Archive for May, 2015

Chief High Horse

May 26, 2015

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Now for something completely different from my regular voice of Architecture and Flowers. Jack and I thought it would be fun to paint some Indian Portraits for my eBay collectors. Since these are such a stretch from my usual work they could become collector items one day!

To go directly to my eBay auction CLICK HERE.

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The background paint is mixed, using various proportions of the colors shown above.

This VIDEO shows the background being painted around the oil sketch of my subject, Chief High Horse.

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I pull out a couple of special colors for the face: Cerulean Blue and Terra Rosa. White and MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) will be added into the mixes to make the variety of shades needed for the portrait.

Blocking in the face in this VIDEO. The basic planes are established first, then I go back and start working on details.

Another VIDEO! Painting the eyes, the “SOUL of the Portrait”.

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After finishing the buckskin shirt the headdress is painted.

SE2215 Chief High Horse 14x14Chief High Horse    Original Oil Portrait

Chief High Horse was a Burle Sioux Chief from the To Strikes Camp in the southern part of the Rosebud Agency District. High Horse represented his tribe in several delegations before he died in 1931 at the age of 79. Father’s Day is around the corner on June 21st. This Indian Portrait would make a wonderful gift for that special dad in your life. Remember, a Senkarik Original Oil Painting will last for generations, bringing smiles long after candy and ties are gone.

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Chief High Horse measures 14 inches tall x 14 inches wide. 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!

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The piece is done on a gallery wrapped canvas with a 1 1/2″ finished edge. It’s ready to hang as soon as you give it! We even provide the hanger and nail! But don’t Linger! The auction for Chief High Horse ends this Sunday, May 31 at 8 PM Texas (Central) Time. If you’d like me to personalize it to that special Dad in your life let me know as soon as possible after you win!

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Chief High Horse is one of a pair of my Indian Portraits on eBay. The piece on the right is Chief Hollow Horn Bear. You can click on the image to enlarge the pair. The second auction ends Thursday June 4 at 8 PM Central Time.

CLICK HERE to go to the auctions!


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Summer Splendor

May 25, 2015


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It’s Memorial Day! So many have given their lives so we can be safe in this great country. Jack and I want to express our heartfelt thanks to all of the brave men and women serving in the military. We appreciate not only the sacrifices they have made but that of their families. Moms and Dads, Husbands and Wives, Brothers, Sisters and Children. By the Grace of God we are fortunate enough to have been born in the United States. Please take a moment today to remember all of these extra special people. And don’t think your appreciation has to be limited to today. Anytime you see a member of the military, or anyone in law enforcement for that matter, please shake their hand and tell them how glad you are for the sacrifices they’ve made to keep you safe and free!

Here’s the VIDEO on painting the White Hollyhocks that I promised in my previous blog. Now I have a confession to make. Somehow I managed to delete the rest of the step-by-step photos on this painting from our digital camera before I got them saved. OOOPPPPPPSSSSSS!!!!! So……….

SE2015 Summer Splendor 14x14Summer Splendor     14 inches x 14 inches   Original Oil Painting

We’ll just fast forward to the end! Here’s the finished piece, Summer Splendor! The happy red gate is ready to join Winter and Spring in its new home in Santa Fe! Hugs,

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Curving Courtyard

May 23, 2015


Time to paint the curving courtyard floor. The surface of the courtyard is first covered with the light and shadow pattern. Then the lines separating the tiles are drawn into the wet paint of the floor. The VIDEO above shows the entire process. Please remember, if you have any questions feel free to ask.

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Sunlight streaming across the courtyard will illuminate the Hollyhocks to the right of the gate. But first let’s work on the Sunflowers.

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The large blossoms are blocked in with mixes of MUD + Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Yellow Medium + a touch of Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Yellow Medium. Then the rest of the foliage is painted.

