Archive for June, 2015


June 27, 2015


2014-7-21 GOT PAVERS

Well, almost a year ago I started the construction on our garden courtyards. We got the pavers on July 21, 2014. Jack and I designed the gardens, I did the construction work. We had a general plan in mind, but made a few changes and additions as I went along. So…..thought you’d enjoy a few before and after photos.

Kitchen Garden 3 2014-3-5

Here’s the kitchen garden when we first arrived. One of the first things we had to do was replace the fence, it was more holes than boards.

2015-6-27 Kitchen Garden from Gate

The kitchen garden now. Please remember, as you go through the blog you can click on the pictures to see them larger. A Vitex Tree is on the left, it had purple blooms in the spring. It will rebloom later in the summer. The red-orange flowers of a Pride of Barbados or Mexican Bird of Paradise are peeking out from behind the Vitex.

Kitchen Garden 1 2014-3-5

Here is the same area from the other end………..

2015-6-27 Kitchen Garden from Barn

The plants in the lower left corner are Amaryllis. After Christmas Jack suggested we plant them in the garden, they’ll bloom in the spring. Cross Vine is on the trellis. By the end of summer the electrical panel should be pretty much concealed from view.  Mexican Butterfly Vine is growing up over the fence on the right. The seed pods are so neat, they look like butterflies. I collect the dried ones and put them on our Christmas tree.

2014-5-25 NW corner

The back yard was a mess, this is after I cleared out most of the bricks and trash strewn about.

2015-6-12 Cactus garden from Plum-Bob

Here’s the backyard now. Molly is happily reclined on the resting bench on the left.

2015-5-11 Back Yard End of Deck planter planted 2

This is a more complete view of the planter at the end of the deck. See the blue containers about half way up the long garden……

2015-5-9 New Planter -  cactus pots from deck

This is the view of them from above. Isn’t this a neat detail? Jack came up with the idea for the transition between the planting areas.

Back Courtyard area 2014-4-18 A

Coming up from the backyard to the north side of the yard. This is what it looked like when we first arrived. The Boxwoods were the first to go.

2015-6-12 Fountain courtyard arbor

The Rose Arbor is a 20 foot long Livestock Panel. We arched it over and anchored it to steel posts. Blue Mist is blooming in the bed on the right, butterflies love it. When you go by they fly up; making you feel like you’re walking through a cloud of butterfly wings. If you enlarge the image you can see the Fountain Courtyard.

2015-6-21 fountain courtyard

The trellis on the fence of the Fountain Courtyard is another Livestock Panel. Confederate Jasmine is growing up the wall, eventually it will drape over. When it blooms in April and May the fragrance is amazing.

2015-5-9 Fountain Courtyard walk to ramp

The walk from the Fountain level curves up to the ramp to the deck.

Back Porch gate 2014-3-11

The area alongside the house outside the gate opening to the deck was also pretty much a disaster.

2015-6-12 Fern garden north side

I moved the lost rocks and made a planter. It’s much more inviting now, what do you think?

2014-6-23 Garden Shed Door

I was so thrilled our new home had a small barn for all of my garden stuff. However, it did need some work.

2015-6-23 Barn with geckos

New doors and a few pavers make a huge difference. I love geckos, Jack surprised me with these. Aren’t they cute? Cross Vine is planted on the trellis under the window, it’s a continuation of the one that conceals the utility meters. When it blooms the Hummingbirds will flock to the orange blossoms. Molly and Sissie are going to go nuts, watching them from the window sill of our bedroom.

2015-6-12 Molly and barn

The steps coming down from the deck end up on this curved patio that starts the mulched walkway to the barn. WHEW!!!! The heavy construction is done. Now I can just play in the garden; deadheading and watering. We can enjoy some porch sitting and plain relaxing. Looks like Molly has gotten the hang of it already! Hugs,

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Secluded Elegance

June 23, 2015

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 13

The double arched gate is painted with two different shades of Pthalo Blue + White. I brace against the mahl stick to steady my hand as I draw the fine lines indicating the separate panels.

