Archive for April, 2015

Forever Roses for Mother’s Day

April 27, 2015

SD1415 Forever Roses Step 1

My this year is flying by, can you believe Mother’s Day is a week from Sunday on May 10th? I’m working on an eBay piece especially for this celebration of our love for Mothers, Grandmothers and Mother’s-in-Law.

To go directly to the auction CLICK HERE.

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I just had to work a heart into the piece! Found this cool stone header in our reference pictures but don’t remember exactly where it was taken. Somewhere deep in Mexico is the closest Jack and I can recall.

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The White Morning Glories have been blocked in with my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last. It’s fun drawing the delicate tendrils into the wet paint of the wall with a fine liner brush.

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In Fung Shui the color Red represents LOVE. What better than to have a Red door for our Mother’s Day painting 🙂

The video above shows how I paint the Irises. Working opposite of my normal method, I begin by painting the long, strap-like leaves.

Watch how the thick, textured brush stokes of the Iris flowers are “Laid” on top of the underlying color. I have to be careful not to pick up any of the adobe wall paint, it would muddy the soft Lavenders and Purples made of Dioxazine Purple + White.

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Roses are another tradition for Mother’s Day.

SD1415 Forever Roses 17x14

The best thing about these is they will never fade, Forever Roses!

SD1415 Forever Roses with tape measureForever Roses measures 17 inches tall x 14 inches wide, that’s the outside dimension of the Senkarik Signature Frame. The painted image is 12 1/2 inches tall x 9 1/2 inches wide. It’s ready to hang as soon as you give it! We even provide the hanger and nail! This size Senkarik Original Oil Painting retails for $590 in our Team Galleries. But to make it more fun we are starting the bid at A PENNY! That’s right, ONLY ONE CENT!

But don’t Linger! The auction for Forever Roses ends this Sunday, May 3 at 8 PM Texas (Central) Time. If you’d like me to personalize it to that special Mom in your life let me know as soon as possible after you win. We have to ship the painting Monday, May 4 to make sure we get it to you in time to give for Mother’s Day.

To go to the auction CLICK HERE!


Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Chimayo Morning

April 22, 2015

2015-4-20 First Strawberries 2

STRAWBERRIES! Our first of the year.

2015-4-20 First Strawberries 1

They’re almost ready to eat. We can hardly wait, just hope Ms. Mockingbird doesn’t get to them first 🙂

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Jack and I have taken tons of reference pictures over the years. BDC (Before Digital Cameras) we mainly took slides. We have some great Poplar Tree 2x2s, just have to pull out the trusty slide projector to view them. You can see my set up above. I project the image on the wall behind my easel. That’s Jack’s painting over the mantle, he did it especially for me. Don’t you think Peace in the Valley is beautiful? You can click on the image to enlarge it!

Watch the video above to see how I paint the Poplar Trees!

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The leaves of the Red Corn Poppies are painted first, opposite of my usual method. Then the thick brushstokes of the brilliant flowers are gently “Laid” on top of the underlying paint. If I pick up any of the green I immediately wipe it off the brush, I don’t want it to muddy the intense color of the blossoms.

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I go back to my regular sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last to block in the White Daisies in the foreground.

SD1515 Chimayo Morning 14x14Chimayo Morning     14 inches by 14 inches

Yellow and Orange centers finish out the Daisies shimmering in the early morning sunlight. Isn’t it amazing how the warm flowers in the foreground make the cool colors behind them drop back? Thanks for following along. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


April 21, 2015

Those of you who play golf know what a Mulligan is. Read about Jack’s experience “on the links” in his latest article on FineArtStudioOnline. Just CLICK HERE to read Mulligan.

SD1515 Chimayo Morning Step 1

We’re heading for New Mexico today, Chimayo to be exact. I love the Mission there. The basic plan is first sketched on the canvas with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. Do remember, you can click on any of the images to view them larger.

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Here’s the completed sketch.

SD1515 Chimayo Morning Step 3

I’ve decided to make this very early in morning with the sun just peeking over the mountains behind the mission. My colors are mixed and ready to go. #1. MUD + White. #2. MUD + Alizarin Crimson + White. #3. Mix #2 + White. #4. Alizarin Crimson + a little MUD + a touch of Cadmium Red Light + White. #5. Mixture #4 + Cadmium Orange + White. #6. I’ve added more White + a tiny bit of Cadmium Yellow Medium to the Mix in #5.

Let’s get to painting that early morning sky. This is my favorite time of day, a fresh new beginning! Dare I say “A Mulligan”?

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The cool morning light skips and dances over the Sage Brush and Chamisa.

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Now for the Mission. I brace against the mahl stick to steady my hand as I delineate the fine details.

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The warmth of the Red Corn Poppies will POP against the cool, grayed greens in the background. Hope you’ll come back tomorrow to watch them grow. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG



Spring Time

April 15, 2015

2015-4-4 Rose Tree

I just had to share a little of our garden with you today. Remember the Valentine Roses Jack got for me? Well, I think they’re happy. I know I am 🙂 Please keep in mind as you read my blog, you can click on any of the images to see them larger.

