Tunnel of Light

We installed an arbor over our front walkway made of two sections of metal fencing, arched over and anchored to steel posts. The plan is to plant grapes in January. Eventually the arbor will be covered in grape vines, offering fruit and shade in the summer and an interesting texture of trunks in the winter. Martha Gonzales Roses are planted  at the base on the street side for colorful blooms and evergreen foliage. Our neighbor came up with a great idea, since it’s Christmas why not cover the arbor in lights?

Jack and I looked at each other, then said in unison, “How Cool!” Up I went, on the ladder to string the lights. Jack took this from the front porch. It was a little damp and chilly so I’m wearing the neon orange stocking cap he bought for me. When he gave it to me he laughed, “If I can’t see you in the garden at least I can hear you, that cap is so loud!”

So last night we flicked on the lights. We’ve always talked about the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, now we have the “Tunnel of Light”. We are going to leave the lights mounted on the arbor, they will be pretty twinkling through the grape vines. I can visualize walking under the grapes on a summer evening, lit by a soft glow. As Jack exclaimed, “What a Welcome!”

This morning it’s back to the easel. Now that we are decorated for Christmas, “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!” This commission is for a longtime collector who saw Snowy Embrace at the Santa Fe Art Collector Gallery. Karen and Ed fell in love with the painting but it was already sold. Besides they really wanted a piece to hang with another Senkarik that has a vertical orientation. So we decided to collaborate on a snow painting. This has been a lot of fun. Karen went through all of my blogs, picking elements she especially liked. Then I combined them into the sketch shown above. To see an enlargement just click on the picture.

Drawing this piece on the canvas I establish the basic construction lines, then add the snow. This allows me to get the proportions and perspective of the door, window, planter and bench correct. On the very first snow painting I did several years ago I did not follow this simple plan. Wow, what a disaster. When I was halfway through I realized the door was far too large for the rest of the elements in the painting. I had a lot of scraping and correcting to do on that one, but I did learn my lesson (smile). Come back and visit tomorrow, I’ll start adding color. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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6 Responses to “Tunnel of Light”

  1. Janet Says:

    Love your Tunnel of Light! So pretty.

  2. Leslie Says:

    I really would like to reproduce your “tunnel of light”. What kind/size of fence panels did you use? They seem to be very long! Thanks.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Leslie,
      These are “Bull Panels” or “Bull Fencing”. The lengths we used are 5 feet wide and 20 feet long. Most feed stores or Farm and ranch supply stores have them. They may be called something else in different parts of the country. The tunnel of lights is 2 panels. We anchored them to steel posts. With two people this is easily constructed. We have grapes planted over most of the structure and a pink climbing rose at one end. Thanks for asking. Have fun!

      • Kayla Says:

        Do you know what gauge of wire the fence is? Also, I am also curious if the tunnel suffers any sagging beneath grapes. Thanks for the information. 🙂

      • Mikki Senkarik Says:

        Hi Kayla,
        The wire is pretty heavy but I don’t know the exact gauge. The panels are called Bull Pen or stock panels. You can find them at a farm and ranch supply store. They come in different lengths but the 20 foot long panels work the best. They haven’t sagged a bit and have held strong in 50 mile an hour wind. Hope this helps. Hugs, Mikki

  3. Susan Polchert Says:

    I am wanting to make my own grape arbor and after searching around, like yours the best. How is the top of the arch holding up with the weight of the grape vines on it? Any problem with it sagging? Thank you, Sue

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