Archive for September, 2011

Lake Como Elegance

September 15, 2011

The St. Francis sculpture on the fountain is the “icing on the cake” for this piece. The shadows on the white marble are blocked in first. I use mixes of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White and Ultramarine Blue + White. It’s important to make the shadows dark enough so the lighter areas will be prominent. If you would like to learn more about our Double Primary Palette CLICK HERE.

White highlights finish St. Francis and his feathered friends. A tiny touch of Hansa Lemon Yellow is added to the white to give it warmth and bring it forward. Notice the white building reflecting into the water in the distance. A touch of blue was added to that white to make it drop back. Painting the Daylilies I work in the opposite sequence I usually do when painting flowers. In this case I’ve blocked in the foliage first. The paint of the flowers is then carefully “laid” on the canvas so none of the color underneath is picked up. By using this technique the blossom color remains bright and crisp.

Lake Como Elegance       24″ x 30″       Original Oil Painting

The dancing Daylilies add a warm touch to the foreground of the colorful courtyard. This piece has been so fun to do, Lake Como is one of my favorite places to paint. Now my collectors will be able to enjoy a touch of Lake Como Elegance everyday. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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Wisteria, Geraniums and Nasturtiums

September 14, 2011

Well, I’ve taken the plunge and am now on Face Book.  Here is the link to my Face Book page. Please click the LIKE button on the page to become a Senkarik FAN.

OK, back to painting. The building is blocked in and its warmth is already making the lake and mountains fall into the distance. The flowers of the Wisteria are painted with several combinations of Dioxazine Purple + White.

Next I come back and paint the greens of the foliage around the purple blossoms. Working in this order keeps the flower color clean and pure.

I love the large pots of Geraniums seen everywhere around Lake Como. I wish we could grow them like that in Texas, but it’s just too hot here. Split Leaf Philodendrons are some of Bobby’s favorites so we made sure to add some in the courtyard. The leaves are painted using a large Bright brush with mixtures of Ultramarine Blue + Hansa Lemon Yellow.

Nasturtiums are a fun flower that ranges from red to red-orange to orange. After the blossoms are blocked in the round leaves are added. For the warm green foliage I use various combinations of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium.

The light and darks of the terra-cotta tile floor are painted with cooler tones toward the back. This makes the far edge visually “lie down”. With a fine liner brush the perspective lines separating the tiles are drawn into the wet paint. This is done freehand, using a mahl stick would limit my movement and I couldn’t make a smooth line.

The horizontal lines between the tiles are drawn next. The final touch on the floor is to add the highlights where the sun illuminates the edges of the tile. Hope to see you tomorrow. ‘Til then, have a great day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


Blue Skies

September 13, 2011

The sky is my starting point today since it is the main source of light in the painting. My paint is mixed and I’m ready to get going. You may have to enlarge the image (click the picture) to see the mixtures on my palette. The sky blues range from a dark of Ultramarine Blue + White to a lighter Pthalo Blue + White to the lightest mix of Pthalo Blue + Hansa Lemon Yellow + White. The shadows of the clouds are MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. The sun lit part of the clouds are a mix of a touch of Cadmium Red Light + a tiny bit of Cadmium Orange + White.

After the sky is finished I begin to “Paint Forward”. One of the most important rules in painting is: Cool Colors go Back, Warm Colors come Forward. The most distant mountains are made bluer, or cooler. As the mountains come closer green is added to make them warmer.

Another simple rule is employed in painting the water of Lake Como. Muted Colors go Back, Intense Colors come Forward. The color of the distant water is duller, becoming brighter as it comes closer to the viewer. The colors of the buildings are dragged straight down into the wet paint of the water to make the reflections.

Highlights on the roofs, windows, shutters and sailboats complete the harbor view. The entire background is kept fairly muted so it will stay back. This piece will really change in our next session, come watch! Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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Back in the Studio!

September 12, 2011

It is so nice to be back in the studio and painting away. This collaboration is for a 50th Anniversary rememberance, I’m so honored to be part of the celebration. The sketch was approved in July, but at that time I was painting fast and furiously for the Collector Event. Faye and Bobby have been so patient, as have several other collectors who are waiting for commissions. Now that we are home I can begin catching up.

The tops of the arches are the key to the placement of the columns. If you will enlarge the picture (just click on the image) you can see the upright guidelines I’ve lightly drawn with a T-square to help keep the columns and fountain straight.

Faye especially liked a painting of a sculpture of St. Francis in our Tabletop Book. We decided it would make a nice fountain in the corner, surrounded by Daylilies. Using a #1 Filbert brush dipped in a mixture of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin I sketch the outline. A little more liquin is added to the mix in order to make a wash for blocking in the shadows.

The basic elements are drawn up on the canvas and I’m ready to begin painting. Please feel free to come visit the studio tomorrow and follow my progress. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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An Event to Remember

September 9, 2011

What a wonderful week. After two days giving a Painting and Art Marketing Seminar at the Hilton we moved over to the Santa Fe Art Collector Gallery. During the day Jack and I visited with collectors while I worked on a painting to be auctioned at the Big Event Saturday night. Friday night the gallery had an opening and we ended up welcoming some new members to Team Senkarik. Wendy and Martin Sawyer saw the happening as they were walking to dinner to celebrate their 29th anniversary. They came in and decided to add a painting to their collection to commemorate the occasion. What is amazing is Wendy’s mom was a Medical Illustrator and I studied her work when I was in graduate school to become one! If you would like to see any of these pictures larger just click on the image.

One request Wendy and Martin had was to add a chili ristra to their new piece. No Problem! First thing Saturday morning I went to work adding a little spice to “El Gallo”. At the right I’m working on the auction painting.

