Archive for December, 2017

Beginning a New Chapter

December 30, 2017

“We will open the book.

Its pages are blank.

We are going to put words on them ourselves.

The book is called ‘Opportunity’ and its first chapter is

New Year’s Day.”

— Edith L. Pierce


“Our Jack” could have written this; sounds just like something he’d say doesn’t it? Let’s all strive to make OUR BOOK for 2018 the best ever, filling each and every page as fully as we can. NO BAD DAYS, OK! And as you outline how you are going to write your life this year please include my gallery events in your plans. I’ll be giving a painting demonstration at Pitzer’s Fine Art Gallery in Wimberley, Texas on Saturday, January 27. CLICK HERE for more information.

Also….Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September 1st I’ll be in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the Santa Fe Art Collector Gallery for our Annual Collector Event. Hope you’ll join us in the fun. To find out more and see pictures from 2017’s gala CLICK HERE!

May Our Lord guide you in 2018; blessing you with His Peace, Joy and Love.



An Angel Appeared…..

December 24, 2017

“…..and said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:10-12


I want to share with you the Glory, the Wonder and the Miracle of this Christmas season. My thoughts turn gratefully to those of you who have touched Jack’s and my lives over these many years. Our collectors, readers, old friends and new, I appreciate all of you. In this spirit we say, simply but sincerely ….

Thank You for being there for us, your friendship is truly a Blessing. Best Wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Mikki, Molly, Sissie and Angel Jack

Vision of Santa Fe

December 22, 2017

Let’s begin with the Salvia. I’m working opposite of my usual “Flowers First, Leaves Last” sequence of blocking in blooming plants. This is because the spiky blossoms tower above the foliage and I don’t have to work the greens around them. Please remember as you read my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

A few blooms do drop down, over the leaves. The thick paint of those flowers is gently “Laid” on top of the greens. I’m careful to watch my brush to see if it picks up any of the foliage color. If so, I immediately clean the brush in order to keep the green from muddying the rich color of the flowers. Mixes of Magenta + White, Dioxazine Purple + Magenta + White and Alizarin Crimson + White are used for the Salvia.

We turn our attention to the pink Hollyhocks made of Permanent Rose + White. I go back to my regular method of blocking them in. After the masses of Pink are established I come back with greens, made of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow, to paint the leaves.

Cheerful Coreopsis fill the container by the basket of spicy chile peppers. Juxtaposed against the Red Gate, the yellow flowers add a happy touch to this courtyard.

The flowers are all planted, let’s get to work painting that basket………

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Basket

Vision of Santa Fe     14″ x 14″

Our colorful Southwestern scene is finished! After a few days drying time the painting will be off to Joe and Nancy’s home; there it will provide them a romantic Vision of Santa Fe for many anniversaries to come. It’s so much fun to collaborate with my collectors and especially cool when I can throw in a little surprise for them! I appreciate you following along and a BIG Thank You to Joe and Nancy for allowing me to be part of commemorating their special occasion! HUGS,

A Special Surprise

December 20, 2017

Trumpet Vine cascades over the stair stepped courtyard wall. The flowers are blocked in first (#1) with mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Orange and pure Cadmium Orange. Leaves are then painted around the masses of blooms (# 2). Mixtures of Sap Green + Lemon Yellow are used for the foliage.

Centers are made in the individual flowers with a brush dipped in a thin mix of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. You may click on the image to see it larger.

Unique Folk Art Crosses provide happy accents on the rounded adobe walls of Santa Fe. This one is painted with a combination of Pthalo Turquoise Blue + White.


Cobblestones pave the floor, the entire surface is first covered with choppy brushwork to replicate the texture of the rounded rocks.

Next the crevices between the individual stones are indicated with a dark mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

Having the canvas attached to cardboard makes it easy to handle the wet painting. Would you like to know how that was done? CLICK HERE to find out. The entire unit is placed flat on my taboret in order to paint the lower edge of the gallery wrap canvas.

We’ll be planting in the next session. Hope you’ll come watch! 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!

Back to the Southwest

December 18, 2017

My previous painting was of our Kitchen Garden, including our resident Cardinals, Mr. and Mrs. Chippers. They were here this morning. The garden looks a little different right now; with a few freezes on the way I’ve had to move most of the containers into our little makeshift greenhouse. I’m going to transplant Bluebonnets into the remaining pots where they will overwinter and then bloom in the spring.

