and down). I could count on her freight train purr to lull me to sleep every night without fail (Anna knows that same purr from when we would read bedtime stories together). Evan found her favorite toy, a spikey little rubber ball, under the couch - we laughed when we remembered the odd growls she would make as she carried that around the house.

I realized when I came downstairs Saturday morning that the garland strung on the lower half of the tree will stay put for the first time ever.

And there will be no more gifts left at the foot of my easel, either.

What a blessing it is to have loved something so simple so strongly.

Hug your kitties and your dogs and your family - they are all gifts, whether we have them for a fleeting moment or for what seems like an eternity -
Kim


Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


"Blissful (Chicklet)," 6" x 12", commissioned pet portrait, mixed breed, private collection (THANK YOU!).

Chicklet was the perfect candidate for my Thanksgiving painting. She arrived at a veterinary hospital on behalf of an animal shelter, having been found wandering the streets and in need of medical care. No wonder. Poor thing wasn't suffering from an upper respiratory infection, as originally thought, but rather from a chronic sinus infection due to teeth that had rotted through her jaw bone. One of the attending nurses fell in love, and adopted Chicklet as soon as the waiting period had ended.

Chicklet has arthritis in her back end, a large hernia on her stomach, liver disease, no remaining teeth, and recently has gone blind in one eye. Despite her ailments, she remains happy and thankful for each moment. She dances for her food, chases cats when given the chance, and loves whatever slice of life she has left (estimates put her at 13-15 years old).

My client, Chicklet's mother, wrote me this morning (after previewing the painting): "I can't even begin to tell you the feeling I have of knowing I will ALWAYS have that ridiculously adorable, twisted, sneezy, happy face to smile at every day for the rest of my life. There will still definately be a sadness when she is physically gone, but her little light will shine forever both in our hearts and now on our wall to keep her face fresh in our minds."

It's no wonder Chicklet loves every moment of her life, as she clearly is adored to pieces. How can one NOT thrive in such an environment?

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers, regardless of whether you are celebrating our (US) holiday. I wish that you spend your weekend surrounded by those who love you dearly. And a pumpkin pie or two. Have a piece for me, as I'll be busily gorging myself on stuffing, and most likely will not leave room.

I will resume posting the daily paintings Monday. If you are waiting for a holiday piece that was scheduled this week, never fear, as I will be working in the background, and will contact you privately..

Again, Happy Thanksgiving. I remain so very grateful for all that you have allowed me to accomplish!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Tuesday, November 20, 2007



"Goin' for a Ride (Molly)," 6x8, commissioned pet portrait, mixed breed (chow), private collection (thank you!).

I was especially moved by the letter that came with my client's stack of reference materials. She outlined the details of Molly's life - found wandering on a golf course, and moved from one household to another, ultimately landing in theirs at 9 months of age. The only child in a military family, Molly moved many times, leaving multiple friends in her wake, and eager to make new ones. When she passed away last year at the age of 10, she was mourned literally all over the country. She was special and wonderful to so very many.

And Molly's spirit continues impacting lives.

Because, with the purchase of Molly's portrait, monies raised for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary officially topped $1000!! Overall, the Painting a Dog a Day project has raised $1653 for animal welfare - that's a lot of kibble!!

I am so thrilled that you, my readers, have supported my endeavor to this level. And the amounts will continue to accrue, as I am booked out through November 2008, with many of those portraits allocated to support a particular organization.

So thank you to Molly, and to all the other equally special and wonderful dogs and cats who's paintings are part of this group.

How does the Painting a Dog a Day project raise money for animal welfare?

Well, each month during Animal Welfare Week (the first full week of each month), I profile animals from a particular shelter or rescue. 20% of the sales from those paintings are returned to the host shelter/rescue.

Furthermore, during that month the shelter or rescue is profiled, if you book a commission of an animal that came from that shelter or rescue, and mention this at the time we schedule your portrait, I will donate 20% of the proceeds from your purchase back to your animals' host.

Before I get deluged with requests to support various shelters or rescues, I want to mention that at this point I am focusing on Michigan based shelters and rescues. AND, those shelters or rescues need to be referred to me - I do a little research on their efforts, and check with various adoptees and families before agreeing to partner. (This does not mean that there are not many, many worthy causes out there that are deserving of support. I encourage you to find a means to help out these types of groups in your area - volunteering, fostering, donating toys/blankets/food - there are many ways to help out.)