Jack and I love working with the owners of Santa Fe Art Collector Gallery. Phyllis Hilley, Darrell Hilley and Polly Robinson have gone over and beyond the call of duty to make the gallery a success. We certainly appreciate all of their hard work and the extra effort they’ve made to take care of Jack and me.

Saturday afternoon some OU fans, Miles and Michelle Smith, dropped in from Los Alamos to purchase a couple of pieces. The “Sooners” were playing that night and our Special Event got preempted. Lisa Bieghle (far left) was visiting Miles and Michelle, along with Michelle’s sister Melissa Asher (far right).

On the night of the “official” Collector Event we began with a welcome to everyone. The gallery was filled. Looking out from the platform at the sea of our Team Senkarik Members was heartwarming. I told them, “We hardly ever get to meet our collectors, this is so exciting. Being an artist is a very solitary business…..”

Jack interrupted loudly before I could continue, “Thanks a lot, Mikki!”  The crowd broke out in laughter.

On a side note. Jack is on Peritoneal Kidney Dialysis and carries almost a gallon of solution in his abdomen, which gives him a bit of a tummy. We are able to do the Dialysis at home and it’s very convenient to travel. Our doctor feels it’s as close to having a real kidney as you can get and is much better than Hemodialysis three days a week.

Next on the evening’s program was a drawing for the chance to purchase a few small pieces painted especially for the Gala. Polly and Darrell picked the names of the lucky winners out of a basket.

Long time collectors Ed and Karen Reif picked these two pieces. Ed is a Cleveland Indians fan. The only professional baseball game Jack ever attended as a young man was a Cleveland/Brooklyn Dodgers game so Ed sent him an Indians’ tee shirt. Karen and I trade flower and bird pictures back and forth so it was a treat to finally get to meet them in person. And they also selected a couple of Robin’s paintings to go along with these.

New collectors Dick and Ester Harper love Venice, so this piece was just for them.

Stephanie Johnson and her mom, Wendy, came all the way from Seattle to attend our seminar. “Amalfi Lemons” has a new home on the west coast.

Personalizing the paintings is part of the fun. Mike and Betty Jo Mares (in the lavender blouse) chose to take this little rooster, “Santa Fe Alarm”. Ed Chacon, another one of the gallery artists, and his wife Yolanda are sitting on the platform.

During all the hubbub Dan and Michele Jablonka asked Jack to sign their copy of his book, “Ten Years in Texas.” On the right are Mitch and Lynne Coppedge, some more OU fans, with two new pieces for their collection. Speaking of hubbub, in the excitement of the event we didn’t get pictures of me with all of you who attended, including several that commissioned paintings. I sincerely apologize.

Stephen and Linda Bayliss selected “Colorful Serenity” to brighten up their home. They also purchased one of Ed Chacon’s paintings.

Our next drawing was for several special gifts to thank our Team Senkarik members. Eloise and Cal Rogers won a Limited Original Giclee, “Memories of Greece”. Jan and David Peters, on the right, won “My Brushes”.

Finally it was time for the auction of “River Mist”. Darrell was our auctioneer, he is really good at keeping the crowd on their toes.

And……. it’s going Once. It’s going twice. Going, Going, GONE!

SOLD! To Michele and Dan Jablonka from Denver.

Mary Jane and Randy Hagenson also took a piece with them. Mary Jane had visited our studio to pick up a commission but we had never met Randy.

It was a great time and we think everyone had a lot of fun. The gallery said we sold 18 paintings and several commissions. Wow! Jack and I want to thank all who joined us, we certainly appreciate the effort you made to attend. For those that couldn’t make it, we’ll be back in Santa Fe over Labor Day Weekend, 2012. Mark it on your calendars! Hugs, Mikki and Jack

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It was a Super Seminar in Santa Fe

September 7, 2011

Jack and I are back in the studio, safe and sound. Although we are a bit tired we are revved up and raring to get to work. The seminar was super. The Santa Fe Hilton and their staff were terrific. We had a great group of artists, many of whom we’ve worked with, corresponding back and forth, for several years but have never met face to face. How cool to finally get to meet everyone and give you a Texas hug. Jack lectured, answered questions and kept everyone laughing with stories of our experiences in the world of art.

I did a painting demonstration and explained our Double Primary Palette. Jack and I shared the techniques and simple rules we use to make a good painting. Our participating artists kept us on our toes with their great questions. We looked at several individual portfolios and were extremely pleased with the quality of art we saw.

We had a surprise visitor from Questa, north of Taos. Cami Thompson, an artist who paints dynamic flowers, drove all that way just to bring some gorgeous Dahlias, fresh from her garden, for our Collector Event. So we asked her to tell us how she is succeeding in today’s crazy art market. Our audience was enthralled. That’s Cami, up front in the middle. Notice the tight grip she has on her hat. I think she knew I would have grabbed it if she let go! Polly Robinson, one of the owners of our gallery, is on the left. All of the hard work on the part of the Santa Fe Art Collector Gallery added to the success of the seminar.

Cami’s Dahlias really were a hit at our Collector Event. When the painting, Chili Memories, was finished names were put in a hat for the chance to purchase the piece. Margaret Hodgson was our lucky winner.

Both evenings of the seminar the Santa Fe Hilton set up a special room where we could have dinner with the group. So we ate with half the artists Wednesday, the remainder joined us on Thursday. It was a joy to relax and visit with everyone after a day in the classroom. What a wonderful bunch of artists we had, although we missed a few of you in our group picture. Jack and I had a great time and hope we were able to answer everyone’s questions. Everyone agreed they wanted to share all they could. Our Ambassadors of Information are ready to go out into the art world and help other artists.

Thanks to all of you. Or as Jack would say, Much Obliged. To read Branding, Jack’s latest article at Fine Art Studio Online CLICK HERE. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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