It’s back to Santa Fe. My collector originally saw this painting at my Annual Labor Day Event at the Santa Fe Art Collector Gallery. It had sold, so he and his wife asked if I would do a commission to celebrate their 31st anniversary! I begin by drawing up the basic structure in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.  You may click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

A cross with a red heart hangs beside the gate. The heart is washed in with Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. My hand is braced against the mahl stick, steadying it as I delineate the symbol of Love.

A wicker basket is filled with HOT Chiles. They are washed in with the same mix as the heart. Then I come back with a clean brush and “Lift Off” some of the color to make the highlights on the individual peppers.

After painting the background with mixes of White + Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange, the courtyard wall is constructed. The Adobe is mixtures in different proportions of MUD + Cadmium Orange + a touch of Pthalo Blue + a little Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. More MUD is added into the shadow colors.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Red Gate.

That’s all for this session. Hope you’ll come back again to follow the progress of this piece. But before I go I have a really good question from one of my readers to answer…….

Zoe asked, “Mikki, you often mention that you save your colors from previous painting sessions. Could you please describe the process you follow? Also, for how long can you save them? Thanks in advance!”

A picture of my palette is shown above. It’s cleaned up from the painting session today and ready for me to start fresh. Notice the paint lined up on the left, this is what I’m saving. When cleaning my palette I use my painting knife to make globs of the colors I want to save, then line them up neatly on the left. They will remain usable for several days. Long enough to finish this piece. If I wanted to save them longer I could smoosh the globs against the sides of a plastic cup or yogurt container and cover them with water. They would last about a week to 10 days using this method. Hope this helps. And always feel free to ask questions, I appreciate them and it will probably help someone else! The primary goal of my blog is to help fellow artists! Hugs,


Bailey’s Garden

December 16, 2017

Jeana asked if I would add a pattern on the tall container to make it a bit different from the others. The pot is first painted with mixes in various proportions of Ultramarine Blue + White. Then the criss-cross pattern is drawn into the wet paint. As a final touch the diamonds illuminated by the sun are highlighted.

She also suggested a couple of Turquoise pots. They are made of Pthalo Turquoise Blue + White. Notice how the image extends on to the edges of the gallery wrap canvas. Having the painting attached to cardboard makes it easy to handle.


That Bailey is such a cutie! Jeana said she was nicknamed “Tippy Toes” because that was all you heard when she was excited!

The white swan is filled with deep red Petunias, mimicking Mr. Chippers’ crimson feathers. Sunflowers are blocked in following my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last. Then the large dark centers are made with a mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. When applying the dark paint over the yellow background the two mix, the centers end up being a rich brown. Then I come back to make the dark spot in the very middle.

Bailey’s Garden     14″ x 14″

Bright red-orange Nasturtiums spill out of the pot next to the blue-purple Irises. Soft salmon pink Daises, in the container below, finish out “Bailey’s Garden”.

2018 is almost here, time to get a new calendar. AND….. our publisher is offering a 15% savings on all of our print products. That’s the CALENDARS, as well as all 8 of the JACK WHITE ART MARKETING BOOKS. Just use the code LULU15 when you check out. CLICK HERE to go our Store to order.

But don’t wait, the offer is only good until 11:59PM on Monday, December 18th!


The Rose Arbor

December 14, 2017

The Irises were washed in during our previous session with mixes of Dioxazine Purple + Liquin and Ultramarine Blue + Liquin. They are dry now so it’s easy to work carefully around the flowers with my background color made of various mixes of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + a bit more Ultramarine Blue + White.

I go ahead and paint the foliage of the Irises into the wet background. I’m mixing Alkyd White into my regular White Oil Paint (50/50) so the piece will dry faster. Working extra hard to ship it to arrive in time for Christmas!

To honor her Irish heritage, Jeana asked for the bird feeder to be decorated with a green shamrock. I’ve used Dioxazine Purple with a little Magenta mixed in for the feeder. This makes it a different shade from the Blue Purple Irises below. She had suggested a couple of options for the background, either a beige or a soft sage green. I selected beige because the green shamrock will show up better. Feel free to CLICK on the image to see it larger.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Climbing Roses on the Arbor

Mrs. Chippers is happily eating away, I still have to add a few finishing touches on her “Hubby”.

Now for the bench under the arbor. The back edge of the tile seat is softened so it will fall in back of the sharper edges of Bailey’s ears.

