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, October 28, 2010

October Artist Q&A Day

Continuing in the tradition established by Karin Jurick, one of my favorite daily painters and the one I first saw executing this idea, we'll have an Artist Q&A day tomorrow, Friday the 29th of October (we do this each month, on the last Friday).


For those of you new to this idea - an Artist Q&A Day is a day designated to answer all your questions.


Art and studio related questions can be posted via comments right here. I'll work my way through them during the course of the day, doing my best to answer everything to the best of my abilities.


I will only respond to questions posted as comments to this particular post on my blog - this will allow for the community of readers to share in the conversation and eliminate any repetition. Because my blog is moderated (darn those spammers!), your comments will not show up immediately, but if you choose to subscribe to the comments feed, you will be notified when there is activity.


I don't know if I need to define an end time to the day - we'll play it by ear to start out with and see what the volume is like.


I'm looking forward to the dialogue this will spur!


Talk tomorrow.


Thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork and musings with your friends and family.
Kim


TWITTER: ksantini
SHOP ORIGINALS & LIMITED EDITION GICLEES: at my Etsy shop
ORDER CUSTOMIZED NOTECARDS & REPRODUCTIONS: atImagekind
COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE: contact me
READING MATERIAL: Preview and order each of the Dog a Day books at the publisher's website: The First Year (2006-2007) andThat's 14 in Dog Years (2008). If you would like your copy personalized, order them through me.

A Natural Blonde


"A Natural Blonde," 8" square, commissioned mixed breed (terrier of some sort I'm guessing) dog portrait, done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, private collection.

And if you recognize this cutie, please don't breathe a word of it. She's a Christmas gift, supposedly a surprise Christmas gift. I've been promised that the recipient doesn't know about this newsletter/blog - and they don't necessarily need to until after the holidays!

I had a cancellation this morning, opening up two portrait spots prior to the holidays. If you would like them, please let me know!

Meanwhile, my show at the Orion Township Public Library comes down at the end of the month. If you haven't gotten over to see the art, by all means high tail it over there!! Quickly!!

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim
DON'T FORGET: Artist Q&A Day Tomorrow!! Ask any arts related questions on the blog using the comments field, and I'll answer them in the order received.


Gift Certificates Available

Not sure you can get your hands on suitable reference photos without ruining the surprise?

Caught needing a gift with very little lead time?

That's OK - I can build a beautiful full color gift certificate that is perfect for gift giving, using a favorite painting or breed image as the backdrop.

Shoot me a note and we'll get the process started!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Third Book


I've been busy working on my new book. The working title is "Come Sit Stay, Good Dog.... Art," which was my slogan when the Painting a Dog a Day's first began.

Did you purchase or commission a painting in 2009? If so, chances are your Dog a Day painting will be included in "Come Sit Stay." This book is designed to be the follow up to "That's 14 in Dog Years" and "The First Year," as "Come Sit Stay" represents the third year of Painting a Dog a Day.

The hardest part of putting these books together (other than catching all my typos!!) is keeping the page count reasonable. My goal is approximately 120 pages. If there are many more, the cost goes up dramatically. However, it is nearly impossible for me to choose which paintings to include and weigh them against an appropriate quantity of text.

And I do hear you - some would prefer that I just reproduce the artwork, but there's another faction that would argue the essay provides added value and a perspective that the blog simply does not have.

Right now I've narrowed it down to around 220 paintings/images from 2009. This does not include additional content like "How Tos" or before and after shots of the studio remodel or anything about the creative journalling workshops and other sorts of tangental topics.

Clearly I have my work cut out for me!

The book will be ready for holiday gift-giving - however this year, in order to drastically reduce my personal workload, Blurb (the company that prints the books) will be processing all direct orders.

To accommodate those of you who might prefer a personalized copy of the book, I'll auction off a some copies complete with personalizations and sketches on the title page - with proceeds above and beyond my costs going to my local shelter. I am hoping to be able to schedule these in time for holiday gift giving. Stay tuned for more details.

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim

PSST - I'm still accepting holiday commissions. Email meto get on my calendar!

DON'T FORGET: Artist Q&A Day This Friday

Painting a Dog a Day Books - The First Year and That's 14 in Dog Years


The first two years of the Painting a Dog a Day project have been published in book format.

"The First Year" talks about how the project came to be and the evolution of the blog and my vision.

"That's 14 in Dog Years"highlights some of the details of the project's growth as it matured during the second year.

I have a few remaining copies of "That's 14 in Dog Years" that I can personalize and send your way. Email meif you are interested.