VIDEO! Let’s paint the lacy Russian Sage. Several mixes of Dioxazine Purple + White are used for the feathery blossoms.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 14

 Our Russian Sage is complete.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance 24x30 chilis

One of our readers asked a great question the other day. She wanted to know why I had painted the Chili Ristras before doing the wall behind them. Actually, at the point she saw them, they were only washed in with Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. I had done that when the painting was first sketched up on canvas. Now that they are completely dry I’ve come back and added opaque brushwork. This helps to shape the individual peppers and give them dimension. You can click on the picture to see it larger. In fact you can do this with any of the images on my blog.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 15

I reverse my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last to paint the Poker Plant. Since the flowers dance high above the long, strap-like leaves I paint the foliage first. To add the blooms, I’ll gently “Lay” the brushstrokes on top of the underlying color. This way my brush won’t pick of any of the wall paint and muddy the bright blossoms.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance 24x30Secluded Elegance      24 inches by 30 inches

Wouldn’t it be fun to walk through the Secluded Elegance of this courtyard and explore the red rocks of Sedona? Painting this piece has brought back wonderful memories of living in Carefree, Arizona, just north of Scottsdale. Many times during the heat of the summer we’d make a fun trip up to enjoy the cooler temperatures in Sedona. Thanks for following along. Hugs,

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June 19, 2015

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 9

The floor is now blocked in. I paint the entire surface, establishing the light and shadow pattern.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 10

Next perspective lines separating the individual tiles are drawn into the wet paint. Using a fine liner brush I work freehand, using the mahl stick would limit the movement of my arm. It would be difficult to make the lines straight.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 11

My paint is mixed for the Bougainvilleas, the mixtures are as follows. #1. Magenta + White. #2. Dioxazine Purple + Magenta + White. #3. Magenta + a tiny bit of Dioxazine Purple + White. #4. Mix #3 + White. #5. Viridian Green + White. #6 Pthalo Blue + a touch of White. #7. Viridian Green + Pthalo Blue + White. #8. Mixture #5 + more White.

VIDEO. Painting the Bougainvillea.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 12

The cascade of Bougainvilleas adorns the ancient adobe wall. If you’d like to see this or any of the other images larger just click on the picture. Thank you for following my blog. Please remember, if you have any questions please feel free to ask. Hugs,

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Red Rocks

June 17, 2015

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 1

Starting a new piece for our gallery in Sedona. We took the reference picture at Mission San Miguel in San Miguel, California, just north of Paso Robles. You can click on the image to see the Mission gate enlarged.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 2

The background is painted first, then I’ll do the gate and garden. My color mixes for the sky and Red Rocks are shown here. #1. White + Pthalo Blue + a tiny bit of Lemon Yellow. #2. White + Pthalo Blue. #3. White + Cobalt Blue. #4. White + Lemon Yellow + a touch of Pthalo Blue. #5. Several mixes in different proportions of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light + White. #6. Ultramarine Blue + White. #7. Mixes of various amounts of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. #8. White + a little bit of Ultramarine Blue.

VIDEO: Painting the Red Rocks of Sedona.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 3

“Painting Forward” I begin work on the desert foliage in the middle ground.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 5

The leftover oil paint from the background is saved on the left side of my palette. It will remain usable for 3 to 4 days. I’ll have it if I need to go back and make any adjustments. The old wall will be painted with several shades mixed with MUD + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. The dab of Blue is Ultramarine Blue + a tiny amount of MUD + White.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 6

The entire surface of the wall is covered.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 7

Crumbling plaster leaves the adobe bricks exposed in a few areas. The dark, irregular shape is blocked in first. Then the individual bricks are delineated. I just want to give an impression of them, not outline each one.

SF2415 Secluded Elegance step 8

The wall of the old gate is finished. A few strokes of Blue are added into the adobe bricks, this will make them fall behind the Poker Plant in the foreground.

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Chief Iron Tail

June 14, 2015

SF2715 Iron Tail Step 1

Painting another Indian Portrait just in time for Father’s Day. If you’d like to go directly to my eBay auction CLICK HERE.

