Planning Ahead

Today I’m beginning another commission. It is based on the painting above, Colors of Capri. Our collector is giving this as a Birthday/Christmas present to her husband. Their daughters are collaborating in the surprise as well. It was fun visiting with them and exchanging ideas.

Calvin especially loves the Big Sur coastline. So we replaced the view of Capri with the rocky California coast. To give the feeling of an isolated retreat all buildings were removed and a Monterey Cypress Tree is nestled against one side of the arch. They loved the purple color of the vine. I made it into a Wisteria to give a different flower shape since we’ve added Trumpet vine cascading over the wall on the right. The Trumpet Vine has more of a round profile, the purple vine in Colors of Capri would have been too similar. Sunflowers, Red Azaleas and White Gardenias were also specifically requested. Please remember, if you would like to see any of these pictures larger just click on the image.

Here is where planning ahead really comes in. The painting will be framed in a traditional manner, not in our Senkarik Signature Frame. So this is how we prepare a standard canvas in order to make shipping the semi-wet painting a snap. The first step is to put the title, copyright, our control number and the personalization on the back. On every piece I paint a rectangular area with white acrylic for the previous information. It is labeled with a big Sharpie pen, the acrylic prevents any ink from bleeding through. I love the name our collector came up with, Highway 1 Escape! Then two screw eyes are put in the stretcher bars as shown. If the painting was larger I would use four, one in the center of each stretcher bar.

The screw eye is not inserted all the way. It needs to protrude enough to go through the backing cardboard.

A piece of double-ply cardboard that extends outward approximately 3 inches on each side of the painting is cut. This painting is 18″ x 28″ so the cardboard backing is 24″ x 34″. The canvas is centered on the cardboard and lightly pressed down. The screw eye makes an indentation in the cardboard.

An ice pick is used to make a hole all the way through the cardboard.

The canvas is then placed on the cardboard, the screw eyes pushed through the holes and nails are inserted, holding the canvas tight against the backing. The nail will be covered with blue painter’s tape to keep it from coming out.

The canvas and backing cardboard are placed on the easel and we are ready to begin painting. This technique makes it easy to handle the wet painting. When we are finished I will show you how we pack the piece for shipping.

My painting setup is a culinary cart with two shelves underneath, making it easy to keep my supplies organized and close at hand. The palette on top is a 1/4 inch piece of glass placed on a white shelf board. Odorless paint thinner is in a plastic gallon water jug with the top cut off, leaving the handle. After using a bottle for a few days I can pour off the clean thinner into a new one and dispose of the old one, gunk and all. Toilet paper is used to wipe my brush, a clean brush is the secret to crisp colors on your canvas. An aluminum walker holds a garbage bag for my trash. And…’s football season, GO COWBOYS! We’ll start painting tomorrow, do come back and watch. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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8 Responses to “Planning Ahead”

  1. Sandra R Cutrer Says:

    Thank you,Mikki, for all of this valuable information. I sent a rather “tacky” painting not too long ago and worried until it was delivered safely. I am anxious to see more on how to ship the painting “wet” or “tacky” worry-free! I love your paintings, and Jack’s writings. I am enjoying the book I bought of Jack’s about selling on Ebay. I am sorry that I don’t post every time, but I am watching,learning, and enjoying every post- keep them coming. Thank you both for all of the sharing that you do! God bless you both! Hugs from southeast Texas. Kiss the kitty-cats for me!

  2. Gherry Taylor Says:

    Great information!!!

  3. Joëlle Jean Baptiste - Author Says:

    Reblogged this on Ink cherry write and commented:
    Beautiful painting!

  4. mariasotorobbins Says:

    I do something similar with the card-board but only after the painting is finished and prior to preparing for shipping. Your way is so much better! Thank you for showing all these details, Mikki~.

  5. William McCoy Says:

    Your idea of using the water jug for cleaning brushes looks totally practical. Do you use any kind of grid or screen inside it to wipe your brushes across?

  6. Nadya Says:

    Thank You so much Mikki!!!

  7. sojournersroad Says:


    Thanks for sharing how you mount your canvas to be able to paint the edges of a gallery wrapped canvas. Very ingenious!


    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Thank you Donald. I have Jack to thank for this unique method of attaching the canvas to the cardboard! I appreciate you following my blog. And keep watching, I have a four foot by six foot gallery wrap commission coming up. It’s a little bit daunting to say the least! Mikki

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