Additional copies of each title are available directly through the publisher. They also maintain a link that allows viewers to preview the books prior to purchasing (click on the titles above to view and order).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sam and Bella


"Sam and Bella," 11" x 14", commissioned double Maltese portrait done in Golden Open Acrylics on a 2" cradeled Ampersand Gessobord (see below), private collection (THANK YOU!). Inquiries may always come to me.
I love working on these cradeled panels - I carry the painting around the sides, and there is absolutely no need to frame the piece. Let me know if you are interested in having your portrait done like this - it makes for a gorgeous presentation!

This painting has been "in the works" for a few weeks now - there's no way I could have pulled off something this size and complexity in one day!

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim

PSST - I'm still accepting holiday commissions. Email meto get on my calendar!

Artist Q&A Day This Friday

On Friday, October 29th I'll open up the Painting a Dog a Day blog and take all your arts related questions.

There will be a thread started first thing Friday morning. You can submit your questions using the comment option on the blog. As I publish each comment, I'll also answer each question.

This is a great way to start conversations up regarding materials or processes or even just choosing muses.

I look forward to sharing ideas with you this coming Friday!

Shhh...It's a Secret

In keeping with the whole holiday gift-giving bit, there may be some days where I am unable to post or share my painting.

After all, I don't want to ruin any surprises! But don't worry - I'll post them after the holidays when all gifts have been given.

Meanwhile, let's just say that the other painting I finished today was killer.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Belly Up

"Belly Up," 6" square, commissioned cat portrait done in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, headed to her new home shortly. Inquiries may always come to me.

The story behind this painting is a wonderful one.

Cherie was in a life altering car accident, one that will involve months of healing. Her best friend (my client) thought the process would be a little more pleasant if Cherie could spend some time with her kitty Milla. But pets are not allowed in the hospital or the convalescent/therapy center.

Hence this painting, which will bring a small piece of Milla into places previously inaccessible.

I'm hoping "Belly Up" makes a positive difference in what will be a long recovery.

If you would like to cheer Cherie onwards, please drop me an email and I'll share an address to send cards and notes.

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim

PSST - I'm still accepting holiday commissions. Email meto get on my calendar!

ANOTHER PSST - Lots of you are asking how the dog and cat are getting along. Finnigan thinks Mona Lisa will go away if he doesn't look at her but he can't help himself. And Mona has gathered up the courage to ambush Finni on a couple occasions. We think they will become great friends eventually.

Artist Q&A Day This Friday
On Friday, October 29th I'll open up the Painting a Dog a Day blog and take all your arts related questions.
There will be a thread started first thing Friday morning. You can submit your questions using the comment option on the blog. As I publish each comment, I'll also answer each question.
This is a great way to start conversations up regarding materials or processes or even just choosing muses.
I look forward to sharing ideas with you this coming Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three Wide

"Three Wide," 8" x 16", the newest Thoroughbred racehorse painting from the "Saratoga Series," done in Golden Open Acrylics on panel, $649 to the first one saying "pretty please." Inquiries may always come to me.

This painting is nearly finished, after today's approximately 8 hours of alla prima (meaning wet paint into wet paint) work.

There's nothing like a looming deadline to get my butt away from the computer and in front of the easel. There's a deadline of tomorrow to submit a painting with the theme of "History" for publication consideration. I've known about said deadline for a year. But inspiration grows strongest in the final hours......

Not sure why I chose as complex a design as this to complete in one day (anyone else voting for insanity?)....

Regardless, I thoroughly got into it - and stuck to it, despite a good 3 hours of being mired deep in "The Uglies." ("The Uglies" is the developmental stage paintings go through where nothing melds and every brush mark seems wrong - sort of like a painting's version of teen angst. The artist must persevere, hold tight to their vision, and power through.)

Tomorrow I'll spend a little time making a few final adjustments (fresh eyes will help tremendously) before sending my submission off. Then I'll light a candle, cross my fingers, and hold my breath.

And start a new painting.

Meanwhile, who do you think won the race?

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim

PSST - I'm still accepting holiday commissions. Email meto get on my calendar!

"Rusty" Muttitage Red Wine by Mutt Lynch

Need an excuse to stock up on some excellent wine?

Through Howl-oween (October 31st), Mutt Lynch is offering free UPS Ground shipping on all purchases. Enter "FREE SHIPPING" during checkout to qualify.

This comes just in time to grab a couple bottles for those winter family get togethers. And make sure you grab a few for yourself - "Rusty" pairs just as well with a good book and bunny slippers.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brutus


"Brutus," 8" square, commissioned Boxer portrait, done in Golden Open Acrylics on a canvas panel. If you recognize this guy, please keep quiet - Brutus's portrait will be a Christmas gift from his family. We don't want to ruin the surprise!