2015-4-10 Irises, Rose Tree and Poppies 2

We have Irises, Roses, Bluebonnets and Red Corn Poppies. You can see more of our spring garden through the gate. Jack and I designed our gardens. My part time job over the past year has been doing the construction. I still have a little way to go but most of the heavy work is almost done. C’mon, follow me and we’ll check it out.

2015-4-9 Kitchen Garden 1

More Bluebonnets in the Kitchen Garden. If you’d like to see how this looked one year ago CLICK HERE.

2015-4-15 Kitchen Garden 2

The Jerusalem Sage is just starting to burst out in flower. I’ll keep you updated! The pink in the background is one of our Peggy Martin Roses on the arbor.

2015-4-9 Kitchen Garden from window

Here’s the Kitchen Garden from the window. I get to enjoy this view as I’m cooking.

2015-4-9 Swannee and Peggy

Doesn’t Swannee add a neat touch to this little vignette? It won’t be long before the Sweet Potato Vine and Marigolds grow up and fill out the Talavera planter. This “Peggy” is really beginning to fill out with blooms.

2015-4-9 Redbud garden

We’ll go ’round the back to the Redbud Garden. Rosie (Green Leaves on the left) and Ruby (Magenta Leaves on the right) are doing quite well. They are both Forest Pansy Redbud Trees, not sure why they look so different. Could be Ruby is more mature, the leaves are supposed to be this deep red-purple color. The red flowers on the left are Salvia Greggii.

2015-4-9 Redbud garden - Yellow Irises

Yellow Irises nestle near the base of Rosie.

2015-4-10 Fountain Courtyard steps and tomatoe bed

Looking from the Redbud garden back to the studio and the Fountain Courtyard. Tomatoes are planted in the bed that extends along the end of the deck to the right.

2015-4-10 Fountain Courtyard 2 under rose arbor

This arbor will also be covered with Peggy Martin Roses. Want to see how this looked when we moved here? Just CLICK HERE.

2015-4-9 Fountain courtyard 1

RadRazz Knock Out Roses and Arizona Sun Gaillardias. The unusual Sweet Potato Vine is called Chipolte! It’s a mix of Lime Green and deep Purple. You can click on the picture to see it larger. Confederate Jasmine will grow up on the trellis behind the fountain and cascade over the fence. It will be in full bloom in a couple of weeks, the fragrance will be wonderful. So that’s our garden! Hope you enjoyed a little of our spring finery. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Tranquil Retreat

April 9, 2015

2015-4-9 Irises, Rose Tree and Poppies

Our Red Corn Poppies are in FULL BLOOM! Just in time to model for our painting today. The Irises, Valentine Roses and Bluebonnets are also looking wonderful. You can click on the picture to see it larger.

SD1315 Tranquil Retreat step 46

Here are the colors I’ll use to paint the poppies. #1. Pthalo Blue + White. #2. Cadmium Red Deep #3. Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson.#4. Cadmium Red Light. #5. Pthalo Blue + Liquin. #6. Three shades of green mixed with Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

The video above shows the initial block in, I’m working in reverse of my usual sequence: Flowers First, Leaves Last. Since the Poppies dance above the foliage I block in the leaves first. If the screen doesn’t show up just click on the link to view the video.

The thick paint of the Poppies is gently “Laid” on top of the underlying leaves. When my brush picks up any of the green paint I wipe if off with toilet tissue before continuing. This way the flower color stays bright and clean.

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PRESTO, Red Corn Poppies have popped up!

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Let’s get those monogrammed rockers ready for the Rooster to perch on. I’ve added a little Cadmium Red Light into the mixtures left over from the satillo tile floor to paint the chairs.

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Now for our Rooster, we’ll have him ready to crow in no time!

SD1315 Tranquil Retreat 30x40Tranquil Retreat            30 inches by 40 inches       Original Oil Painting

AND…..Tranquil Retreat is ready for our collectors to sit in the shade of the Wisteria and enjoy the view. Although they may have to shoo the Rooster away to get a seat! Lots of Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

California Poppies

April 8, 2015

SD1315 Tranquil Retreat step 41

The floor of the patio under the Wisteria covered pergola is satillo tile. The entire surface is painted first with mixes in various proportions of Cadmium Orange + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White.

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The perspective lines of the tiles are drawn freehand into the wet paint of the floor. I can’t use a mahl stick here, it would limit the movement of my hand and I couldn’t make the lines straight.

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A limestone base completes the patio. You can begin to see how the Warm/Cool rule works. The cool Bluebonnets fall back; the warm Sunflowers and tile floor jump to the foreground!

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So let’s bring even more warmth to the foreground, California Poppies. The flowers are blocked in first with shades of Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Orange + Permanent Rose and Cadmium Red Light.

