Archive for November, 2011

Save 25% on our Books

November 29, 2011

Now through December 14 you can get 25% OFF on ALL of our books shown below.

The online distributor of our books has offered a special promotion for our readers. We want to make this available to all of you. Here is your chance to purchase any of our LULU books, including all six of Jack White’s Art Marketing Classics, at 25% OFF the regular price. To get the savings use the code BUYMYBOOK305 when you checkout.

To read testimonials and order any of these six valuable Art Marketing Books CLICK HERE.

Sea to Shining Sea: The Mexican American War and the Manifest Destiny, the sequel to Jack’s first historical novel, Ten Years in Texas, has just been published. Unfortunately his first book about the ten years Texas was an independent Republic is not included in this offer because it is distributed by Amazon. But if you would like to order a copy at the regular price CLICK HERE. Sea to Shining Sea covers the two years after Texas became a State, the Mexican American War and the greatest expansion of the United States in our history.  Follow the adventures of Bud Miller and Texas Ranger Jack Hayes in this informative page turner. Jack painted the portrait of Jack Hayes on the cover!

To order Sea to Shining Sea: The Mexican American War and the Manifest Destiny CLICK HERE.

In BREATHTAKING RETREAT: Making a Painting I show the step by step process of making a 6 foot by 8 foot oil painting of the picturesque Portofino Harbor in Italy. Step into the studio and watch the painting come alive. Filled with painting techniques and useful tips on setting up a studio, BREATHTAKING RETREAT: Making a Painting is a complete oil painting workshop. The Jack White Double Primary Palette is explained and this book reveals the one tool an artist CAN NOT afford to be without. A must for artists and art collectors alike.

To order BREATHTAKING RETREAT: Making a Painting  CLICK HERE.

This offer doesn’t last long. It will expire at Midnight on December 14. Just remember to put in the coupon code BUYMYBOOK305 when you are checking out and you will save 25% on your order. Please feel free to share this with ALL of your friends. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

Our Hearts are Smiling

November 26, 2011

A few months ago I did the commission above for a collector who teaches art at Oratory Prep, an all boys school. I wrote a fairly detailed blog because I knew her students would be following the progress. If you’d like to see the step-by-step of A Blaze of Red CLICK HERE. Today we received the coolest email from Susan. Several of the boys in her art class decided to copy one of my paintings, Secret Cove, from our tabletop book.

Marko with his painting in progress.

Marko’s finished piece.

Stephen working on the beach. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!

Jack and I are so impressed with the efforts of these talented young artists. Susan also sent several comments from her students that made our hearts smile. We want to extend a big Texas thank you to her and her class for sharing. How exciting! I hope we will get to see more. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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A Happy Thanksgiving to All

November 23, 2011

With Thanksgiving on our hearts we want to say how much we appreciate all of you who read this blog. God has so blessed us. Jack and I feel so fortunate to be with each other, live in this great country and have such wonderful collectors and friends. All of you have enriched our lives. Thank you. Or, as we say in Texas, Much Obliged. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Senkarik Pond. Hugs, Mikki and Jack

Wrapped Up in Color

November 21, 2011

The shadows of the southwestern chair are painted first with mixes of Cadmium Yellow Medium + a little Cadmium Orange + MUD. The light areas will be pure Cadmium Yellow Medium.

I’ve decided a Gecko would provide a fun welcome on the wall tile. Resting my arm on the mahl stick steadies my hand to draw the design into the wet paint of the tile. A mix of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin is used.

Geraniums are one of my favorite flowers. The flowers are blocked in first, followed by the foliage. A few strokes of blue, leftover from the pots are added in the leaves. This gives variation and a little coolness in the shadow side of the foliage.

Hollyhocks are the defining flower of Santa Fe. You see them everywhere in the summertime. These pink beauties are painted with a special color we use from time to time, Permanent Rose. The bright greens are mixed from Pthalo Blue + Hansa Lemon Yellow.