I also have a standing relationship with Paws With a Cause - any PAWS service dogs portraits I paint qualify for that return donation.

And, as a thank you to Best Friends Magazine readers for their overwhelming support of the Painting a Dog a Day project, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary became a standing partner as well.

I am so blessed to be able to do what I love, give back to my community through the Animal Welfare support, and to give you, my readers, slivers of entertainment, and perhaps even a small memento of your beloved pet. Who'da ever thunk things would have turned out like this? (certainly NOT my 2nd grade teacher, who could not stand that I raced through my classwork in order to add a drawing or embellishment to the bottom of each page).

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family!
See you tomorrow,
Kim



Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Monday, November 19, 2007



"Caoba," 8x10, commissioned pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection.



"Molly," 8x10, commissioned pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, same private collection.

Each of these paintings is of a rescue - both hailing from Florida's Labrador Retriever Rescue. I can vouch for the sincere happiness behind the eyes of each of today's models. You can read more about their efforts at http://www.labradorrescue.net/.

Each of these paintings is dripping with luscious color. Coaba has greens and violets, and Molly is saturated with blues and pinks.

I noticed today when I was painting that I was subconsciously using a technique I've been practicing in my class - that of modelling with my brushwork. I'm using a bright, about a 1/4 to 1/2" wide, and by angling and changing the amount of pressure and direction, I'm able to lay down a variety of shapes in one brushstroke. This can be powerful if I have the brush loaded up with the correct color and value in the first place. It didn't always happen that way, but that's the beauty of acrylics. I just waited a few minutes for the one to dry, and started working on the other.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
See you tomorrow!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Friday, November 16, 2007

2 paintings again today. They are sisters - can't you see the resemblance?!



"Mocha," 4x5, daschund pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard.



"Tortie in Shadows (Neki)," 4x8, tortoiseshell kitten portrait in acrylic on canvasboard.

I wasn't on the ball enough today to get these paintings over to my client in time for her approval, so I do not know if they have been sold. Inquiries on either may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com.

Hard to believe another week's flown by.
Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
Enjoy your weekends!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Thursday, November 15, 2007


"Red Tick Coon Dog (Scout)," 6" square, commissioned pet portrait on canvasboard. Thank you to Scout's Mom, who will be sneaking this painting into Dad's stocking next month.

I received a number of inquiries in the last few days about where I find my inspirations and how I keep going. Besides in all the faces and personalities I get to profile and a daily dose of coffee, I find them everywhere around me.

  • The golden maple leaves dancing right outside my kitchen window.
  • My kids' first smile each day (which comes hopefully before their first tear).
  • The sound of a dear friend's voice on the phone.
  • The way Finnigan's nubbin of a tail glides underneath his skin.
  • The purr of my black cat, not just the sound, but the feel of it against my chest.
  • The smell of a wet painting.
I'm sure we all have triggers that keep us going - those are just a few. I make sure I am surrounded by handfuls of them, all the time. And for those days when it's tough to get into the studio, I've found a couple of no fail motivators:

  • The Nutcracker soundtrack, no matter the season.
  • And The Barber of Seville (kill the rabbit..... kill the rabbit....) The right music can almost always get the job done!
  • Browsing through Julian Merrow-Smith's website (http://www.shiftinglight.com/) and dreaming of being able to one day paint like him.
  • A visit to our local yarn shop, where I can simply sit amongst the rows of colored wools.
  • The smell of freshly baked brownies or cookies.
  • A brisk walk around the neighborhood, following Finn's nubbin and prance, breathing in the air, listening to the birds/crickets/frogs/silence (when snow is freshly falling).

Here's a bonus painting - one I couldn't help but do. My latest inspiration, you might say.

Yesterday I looked up from the easel and spied a row of puppets carefully lined up by one of my kids, perfectly centered in an unexpected shaft of sunlight. They were brilliantly colored and terribly humorous when visualized as still life objects. It was way more fun than painting pitchers and creamers and ghourds (sorry, Vianna, if you are reading this!!). This guy is the first of a number of lighthearted studies I'll do in the weeks to come - painting something saturated in humor and color was a great diversion!