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The gray-green foliage is different mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + a touch of Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. Next the deep centers are made with Alizarin Crimson thinned with a little Liquin. We should finish up in our next session, hope you’ll come watch. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Sunflowers and Daisies

April 7, 2015

SD1315 Tranquil Retreat step 35

Sunflowers! One of my favorites. The color mixes for the leaves #1 are all various proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium. The lightest mix has a touch of White added. #2. Pthalo Blue + Liquin. #3. Cadmium Red Light + a little MUD + Cadmium Yellow Medium. #4. Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD. #5. Pure Cadmium Yellow Medium. #6. Cadmium Yellow Medium + Lemon Yellow.

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Following my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last the blossoms are blocked in first, randomly smooshing the various yellows unto the canvas. Then I come back with the greens and work around the yellow, helping to shape the flowers.

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Isn’t it amazing when you put the dark centers in how the blobs of yellow immediate look like Sunflowers?

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The White Daises are blocked in with the same order as the Sunflowers. Some of the darker cloud colors are used for the flowers in shadow.

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After the foliage is painted the individual petals touched by the light are applied in Pure White.

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The centers of the Daisies are added with some of the yellows leftover from the Sunflowers. The flowers in this corner are finished, giving Casper and Jazz a nice place to nestle. Thanks for following along. Oh, please remember, you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Four Legged Rescue Babies

April 6, 2015

SD1315 Tranquil Retreat step 29

Today we’re working on those cute rescue babies. Jack-Jack and Luna are knee deep in the Bluebonnet field. I brace against the mahl stick to paint the fine details.

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The whites on the miniature horses are muted and cool. A little blue has even been added to the highlights so they’ll stay in the background.

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Now for the donkeys. We’ll start with Casper, the white one. The colors I’ll be using are #1. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #2. MUD + Liquin. #3. The two mixes to the left of the number are different combinations of Pthalo Blue + a little Alizarin Crimson + White. Mixes #1, #2 and #3 will be used for the muzzle on both donkeys. #4. The three mixes to the right of the number are Cadmium Orange + MUD + A little Pthalo Blue + White. #5. MUD + Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White. #6. Two shades of White + Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue.

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The shadow areas are painted first.

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Next the white highlights are added. The Cadmium Orange mixed in the White makes it warmer, therefore it comes forward. This makes the horses in the background fall back even farther.

VIDEOS Today! You can follow along as I block in Jazz. If the screen doesn’t show just CLICK ON THE LINK to watch.

Here are the finishing touches on Jazz.

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Our loveable critters are complete. My last step today is to finish the Bluebonnets in front of Jazz. Thanks for following along. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Easter Irises

April 5, 2015

2015-4-2 Iris- Dashing 2

Remember the Irises Jack gave me for Christmas to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth? Well, we might not have Lilies but we have Irises blooming for Easter!

2015-4-3 Iris - Autumn Circus 2

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

We are so blessed to have every one of you in our lives. Your friendship, continued support, thoughts and prayers have been incredibly wonderful. The beauty God has created leaves us in total awe. We live in peace and tranquility knowing He gave his only son for us.


Jack and I thank you for being part of our life and wish everyone a Happy Easter.

Mikki and Jack signature JPEG

Little Details

April 3, 2015

NEWS FLASH! Jack’s newest article is posted on FineArtStudioOnline. To read Mistakes CLICK HERE.

SD1315 Tranquil Retreat step 21

It’s all in the details. I find adding special little touches here and there makes a painting more interesting. And in the case of a commission it’s much more personal for the collector. Somehow it just didn’t seem right to have that open bird cage and no birds at all. So I’ve added Mr. and Mrs. Chippers, our resident Cardinals. She was in the cage, he’s encouraging her to come out and fly free! Can’t you hear his happy little chip, chip, chip calls?

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Resting my left hand on the bare part of the canvas I use it to steady my right while delineating the details of the windmill blades.

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Blocking in the field of Bluebonnets begins in the distance with a muted mix of Ultramarine Blue + a tiny bit of MUD + White. Moving forward several mixes of Ultramarine Blue + White are used.

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A few different shades of Cobalt Blue + White are used for the Bluebonnets in the foreground. This is more intense than the mixes used farther back, therefore it comes forward. This is another simple rule that helps give the appearance of depth in a painting: Muted, Dull Colors Recede, Brighter Intense Ones Advance.

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Another detail that Susan requested was to include Jack-Jack and Luna, their miniature rescue horses, in the background. I block the basic shapes into the wet paint of the Bluebonnets. I’ll come back later and finish them out.

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Now it’s time to add the leaves of the Bluebonnets. The greens in the background are much bluer or cooler. Those toward the front are made warmer so they’ll jump forward.

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Now for the details that make Bluebonnets, well…….Bluebonnets. The little white caps! I use the corner of a small Bright (square) brush to dot them in. The ones closest to us are pure White, a touch of blue is added to the white as the caps recede.

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The Bluebonnets in front of the donkeys will be finished after I paint Casper and Jazz. As Kermit the frog would say,”We’re moving right along!” Hope to see you again soon. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG