Let’s Get to Flooring!

September 25, 2016


I begin the terra cotta tiles by covering the entire floor area. I want to establish the filtered light and shadow pattern created by the Bougainvillea cascading over the pergola above.


Cathy felt the pavers in the original piece were a little too orange, so I made this floor more of a red clay color. Mixes in various proportions of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + more Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Orange + White were used. The next step on the floor is to make the perspective lines of the tiles. This is done freehand, using a mahl stick would limit the movement of my arm preventing me from making straight lines.


The horizontal lines separating the tiles are also drawn without using the mahl stick. A fine liner brush is used to etch the lines into the wet paint.


Now to paint the bottom edge of the gallery wrapped canvas. My easel and palette are on wheels, making it easy to adjust my painting setup for this situation. I’ve take the painting attached to cardboard and placed it on Jack’s chair.


You can see how the top part of the cardboard rests on the glass tabletop, the lower edge leans on the back of the chair. This elevates the bottom of the canvas making it easier to paint.


After the bottom side is painted with the floor color, perspective lines are continued from the front of the canvas to the lower edge. You may click on this, or any of the other images to see them larger.


Floor is complete! Now to plant Lavender in the large container behind the shutter. Mixes of Dioxazine Purple + White are used for the fragrant flowers. The greens made of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White are painted around the purple helping to shape the elongated blossoms.


Stems and leaves finish out the Lavender. We’re done for today. Thank you for following along. And please remember, always feel free to ask questions!


And since we are painting the Amalfi Coast I thought I’d share a picture of Jack and I there in May, 2004. This is the last extended trip we ended up taking, that November Jack was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. It had metastasized to his spine and he was given only months to live. With God at the helm of our lives, excellent doctors, Jack’s positive attitude and lots of our prayers, plus those of tons of friends, we weathered the storm. Jack and I had 12 more wonderful years together. So you can see, the Amalfi Coast holds special memories for us. It’s fun to paint it for Cathy and remember our delightful travels there. HUGS,

Yellow Walls and Crisp White Shutters

September 23, 2016


The walls are painted with mixes in various proportions of Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + a little Cadmium Orange + White. You can see how the painted image extends on to the sides of the gallery wrap canvas. And that having the canvas attached to cardboard will make it easier to handle the wet painting.


Now the wall is painted I come back and finish the Bougainvillea draping down. I love the Hot Pink Bogie juxtaposed against the yellow wall. Please remember, you may enlarge any of the images by clicking on the picture.


The light and shadow pattern is established on the tall shutters first. Then I come back and delineate the louvers, drawing them into the wet paint. You can see how the hook of my mahl stick rests over the top of the cardboard backing. I can then brace my wrist against the stick to steady my hand as I indicate the details.


The azure water in the distance gleams through the openings between the balusters of the terrace railing.


Large terra cotta containers are added to the terrace. We’ll plant all the goodies in them later because we’ll be laying the tile flooring in our next session. Hope you’ll come watch. Hugs,

A Few Miles South

September 21, 2016


We’ll begin painting with the sky since it’s the source of light. A bright sunny day, my color mixtures for both the sky and distant mountains are shown above. #1. Ultramarine Blue + a tiny bit of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #2. White + a little of mix #1. #3. White + Ultramarine Blue. #4. White + Cobalt Blue. #5. White + Pthalo Blue.


The sky is blocked in first. Light pours into the painting from the upper right, therefore the right side of the blue field is made with the lighter mix #5. Moving to the left more of Mix #4 is used. Then the distant coast to the east of Portofino is painted with mixtures #1, #2 and #3.


While the sky is still fresh I start working on the Pink Bougainvilleas. By painting them wet-into-wet I can soften the bracts cascading over the pergola. And it’s much easier to pull the long arms of the Bougainvillea into the sky, it would be difficult to make smooth lines if the underlying paint was dry and bumpy.


Well…..we are going to move the location of our painting a little to the south. 455.8 miles to be exact. When Cathy saw the previous blog and compared the settings of Portofino (6) and Amalfi (5), she decided she would rather have the Amalfi Coast in the background.


That’s not a problem to change at this point. I use my painting knife to scrape off the distant mountains, then paint the sky over the area all the way down to the horizon line.


Now the sketch of Portofino is replaced with the Amalfi Coast! One of the neatest things about this area is all of the lemon trees that are planted in terraces that step down the mountainside. So I just have to add a few of the terraces! You can see this better if you’ll enlarge the image by clicking on the picture.


The coastal village of Amalfi is now blocked in. Terra cotta rooftops are made with single strokes of a medium sized Bright (square) brush. If you’d like to know more about the brushes I like to use CLICK HERE.