This auction ENDS at 8 PM Central Time, TUESDAY, June 16 so don’t linger.

SF2715 Iron Tail Step 2

My paint mixtures for the face are shown above. #1. Two shades of Cerulean Blue + White. #2. Pure Cerulean Blue from the tube. #3. A dab of pure Terra Rosa. #4. Three mixes in different proportions of Terra Rosa + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #5. Three shades of Terra Rosa + White. #6. Terra Rosa + Cadmium Red Light + White. #7. MUD + Liquin.

SF2715 Iron Tail Step 3

The background was covered with mixes in various proportions of Viridian Green + Alizarin Crimson + Pthalo Blue + White. Now for the face. The shadows are blocked in first.

SF2715 Iron Tail Step 4

Faces are divided horizontally into three color zones. The forehead is more yellow while the middle zone, the nose and cheekbones, is more red. This is because the skin is thinner here so blood vessels are closer to the skin. The lower face is bluer or cooler. These zones are more pronounced in men but if you look closely you can see the subtle changes in women. I drag some of mix #1 over the skin tones in the lower face to add the coolness.

SF2715 Iron Tail Step 5

Bracing against the mahl stick to steady my hand the catch light and reflected light on the iris are added. To see the image larger just click on the picture.

VIDEO TODAY! Blocking in the War Bonnet.

SF2715 Iron Tail Step 6

It’s fun painting the ribbons draping from the Headdress.

SF2715 Iron Tail 14x14Chief Iron Tail       Original Oil Painting

Chief Iron Tail was an Oglala Lakota Chief and star performer in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Iron Tail was a popular subject for professional photographers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His distinctive profile was used as a model for the Indian Head nickel issued from 1913 to 1938.

SF2715 Iron Tail corner

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! Father’s Day is just around the corner on June 21st. Chief Iron Tail would make a wonderful gift for that special dad in your life. Remember, a Senkarik Original Oil Painting will last for generations, expressing your love and appreciation for years to come.

SF2715 Iron Tail with tape

Chief Iron Tail measures 14 inches tall x 14 inches wide. This size Senkarik Original Oil Painting retails for $690 in our Team Galleries. But to make it more fun we are starting the bid at A PENNY! That’s right, ONLY ONE CENT! Don’t wait too long, the AUCTION ENDS TUESDAY, June 16 at 8 PM Central Time. If you’d like the back of the painting personalized for the recipient please let me know as soon as possible when you win. You need to get the information to me Tuesday evening so I can schedule your painting to be picked up by FedEX on Wednesday. That way we’ll make sure it gets to you in time to give on Father’s Day.

To go to the auction CLICK HERE


Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


June 11, 2015

Jack’s newest article has just been published on FineArtStudiosOnline. Several of Jack’s readers say this is one of his Best!


2015-6-11 Sissie in Catnip 1

I planted some Catnip in the garden this morning. When I returned from putting the plastic containers in the recycle bin guess who I caught IN the Catnip? LITTLE SISSIE!!!!!!!

2015-6-11 Sissie in Catnip 2

She just made a little nest and wallowed around for awhile. Hope our Catnip survives 🙂 You can click on the picture to see her better. Hope you have a wonderful day. Hugs,

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Bounty of Fall

June 8, 2015

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 16

It’s time to come back and add the opaque leaves on the Sarza. The washed in foliage is now completely dry. Mixtures of Alizarin Crimson + White, Magenta + White and Sap Green + White are used. I apply the paint with thick brushstrokes, giving it lots of texture.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 17

Chili Ristras are a signature trademark of Santa Fe. The individual peppers are sculpted with a small Bright brush. If you’d like to find out more about the brushes I use CLICK HERE.

VIDEO! Painting that cute little Rooster and hen. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have emailed to say how much you enjoy the videos. I really appreciate your kind words. A few have mentioned they’ve not been able to make to audio work. OOOPPPPS!!! There is no narration. I’m very fortunate as an artist, I’m having a difficult time keeping up with my painting commitments. Time does not allow me to narrate the videos. I’m afraid I’m doing the best I can at this time just to get these posted for you. But maybe I can sometime in the future.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 18

Maxmillian Sunflowers are blocked in with my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall 14x14

The Bounty of Fall. is ready to join the other three paintings in the Quartet. Can’t you just hear the cluck, clucks of the little hen looking for a few stray kernals of Indian Corn?

