Archive for March, 2010

3.31.10 Wildflowers Galore

March 31, 2010

We just had to go get some groceries today. I felt like old Mother Hubbard, our cupboards were totally bare. So I thought I’d share some shots we took on our way to the local grocery store. Every day it seems spring just couldn’t get any better, then the next day the wildflowers around us are even more beautiful. Everywhere we look are fields of color, what a visual cornucopia. We discovered the White Bluebonnet pictured to the left in the field behind our house. An unusual exclamation point in the field of blue.

God has certainly touched us with his paintbrush this spring, we feel so blessed. To see any of these pictures enlarged just click on the image. Thank you for visiting and please come back tomorrow. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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3.11.10 Doin’ Laundry

March 11, 2010

Before I start Doin’ Laundry I have to tell you how excited I am that spring has finally arrived here in our little part of Texas. We saw the first bluebonnets on our property this morning. YIPPEE! It won’t be long before the hillside below our home will be covered in a field of blue.

Well, time to come inside and start painting. Last night Jack and I were talking and he mentioned I hadn’t done any laundry lately. I gave him a glare, asking “Are you out of clean socks?” He laughed and replied, “No honey, Paintings! You haven’t done any laundry Paintings lately.”

Seguret is a delightful little village in Provence, France that overlooks the Rhone Valley vineyards. On a sunny spring day someone was Doin’ Laundry, washing the whites in this picturesque corner. There are so many hidden nooks and crannies in Seguret, what a treat to find this one.

I begin by painting the distant building, making the rock wall cool. Moving to the main building (see above) I make the mixtures warmer to bring it forward. The shutters and door on the foreground building are a brighter and more intense blue than the shutters in the distance. The addition of a draping vine helps to separate the two buildings and also provides a dark to accentuate the wash fluttering in the breeze.

To paint the white laundry hanging on the line I begin with the shadows, using blues and purples to block them in. My brushstrokes are pretty loose so as to suggest the fabric moving in the wind.Above you can see where the white has been added. I use White ALKYD Oil Paint to apply the highlights which allows me to make thick brushstrokes without having to worry about drying time. One of my readers asked why I just didn’t use Liquin to speed drying? Mixing Liquin in regular White Oil Paint makes it thin. I can’t get the thickness and texture in my brushwork that White ALKYD Oil Paint allows. Adding some ribbons to the bottoms of a couple of the dresses gives a finishing touch.

Doin' Laundry Original Oil Painting 14" x 11"

The wall and vines in the left foreground give a dark mass for the light to spill out from. This is another technique to give the feeling of depth in a painting. The viewer’s eye travels across the dark foreground (Threshold) and into the light. The flowers are complete and I can’t think of a prettier place to be Doin’ Laundry.

Thank you for visiting. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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3.1.10 Wildflowers!

March 1, 2010

I am so excited about the arrival of spring and we are definitely seeing the signs. The picture of phlox above was taken by a very dear friend of ours who just has a knack for finding the best wildflower fields to photograph.

I first arrived in Texas January of 1979 straight out of the Medical College of Georgia to work at the UT Health Science Center as a Medical Illustrator. It rained and rained and rained. I grew up in Florida and I think I have solar energy cells in the top of my head. A few days without sunshine and I begin to absolutely wilt. I really began to doubt my decision to move to San Antonio, but everyone kept telling me, “Wait until spring, you will love it!”

WERE THEY EVER RIGHT! Springtime in Texas is incredibly beautiful. When we have a wet fall and winter the wildflowers are amazing. The last two years Texas experienced the worst drought in our history so we had almost no wildflowers. BUT this year we’ve had all the right conditions for a phenomenal spring show of flowers.

Texas Blue Original Oil Painting 2.5" x 3.5"

The flower nearest and dearest to a Texan’s heart is the Bluebonnet. When we first moved to our current home I transplanted wild bluebonnets into a flower bed near the house. We were rewarded with lots of blooms until the deer discovered a convenient midnight snack. They don’t seem to like them in the fields but consider bluebonnets a delicacy in our garden! This year our bluebonnets are just coming up and will soon start getting flower buds. We’ll have to put up the deer netting but we should have a good show of blooms this year.

Our home is built on top of a hill overlooking rolling meadows with large live oak trees. There are thousands of baby bluebonnet plants covering the hillsides. I can hardly wait to see the blanket of blue!

The Glory Never Fades  Original Oil Painting on Canvas  48″ x 72″

The painting above is a commission I did for a really neat couple in Edmond, Oklahoma. His job has taken him away from Texas so he wanted a touch of the hill country for his home! Not far from where we live this old barn is a favorite of ours. Have a great day and please come back. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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