Smooshing Around

It’s gardening time! I’ve been saving all of my extra paint and now we are going to have some fun using it. I’ve also mixed some large blobs of Cadmium Yellow Medium, Permanent Rose, Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Orange with a touch of Liquin to speed up the drying time.

I begin by blocking in the field of California Poppies using the reds, oranges and pinks. The paint is randomly slapped up on the canvas because I want a variety of colors in the blossoms. This is best done at the end of the day when I’m tired, that way I’m not too careful. It helps to be hungry, I work faster. Especially if there is a Peanut Butter and Jam sandwich waiting for me. Paul sent some of the most wonderful Jam Nancy made and PB&J is one of my favorites.

This is the highly technical part of the process, a technique called “Smooshing.” Using a large Bright brush the various greens are “Smooshed Around” the flower colors to shape the blossoms. The flower colors are painted first so they will stay crisp and clean. If I painted the greens first and then tried to paint the flowers the colors would get all muddy and ugly.

Meet Paul and Nancy’s sons, Kevin (left) and Connor (right). Their best friend, Hoke, is in the middle. The boys are responsible for coming up with the idea for this collaboration, they directed Paul and Nancy to the painting, Radiant Valley, in our tabletop book. I imagine if these guys were given brushes and oil paint they would be excellent “Smooshers”.

Butter Yellow is another of Nancy’s favorite colors so I’m going to let a clump of soft yellow Yarrow grow in the immediate foreground. You can click on the picture to enlarge any of these images.

After looking at the painting in the mirror I decide to let the rose shadows on the barn extend all the way to the ground. The darkness along the bottom of the building helps to anchor the old barn, it appeared to almost be floating a little above the grassy field before.

The final touch is to sign the painting and add highlights to the Coreopsis in the lower left corner. I use a #4 Bright brush and pull it upward to indicate the petals.

After the Rain              32″ x 40″           Original Oil Painting

As I was cleaning up my brushes I told Jack, “Get your thinking cap on, I need a name!” Being the official namer in the family he came over and looked a long time. Then Jack turned and said, “You know how it is after an afternoon rain shower has passed through? Everything is so fresh and clear, the landscape is totally saturated with color. This painting looks just like that. The darkness across the front acts like a threshold, your eye is drawn to the field where the sun has broken through the clouds and spotlighted the old barn. Let’s call it After the Rain. ” I love it. We’re sure Paul, Nancy and the boys will too. This has been so much fun, I really enjoy collaborating with my collectors. Thank you for visiting our studio. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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6 Responses to “Smooshing Around”

  1. Janet Says:

    Gorgeous Mikki! The name is perfect too. 🙂

  2. mjspringett Says:

    Wonderful, thanks MJ

  3. Houston Says:

    Awesome painting! How are you able to store all that old paint?

  4. Paul O'Brien Says:

    Hi Mikki,
    The picture is AMAZING. Thank you for doing it. Would love to try smooshing.

  5. huma Says:

    LOVE ur will b honour 4me to learn 4m u.

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