Bluffs of Ghost Ranch


We begin with the sky. The blue field is painted with mixes of White + Cobalt Blue and a lighter mixture of White + Pthalo Blue. The Cobalt Blue combination is used toward the top of the canvas. The lowest part of the sky, close to the top of the mountains, is made with the lightest Pthalo Blue mix.


While the paint of the sky is wet the long dangling, vine-like branches and blossoms of the Cherry Tree are made. Painting wet-into-wet softens the edges, making them recede.


The Bluffs surrounding Ghost Ranch in New Mexico are magical. In 1929 when Georgia O’Keeffe first visited Taos she caught a tantalizing glimpse of Ghost Ranch from a high plain. She didn’t actually get to the Ranch until 1934. Upon learning it was a dude ranch, Georgia was dismayed. However, a room was available for her that night in Ghost House and she ended up spending the entire summer at the Ranch. This established a pattern she followed for years. Summers at Ghost Ranch exploring it’s beauty on foot and on canvas; then winters in New York. Because she was basically a loner, she sought lodging at the Ranch that was somewhat isolated from the headquarters area. The owner offered to rent her his own residence called Rancho de los Burros. In 1940, she purchased the home, becoming the owner of a very small piece of Ghost Ranch; Rancho de los Burros and seven acres. Ghost Ranch gave her the freedom to paint what she saw and felt. The bluffs of Pedernal were probably her favorite subject. “It’s my private mountain,” she said. “God told me if I painted it often enough I could have it.”


Sage brush covers the high desert floor. The soft, gray greens are combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. 


Our Southwest portion of the painting is complete. On to the Orient in our next session!


This morning I was working in the garden and walked past Rosie, one of our three Redbud Trees. Something caught my eye………….


Imagine my delight and joy when I realized she had some flower buds popping out! Rosie is an early bird, like me she is more than ready for winter to be over. Pinkie and Ruby, our other Redbuds, will soon follow! I know those of you who live in the frozen tundra  of the north probably don’t want to hear this but…SPRING is just around the corner here in South Texas. HUGS, 
Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

3 Responses to “Bluffs of Ghost Ranch”

  1. Melissa Says:

    This painting is looking so beautiful! Love the “lucky cat”! Love the colors too! What a lovely garden you have! It sure was a warm day here in Tx. I know some family up north are wishing they were here.
    Big hugs!

  2. Angelica Says:

    The new painting is beautiful…thank you for the side story on Ghost Ranch. It seems your garden is going to be full of inspiration soon. We are ready for spring too.

  3. klongtin Says:

    Dear Mikki, I love you. You are the sweetest person. I wish I had time to paint more often, but take pleasure in watching you develop your paintings. Best wishes,Katie

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