Barn Country

December 1, 2016

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Starting a new commission. And this one has a cool red barn! It’s going to be a fun departure from my usual garden/architecture pieces. That’s one of the neatest things about collaborating with my collectors, I get to paint subjects I normally wouldn’t think of! My sketch is shown above. If you’d like to see the picture larger just click on the image.

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I begin by drawing up the gate posts. Getting the foreground elements in first helps me to determine the exact placement of the barn in the background. I use my sketch, as well as reference photos of the farm, as guides.

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Large half whiskey barrels, at the base of the posts, will be filled with Coreopsis, Nasturtiums, Sweet Potato Vine and Angelonia.

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Bracing my wrist against the mahl stick to steady my hand, the barn is sketched with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

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The windows and large door on the front of the barn are washed in with the same mixture. The crowning touch is adding the cupola on top!

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An old, John Deere tractor sits out in the pasture in front of the barn.

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We’re all sketched up and ready to begin painting in our 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!

Give a Senkarik for Christmas

November 29, 2016
My, oh my! This year is flying by. Can you believe Thanksgiving is over? Now Christmas is right around the corner. Give that special someone on your list the gift of a Senkarik Original Oil Painting, it’s sure to bring smiles for years to come. This year I’m offering 3 different pieces on eBay; to make it lots of fun all of the bidding begins at 1 cent. That’s right, ONLY A PENNY!
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 Stop and Smell the Bluebonnets
 
I adore Burros and Bluebonnets. So why not combine both in a happy painting? All of us are busy, busy, busy these days. Stop and Smell the Bluebonnets is a cheerful reminder to slow down and savor the moment. Do you have a loved one on your Christmas list who needs a little break? This cute fella would bring them a smile and a chance to enjoy the refreshing Texas spring, any day of the year. You may click on any of the pictures to see them larger.
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Linger A While
 
Give a Senkarik “Billboard of Happiness” to someone you love for Christmas. Linger A While would be a wonderful gift for that person in your life who enjoys color. The recipient will see an expression of how much you care every time they view Linger A While in their home. Or maybe you’d like to have this pleasant courtyard on YOUR wall. Imagine how relaxing it would be to sit and Linger A While in that turquoise rocking chair, surrounded by the soft fragrance of Lavender.
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Both Linger A While and Stop and Smell the Bluebonnets measure 10 inches tall by 10 inches wide. You don’t have to worry about doing any framing, each piece is painted on a canvas panel with 1 1/2 inch finished sides. They are ready to hang, I’ve even provided the hanger and nail. These would retail in galleries for $590. But remember, the bid begins at ONLY A PENNY!
 
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 A Quiet Moment
La Escaramuza Charra! Teams of pretty girls in flowing dresses ride sidesaddle on spirited horses; performing intricate maneuvers at a full gallop. I think this is the most exciting event at a Mexican Rodeo or Charreada. But there are a few minutes of tranquility as the girls sit on their horses, waiting to enter the arena. One of the Charras is captured in A Quiet Moment with her trusty mount, the calm before the storm of her team’s exhilarating performance. This Senkarik Original Oil Painting would make a perfect Christmas gift for that horse lover in your life! And this one doesn’t even have to be fed!
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A Quiet Moment is framed in our Senkarik-White Signature Frame, all your happy recipient will have to do is hang it on their wall. The outside dimension of the frame is 22 inches tall by 22 inches wide. The painted image is 15 3/4 inches tall by 15 3/4 inches wide. A piece this size would retail for $990 in galleries.

I’ll be happy to personalize the back of any painting for the lucky person you are giving it to. Just let me know as soon as possible after you win!

SO…. get your Christmas shopping done early. The three auctions are staggered 10 minutes apart so you can win one or all of the Original Oil Paintings for your gift giving.
 
Don’t linger, the first auction ends Sunday, December 4 at 8 PM Texas (Central) Time.
HAPPY BIDDING and HUGS,

Warm Breath of Color

November 28, 2016

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Following my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last the Geraniums are blocked in. The red blossoms are mixes of Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Deep + Cadmium Red Light. The leaves are combinations in different proportions of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

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Lacy Silver Pony Foot Vine drapes from the Geranium Container. Mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White are used for the delicate, hoof shaped leaves. Please remember as you read though my post, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

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Now for some of my favorites, the Sunflowers. The big blossoms are blocked in with Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) and Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD + Cadmium Orange. A mix of Cadmium Yellow Medium + Lemon Yellow is reserved to highlight the flowers illuminated by the sun.

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The dark centers are made of MUD + Liquin. Why do we call MUD, MUD? Just CLICK HERE to find out.

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Old watering cans have such character. Don’t you think the dents, rust and scratches make them all the more attractive?

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African Daisies nestle at the foot of the gate on the right. The flowers are mixes of Cadmium Red Light + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Light + White and Alizarin Crimson + White. The grey-green foliage is painted with color left over from the Silver Pony Feet!

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The dancing Daisies almost seem to come alive when the centers are added.

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Hollyhocks keep the watering can and Sunflowers company. This picture shows how the painting extends over, on to the side of the gallery wrap canvas. The flowers of the white Hollies are blocked in with the shadow colors. Mixtures of White + Dioxazine Purple, White + Ultramarine Blue and White + Pthalo Blue are used. Then the foliage is made of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium. The greens are painted around the masses of white, giving shape to the crepe papery flowers.

sk3416-warm-breath-of-color-20x24Warm Breath of Color     20″ tall by 24″ wide

Pure White highlights those flowers touched by the sun. Deep magenta centers with yellow stamens and tall, pod laden stalks complete our Hollyhocks. This happy courtyard is going to our gallery in Santa Fe, ready to bring a Warm Breath of Color to a new collector’s home. BIG HUGS,

 

HOT PINK

November 25, 2016

I hope every one of you had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. I shared the day with good friends and had a great time. Panna’s food was incredibly delicious; I ate way too much. We all missed Jack but knew he was with us in our hearts and watching down from Heaven. And I definitely know he was jumping for joy when the Cowboys won!

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OK, back to the easel. Growing up in the south I’ve always loved Bougainvilleas. Their hot pink bracts are brilliant in the sunlight. I pull out a couple of special colors to use, Permanent Rose and Magenta. The blossoms are blocked in with mixes of Permanent Rose + Magenta + White for the shadows. Permanent Rose + White is used for those flowers illuminated by the sun. I have to stand on a step stool to paint the top edge of the gallery wrapped canvas.

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The leaves are mixes of Viridian Green + Cadmium Yellow Medium.

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Now we move to the foreground courtyard. The entire surface of the floor is painted with the light and shadow pattern. I drag a few strokes of the red into the floor directly below the gate. This gives the impression of the red gate reflecting into the wet pavers.

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The lines separating the individual tiles are pulled into the wet paint of the floor with a fine liner brush. You may click on the image to see it larger.

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I place the canvas, still mounted on the cardboard, on Jack’s desk chair in order to paint the bottom edge. You can see how having the painting on the backing board makes it easier to handle. Molly, our rescue kitty, is in the background supervising! 

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Now the fountain is dry I come back and finish the cascading water. I lightly drag the brush straight down, letting it skip and dance over the bumps of the dry paint underneath. This helps to give the feeling of water spilling over the edge into the base below.

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The basic color of the basket is painted first, then the pattern of the woven reeds is delineated with a mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

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A bit of Cadmium Red Light is added to the floor mixes to make the terra cotta containers lined up across the top of the courtyard wall. We’ll be planting them in our next session. I appreciate you following along today, hope you’ll come back and visit our studio again soon. BIG HUGS,

So Much to be Thankful For

November 23, 2016

 

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Don’t you think it’s those times in the kitchen when you get to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen for a long time that make Thanksgiving so wonderful? Norman Rockwell is one of Jack’s and my all time favorite artists. He’s captured the essence of those fleeting moments perfectly. I grew up admiring his paintings on the covers of the Saturday Evening Post Magazine, his attention to detail is amazing.

Just living in this great country is an incredible gift from God. We are very thankful for all of the men and women who have sacrificed so much so we can enjoy our lives in America. I also want let you know how much I appreciate your support the past several months. We ALL have much to be thankful for, God has certainly blessed each one of us. But please remember to thank Jesus every single day for his gifts. “Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart not a day of the year.”

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with Laughter, Love and Hugs. And GO COWBOYS!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Morning Glories and Poker Plant

November 22, 2016

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I begin by painting the distant trees and courtyard though the arched opening. A Magenta Morning Glory spills over the wall. Mixes of Magenta + Dioxazine Purple + White and Magenta + White are used for the blossoms which are blocked in first. The foliage is then painted with several combinations of Viridian Green + Cadmium Yellow Medium.

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Poker plant nestles at the base of the wall. The cone shaped blooms are shaped with the corner of a medium Bright (square) brush. If you would like to know more about the brushes I use CLICK HERE. Please remember as you read through my blog, you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

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The paver floor is now “Laid”. I’ve covered the entire area with cooler mixtures of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. Brushstrokes of Ultramarine Blue + White are made here and there to bring additional coolness to the tiles. I want this floor to be cooler than the one in the foreground so it will fall back. Then perspective lines are drawn into the wet paint with a fine liner brush.

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Mixtures of Viridian Green + MUD + White are used for the fountain. Paint from the floor is used for the terra cotta tiles topping the base of the fountain. 

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Jack always loved my “Through the door” paintings at this stage. It’s fun to see the completed background with the rest of the painting just sketched in. So this picture is especially for Jack.

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My adobe mixes are combinations of Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White. Notice the back part of the wall I’m working on is made more blue, or cooler. The portion closer to the front, where my brush is, warmer. This follows the simple rule to give the appearance of depth in a painting: Cool Colors Go Back, Warm Colors Come Forward.

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The red gates POP against all the cool colors in the background. The shadow areas are Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson. The sunlit part is pure Cadmium Red Light.

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I think these wrought iron hinges are so cool, they add a Spanish touch to the piece. We took reference photos of these in Carmel by the Sea many years ago.

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Iron rings complete the gate hardware. Thank you for following along today, I’ve enjoyed your company. Hope you’ll come back soon. HUGS,

Return to Santa Fe

November 19, 2016

 

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Starting on a new piece for our Santa Fe gallery today. My rough sketch is shown above. The composition is built around two items that tickled my imagination as I was flipping through our reference files. If you’d like to see the picture larger just click on the image.

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A basket of Sunflowers, freshly picked from the garden and……

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an old, metal watering can.

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To begin drawing the architecture on the canvas I use a T-Square resting on the top edge of the gallery wrapped canvas to make my up and down lines.  This way the building starts out straight. Since the piece will be painted around the sides the canvas is attached to cardboard, making it easier to handle the wet painting. To see how this is done CLICK HERE.

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I liked the blue tiles in my last painting so much I decided to add some here lining the base of the fountain.

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The watering can and basket of Sunflowers are sketched in next. A brush dipped in a thin wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin is used. I decided to turn the watering can the opposite direction from my reference. I want the spout to point anyone looking at the piece toward the Sunflowers and distant courtyard. If it were the other way the spout would send the viewer’s gaze right out of the painting.

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Morning Glories draping down the wall of the courtyard are washed in with Magenta + Liquin. All of the flowers are labeled and our sketch on the canvas is DONE.

Before I let you go I have to share this video with you. Make sure to turn on the sound. I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my desk chair. I love horses and also am hopeless at backing up a trailer. Of course Jack could handle a trailer perfectly; I know he is laughing. SO ENJOY. I must warn you though, don’t eat or drink anything while you are watching!

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!