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After making the dark centers, the individual petals of the Sunflowers glistening in the light are delineated. We should finish up in the next session. I’m going to have a video showing how I paint the White Hollyhocks. Hope you’ll come back and see how they turn out! Hugs,

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Trumpet Vine

May 22, 2015


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Red Gates are so cheery; our collectors specifically requested that one of the four pieces have one. So here goes….. The shadows are mixes of Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson while pure Cadmium Red Light is used for the brilliantly lit area. After painting the flat panels of the gates I add the unique hinges and latch.

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Trumpet Vine will tumble over the wall of the courtyard. The color mixes are shown above. #1. Cadmium Red Light + Alizarin Crimson. #2. Cadmium Red Light. #3. Cadmium Orange. #4. Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. #5. Three values of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium. #6. Pthalo Blue + White. #7. Pthalo Blue + Liquin. The oil colors left over from the previous session are lined up on the left of my palette. They’ll be usable for two or three days.

Looks like my supervisor, our rescue kitty Molly, is asleep on the job in the background 🙂 Click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see how she is squeezed into the basket that is too small for her. It’s actually for Sissie, her sister, who is considerably smaller than Molly. The only way she can cram in is to let one or two of her legs hang out.

ANOTHER VIDEO TODAY!  You can watch how the Trumpet Vine is painted in my usual sequence of FLOWERS FIRST, LEAVES LAST.

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AND….. sound the Trumpets. The vine is complete!

2015-5-14 Back yard NO MORE PALETTES 1


This is an exciting day. I’ve completed the last of our flower beds and the pallets are gone! Don’t have to look at them any more. YIPPEE!!!! I’ll admit, there were days I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to this point. There are a few minor projects to do but the bulk of the construction work is DONE!

2015-5-14 Amaryllis Walk rumbles laid out

The stepping stone pathway is laid out and spaced. Next I have to dig them into the ground and level the stones. But at least I can now walk all the way around our home/studio without getting dirty, muddy feet! Those are amaryllis in the curve of the flower bed. We always get them for Christmas decorations. This year Jack suggested planting them……they’ll bloom next spring! We’ll keep adding more after each Christmas.

2015-5-11 O'Brien Happy Snoopy Birdhouse

A dear friend sent us the Snoopy birdhouse. I love Woodstock sitting on his tummy! Don’t they look so cool hanging out next to Ruby, our Forest Pansy Redbud Tree? We found out the other Redbud Tree on the left, Rosie, is not a Forest Pansy. The nursery told us they want to replace it as soon as they get more in. But it probably won’t be until next spring. So….we’ll get to enjoy Rosie I this year, and welcome Rosie II next!

Thanks for following along. Hugs,

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Third in a Quartet

May 21, 2015

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This piece is the third in a set of four. Our collector commissioned a series depicting the Four Seasons in Santa Fe. Here’s the pen and ink drawing! Please remember as you proceed through my blog, you can enlarge any of the images by click on them.

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The initial sketch on the canvas is made in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. I begin by establishing the structure of the gate.

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The flowers are roughly indicated and labeled. That way as I get to slapping paint up on the canvas I won’t forget what I’m supposed to plant! I’ve done that before, fortunately my client at the time liked the flowers I painted even better than the ones we had planned. WHEW! I got lucky 🙂

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First the adobe wall is painted with several mixes in various proportions of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. MUD is added to darken the mixtures for the shadows. Ultramarine Blue + White is used to cool the back edge of the gate opening so it will recede.

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A few Sunflower shadows are cast on the wall behind where these happy flowers will grow. Some of the foliage is also blocked in with greens leftover from my previous painting.  I’ll come back and finish the leaves when I work on the Sunflowers.

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Daisies and Grapes

May 18, 2015

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Bright Yellow Daisies guard the crimson doors. First, the flowers are blocked in with mixes of Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium + a tiny bit of MUD and pure Cadmium Yellow Medium. Second the foliage is painted. The leaves are made of mixes in different proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White.

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After putting in the flower stems I add the dark centers of the Daisies with MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. Please remember as you read though my blog, you can enlarge any of the pictures by clicking on them.