SK9414 Winter-spring-summer-fall

Drum Roll………………..and here’s the Final Four. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter! If you’d like to see this larger just click on the image. Thanks for following along. Hugs,

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June 5, 2015

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 13

After finishing the satillo tile floor I use some of the leftover color to make the tiles on top of the small shelf by the door. Notice how the floor is made bluer toward the back. The coolness of the color makes it recede.

VIDEO TODAY! Painting the Pumpkins!

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 15

Pumpkins, Gourds and Indian Corn, isn’t Fall wonderful? This is one of the things I love about doing commissions, I get to paint some different subjects. In our next session we’ll be working on the chickens, hope you’ll come watch!

2015-6-4 Spider Web

But before I close for today I want to share our sunset from last night. The sun sparkled on the gossamer threads of a delicate spider web out on our deck. Jack and I couldn’t believe how iridescent and luminous the normally invisible web became when illuminated by the lowering sun. You can click on the image to see it larger. Have a wonderful evening! Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


June 3, 2015

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 5

I begin painting with the adobe walls. Various mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White are used. Working on the shadow of the chili ristra I add a little bit of Alizarin Crimson into the mixture. This is because the red of the chilies reflects on to the wall beside them.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 6

The back edge of the side walls on the window and door is made bluer, or cooler, to make it recede. This follows a simple rule that helps to increase the feeling of depth in a painting: Warm Colors Come Forward, Cool Colors Go Back.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 7

A special color is pulled out for the Santa Fe window and door: Turquoise Blue. Three shades of Turquoise Blue + White are mixed.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 8

The light and shadow pattern on the door is blocked in with the Turquoise mixes. Willow twigs cover the window part. My wrist is braced against a mahl stick to steady my hand as I drag them over the dark, washed in area of the opening.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 9

For the Sarza, or as some call it Virginia Creeper, I make washes with a couple of other colors that are not normally found on our palette. #1. Magenta + Liquin. #2. Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. #3. Sap Green + Liquin.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 10

The three different washes are ramdomly scumbled on the canvas for the leaves of this multicolored vine. I let some of the areas remain very transparent in order to give luminosity to the foliage.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 11

One of the most fun parts of painting vines is to add the little twigs and tendrils draping down. A fine liner brush is used to make the long streamers.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 12

I’ll let the washed in areas dry, then I’ll come back later and add some thicker, opaque leaves.

SE2315 Chief Hollow Horn Bear 14x14

And……Don’t forget. My eBay auction for Chief Hollow Horn Bear ends tomorrow, Thursday June 4 at 8 PM Central time! To go to the auction CLICK HERE.

Thanks for following along today. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG



Back to “The City Different”

June 2, 2015

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 1

Today we’re going back to Santa Fe. Established in 1607, this is the second oldest city in the United States. Only St. Augustine, Florida is older. Why is it called “The City Different”? Santa Fe has worked to preserve it’s unique, regional architectural style. Since 1958 all new and rebuilt buildings, especially those in the historic areas must be designed following the Spanish Territorial or Pueblo architectural style. The most common features are flat rooftops and rounded adobe construction. There is no other town in America that looks like Santa Fe, thus the name “The City Different”! So let’s begin my sketch with the typical adobe architecture.

Sketch Kent and Joe

This is the last of four paintings I’m doing for our collectors. Thought you’d enjoy seeing the pen and ink sketches of the quartet as a reminder of the initial plan. You can click on the image to see it larger.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 2

I’m really glad chickens were a special request, they are so fun to paint. Their basic shapes are sketched in, then the red combs and wattles are washed in with Alizarin Crimson + Liquin.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 3

Using the same wash I block in the strand of chili peppers.

SE2115 Bounty of Fall Step 4

The drawing on the canvas is completed, we’ll begin painting in the next session. 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. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged! Hugs,

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