Butterflies

November 18, 2016

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It’s that wonderful time of year when masses of butterflies come floating through our gardens here in South Texas. The butterfly is a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection. Many people believe they are our loved ones coming to visit us from Heaven. I like that!

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I love the intricate patterns God created on their delicate wings. You can click on the picture to see it larger.

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Karen and Stu Cooper, friends of ours from Floresville, sent these two pictures taken in their amazing gardens. Karen said they’ve never had this many butterflies before.

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Isn’t this Swallowtail gorgeous? Being able to sit in the quiet of the garden with the music of rustling leaves in the background, watching these beautiful creatures dance from flower to flower is a gift. I know many of you are already experiencing winter cold and even snow. So please enjoy our butterflies and let them warm your heart! BIG HUGS,

A Kiss of Sunshine

November 16, 2016

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OK, let’s do some planting. We’ll start with the Geraniums. The red blossoms are blocked in first with mixes of Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Deep. Then the leaves are painted around the masses of red with combinations of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

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Silver Pony Foot Vine dangles out of the Geraniums. Next I begin work on the Salvia nestled at the base of the wrought iron plant holder. I’m working opposite of my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last. The delicate blooms of the Salvia are easier to paint after the foliage is blocked in. I use mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White for the leaves.

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The thick paint of the lavender blooms is gently “Laid” on top of the underlying color. I have to be very careful not to pick up any of the leaf or wall color on my brush. I don’t want it to muddy the flowers made of Dioxazine Purple + White. I also wipe my brush after every stroke with toilet tissue. This insures my brush is clean; a clean brush makes for bright, crisp colors on the canvas.

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Sunlight tip-toes down the tall Salvia blooms. Those blossoms in the sun are delineated with a very light mix of White + Dioxazine Purple.

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All of the Petunias are blocked in with mixtures of Dioxazine Purple + Magenta + White and Magenta + White. The leaves are mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Lemon Yellow + a touch of Cadmium Yellow Medium.

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The deep centers of the Petunias are painted with a mix of Magenta + a tiny bit of Liquin. To see this better you may click on the image to enlarge the picture.

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Hollyhocks are favorites of mine. The shadows of the large flowers are made with combinations of White + Ultramarine Blue, White + Pthalo Blue, White + Dioxazine Purple and White + Pthalo Blue + a touch of Lemon Yellow. I just let the colors kind of smoosh together as I work.

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The broad leaves are made of mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. I use my large Bright (square) brush to work the greens around the masses of lavenders and blues, helping to shape the flowers.

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After the centers of the Hollyhock flowers are made I come back with pure White to highlight those blossoms in the sunshine.

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Red Orange Irises dance in the gentle breeze whispering though the courtyard.

sk3216-a-kiss-of-sunshine-24x30A Kiss of Sunshine       24 inches by 30 inches

Our little Provence cottage and garden are brightened by A Kiss of Sunshine. After the piece has dried a few days I’ll spray it with a thin coat of Grumbacher Retouch Varnish and the painting will be ready to ship to our gallery in Sedona. Thank you for following along. Hugs,

Rhodochiton

November 14, 2016

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That’s a tongue twister! And to tell you the truth I don’t have a clue how to say it! But the common name for this beautiful plant cascading over the roof is Bell Vine! The flowers are actually shaped like little bells! I use the corner of a small Bright (square) brush to delineate the individual blossoms. The leaves are much like the sweet potato vine I love to paint, Heart shaped!

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Next we’ll lay the pavers! The entire surface of the courtyard floor is covered, establishing the light and shadow pattern.

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After making perspective lines between the tiles, I draw the horizontal crevices into the wet paint with a fine liner brush.

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Sunlight catches the leading edge of the individual tiles. So they are accentuated with a lighter shade of the floor color.

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I think this wrought iron plant stand is so cool. Wish I could find one like it for our garden!

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All of the terra cotta containers are completed, using the same mixes as the tiles. Some of the pots are made darker by adding some MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) into the mixtures. Another detail I especially like is the brick window sills. That’s all for today. Hugs,