Archive for May, 2011

Back to Santa Fe

May 31, 2011

One of our early collectors came into the Santa Fe Gallery last week and immediately saw a piece they fell in love with. But they needed a larger painting so we get to have the fun of doing a collaboration. The initial layout is sketched on the canvas with a #6 filbert brush dipped in a thin mixture of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. If you would like to learn more about our Double Primary Palette just CLICK HERE.

Since the light comes from the sky it is painted first. The sky sets the color tone for the entire piece. If it is early morning the light is pinker or cooler. This painting is set in the afternoon so the illumination is warm. Highlights on the clouds have a tiny bit of Cadmium Orange mixed in the White, giving them a touch of warmth.

The farthest mountain is painted bluer so it drops back. This illustrates one of the most basic rules in painting: Cool colors (blues, purples) recede, warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) come forward. An artist paints on a two-dimensional surface, the canvas. We strive to make it appear three-dimensional. Working  forward on the landscape warmer colors are used closer to the front. Purple Asters are placed behind the Chamisa. The warmth of the yellow Chamisa makes it come forward.

The adobe wall is blocked in before I begin working on the Wisteria. The blossom color is painted first. I will come back with the foliage colors next, working the greens around the purple so it stays clean. If the leaves were done first my brush would pick up some of the green when painting the purple flowers, making them muddy. Thanks for visiting today, I hope you’ll come back tomorrow. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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Let’s Remember

May 30, 2011

Jack and I want to express our heartfelt thanks to all of the brave men and women serving in the military. We appreciate not only the sacrifices they have made but that of their families. Moms and Dads, Husbands and Wives, Brothers, Sisters and Children. So many have given their lives so we can be safe in this great country. By the Grace of God we are fortunate enough to have been born in the United States. Please take a moment today to remember all of these extra special people. Happy Memorial Day! Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

Hummingbird Alert

May 29, 2011

The girls love to sit in our front window and watch the hummingbirds feed. This morning Molly (on the right) just would not stop crying. We finally realized the feeder was empty, she wanted me to take care of my duties and fill it! Hummingbirds are migrating through our area right now, we have the one feeder in the front and four on the back patio. It’s almost a full time job keeping them filled.

The birdbath fountain also provides entertainment for Sissie and Molly as the birds splash and play.

Our Variegated Ginger is in full bloom. Looking out the window brings pleasant memories of when we lived in Hawaii. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

Pecking Order

May 20, 2011

Jack’s been clacking away on the keyboard and has written a new article especially for Fine Art Studio Online. To read Pecking Order  CLICK HERE.

Just wanted to share a little more of our garden. The Agapanthus is in full bloom and the Poker Plant to its right is just starting. Remember, you can click on any of the pictures to see an enlargement.

Our gardening is dictated by the 3 F Rule. Any plant we add has to have either Flowers, Fragrance or neat Foliage. The Mexican Feather Grass definitely fits the foliage requirement. We so enjoy it as the morning sun catches the feathers dancing in the breeze. In the background, draped over the laundry room window, is a Red Wisteria.

Here is a closeup of one of the blooms which are just beginning to open. In another week or so the entire Wisteria will be covered in these fragrant blossoms.

This garden can be seen from the laundry room window as we look out underneath the Red Wisteria. It’s a treat to do the wash at our place! The reddish fountain grass is called Fireworks. To their left is Variegated Iris Pallida. They weren’t doing very well in the front yard so I moved them here early this spring. They are responding wonderfully, hopefully one of these days they will bloom. Thank you for visiting today. I’ll be back at the easel tomorrow, working on a special piece for eBay. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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Little Darlin’s

May 17, 2011

One of our all time favorite movies is “My Cousin Vinny”. We love the scene when Joe Pesci tells Marisa Tomei he is going hunting. She whips into a diatribe about the “Cute little deer” that we find absolutely hysterical. The first time we saw deer after moving here I exclaimed, “Oh look at the little darlin’s. Marisa’s Bambis, aren’t they cute?” Well, that isn’t exactly what I thought this morning when I went into the garden. The “Little Darlin’s” had eaten every one of our Daylily blossoms. Flowers and buds were gone, all that was left were the stalks! The deer love the new foliage when it comes out in the spring so we’ve had them covered with netting until about a week ago. We’ve never had them eat the flowers before so I took the netting off. Not so smart! Fortunately we still have the picture above to enjoy.

The Black Bellied Whistling Ducks came to check out the birdfeeder. Last year we had a family of 31 ducklings, these might be some of those. Click here to see some pictures of the babies. The Bear’s Breech in the foreground has grown. Several of you have asked what our gardening secret is. All the beds are irrigated. This spring Karen and Stu Cooper, our local nursery owners put us onto Rose Glo and Medina (a chicken poop product) mixed half and half. This is a granular mix we just broadcast throughout the garden. Then for an extra boost we use HastaGro, mixed in water and sprayed on the leaves. A thick layer of living mulch, a combination of mulch and compost, is spread in all the beds 3 to 4 inches deep. Then we leave it to God and enjoy the beauty He has created.

We love the orange bills and pink feet of the Black Bellied Whistling Ducks. They look so gangly, almost top heavy on land but in flight they are magical. They whistle as they fly and the white underneath their wings flashes in the sun.

Molly is ready to go out and play with them. To see any of these pictures larger just click on the image. Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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They’re Back!

May 11, 2011

We’ve been hearing the honks of our Mystery Guests but haven’t spotted them. Well, today we saw the Egyptian Geese and think they are building a nest.

We certainly hope so. It’s going to be fun to watch them raise their family on our little pond. Remember, if you would like to see any of these images enlarged just click on the picture.

Our garden is happily blooming away. Daylilies, Canna Lilies, Cleome, Arizona Sun Gaillardia and Salvia make a colorful mix.

Cleome was a pleasant surprise in our garden this year. We had sown a few seeds a couple of years ago but they never grew. Then last fall several came up in the middle of a pathway leading through one of the beds. We transplanted them to this spot and kept them covered during the winter freezes. They now are rewarding us with their incredible spider blooms.

Here is the Canna Lily bed from the other side. They are just out doing themselves this year, the combination of Rose Glo and Medina has certainly worked. That’s the rose arbor on the right you saw in full bloom last month. Just thought I’d take a little break from painting to share our garden and pond with you. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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Embellishing Intrigue

May 10, 2011

The first step in embellishing one of my Limited Original Giclees on canvas is to mix several washes. These are used to “glaze” areas of the giclee, enriching the color. On the left are washes of Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. All of the wash mixtures use a tiny amount of oil paint and a lot of Liquin, making sure to combine them well so there are not any little bits of paint in the clear glaze.

The Raw Sienna wash is used to enhance the color of the adobe building. To see any of these pictures larger just click on the image.

The cobblestones have been glazed with the Burnt Sienna wash. Using Alkyd Oil Paints I repaint all of the gates, windows and doors. Alkyds are just like the regular oil paints I use but they dry much, much faster.

Now that all of the gates, windows and doors are finished I turn to the flowers. The unembellished giclees are a little bit blue when we get them from our printer. When the bright, warm colors of the flowers are added they really POP! Repainting the doors and flowers makes them look exactly the same as on my original paintings.

The sky is glazed with Ultramarine Blue. When that is dry I come back and highlight the fluffy clouds.

On the left you can see the unembellished giclee on canvas as we received it from our printer. The finished Limited Original is shown below. Limited Original is a term we coined. All are part of an edition but with so much repainting every piece is different or original.

Intrigue     Limited Original  #35/145     18″ x 24″

This piece is going to be stretched and framed in a traditional manner. The piece is signed with my regular signature in oil on the front so it looks like my original paintings. Then I put the title, edition number and personalize it to the collectors on the extra white canvas. This is done on the top edge. It looks upside down now but when the canvas is stretched on regular stretcher bars the information will be right side up on the back. Notice I’ve left enough room between the image and the written stuff to compensate for stretching over the bar. Thanks for visiting the studio today. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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