This One's Mine ~~ Painting a Dog a Day by Kimberly Kelly Santini

"Victoria I", 12" square, portrait of a vintage Madame Alexander doll, done in Golden Open and Heavy Body acrylics on a Raymar panel, collection of the artist.

Growing up with four brothers, "pink" was a dirty word, and I wasn't terribly girlie. Victoria was loved on quietly, for fear of her being kidnapped and ransomed, or even worse, have a life ending accident like Barbie's encounter with a firecraker.

Against the odds, Victoria survived to be the sole repository of my childhood dreams and secrets. And over the weekend, she visited in the studio, where we reminisced and talked about where the years had gone.

To this day I have a sentimental heart, and adopt all discarded dolls found at flea markets and the such (or maybe it's residual guilt for leaving Barbie alone for 5 minutes). They get warm baths and a cozy spot in our home.

And in the coming months, these dolls will get loved on again, starring in their own series of paintings. I don't get the chance nearly often enough to work directly from life. (The dogs won't sit still long enough!) So this is the perfect excuse to hone my skills!!

Victoria's portrait is staying here, where she'll soon be joined by Camille, The Princess's baby doll.

Meanwhile, you can order notecards or reproductions of Victoria for yourself through my FineArtAmerica storefront.

And if you are interested in having a portrait of your own cherished treasure, shoot me an email. (And I promise to keep your Precious out of my brothers' hands.)

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

Above is a view of the studio with the still life in process. Below, you can see a detail of Victoria's portrait.

This was the backdrop as news of Japan's earthquake filtered in. Deceivingly quiet and peaceful, like that terrifying silence that falls after the earth is done moving.

My heart breaks for everyone who's lives have been impacted. You have my prayers and all the good karma and jujubes that I can round up and send off.

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