Planting Hawaiian Style

SA0414 A Legacy of Aloha step 13

When Paul and I first discussed his ideas for this painting he asked if I could add the company logo as a bronze metal cutout on the wall. He’d sent us this cool tumbler a few months ago so I had a good pattern of the logo to follow. In designing the painting I decided to sacrifice wall space so we could have a wider doorway, therefore showing more of the ocean view. So I had to become inventive. Actually it was Jack who came up with the answer. He said, “Why don’t you just emboss the logo on one of the ceramic flower pots?” I like it, what do you think?

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All of the large flower pots are painted with mixtures of Ultramarine Blue + White. After completing the ceramic containers I begin painting the leaves of the Ginger. This is one of the exceptions to my Flowers First, Leaves Last rule. Because the flowers of the Ginger plant are so randomly placed it’s easier to paint the large leaves first with cool greens made of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

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Then I gently “Lay” the thick paint of the pink flowers on top of the underlying green. I have to be extremely careful so I don’t pick up any of the leaf color on my brush and dull the blooms.


One of our fondest memories of living in Hawaii was driving along the winding roads and coming upon small flower stands with buckets full of Ginger, Heliconia and Birds of Paradise. A sign would read, “Dollar a Bunch”. It was all on the honor system, you’d take a bunch and leave your dollar in a small pot by the sign! This is a little painting of one we frequently visited, I took artistic liberty and moved it down by the beach!

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Since the flowers of the Clivia grow in clumps they are roughed in first with mixes of Cadmium Red Light + Alizarin Crimson, Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Orange and pure Cadmium Orange. If you would like to see this or any of the other pictures larger just click on the image.

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Cadmium Yellow Medium is mixed into the greens leftover from the ginger to use for the warmer Clivia foliage. Then the broad strap-like leaves are painted around the blossoms.

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Clivia are such beautiful plants, Jack and I first discovered them in Maui at the Kula Botanical Gardens. We didn’t know what they were called until about a year or so ago. I put them in one of my paintings and asked our blog readers if they could identify this wonderful plant for me. One of my followers from New Zealand wrote back with the answer. I think I have the best bunch of blog followers in the world! AND…If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to 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. If you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

8 Responses to “Planting Hawaiian Style”

  1. Edith McMullin Says:

    What are the pink flowers above the doorway? I must have falled asleep… Edith McMullin

  2. Bill Gavin Says:

    Hi Mikki,

    I love your email updates. Noticed you wear gloves when painting. Is that because of the solvents or something else? Robert Douglas Hunter, painter, who I met in art school ,Vesper George School of Art, and at his workshop was also concerned about the oil. He used yellow bar soap for years and has had no problems…just a thought.

    Tell Jack, some of his stories swell my eyes…very emotional. Love them.

    Bill Gavin

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Hi Bill,
      It’s just that in the winter time my hands get so dry the skin cracks. So I slather my hands up with lotion and then put the gloves on. I seem to be OK as the weather gets warmer. Thank you for asking. And Jack appreciates your kind words. Hugs, Mikki and Jack

  3. Shaz Says:

    I love all your work:-)
    Could I ask what was the size of canvas you painted this on?

  4. Lynda Wright Says:

    Hi Mikki,
    I have only just come across your paintings by chance and I can sincerely say:- I ADMIRE YOUR WORK! This must surely be the best I have ever seen, and I am sure viewers like myself, can feel your heart and soul in your work. Though I have not painted for many years, and certainly not to this degree. May I ask you a question or two? What is your style of painting? Are you using impasto? Are you picking up more than one color at the same time? You are phenomenal. I wish you strength going forward. God bless you always!

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Dear Lynda, Thank you for your wonderful words. WOW! I would call my paintings representational impressionism. I use thick brushwork, all of the paint is applied with brushes, not a painting knife. Yes, I will pick up several colors on my brush at a time. Makes for nice color surprises on the canvas. I appreciate you following my blog. Please, always feel free to ask questions. HUGS, Mikki

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