ANOTHER VIDEO! Painting the luscious grapes is really fun…….

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California Poppies will fill the planter along the walkway on the right. My mixes are as follows: #1. Permanent Rose + Cadmium Red Light + White. #2. Permanent Rose + White. #3. Cadmium Red Light + White. #4. Pure Cadmium Orange. #5. Three mixes in different proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. #6. Pthalo Blue + Liquin. This wash is used for the cool, dark areas in the shadows of the foliage. I’ve shown the paint tubes because several of you have asked what brand of Oil Paints we use. They are Winsor Newton WINTON Oil Colors. Jack and I have used them for years without experiencing any problems. AND… just so you know how we feel about the quality, he’s painted some $65,000 Oil Portraits with them!

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Following my usual sequence of FLOWERS FIRST, LEAVES LAST the poppies are blocked in with a large Bright (square) brush. To find out more about the brushes I like to use CLICK HERE.

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The deep centers are made with a thin wash of Magenta + Liquin.

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And……California Poppies!

2015-5-11 Silver Pony Feet and Sweet potatoe vine 2

Silver Pony Foot will be dangling from the Petunia Pots in the left foreground. The leaves look like the bottoms of tiny little pony hooves. I had to get this plant just because I fell in love with the name and look; Jack and I are certifiably crazy about horses! It’s great in the garden, drought tolerant, freezes back in the winter but comes right back in the spring, fuller than before.

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After the Petunias are blocked in with various shades of Magenta + White I plant some of the Silver Pony Foot with the gray-greens leftover from the California Poppies.

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We’re DONE! A Healing Retreat for our newest collector in Taiwan. Don’t you just want to take a seat, sip a little wine and munch on a few grapes? I know I’m ready! Jack and I really appreciate all of you who read our blogs, books and articles. As we say here in Texas, MUCH OBLIGED!

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Curved Walkway

May 17, 2015

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Now for the tile floor of the entry courtyard. The flat surface is totally covered, establishing the light and shadow pattern. Sunlight spills across the upper level, the lower floor is in shadow. This is called the THRESHOLD effect. What is that??????? Think of standing outside, looking at your home from a distance, on a warm summer night. Make sure the front door is open with the inside light on. Your eye is dragged through the darkness, across the THRESHOLD of the door, to the light inside. This works in a painting, the viewer’s gaze is drawn over the shadow in the front to the sunny portion behind. The THRESHOLD effect helps to give the feeling of depth in a painting.


The curving perspective lines are first drawn into the wet paint of the floor followed by the horizontal lines separating the individual tiles.

The lower level is done in the same sequence; perspective lines first. Then the edges of the tiles are highlighted.

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Our entry courtyard is complete!


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A bit of Cadmium Red Light added to the floor paint is perfect for the terra-cotta containers in the foreground. The back edge of each pot is painted with a mix of Ultramarine Blue + White. The coolness of the blue helps to “Round” the side.

2015-5-11 Tomatoe Bed

Before I say “Good Bye” today I have to gloat about our tomatoes! You can click on the picture to enlarge it. We’ve been eating cherry tomatoes (the two plants on the trellis on the right) and it won’t be long until the regular ones will be ready to harvest.

2015-5-14 Molly in Tomatoes

I think Molly is even proud! How ’bout you? A Bobcat Tomato and two Celebrity Tomatoes are directly behind her! Thanks for following along. BIG HUGS,

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Heart Shaped Chairs

May 15, 2015



The wrought iron chairs with the heart shaped backs are drawn with a mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin into the wet paint of the wall. Working wet into wet makes it easier to drag smooth lines. It would be difficult if the thick paint of the background was dry, stiff and bumpy!

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WHEW! We’ve got those finished. I have to admit I hold my breath while pulling those lines! Here’s a closeup. To see this better you can enlarge the image by clicking on the picture.

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The next step will be to paint lacy curtains in the windows. When I sketched up the initial plan the openings were washed in with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Liquin and MUD + Liquin. Today the washes are totally dry……..