The azure water of the Mediterranean is made duller and more muted in the distance so it will recede. The water becomes brighter and more intense as we move closer to the foreground. This follows a simple rule that helps to give the appearance of depth in a painting: Bright, intense colors come forward. Muted colors go back.


The columns supporting the pergola are painted over the distant water. With the background still wet its easy to make the edges of the columns straight and smooth. I’ve also gone ahead and finished the backs of the chairs that are in front of the water for the same reason. We’ve traveled a few miles today; don’t know about you but my feet are tired! Thanks for coming with me. Hugs,


Heading to Italy……

September 19, 2016


One of my collectors saw this piece on my blog and asked me about painting something similar for her. She’d see an oil painting years before with the filtered light on a patio and didn’t purchase it. She’s regretting not buying that piece and so now I’m going to do one especially for her. Cathy’s main focus is the light dancing on the pavers.


Cathy also likes the water and reflections of Portofino in the painting above, so we’re going to put them in the background sans the boats.


Here is my sketch…….


I begin by drawing up the basic architecture of the shutters and columns. A brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin is used. The 30 inch tall by 36 inch wide canvas is mounted on a larger piece of double ply cardboard, making it easier to handle the wet painting. If you like to see how the canvas was mounted to the backing on a similar piece CLICK HERE.


Cathy decided she would like wrought iron chairs instead of the wicker ones in the original. The hearts in the backs of the chairs add a little romance! If you’d like to see this or any of the other images enlarged, just CLICK on the picture.


Drawing Portofino in the background completes our sketch. We’ll begin applying color in the next session. 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!

Colorful Captivation Limited Original

September 18, 2016


I’m back at the easel today working on a Limited Original of Colorful Captivation. This is how the giclee on canvas looks when we receive it from our printer in Florida. It comes rolled in a tube. The overall tone of the unembellished giclee tends to be a little blue. Which is perfect, when I add the bright warm colors they will really be vivid!


I’ve stretched the giclee on a gallery wrap stretcher frame. Then the sides are painted with black acrylic as a self frame. The edge is taped with blue painter’s tape so when I embellish the piece I don’t have to worry about getting paint on the sides of the canvas.


Joy asked that I make the Southwest chair blue! That’s one of the neatest things about embellishing the giclees on canvas, I can make them different from the original painting! This is the reason we call them Limited Originals. Each is part of an edition (LIMITED) but none are embellished exactly the same way (ORIGINAL). I use various mixes of Pthalo Blue + White to make the change from yellow to blue.


Some of the blue is brought down into the floor, giving the impression of the chair reflecting into the wet tiles underneath.


My wrist is braced against the Mahl stick to steady my hand as I enhance the Hummingbirds dancing around the flowers.


All of the flowers in this corner are repainted with lots of texture. Please remember as you read through my blog, you can enlarge any of the pictures by clicking on the image.


The Petunias are embellished with mixes of Magenta + White. Then Alizarin Crimson is used to make the deep centers.


Pure White highlights applied in thick brushstrokes make the Matilija Poppies POP against the Cadmium Red Light gate.


The wispy flowers of the Wisteria are embellished with mixes of Dioxazine Purple + White, Ultramarine Blue + White and Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White.


I’ve pulled the tape off the frame, now you can see how it looks. The framed piece measures 30 inches tall by 36 inches wide.


Our Limited Original of Colorful Captivation is complete. I’ll wait a few days for it to dry completely and then FedEX will come whisk it away to its new home.


Oh My Goodness Gracious, I just looked out the window. I bought some Cat Nip yesterday and am going to put it in a planter by the fountain in the morning. Looks like Molly and Sissie discovered it and have taken a few too many nips. I have TWO DRUNK KITTIES! I swear I can hear Jack’s laughter from Heaven. He could see the planter (in the background to the right of the fountain) that I put the Cat Nip in from his computer. He so enjoyed watching our girls, plus all of the kitties from the “hood”, come partake!


Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


September 15, 2016


Oh my goodness, what a Celebration! September 9th dawned crisp and clear, a special day just for Jack. My heart melted when I saw the beautiful banner our church, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran, had prepared for Jack’s service. You can see how pictures were projected on the wall above the alter. And speaking of pictures…. SILLY, SILLY ME….I totally forgot about having someone take photos at our Celebration Service and the reception at our home afterwards. Fortunately in this day of cell phones almost everyone attending snapped a few shots and were more than happy to share them.


Pastor Chris Kennedy gave a wonderful message. One really neat thing he did was share the history of the Apostle’s Creed. He made the analogy the Apostle’s Creed is to Christians what the Pledge of Allegiance is to Americans. The words….The resurrection of the body and the life everlasting…..assure us we will see our loved ones again in Heaven. What a great comfort.