While I painted Brutus, I had an extra kitten appendage. I kid you not.

Mona's gotten rather spoiled, and thinks it is her right to be cradeled in a warm lap or perched on shoulders at her every waking moment.

I'm not complaining - I'm all for a demanding muse that will keep me on my toes. And love that she's a lap magnet when I'm on my butt.

But I'm so not a fan of the literal clawing up my legs if I don't pick her up immediately.

And the batting from said shoulder perch at the paintbrush in my hand - not such a great thing either.

Nor the freefall from said shoulder to taboret, resulting in spillage and a flurry of brushes and palette knives.

Finnigan just lies under the easel and ignores her. I'm guessing he thinks if he stops looking at her, she'll disappear. I'm afraid if I stop looking at her, she'll find a new mess to get herself tangled in.

So meanwhile, I painted with her cradled in the crook of my left arm, keeping paws away from the brush and my body between her and the taboret.

I wonder what Brutus would do with a kitten on his shoulder? Maybe that's why he looks grumpy - he's got a kitten appendage too.

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim

PSST - I'm still accepting holiday commissions. Email me to get on my calendar!

Keeping Mom & Pop
Shops Alive

Think about which 3 independently owned businesses you'd miss the most if they were gone.

If half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned stores, their purchases would generate $42,629,700,000. That's over $42 billion!

For every $100 spent in an independently owned store, typically $68 of it - over 2/3 !- returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. On average $100 spent at a national chain results in only $43 - less than 1/2 - remaining in the community.


I strive to keep my business (and personal) expenditures local. So when you support Painting a Dog a Day, you are also supporting Lake Orion, Michigan, a proud small town community packed with independently owned businesses. And you are helping this Mom keep her independence and support her family.


Mona Lisa says "Thank you."

Pick 3. Spend $50. Save your Mom & Pop Shops.

Look - I've even started your list:
1. Painting a Dog a Day
2.
3.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Right Place at the Right Time

"Blinkered," 6" square, from the Saratoga Series, part of the Painting a Dog a Day project, acrylics on panel, available for purchase through Cazenovia College.

In 2009 I was fortunate enough to attend the opening week of Saratoga Race Track's season. I was joined by painter Linda Shantz and photographer Juliet Harrison, both skilled and knowledgeable horsewomen. I took full advantage of the opportunity to soak up as much information as possible (even mucking stalls at Linda's farm!).

After that trip, I began a series of paintings inspired by Saratoga. At this point I had no clear direction for the works other than to explore the energy and essence of life on the track. I shared the paintings via Painting a Dog a Day and enjoyed them here in the studio.

But now, for the first time, selected pieces from this series will be on display for the public. Six paintings will be included in an invitational show of equine artwork at Cazenovia College in upstate New York. Held in conjunction with the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament, this presents a great opportunity for equine afficianados to view equine athletes in the flesh and the tremendous art they've inspired.

The opportunity to participate came as a total surprise - private recommendations of my work made it to the curator's ears. A subsequent visit to my website was intriguing enough for her to extend an invitation.

(So the moral of the story is to please keep talking up the things you love and enjoy in your life - and thank you 100 times over for your support, too!)

The show will open on November 3rd and remain in the Reisman Hall Art Gallery on the Cazenovia Campus in Cazenovia, New York through December 9th.

You are cordially invited to stop by and view this elite collection of equine art - please email the gallery for further details.

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim


PSST - I'm still accepting holiday commissions. Email me to get on my calendar!

Keeping Mom & Pop
Shops Alive
Think about which 3 independently owned businesses you'd miss the most if they were gone.

If half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned stores, their purchases would generate $42,629,700,000. That's over $42 billion!

For every $100 spent in an independently owned store, typically $68 of it - over 2/3 !- returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. On average $100 spent at a national chain results in only $43 - less than 1/2 - remaining in the community.


I strive to keep my business (and personal) expenditures local. So when you support Painting a Dog a Day, you are also supporting Lake Orion, Michigan, a proud small town community packed with independently owned businesses. And you are helping this Mom keep her independence and support her family.


Mona Lisa says "Thank you."

Pick 3. Spend $50. Save your Mom & Pop Shops.

Look - I've even started your list:
1. Painting a Dog a Day
2.
3.

Monday, October 18, 2010

De-Lish

"De-Lish," 8" x 10", pet portrait of a mixed breed (black lab mix) completed in Golden Open Acrylics on Raymar panel, available for $469.