The entire surface of the tile floor is first covered, establishing the light and shadow pattern. Then perspective lines are pulled into the wet paint with a fine liner brush dipped in a thin mix of MUD + Liquin.

The canvas is attached to cardboard which makes it very easy to handle the wet painting. Want to know how I did that? Just CLICK HERE to find out! The entire unit is placed at an angle on my taboret to paint the lower edge.

We’ll work on the Flower pots, Flowers and Bailey in our next session. Hope you’ll come watch! With Colorful Smiles and Hugs,

Our Kitchen Garden with a Visitor

December 13, 2017

My next commission is based on a painting I’d done previously of our Kitchen Garden. Jeana loved this piece but wanted a few changes that would make it more personal for her.

So I begin by drawing up the basic architecture on the canvas with a brush dipped in a thin wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

Next is “Swannee”, our Talavera swan planter. But Jeana asked that I make the swan white which will be a fun touch.

She also requested that I have a “Shamrock” on the bird feeder. My wrist is braced against the mahl stick that is hooked over the top of my easel. This steadies my hand as I draw the detail.

Mr. Chippers, our resident Northern Cardinal, is washed in with a mix of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin.

The unexpected visitor is Bailey, one of Jeana’s fur babies. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

The sketch is complete and we’ll begin painting in the next session. I do hope you’ll come follow along. 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!

Endless Beauty

December 11, 2017

Now we’ll finish out the large terra-cotta urns for the Geraniums. They are painted with mixes of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light. White is added for the lighter portions of the containers.

The Geraniums are painted in my usual sequence of FLOWERS FIRST, LEAVES LAST. You may click on the image to see it larger. The flowers are combinations of Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Deep. Highlights on the sunlit petals are pure Cadmium Red Light. The foliage is Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

Sweet Potato Vine spills out of the Geranium containers. The heart shaped leaves bring a subtle touch of joy and love to the painting.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Blocking in the Day Lilies

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Completing the Day Lilies

Marilyn asked for Cyclamen in the foreground. When we discussed colors she said she liked either pink or lavender, but would leave the final decision up to me. After getting all of the other flowers painted I felt the lavender would give a nice contrast. Pink would be too much like the Bougainvilleas in the background. The mass of flowers is blocked in with mixes of Dioxazine Purple + White.

Leaves of Viridian Green + White are painted around the Purples, helping to shape the individual flowers.

Stems are drawn into the wet foliage with a brush dipped in a thin mix of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin.

Endless Beauty   

We’re DONE! What fun this piece has been to paint, I love its “Wanderability”! That’s a term Jack came up with years ago when he looked at one of my larger paintings. He said, “That has wanderability; you can wander here and there as you explore every nook and cranny!” I’ll add this, after wandering through you can stop at the gate, look out and enjoy the “Endless Beauty” that stretches as far as the eye can see. I appreciate you following along and all of your wonderful comments. Believe me, you make my day. And also, always feel free to ask questions. The best way to thank those who have helped Jack and me over the years is to “Pass it Forward”! BIG HUGS,

Stone Walkways

December 8, 2017



VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the stone walkway.

As the stone walkway descends down the steps it falls into the shadow of the building on the left. The entire surface is first painted with mixtures of MUD (Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + a little more Ultramarine Blue + White. The lighter, sunlit portion of the floor on the upper and middle levels has a bit more Cadmium Orange and White mixed in.

Grout lines are pulled, wet into wet, over the darker paint. The shadow colors from the buildings are used to make the wide separations between the individual stones.

The classic Greek walkway is complete, let’s begin working on the building at the left. As you read through my blog please remember that you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

The vines were initially washed in with mixes of Sap Green + Liquin and Magenta + Liquin. They are totally dry now so it’s easy to paint the wall color around the leaves. The interior of the small courtyard is made bluer than the surface of the building facing the walk. This makes the inner wall drop back.

Various mixtures from the stone path are used for the brick arch.

Sunlight glistens on the large leaves of the vine inside the opening. This adds interest, as well as depth, to this area.

The gate in the foreground is the same mixture used on the door and window. I’ve just added more Ultramarine Blue to darken and warm the color. The pull is drawn into the wet paint of the gate with a mix of MUD + Liquin. Highlights are made with a fine liner brushed dipped in a combination of White + Ultramarine Blue.

Construction is almost done. We’ll be planting lots of flowers in our next session. Grab some gardening gloves and a trowel and come give me a hand! HUGS,