So I give you "ARGH!! (Puppet #1)," 8" square (larger than life), acrylic on canvasboard, $180. Imagine this guy framed up and hung in a cubicle/office. Or in a child's room. Or even hung overtop a mirror. He will definately brighten up a special corner somewhere. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .


SOLD.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
Be back tomorrow!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

THe Dog Tag Series - "Green Tags #1"


"Green Tags #1," 4" x 8", dog tag still life painting, acrylic on canvasboard, $135. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

I had a lot of momentum going after finishing up a larger portrait today, and started rifling through the tags I have filed. I pulled out these green ones, strung them together, and did this little painting.

Now I think I might head up to my jewelry box to find my old bracelet with the cat charm. While not a dog tag, it will make for a tender little painting.... I'll also assign the kids to toy duty when they get off the bus, and have them collect all their little plastic 4-legged critters for inclusion in a painting.

My brain simply won't stop. I think perhaps I need to pour myself a glass of wine and try to unwind!!
See you tomorrow,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

This is Tina, several portraits of her.




The more traditional one featuring her face. "Tina," 4x5, commissioned chow pet portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection.



And a still life comprised of her dog tags strung together from that now familiar nail in my studio wall. "Tina's Tags," 4x8, still life composition built of dog tags and licenses, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection.

My client contacted me mid-summer about painting a traditional portrait of Tina shortly after having to say goodbye to her dear girl. The earliest I could schedule Tina was this week, which happened to be that of her 12th birthday. Karma at work.

The dog tags came along several months after the portrait was scheduled, shortly after I announced my intention to paint canine related still lives. I held the tags in my hand, and knew there were two portraits to paint.

I need to send a special thank you and hugs to my client, who despite expecting just the one painting, has embraced both.

If you would like to submit your dog's tags, collars, or other ephemera for inclusion in my still life project, you may send your materials to the studio at 346 N Anderson, Lake Orion, MI 48362. I will acknowledge receipt of all items. If you would like your objects returned, please also include a self addressed stamped envelope.

And I am booking dog-a-day commissions for November 2008 right now. Please let me know if you are interested! Photo submissions may come via snail mail to the address above, or digitally to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

And one last note - later today I'll post an image of the portrait I painted last night during class.on in my studio blog: http://www.ksantini.blogspot.com/ . Tina's two paintings and last night's exhuberantly colored portrait were done with the same colors on my palette, yet each has a markedly different mood. You can push a small range of paint into infinite directions. I am constantly surprised at the variety I can get with just a few tubes of paint, and starting to feel guilty about the drawers of color I have stashed in the studio!

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
See you tomorrow!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


"Bailey (Border Collie Study)," 6x8, commissioned border collie pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (THANK YOU!).

I enjoyed painting Bailey's face - the expressive eyes in that vast white mask framed by dark ears.

With all the color around her (pool in background, and greenery and brickwork at her feet), there was a lot of bounce happening. I imagined the scene in my head, her entire body, and how it fit into her surroundings. There was light bouncing from the water, carrying teal up into the shadows. There also was the orange of the pavers glinting off her lower jowls. And some green picked up in her chin. And because my light source was yellow filtered by leaves (green), the shadows carried a lot of blue and violet.

If you spend some time studying real objects (not photographs), you'll start to notice some of the things I've mentioned above. That nothing exists completely on it's own - it picks up color and light from it's surroundings.

There's an interesting conversation going on right now in an artists' online forum (http://www.canineartguild.com/) I belong to about what color paints to use for particular objects (like a white dog). My input (I can rarely refrain from sharing my point of view!) was that there was no basic starting point, because it's all relative.

Yes, white dogs are white. But they can also be lavendar and pink. Go to a paint store and look at all the different whites, and you'll see what I mean! There's just as many, if not more, varieties of white dogs to go along with those paint chips.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Monday, November 12, 2007

Yes, you read it right. Painting multiples makes it feel like a parade of sorts. There are all these faces streaming through the studio, and while it's a lot of fun, it's also taxing at times.

I have depleted my Twix stash and have resorted to frozen peanut butter cookies. Finn doesn't seem to mind that at all - his favorite spot of late is curled up at my feet in the studio. He has mastered snatching cookie crumbs midair, from a deep sleep no less. Wish I had those sorts of reflexes!