Inquiries regarding "De-Lish" (which might already be sold - I'm awaiting confirmation but will be happy to start a wait list for any interested parties), or questions about how to commission a portrait of your best friend, may always and forever come to me.

Please continue reading below for some very exciting news! I'm on cloud nine, and it's not from early ingestion of Halloween candy.

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim

Cazenovia College

I received confirmation today that select pieces from my Saratoga Series of paintings (including "The Tote Board" pictured above) will be included in this November's exhibition at Cazenovia College in upstate New York.

This is an exhibition that will contain work from a number of my equine artist heroines, most notably painter Kathy Peters and photographer Juliet Harrison.

I'd like to thank the powers that be at Cazenovia for including my work, and invite you to attend the opening and share in the beauty of all the equine art. Details to follow.

Pinky promise.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Creek

"The Creek (Winnie, Joey and Katie)," 5-1/2" x 10", depicting three rescued dogs romping in a shallow creek, completed in Golden Open Acrylics on Raymar panel, available for $399.

Inquiries regarding "The Creek" or questions about how to commission a portrait of your best friends pursuing their best past time may come to me.

I've painted this threesome before, individually and in another creek-side piece titled "The Stick." These dogs live quite the life, romping and enjoying each other and their family. It's always a pleasure to bring them back to the easel for another visit.

I invite you to share photos of your dogs enjoying the great outdoors - who knows? they might just show up in one of these newsletters! can you stand it?

Another thought - would you like to order notecards with a particular Dog a Day painting on them? Let me know!

5-1/2 x 8" notecards come in a variety orf finishes, with either with blank interiors or personal messages. They work well packaged as gifts, used as Thank Yous and make excellent Holiday Greetings. Prices start at a little more than $2/card. I'd be happy to help you create the perfect card to celebrate your occasion.

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim

"Whip-tastic"
Thank you to everyone sending in title suggestions for yesterday's painting. I was kept busy fielding well over 3 dozen variations, and there was debate between some excellent suggestions like "Whippet Good" and "It Takes Two."

As thanks for titling the painting, collector Erika Stark will receive a set of notecards depicting the "Whip-tastic" s. Thanks, Erica, for your cheeky suggestion!

We'll have to make titling paintings a regular bit. What do you think?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Whip-tastic

"Untitled (Whippets)," 9" x 12", two Whippet dog portraits, completed in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, available for $589. Inquiries or questions about how to commission a portrait of your best friend (and their favorite toy) may come to me.

Meanwhile, these two need a title - I'm open to suggestions. I was debating "Teamwork" but want something a bit more clever.

I've been working on this painting for a couple of days, and I may still make some minor changes. But I'm going to let these two sit here in the studio for a bit first. And then I'll send them off to an exhibition or two this winter (unless they find a home first - either way is fine by me!).

When I talk about my process, I always mention that I like to set my references aside and study the painting apart from the photos. I wait for it to tell me what other changes it needs. That's what I'll be doing over the coming weeks.

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim


SHOP HOMEMADE
This year I'm going for an entirely homemade Christmas. For those few gifts that I can't make, I'm hitting Etsy.
Etsy is a great community of artisans and the perfect spot to find that one-of-a kind gift for that hard-to-shop for person on your list.
I've found sock monkey knitted caps, computer sleeves, vintage teatowels, crafted scarves and all sorts of other treasures.
I bet you could even find pet portraits and animal paintings there..... hmmm, that gives me an idea.....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Puppy Butt (Doxie)


"Puppy Butt (Doxie)," 6" square, Daschund puppy dog portrait, completed in Golden Open Acrylics on Ampersand Gessobord, available for $299. Inquiries or questions about how to commission a portrait of your best friend may come to me.

SOLD.

It happens to all of artists - some days you just can't slip into your groove. This painting had 3 false starts before I got going with any confidence.

Don't know if it was my teeny 1-1/2" reference photo, the constantly ringing phone, or the silly little guy's pose.

Regardless it's all behind me. And I'm grateful I was persistent. (Don't you like the darker underpainting showing through - the result of wiping down all the prior paintings!)

Thanks for looking at, and sharing, my artwork with your friends and family -
Kim




SHOP HOMEMADE

This year I'm going for an entirely homemade Christmas. For those few gifts that I can't make, I'm hitting Etsy.

Etsy is a great community of artisans and the perfect spot to find that one-of-a kind gift for that hard-to-shop for person on your list.

I've found sock monkey knitted caps, computer sleeves, vintage teatowels, crafted scarves and all sorts of other treasures.

I bet you could even find pet portraits and animal paintings there..... hmmm, that gives me an idea.....
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