So let’s get started. Pulling the brush straight down I lightly drag the shadow colors of the curtains over the background. Then highlights are added. I want the texture of the canvas to show, giving the impression of lace curtains.

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Next the doors, window frames and mullions are painted over the curtains. They immediately drop “Behind the Glass”. I brace against a mahl stick that is hooked over the top of my easel to steady my hand.

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Can’t you just hear a little bell tinkle at the thought of someone opening the doors? The whoosh of fresh air makes the crisp, lacy curtains flutter and dance. That’s all for today, hope you’ll come back again soon. But before you go I think you’ll enjoy Jack’s latest article on FineArtStudioOnline. CLICK HERE to read Best Advice. Hugs,

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A Wisp of Wisteria

May 14, 2015

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First of all I’d like to welcome everyone who has recently subscribed to my blog! I really appreciate you following along. Please remember, if you ever have any questions feel free to ask. Just scroll down to the comments section and ask away. OK, Let’s get to painting. I begin the application of color with the rock walls. The shadow patterns are blocked in first. Then I pull the strokes of light into the dark. Working wet-into-wet softens the transitions.

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Now it’s time for the crevices between the stones. I work impressionistically and am careful not to outline each and every stone. I just want to give the indication of a rock wall.

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The top edges of the stones are highlighted. Again, I don’t show every one. The highlights in the shadows are made bluer, or cooler.

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The red wine in the half filled glasses is washed in with a mix of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin.

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The mixtures for the Wisteria are shown above. #1. Three mixes in different proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium. #2. Ultramarine Blue + Dioxazine Purple + White. #3. Ultramarine Blue + White + a tiny touch of Dioxazine Purple. #4. Two shades of Dioxazine Purple + White. The Dioxazine Purple is not a color I usually put out on my palette. But it is perfect in special instances; it makes a beautiful lavender that is wonderful for Wisteria. If you’d like to learn more about our Double Primary Palette CLICK HERE.

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The Wisteria blossoms are blocked in first, #1. Then I come back and paint the foliage, using the greens to shape the long, dangling blooms, #2.

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Highlights on the individual flower petals and leaves finish out the Wisteria. You can enlarge the image to see it better, just click on the picture. In fact, you can do this on all of the images. Thanks for visiting our studio today, hope you’ll come back soon. Just a little preview……..I’ll have a Video in our next session! Hugs,

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Laundry Day

May 12, 2015

2015-5-12 Sissie in comforter 1

Today was laundry day. I usually pile our comforter on the bench in the bedroom while I’m putting on clean sheets. Guess who decided to take a little nap, snuggled in the folds? That’s Sissie, one of our rescue kitties. Suppose I’ll just have to wait to finish making the bed ’til her snooze is over!

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Starting a commission for a brand new collector in…..Taiwan. Can you believe it? Greta discovered my work on Google and using Skype we worked out all the details. I feel so Hi-Tech! My pen and ink sketch is shown above. You can click on this or any of the other images to view them larger.

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Greta will be visiting the United States this summer, so I’m painting the piece on unstretched canvas. She’ll be able to roll her painting up to carry it home on the plane. I’m doing it now so the thick oils will have plenty of time to dry. The canvas is clipped to a double ply piece of cardboard. The outside border of the image is taped off. When the piece has finished drying I’ll remove the tape, leaving a nice clean edge. Not only does it look nice, this will make it easier to stretch.

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I sketch up the basic plan in a thin oil wash made of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. Why do we call the deep purple mixture MUD? CLICK HERE to learn more about our Double Primary Palette and find out! The window areas are washed in with mixes of MUD + Liquin and Ultramarine Blue + Liquin. I don’t want the openings to be totally opaque, the translucency will help give a hint of something inside. You can see this better if you enlarge the image, just click on the picture.

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The initial drawing on the canvas is complete. I label the flowers, I don’t want to forget what we decided to plant in the garden! I’ve been known to do that from time to time, OPPPS!

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