Take Home A Bunch

August 16, 2014

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Now for gardening! Soft lavender Gladiolas nestle behind the cheery Sunflowers. The basic shades of yellow are blocked in first, followed by the leaves. Then I begin painting the cellophane wrapped around the individual bouquets. To see this larger click on the image.

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Asiatic Lilies are favorites of mine. The shadows of the flowers are blocked in with various shades of blues, lavenders and aquas. Pure White is reserved for the petals illuminated by the sun.

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The old bicycle is one we photographed years ago. When Jack saw it he said, “That bike is Flower Powered!” :) I especially like the wicker baskets.

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Nasturtiums are a nice compliment to the Blue door behind them. By placing the complimentary colors next to each other the Orange flowers appear even more brilliant.

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Buddleia or Butterfly Bush fills out the lower right corner. Our Flower Shop is done, wouldn’t you love to stop in and Take Home A Bunch? I really appreciate all of you reading my blog. Remember, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Sign Work

August 15, 2014

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The flowers draping down over the building are made of various mixes of Permanent Rose, Cadmium Red Light and White. After the mass of color for the blossoms is applied I come back and paint the foliage.

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Now let’s get to work on the sign. The background is blocked in first, then the letters are drawn into the wet paint. My wrist is braced against a mahl stick, steadying my hand so I can delineate the calligraphy accurately. What is a Mahl Stick? CLICK HERE to find out.

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The entire surface of the terra cotta tile floor is covered. I establish the light and shadow pattern first, then draw the perspective lines into the wet paint. This is done freehand; resting my hand on a mahl stick would limit my movement. It would be difficult to make a straight line. You can click on the image to see this or any of the other pictures enlarged.

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The horizontal lines separating the individual tiles are drawn. The final step on the floor is the add the highlights on the edges of the pavers where the sunlight hits them.

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All of the containers are now painted. I especially like the one on the wall by the door. Now the construction is all done and we have our containers we’ll start planting flowers. Hope you’ll come back tomorrow and help. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Sassy Stripes

August 14, 2014

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The walls are painted with mixtures made of various proportions of Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White. I add MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) into the mix for the shadows. Jack developed the Double Primary Color Mixing System we use. CLICK HERE to learn more about it. Please note how the door wall is made bluer in the back near the corner. This makes it recede. Remember Cool Colors Go Back, Warm Colors Come Forward.

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The door, window and shutters are painted with a combination of Ultramarine Blue + Ivory Black + White.

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Isn’t this striped awning Sassy? When I first saw it I knew it would end up in a painting one day. It’s perfect for our little Flower Shop.

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Okay, the building is constructed. Tomorrow we’ll be laying the floor. Grab your gloves and come give me a hand. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Don’t You Love Flower Shops?

August 13, 2014


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I most certainly do. As Jack can attest, I’ve never passed one up. Since the theme of my Collector Event this year is A Few of My Favorite Things a flower shop seems quite appropriate. It definitely fits the bill. I excitedly sketch my idea, not even bothering to take time to ink it in.

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The perspective lines of the building are established first. Then I begin construction on the window, awning and door.

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The bicycle tires are a challenge. I can see the back one is not quite round, I’ll make that correction later.

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Sketched up and ready to begin painting. We’ll start in our next session. AND….. so many of you have asked. Jack is doing much better. The doctor put him on blood thinners. Our biggest hurdle now is getting his clotting factors regulated. I want to thank each and every one of you for your good thoughts and prayers. We are so thankful to have you on our team. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Morning Magic

August 11, 2014

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Cactus are found everywhere in the Texas Hill Country. Most of the pads can be made with a single brushstroke. Twisting the square Bright brush as I apply the paint makes the oval shape. To learn more about the brushes I use CLICK HERE.

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A fine liner brush is used to delineate the spines backlit by the sun just peeking over the horizon.

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The mixtures for the blood bay mare are shown above. #1. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange. #2. A darker mix of MUD + Cadmium Orange. #3. MUD + Cadmium Red Light. #4. Mix #3 with more MUD. #5. MUD + Alizarin Crimson + White. #6. Mixture #5 with more White.

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I begin blocking in the body of the mare. The sun glints off her withers and hip, making them warmer.

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The warm bay mare pops against the backdrop of Bluebonnets. The white of her blaze separates her from the surrounding landscape and foal.

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Now I turn my attention to the newborn foal, struggling to stand for the first time. Mama nuzzles him, giving encouragement.

SH6414 Morning Magic 24x30Morning Magic   24″ x 30″   Original Oil Painting

Our baby is complete. White caps are added to the Bluebonnets and Morning Magic is done. We’ll ship this off to Santa Fe for my annual Collector Event. Thanks for following along. Have a wonderful day and hope to see you again soon. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Texas Bluebonnets

August 10, 2014

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Texas Bluebonnets today! Here are my mixes. #1 and #2: Two shades of Ultramarine Blue + Cobalt Blue + White. #3 and #4: Light and dark mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Dioxazine Purple + White. #5: Cobalt Blue + White. #6: Mixture #5 + more White.

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Mixes #3 and #4 are used for the part of the field nearest the barn. The Bluebonnets in the middle distance are painted with mixes #1 and #2.

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The closest Bluebonnets are made of the pure Cobalt mixtures. After the mass of blue is painted I begin adding the foliage of the flowers and the grass around the foal. A few brush stokes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange + White are added in the grass to indicate the blades illuminated by the rising sun.

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Now for our little stream. The limestone rocks are made of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) is added into the mixtures for the darker shadows.

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After the entire surface of the water is covered I pull the reflections of the rocks straight down into the wet paint.

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A little foam collects where the waterfall spills into the calm surface of the pond. Can’t you just hear that pleasant babble? Should finish up in our next session. Hope to see you then. Oh please remember, you can see any of the pictures larger by clicking on the image. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Early Morning Sky

August 9, 2014

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The blue of the sky is blocked in first with a mix of Pthalo Blue + a touch of Cadmium Orange + White. Then the soft clouds are made of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. Nearest where the sun will be breaking through a bit of Cadmium Red Light is added to the cloud mix. Directly to the right of the windmill I make a few brushstrokes of the previous mix + a little Cadmium Orange. The oval shape of the top of the windmill is drawn into the wet sky with some of the oil wash I used yesterday. You can click on the image to see it larger.

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The distant hills are painted, those farthest away are made bluer so they recede. I’ve let the sun break through the clouds with strokes of White + a little Cadmium Yellow Medium. The sunlight reflects off the clouds, this is why I painted them warmer close to where the sun is rising.

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Jack and I love old barns, this is one of our favorites. I’ve used this one many times as a model; somehow it always seems to come out different :) Warm light also bounces off the huge Live Oak tree behind the structure.

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Now I come back and delineate the spaces between the windmill blades with some of the leftover cloud mix.

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The farthest edge of the field of bluebonnets is blocked in with a mix of Ultramarine Blue + Dioxazine Purple + White. Thank you for visiting our studio today. Hope to see you again soon. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Painting More Ponies!

August 8, 2014

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This painting is going to be pure Texas! Barn, windmill and bluebonnets with a mare nuzzling her newborn foal. That pretty well sums up our Hill Country spring. I jot down my idea in a quick thumbnail sketch.

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Here is a simple method to determine the placement of the focal point in your painting. Since the mare and foal, my main focus, are going to be on the right side of the canvas I make a diagonal from the upper left corner to the lower right one. Then a line is made from the upper right corner down to intersect with the first one. The angle where the two lines come together should be 90 degrees. This point is called the “Golden Mean”. The old Masters used this technique to determine the perfect focal point in their paintings.

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The horses are sketched up on the canvas with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

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Now I begin drawing in the supporting landscape, barn and windmill. I really like the openness behind the mare, I’m going to leave out the trees I had in my original thumbnail sketch.

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A babbling brook will provide a delightful melody to soothe the new baby. We’ll start applying paint in our next session. Hope you’ll come watch. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Fresh Zinnias

August 6, 2014


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It’s so nice to be home and have Jack out of the hospital. He’s almost back to his regular way of Texas talking but still has to be careful eating and swallowing. To celebrate we picked up a couple of bunches of fresh Zinnias at our local farmer’s market. Frank, the vendor, said these are Dalhia Mix Zinnias. I’m going to save the seeds and see if I can get them to grow next spring! They’ll be so beautiful in our garden.

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I’m so glad to be on a somewhat regular schedule and at the easel again. Let’s see, where were we? Oh yes, planting Geraniums, some of my favorites. The mass of various shades of red is blocked in first, then the leaves are painted around the blossoms. Lots of Cadmium Red Light highlights are added to the ones in the foreground, this makes them JUMP forward from the distant containers of Geraniums.

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The same sequence, Flowers First – Leaves Last, is followed on the Hollyhocks. The blossoms are painted with mixes of Cadmium Orange and Permanent Rose.

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Using some of the wall color that I’d saved (fortunately) I come back in and paint between the tall stalks. And now for the surprise! I love Roosters so decided to add one with a little hen in front of the Hollies. Please remember, if you would like to see any of the images larger just click on the picture.

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Can’t you just hear the soft clucking as our happy chickens hunt and peck for goodies?

SG6314 A Lazy Day in Santa Fe  38x48Lazy Day in Santa Fe    38 inches by 48 inches   Original Oil Painting

Sunflowers and White Petunias complete Lazy Day in Santa Fe. Thanks for following along. God has really blessed us with so many friends. You have no idea how wonderful it was to receive all of your kind comments filled with hope and concern. We could feel your love and I’m convinced that was a big factor in Jack’s quick recovery. Here is a huge heartfelt MUCH OBLIGED from the both of us.

Mikki and Jack signature JPEG


July 31, 2014

Wow! God has so blessed us. I want to thank each and every one of you for your positive thoughts and prayers. You don’t have a clue how comforting it was to hear your kind words. I read your messages to Jack as we waited in the CTU (Critical Transfer Unit) or Jail as Jack called it. Finally got a room late Tuesday afternoon. By Wednesday morning Jack showed amazing improvement. Our wonderful doctor looked at him that afternoon and told us. “You have a choice, you can stay here a few more days and be bored to tears or you can go home to write on your Lincoln book. If you go home you’ll have to come back to the clinic so we can check your clotting factors. Which do you want to do?”


So we’re home. Had a fabulous night’s sleep last night. Jack is about 90% back on his ability to speak and is eating on his own like a horse. He had to be spoon fed after the stroke and had a difficult time swallowing. He can even drink water out of a glass now where as he was having to use a straw before.

As we say here in Texas, MUCH OBLIGED!

Big Hugs,

Mikki and Jack signature JPEG


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