But I digress.

Here are two of today's faces that I can share without spoiling any holiday surprises. Brother and sister, Sophie & Oliver. I like how the light emanates from Sophie's smile, and when her painting is set alongside Olivers, that glow seems to be what illuminates his face. They are just as nice a pairing in paint as they are in real life.



"Sophie", 4x5, and "Oliver," 4x6, commissioned pet portraits in acrylic on canvasboard, both in a private collection (THANK YOU!).

If you are thinking about commissioning your own dog-a-day as a holiday gift, now would be the time to schedule for 2008. Yes, it sound ridiculous to be booking next year's gift right now, but I am filling up already. I'd like to give my regular readers the opportunity to get in before all the spots are taken. So think about it, and let me know soon (ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com) so that we can get something on the calendar for you.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and families.
See you tomorrow!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Friday, November 09, 2007


"Spirit (Golden Retriever Study)," 8x10, commissioned pet portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, private collection (or so I believe - I haven't heard back from my client yet).

Spirit was a gentle, intelligent, loving dog, the sort who seemed to draw people to her with the warmth of her grin and the wagging exhuberance of her tail. She competed in obedience, flyball, agility, and field work, excelling at everything. .

She became a Paws With a Cause dog with only 2 weeks of training. Spirit did literally hundreds of programs and presentations for PAWS, introducing the public to the benefits of assistance/service dogs. She worked with prospective clients considering getting their own PAWS dog, and even performed as a PAWS loaner dog for folks in between service dogs of their own.

Spirit touched the lives of all who knew her, and is still deeply missed. I hope that my portrait brings back a glimmer of her wise old soul.

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to look at my paintings.
And for sharing them with your friends and family,
See you next week with another batch of smiling faces,
Enjoy the weekend,
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Thursday, November 08, 2007


“Violet,” 6x8, commissioned PAWS service dog portrait depicting a black lab, private collection (THANK YOU!!!)

It might seem cliché, but of course, Violet’s portrait had to be Violet. And it started out that way, but slid back into my familiar range of blues.

She does have a wonderfully pensive look about her though, one that I was afraid I might lose if I went back into the painting and tried to change things.

Violet was headed towards life as a service dog, and then got redirected. She now is a representative of PAWS, making public appearances, and generally serving as an advocate for the organization.

Did I say earlier this week what a privilege it is to work with a group like PAWS With a Cause? Please take a couple of minutes to view their site – http://www.pawswithacause.org/ – and learn more about their mission and how they achieve it.

Meanwhile, I need to thank a new collector (I’ll keep your name secret, since your painting is a gift!) for their purchase of a painting from my studio clean-up sale. You can view remaining available works at www.turtledovedesigns.com/studio_cleanup_sale.html, along with my regularly priced pieces at www.turtledovedesigns.com/available.html .

And I posted the wrong link to my class paintings. The correct link is http://www.ksantini.blogspot.com/. Sorry for any confusion this might have caused.


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

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Wednesday, November 07, 2007



“Thank You (Josie),” 6x8, yellow lab Paws With a Cause foster puppy portrait, $180. $36 from the sale of this painting will be donated to Paws With a Cause (www.pawswithacause.org). Inquiries may come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com (I am waiting to hear back from Josie’s foster mom – she gets first dibs on this painting).

Josie is a Paws With a Cause foster puppy who recently graduated from foster care, and began her advanced training. That means her foster family no longer has the joy of her company. Her foster mom shared with me her thoughts and emotions about the year she shared with Josie, and as I read them (all teary eyed, I must warn you), I thought of what sort of reply Josie would have. Hence the title of this painting.

I give you the following with Josie’s foster mother’s permission:

“….She came to me as a soft, unbelievably cute puppy, warm, sweet and smelling of puppy breath. Within five minutes, she wet on the floor. In the next year, she stole my heart….

Josie and I went to four obedience classes and we had a blast. She was always ahead of the other dogs…. Don’t look at me. I didn’t have to work with her. I showed her how to do things a few times and she had it.

We also socialized. She went to all kinds of places, like stores, restaurants, court, offices, anywhere I could think….. Everyone fell in love with her and she with them.

When she wagged… it started at her nose and waved all the way to the tip of her tail….