Wrapped Up in Color            30″ x 36″           Original Oil Painting

Lavender and crisp, white Shasta Daisies complete this sunny courtyard that is Wrapped Up in Color. Thank you for visiting today. If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask. I’ll answer them the best I can. Or, if I don’t know the answer I’ll do like Jack. I will just make something up (smile). Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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Don’t You Wish…….

November 20, 2011

….. you could get this comfortable? I just can’t help but smile when I look over at that Little Sissie while I’m painting!

The flowers of the Cross Vine are painted next. I use several variations of magenta, red and orange to block in the blossoms. This helps to give the flowers lots of depth and dimension. Remember, if you would like to see any of these pictures enlarged just click on the image.

The greens of the foliage are worked around the blossoms. This way the color of the flowers remains crisp and clean. If the leaves were painted first my brush would pick up the green as I blocked in the magentas, reds and oranges, making the color dirty.

The surface of the saltillo tile floor is painted with the light and dark pattern of sunlight and shadows. I use cooler (bluer) tones toward the back to make the floor recede. When the entire floor is covered I draw the perspective lines of the tiles into the wet paint with a fine liner brush. Following this sequence allows me to make a smooth line. That would be hard to do if the floor paint was dry.

The horizontal lines separating the tiles are drawn next. The finishing touch to the floor is to add the highlights on the tiles where the sunlight catches their edge. I sign the piece while the floor is wet. As with the perspective lines it is much easier to make my signature into the wet paint. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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“Sooners” in our Studio

November 18, 2011

The adobe walls are blocked in with various mixes of Cadmium Orange + Pthalo Blue + a touch of MUD + White. To learn more about our Double Primary Color Mixing System CLICK HERE. Some of you have asked about painting straight lines. In the picture above I’m pulling a vertical line, straight down.  Holding the brush at the end of the handle gives extra control, this also takes the little skips and bumps out if your hand shakes a bit. I know this sounds ridiculous but give it a try. I think you will be surprised.

The tiny amount of Pthalo Blue in the adobe mixture gives the walls an imperceptible tint of green, the complimentary color of red. This makes the door POP! Notice the blue along the lower edge of the vigas sticking out from the adobe wall. The coolness of the stroke of blue following the bottom edge makes the wooden viga appear to be round.

We finished in the studio a little early today so we could welcome a couple of our collectors from Oklahoma, Lynne and Mitch Coppedge, on the right. Her sister, Tamara Elston, is in the middle. All three are loyal OU Fans, SOONERS in our studio. What in the world are our Texas Longhorn friends going to think? For those of you who aren’t college football fans the OU Sooners and the Texas Longhorns are mortal enemies. What a fun afternoon, we went out to lunch, had a great visit and then stopped by Rhew’s Pecan Orchard House to get some fresh pecans. YUMM!

If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post you may 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. Have a great day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

A Combination of Favorites

November 17, 2011

Darrell, one of the owners of our gallery in Santa Fe, called yesterday and begged for another painting. “I have a hole on your wall, I need a 30″ x 36″ ASAP!” I went back through our book of the paintings they’ve sold and pulled out some that went quickly. The elements contained in these pieces seem to be very popular.

So, this piece will be a combination of favorites. I incorporate the chair from the painting above on the left. The door, window and pots are from the one on the right. The dots over the door and window indicate the placement of the vigas protruding from the wall.

The basic elements are now sketched up and the paint is mixed for the adobe. I had originally planned to have a chili ristra hanging on the wall above the chair, you can see it sketched in on the previous photo. I felt the peppers made too much of an up and down line with the chair so I’ve changed to a tile imbedded in the wall. What will be on the tile? I don’t have a clue, we’ll just have to see what catches my imagination when we get to it. The application of color begins in the next session. Please feel free to come watch. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post you may 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.

Fall has Arrived on Senkarik Pond

November 16, 2011

First of all, Jack has a new article on Fine Art Studio Online.  CLICK HERE to read Occam’s Razor.

