Sunday, June 23, 2024
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A Very Special Daily Painting: “Forty Five Lives” by Kimberly Kelly Santini

painting of five black cats
” “Forty Five Lives,” 9″ x 12″, portrait of five black kitties, done in acrylics on museum quality panel by Kimberly Kelly Santini

“When I saw the inspiration photo for this painting on Bernadette Kazmarski’s blog in early December, I couldn’t resist asking if she’d let me paint it. Even though she is a artist herself and probably wanting to paint it herself. So I held my breath and crossed my fingers and toes and hoped hoped hoped she would just say yes.

“Which she did, and it was so fast that I hadn’t even yet turned blue. I am so grateful to her for sharing the photo—and looking forward to seeing her interpretation as well!”

I love this painting! Not only the way the purples and blues and greens and pinks are worked into their black fur, but the background color as well, warm and loving. I see my Five in this for sure—Mimi in front, with Giuseppe, behind them Mewsette is giving herself quite the bath, Mr. Sunshine is being a good boy and Jelly Bean takes up the rear.

The title “Forty Five Lives” is for five cats times nine lives! I love the thought of it.

I’ve had requests from artists to paint or draw or work with my images, both felines and nature, landscape and other, and I don’t often let an image go. This is usually because, well, an inspiring image inspires me as well as others to create with it, and I reserve my right as the image author to keep whatever images I might one day want to work with in my little virtual pile of inspiration.

But I study Kim’s paintings every day for color and brush work and all the parts of visual inspiration. I’ve admired her work since I found her probably three years ago while browsing for other animal artists and finding her site “Painting A Dog A Day”, which she did for over seven years creating a new pet portrait each day, now nearly each day under “Paintings With Soul”. It was actually browsing her site and watching her paintings come to life each day that I was first inspired to return to my daily sketches, along with posting them each day. Later I saw her desktop calendars, and decided that was a great idea too! I have so much to thank her for.

In addition to painting her commissioned portraits and personal paintings in between, Kim also visits Saratoga Springs for the races and paints while she’s there and brings horses home—in photos, of course. She has also adopted shelter dogs and cats along with other pets as her children grew up, and donates a portion of sales to shelters and volunteers as well as other activities on behalf of animals. In the time I have been following she adopted two cats, first daVinci, a tabby with white paws, then Mona Lisa, a little tabby girl, and I began to see paintings of them as well.

Wouldn’t I love to see what she would do with one of my photos, especially one of all Five? What she said was very moving.

“I know that you create from your photos – and I want to respect that you might have plans to do so with anything you post and share. Many times I have caught my breath over pics you have shared – I think our eyes are inspired by much the same sort of thing. However, the picture this morning, it is unreal.

“Is there any chance you would grant me permission to paint from it? Please take some time to think about it – I don’t want to pull any rugs out from under you. This photo reminds me so much of my little soul kitty Miah who graced me with 17 years, and I see her in 5 incarnations, enjoying the sunshine, and I feel the pull at my heartstrings.”

No, I didn’t hesitate when I saw her request!

You can also see progress photos of this painting in the photos on her Facebook page.

Purchase this painting

“Forty Five Lives”, 9″ x 12″, portrait of five black kitties, done in acrylics on museum quality panel, is available to the first collector asking nicely, $540 including s&h inside the US. Inquiries may go to Kim.

All proceeds from the sale go to Kim and her philanthropic efforts on behalf of shelter animals. I’m posting because I want to share this wonderful collaboration and the resulting painting, and thank Kim for all the inspiration and instruction I’ve drawn from her, even when she had no idea!

Please visit these links to see more of Kim’s artwork. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!

. . . . . . .

And here is the reference photo:

Click here or on the photo to read about it.

five black cats in the sun
Enough sun to share with everyone.

Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Cat Art and Prints” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in Two Years of Daily Sketches.

And download your free desktop wallpaper calendar for computer or mobile, usually based on a daily sketch.

desktop calendar of black cat
“Sunbath” desktop calendar for wide and HD monitors.

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.


All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

© 2013 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski



From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

7 thoughts on “A Very Special Daily Painting: “Forty Five Lives” by Kimberly Kelly Santini

  • Pingback: The Creative Cat - Daily Photo Reprise: Littered With Cats

  • da tabbies o trout towne

    this bee a WAY awesum painting Kimberly did for ewe mom B !! frank lee de food serviss gurl iz gel uz oh both of
    ewe…her canna paint… even by…numbers !! …hay, hope everee one enjoys de week oh end !

    • Thanks, Tabbies! Can you believe our human spent time this weekend drawing a bunch of tangerines instead of us?

  • maru clavier

    Beautiful work… absolute!
    The light in their fur with such nice shades is gorgeous.
    I’m also going to her site to have a look.

  • Nancy Blue Moon

    What a wonderful job she did Bernadette..The colors are just amazing..I must go have a look at her art..thanks for sharing this!


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