I know all of her habits, her likes and dislikes. Dry food has to have a lot of water added to it or she wolfs it down so fast, it gets stuck and she’ll throw up. She doesn’t like having her ears cleaned but she’ll let you. She loves to have the top of her neck scratched and she’ll beg you. She can be flipped on her back now to scratch her tummy, something she’d have no part of when she was a puppy…... She loves her nylabone and her twisted rope but destroys other toys within five minutes….. She likes to run and play and she loves her treats. She'd like to have been a lap dog. A sixty-five pound lap dog.

And today, I gave her back.

I’ve had a hundred people ask me, how can you give her up….? Only physically. I will never give her up in my heart.

Isn’t it hard, they ask, to give her back after you’ve had her for a year? Not as hard as it is for those living the rest of their life with a severe disability.

My heart is shattered but I don’t know if it’s because I miss her so much or if it’s because it’s bursting with pride at what a great dog she is and what a blessing she will be to her owner after her advanced training.”

Thanks, as always, for your time in looking. And in reading my sometimes long posts.
And thank you for forwarding these stories and paintings to your friends and families,
See you tomorrow with another PAWS service dog,
Until then,
Kim

PS I reworked Quito’s painting, and am much happier with it. You can view the finished version on his blog entry from yesterday – http://www.paintingadogaday.blogspot.com/ . I also updated my blog – www.ksantini.blogspot.com – with images from my painting class. There are 4 paintings available for purchase on that site that you will not find elsewhere. Thanks again!!

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

ARTIST'S NOTE NOVEMBER 6th: I reworked Quito's portrait - scroll down to see the changes!



“Quito,” black lab PAWS puppy, 6x8, acrylic on canvasboard. Quito is another Paws With a Cause puppy-in-training. This painting is the result of a gift certificate given to Quito’s foster parents (yes, I offer gift certificates!).

I had thought Quito’s painting was done prior to my leaving for class tonite. However, when I returned home and saw it with fresh eyes, I recognized some needed changes. But, I still had an obligation to share a daily painting with you (and not enough time to make those changes and get the piece posted!). So take a peek at tonite’s attachment, and see if you might be able to anticipate what I will be repainting.

I wish that everything I painted was perfect the first time around, but I make a heck of a lot of mistakes. That’s how I learn. There are many paintings that never see the light of day, and that’s important for those of you who are artists to understand – it’s ok to throw pieces out. I do it all the time.

And while I see some areas of this painting that work really well, I see other problems that are seriously detracting enough to warrant a bit of retouching. One of the hardest things for me to learn was to not overlook errors because another part of the surface was nice.

Tomorrow, the entire surface of Quito’s painting will read more closely to my inner vision of what it should be. I’ll post the revision on my blog.

Meanwhile, I need to thank new collector Andrea Dube for her purchase of Aussie’s painting (from yesterday).
And thanks also go out to a second new collector Joanie Howard for her purchase of “Fraidy’s Circle,” the latest installation in the Dog Tag series.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
I will be back tomorrow!
Kim


QUITO, PART II



When I returned to this painting last night, there was not enough supporting information for the focal point, which should have been Quito's eyes. I also saw some drawing problems. So this morning I sat down and did a couple of things.


I glazed overtop 2/3 of the surface, leaving just his nose and eyes visible. I then moved the nose up, shortening his muzzle, and emphasized the fall of light from the left side of the canvas. I put more color into his eyes, so that the viewer's eyes didn't restlessly roam the painting like they could last night. And I left the sense of those huge floppy ears that needed growing into, but I wiped out much of the detail in them, alluding to their drape with brushwork alone.


I'm much happier with this painting now!

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Monday, November 05, 2007


“Aussie,” 6x8, lab Paws With a Cause puppy portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $180. $36 from the sale of this painting will be returned to PAWS. Additionally, any commissioned dog-a-day portraits of PAWS dogs will result in a 20% donation back to the parent organization. Inquiries can always come to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .
SOLD.

Aussie is currently being fostered by a volunteer with Paws With a Cause. Paws With a Cause is an organization that serves people with disabilities through service dogs. You can learn much more about their mission, programming, and how to get involved, by visiting their website: http://www.pawswithacause.org/ .