Grant Teaff, former Head Football Coach at Baylor University, was like a brother to Jack. Grant is an amazing speaker, we were all mesmerized by his heartfelt words.


The two have been best friends since 1972 when Grant asked Jack to design a new, uplifting image for the Bears. Here is Jack’s painting of the PROUD, POSITIVE and DETERMINED Baylor Bear. Today it hangs in the Teaff Suite at the new Baylor Stadium in Waco. When Jack introduced me to Grant and Donell in 1991 they welcomed me with giant hugs. I was instantly made part of their family.

Jack White Celebration VIDEO: Part 1 Tim Eickstead, Director of Operations at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, was so gracious to make a video of our Tribute. Now those of you who couldn’t attend can join in the Tribute to “Our Jack”.

Jack White Celebration VIDEO: Part 2

Jack White Celebration VIDEO: Part 3

Again I’d like to thank Pastor Chris Kennedy, Pastor Doug Bielefeldt who was in charge of the music, Paula and Sarah our singers who sounded like Angels, Tim, Elaine, Grant and everyone who came offering love, hugs and support. Thank you for making this Tribute to Jack a true Celebration.


Al Kolodziej and Grant. Al and his wife, Elaine, are the owners/publishers/editors of the Wilson County News. We met them when we lived at our previous home in Floresville and have become good friends. Elaine also gave a beautiful tribute to Jack. She took these pictures at the church. Somehow she managed to escape having her picture made.


When the Service was over we all headed “Back to the Ranch”! Karl Massey, Sarah Jarvis and Lesli McBride plopped down and got comfortable in the rockers on the deck. Don’t forget, as you read through my blog, you can enlarge any of the pictures by clicking on the image.


“Angel Ann” Wylie is a dear friend who Jack and I met soon after we had gotten together. She’s been a real “Angel” in our lives. Don’t know what I would have done without her these past few months. Leslie, in the picture above, is Ann’s daughter.


Dallas and Christie Jarvis are our granddaughters. Sarah Jarvis is their mom and Karl is Dallas’ boyfriend.


When Les Herrington was a young boy, Jack lived next door to his family. Jack bought Les his first pair of contact lenses, then he let the 14 year old drive his brand new Jaguar! How’s that for a good neighbor? Jennifer Young is an artist we started helping with her career many years ago. We are so proud of how successful she’s been both as an oil painter and a mom! We just wish her husband Dave and daughter Eva could have come.


Grant’s daughter Tammy and her husband, Russ Bookbinder, are on the left. Back by the mirror are our neighbors Panna, Amy and Destiny. Our friend Carolyn is beside Grant, she took most of these pictures at our home. I’m visiting with a couple from Kenedy, TX, Maggie and Truett,  who have a fine art gallery there. Jack has given them advice over the years. Grant laughingly said he is the original Cookie Monster and was trying hard to not reach out and eat them all!


After the reception Dallas and Christie decided to go see “Jack White” Street in downtown San Antonio. Patrick, Christie’s boyfriend, is on the left. The girls’ Uncle Damon, Jack’s son, is on the right. So we had a great day of Celebration for “Our Jack”. Several of our friends stayed for the weekend, everyone headed out Sunday afternoon. I’ll admit…I was just plum’ tuckered out! I think the last few months have finally caught up with me! Fortunately I’ve had wonderful friends, family and Our Lord to help me through this tough time, thanks to every one of you. With GIANT HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


September 7, 2016

Carmel studio

It’s amazing, even though several weeks have passed since God took Jack home to be with him in Heaven I’m still receiving messages of love and support. You all have been so wonderful in helping to keep my spirits lifted. You’ll never know just how much I appreciate your comforting words and virtual hugs.

Artist Promo Shot

This Friday, September 9 at 1 PM we will honor Jack White and Celebrate his incredible life.  A Master Artist, Author, Teacher, Coach, Mentor and Friend to so many. Only God knows how many lives he has touched. Just to remind you, the Celebration of Jack’s Life will be held at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, located at 6914 Wurzbach Road in San Antonio.
JW Happy Jack Road
It makes my heart glad knowing Jack is whole, healthy and happy again now that he is with Our Lord. I hope you can come share in our love for Jack and celebrate his new life in Heaven. But if you can’t attend in person please keep us in your thoughts and prayers at 1PM on Friday. Have your own celebration, honoring this amazing man who has touched us all with his giving spirit. God Bless You,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Quintessential Taos

September 5, 2016

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Hollyhocks are some of my favorite flowers. I probably like to put them in my paintings because they just won’t grow for me here in central Texas! The blossoms and leaves have been blocked in, now I’m coming back and highlighting the crepe papery flowers where the sunlight illuminates them. Various mixtures of Permanent Rose + White are used.