This afternoon, as Jack and I sat on our back patio having a snack, the birds stopped chirping and it became totally silent. Then we heard the heavy flapping of wings as our resident hawk landed in the live oak north of the house.

While I was trying to get a good picture of the hawk, Molly jumped up on the windowsill and began scratching at a lizard outside the glass. That lizard loves to tease her, he knows he is safe from her quick slap. However, he doesn’t have a clue the hungry Hawk is hovering above!

Thought you would like to take a little break from painting today. Fall is in the air and some of our trees are beginning to turn the subtle colors of Texas autumn. The pond, diminished by the drought, has been taken over by flocks of ducks. We’ve never had this many of the migrating birds, the entire surface of the water is covered.

In this shot many of the ducks are flying. Unfortunately I disturbed them as I walked around the edge of the water to take another photo. But there are still a lot of them floating on Senkarik Pond. Please take the time to enlarge these pictures, I think you’ll enjoy the late afternoon light. Just click on the image to make it bigger. See you tomorrow, I’ll be back at the easel. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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Polly’s Puppies

November 15, 2011

When we were at our Santa Fe Gallery over Labor Day, Jack and I worked with Roberta to help us surprise Polly, one of the owners. She held a couple of Polly’s Papillons so I could get some photos to paint a portrait. They are such pretty babies.

So here goes. The first step is to sketch them up on the canvas using a thin mixture of MUD ( Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + a lot of Liquin.

I decide to make a muted blue background that will compliment their coats which have various tones of brown, leaning toward orange. I use a mix of Viridian Green + Alizarin Crimson + Pthalo Blue + White for the backdrop.

I love the ear fringes of the Papillon. They are so fun to drag into the wet paint of the background. The browns are mixes of various proportions of MUD + Cadmium Orange + a little Cadmium Yellow Medium + White.

The whites are mixed of MUD + White and Ultramarine Blue + White. Pure White is reserved for the highlights.

One of the most important aspects of portraits, both animal and human, are the eyes. They are the soul of the subject. In the picture above I’m putting in the tiny catch light. My arm is braced against a mahl stick to keep my hand steady. The reflected light along the lower rim of the eye makes the iris glow.

Polly’s Puppies     14″ x 17″     Original Oil Painting

The precious little Papillons are complete. We can hardly wait to hear Polly’s reaction to her surprise! Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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Wine Country in Texas

November 13, 2011

This may surprise you but Texas is WINE COUNTRY. We have more than 30 unique wineries scattered throughout the Hill Country, giving us a little bit of Tuscany with a Texas touch. There’s someplace new to explore around almost every bend on our quaint back roads. Each winery has its own personality, yet all share a commitment to quality and a fervent passion for what they do. So, Jack and I decided my last Limited Original for Fredericksburg just had to be Vineyards. The unembellished print is shown above.

My Limited Originals are framed in our White Senkarik Signature Frame. The blue tape covers the edge, when the embellishing is finished it’s removed, leaving the crisp, clean frame. The sky is enhanced first.

The distant mountains have been glazed with Ultramarine Blue + a liberal amount of Liquin. Then the shot of light on the far meadow is brightened up and the vineyards in the background are highlighted. The vines in the foreground are repainted with a lot of texture. The thick Alkyd Oil paint will be dry enough tomorrow to add the final coat of Liquitex Gel Medium.

Thick Alkyd is also applied to the petals of the Sunflowers. The centers will be added with MUD + Liquin.

The Grapes are Ready       24″ x 36″       Limited Original

Red orange Poppies and Lavender complete the flowers in the front. The final touch is to embellish the plump grapes, ready to harvest, hanging on the vines. You might want to add the Texas Wine Country to your travel plans. Enjoy a drive through our beautiful rolling hills and visit the vineyards. Just to let you know, we are having a special Senkarik “Experience” to welcome the Fredericksburg Art Gallery to our Team on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2012. We’d love for you to come. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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