PAWS breeds their own dogs, primarily because of the investment in each one for a specific job. There is no leeway for health issues that could be prevalent in a shelter or rescue dog. Particularly since each service dog is headed for a lifetime of responsibility.

Puppies are sent to foster homes, where they are socialized, complete obedience training, and receive an excellent introduction to the joys of human companionship and appreciation for a job well done.

Aussie is only 4-1/2 months old, just beginning her journey. She is a little princess, a flirt, with confidence, and a strong sense of fun and adventure. This is what her foster mom had to say “…..My hope for her is that she will change the life and provide independence for someone who is deaf, handicapped or has seizures. She already melts the hearts of those who meet her...”

Can you imagine what she will be able to do when her training is complete?

I’ve been told that giving up a foster puppy is terribly difficult, but on the same hand, also insanely rewarding. There is the knowledge that this dog will make a significant, often immeasurable difference in another person’s life. I know I am not selfless enough to be able to do it. It takes a truly generous person to commit to raising the pups properly, and then to hand them over for the next stage of their lives.

So kudos to all the service dog foster families out there who are strong enough to say goodbye. And even stronger so as to be able to say hello to another puppy, and start the cycle all over again.

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings and their stories with your family and friends,
See you tomorrow with another PAWS dog!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Friday, November 02, 2007


“Sandy and Shelby,” 8x16, commissioned portrait of two Italian grayhounds, private collection (thank you!).

I’ve broken a couple of my rules with this painting.

The obvious being including two faces on one canvas.
And a second one – working from a reference photo that is purely black and white.

Now the client has provided me with supplemental photos of each of the dogs, so I have a sense of their natural coloring. But I’m working on laying in the colors using supposed knowledge in my head – how a silvery coat turns to blue and lavender in the light, and the various hues apparent in a fawn dog with black points. It’s been a good experience, but one that’s taken me a couple of days. And one, I fear, that has led into a rather exuberant exaggeration of color. But it’s been fun, nevertheless.

This painting is subject to additional changes, based on the clients’ feedback. So I’ll most likely be continuing to pick away at it in the background next week. It promises to be a continued excellent exercise in decision making, though.

A warm thank you, also, to Ellen Gray for her purchase of yesterday’s lighthearted painting of the dragonfly hunt.

And thanks to all of my readers, as always, for your time.
I appreciate you forwarding and sharing my paintings – it’s always a treat to hear from a friend of a friend!!
Enjoy your weekends, and we’ll see you come Monday (it’ll be Paws with a Cause week – stay tuned!!) –
Kim


Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

Thursday, November 01, 2007



“Fraidy’s Circle,” 5x7, still life of dog tags, acrylic on canvasboard, $135 to the first buyer. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

When I opened the envelope containing these tags, one shiny and blue, the others all bright and silver, I saw the composition immediately. I simply had to arrange them like a flower, with the blue tag at the center, and the others posing as petals.

Of course, after I learned that Fraidy is a cat, and the other tags came from her harem of dogs, then the arrangement seemed even more fitting.

I want to try this again, with different lighting, on some other backdrops/cloths, and from different angles. With each piece I do, I see so many new possibilities.

I need more time!!
J

Thanks for looking!
Kim

Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web

“Where’d it go? (Dragonfly Hunting),” 8” square Vizsla portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $180 to the first buyer. $36 from the sale of this portrait will be donated to the Vizsla Welfare Foundation. Inquiries to ksantini@turtledovedesigns.com .

SOLD.

I have a client who is a Vizsla breeder (http://www.redrivervizslas.com/), and she regularly sends me the most delightful photos of her dogs. I’ve painted them many times, always with a smile on my face. Today’s painting is no different.

While I think the coloring might be a tad too pink (for the breed) in this painting, I do love the ripples in the water, and the looser brushwork. I can hear the sudden hush, as the dog stops her leaping and splashing, and realizes she’s lost her prey. Where’d it go?!

Thanks, as always, for looking.
And for sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
See you tomorrow!
Kim


Kimberly Kelly Santini
http://www.turtledovedesigns.com/
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings

http://www.paintingadogaday.com/
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
http://www.canineartguild.com/
the gateway to canine art on the web
Share/Save/Bookmark

Similar Dog-a-Day Paintings

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

All the Dog-a-Days Ever......