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I let a few blossoms fall to the rough paver walkway.

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Morning Glories tumble out of the window box. The blooms are combinations of Magenta + White and Magenta + Ultramarine Blue + White. Heart shaped leaves are made of different proportions of Viridian Green + White. I love the shadows cast by the foliage, making lots of hearts perfect for a painting celebrating an anniversary!

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Deep centers in the Morning Glories are made of Magenta + Liquin.

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The Geraniums are roughed in with my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last. I work over, on to the side of the gallery wrap canvas. I have to be careful to completely cover the sharp edge, sometimes the paint doesn’t want to stick to it.

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Flower buds are added to the individual Geranium blossoms. Please remember, you can enlarge any of the images by clicking on the picture.

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NOW….here’s another surprise for Marge. When I asked her what flowers she liked best she replied, “Any that have butterflies around them!” So here’s another butterfly for her, one of my favorites…..a “Painted Lady”!

SI2316 Quintessential Taos 14x14Quintessential Taos        14 inches by 14 inches

We don’t want our pretty winged visitor to be lonely, another one floated in to keep her company! Marge’s special Anniversary painting is finished. We’ll let it dry a few days and it will be off to it’s new home! Thank you for visiting our studio, hope you’ll come back soon. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


Tile Design

September 3, 2016

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Trumpet Vine cascades over the rounded adobe wall. The rich blossoms are blocked in with mixes of Alizarin Crimson + White, Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange.

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I let some of the vine show through the opening in the gate, this helps to increase the feeling of depth in the painting.

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Marge likes butterflies so I decided to have a design of one on a tile by the gate. The light and shadow pattern on the creamy white tile is painted first.

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I pulled this picture of a bracelet out of a James Avery jewelry catalog years ago, it’s a great starting point for my design.

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The body and outline of the wings are drawn into the wet tile with a brush dipped in a mix of Magenta + Liquin.

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As you can see my final design is different from the one in the catalog. Thought it would be a fun touch to have a butterfly welcoming guests to our little Taos scene.

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More tile work! The entire surface of the walkway is first covered with the light and shadow pattern. The mixes are various combinations of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + White. A few brushstrokes of Cobalt Blue + White are made under the door to imply the tiles are a bit wet from a sudden afternoon shower. The sun is out again and the gate reflects down into the rain soaked pavers.

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The perspective lines of the irregular terra cotta pavers are pulled into the thick paint of the floor.

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Molly has decided to let me share (well, almost share) the taboret. The painting, mounted on cardboard, is placed with one side on my palette and the other on “Her” taboret. Notice she is making certain I don’t take up too much of “Her” room! So I continue the uneven paver floor onto the bottom edge of the canvas. You can enlarge the picture if you’d like to see it a little better, just click on the image.

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Someone asked when do I sign my paintings? I do it when the area where I’ve decided to put my signature is wet. It’s quite easy to make the lines of the cursive lettering smooth when working into fresh paint behind it. If I waited until the floor was drier it would be difficult to sign over the lumps and bumps of the textured surface. Thank you for following my blog. AND PLEASE, always feel free to ask questions. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


Hot and Spicy!

September 2, 2016

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The double gates are painted with the same Cobalt Blue mixes as the windows. The darker shade is Cobalt Blue + a little bit of White. More White is added into the mix for the sunlit portion. I wasn’t completely sure of the door knocker in the original photo Marge took so I’ve made up my own! It ‘s drawn into the wet paint of the gate with a mix of MUD + Liquin. My wrist is braced against my mahl stick to steady my hand as I delineate the details. What is a mahl stick? CLICK HERE to find out.

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The part of the gates illuminated by the sun is painted with the lighter shade of Cobalt Blue.

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The color recipes for the Chili Peppers are shown above. #1. Alizarin Crimson + White. #2. Alizarin Crimson + Magenta + a touch of White. #3. Magenta + Liquin. #4. Alizarin Crimson + a tiny bit of White. #5. Magenta + a little Alizarin Crimson + White.

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Let’s get to the Hot and Spicy! Chili Ristras are found hanging everywhere throughout the Southwest. The underwash of Alizarin Crimson is dry so now I block in the individual peppers with thick brushstrokes. You can see this better if you’ll enlarge the image, just click on the picture.

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Highlights are added on the dried peppers with mixes #1 and #5.

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The window box is painted, completing our session for today. Notice on the wall, gates and window box, I’ve had to anticipate the shadows that will be cast by the overhanging Trumpet Vine, Hollyhocks and the Morning Glories. Much of painting is PLANNING AHEAD!


And since we’re in the Southwest today I thought I’d share a picture of Jack and I on Christmas 2006 in our Santa Fe Gallery! Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG