Archive for March, 2023


March 27, 2023

Colorful wildflowers blanket the field in the foreground. My original plan was to have only Red Poppies, but Spring calls my heart. Besides, to me Spring is the season of Renewal and Rebirth, symbolic of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the new creation we become through our belief in Him. What better way to celebrate than with a cornucopia of God’s beautiful flowers? You may click on any picture to view an enlargement.

The myriad green hues of the foliage are painted around the masses of Red Poppies, Orange California Poppies and Yellow Daisies, helping to shape their blossoms.

Red Poppy petals, accented by the sun, are highlighted with pure Cadmium Red Light.

Signifying the Blood shed by Jesus to redeem us from our sins, a clump of Red Poppies nestles at the base of the Eucalyptus Tree. Their large centers are made with a mixture of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin Original.

The same mix is used for the dark centers of the Yellow Daisies.

Deep impressions in the middle of the Orange California Poppies are indicated with a combination of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin Original. My hand rests against the mahl stick, providing a steady base as the small details are made.

Several shades of Burnt Umber + White are used to block in the Good Shepherd’s heavy tunic. After looking at the painting, I decided to take out the palms behind the flock of sheep. I like it better with just the Olive Grove in the background.

I chose Diaxozine Purple + White for the Headwrap. Purple is the color of Royalty, as well as symbolizing humility and sorrow for Jesus’ suffering. This color is associated with Lent, the period of six weeks of sacrifice before Easter, marking the coming Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The wayward lamb, cradled safely in the arms of the Good Shepherd, once was Lost. BUT, now is Found!


This painting is the story of my faith journey. I grew up in the Lutheran Church but in my early twenties walked away. Not only from the church but completely away from God. I didn’t understand His unconditional love and felt I just wasn’t good enough. There was no way I could ever measure up. So, I stopped even trying, I was the Lost Lamb. Never prayed, nothing. Ended up in an abusive marriage and eventually reached the point I contemplated taking my life to end the pain. HOWEVER, even though I had forgotten Him, Our Lord NEVER forgot me. The Good Shepherd came after me by sending a gentle, compassionate believer into my life, Jack White. He helped me leave that horrible relationship, became my best friend and taught me to paint. But most importantly, during the 26 years we were happily together, Jack showed me what unconditional love was and brought me back to Jesus.

 THE GOOD SHEPHERD came for me. AND… He Comes for you.


© Senkarik 2023

The Ninety-Nine

March 22, 2023

A stately Eucalyptus Tree borders the left edge of the canvas. The dark, upright provides contrast for the light streaming into the scene from behind it. This also helps to increase the feeling of depth in the painting. Please remember, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

An Olive Grove curves over the hill in the distance.

Trunks are added using a brush dipped in a thin oil mix of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin Original.

When looking at a painting, the viewer tends to follow the light. Sunlight pours across the Sea of Galilee from the left. The eye moves from left to right, much like reading a book. Or my blog post! The mass of Eucalyptus Trees at the right edge of the canvas are a design element that serves to stop the viewer’s gaze from traveling on, out of the painting. Instead, they direct the movement of vision back to the left, into the middle of the scene, enabling the person looking at the art to continue exploring.

Now for the green pasture by the still waters of the Sea of Galilee.

The sheep are first blocked in with several different shades of White + MUD + Ultramarine Blue, White + MUD + Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange, White + Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange and White + Ultramarine Blue.

The addition of highlights help to establish the forms of the sheep, then their ears, legs and black muzzles are delineated. My wrist rests on the Mahl stick that is hooked over the top of my easel. This steadies my hand in order to make the small details. What is a Mahl Stick? CLICK HERE to find out.

The ninety-nine sheep, left behind by THE GOOD SHEPHERD as He went in search of the one lost lamb, have been obedient. They faithfully remained in the safety of their lush pasture. The field of wildflowers will blossom in our next session, COME BACK AND SEE!

With Big Hugs,


© Senkarik 2023

Sea of Galilee

March 19, 2023

Since the sky is the source of light, it sets the tone for the entire painting. So we’ll begin painting there. Here are the recipes for the various color mixtures. #1 and #2: White + Cobalt Blue. #3: White + Pthalo Blue. #4: White + MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson). #5: White + MUD + Alizarin Crimson. #6: White + some of #5 + Cadmium Orange. #7: Mix #6 + White.

Please remember, you may click on any image to view an enlargement.

Sunlight spills into the scene from the left, so the sky is lighter on that side. It becomes progressively darker as we move to the right. The numbers correspond to the mixtures used. The unpainted, white portions of the canvas in the sky determine the pattern of the clouds.

The shadows of the clouds are painted first with the darkest mix, #4. Then mixture #5 is used to lighten them on the left.

The lightest mixtures, #6 and #7, are used to make the warm, sunny accents on the lazy clouds.

Mount Arbel and the rest of the mountains are various combinations, in different proportions, of MUD + Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White and MUD + Ultramarine Blue + White.

The crook of the Shepherd’s staff extends above the top of the distant ridge. This technique of “Overlapping Elements”, helps to increase the feeling of depth in the painting.

Now, to the Sea of Galilee! To start, the water is blocked in with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White (Darkest), Ultramarine Blue + MUD + Pthalo Blue + White, Ultramarine Blue + Phtalo Blue + White and Pthalo Blue + White (Lightest). The Darkest, more muted mix is used at the base of the mountains. Moving forward to the Lightest, most intense combination closest to the foreground. Then some of the mountain color is pulled into the water directly below the base to indicate its reflection.

A fine line of White + Ultramarine Blue is made along to edge of the water where the waves lap against the shoreline.

We’ll begin “Painting Forward” in our next session! Sure hope you’ll come join me in the studio and watch.

With Big, Appreciative Hugs,


© Senkarik 2023

On My Heart

March 16, 2023

Have you ever had an idea for a painting that lingered in your mind for months on end? This one certainly has. Plans to go to Israel began way back in 2019, long before the pandemic. In anticipation of visiting the land where Jesus walked, the vision for this piece firmly planted itself in my heart. Even though the trip was delayed, the image remained strong. When we FINALLY arrived at the Sea of Galilee, I could hardly breathe. Getting over the initial awestruck moments, I started taking lots of pictures and making sketches.

Mt. Arbel was breathtaking. Things along the shoreline may have changed but this mountain is the same as it was over 2000 years ago. This is exactly what Jesus and His disciples saw!

Last weekend, Pastor Chris’ sermon was about THE GOOD SHEPHERD. It’s like God was saying, “Mikki, the Santa Fe Show can wait. It’s time to do this piece that’s been on your heart for so long.”

The painting is based on Luke 15:3-7, The Parable of the Lost Sheep.

“Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

Sitting down Monday morning, I made a pencil sketch and am ready to start working on the canvas. By the way, you may click on any image to view it larger.

The initial plan is drawn up on the acrylic primed canvas with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin Original.

Now for the sweet, little lamb. No longer lost but found, it’s safely snuggled against the shoulder of THE GOOD SHEPHERD.

An Olive grove traipses over the hillside in the distance.

Red Poppies blanket the foreground.

Blue painter’s tape is used to lightly attach my reference photo for the sheep to the canvas. This placement makes it easy to refer to as I loosely sketch the “ninety-nine”.

I’ll start painting in our next session. Hope you’ll come follow along!

I’d like to invite you to subscribe to my blog, you’ll receive an email every time I publish a new post. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. Please keep in mind, to move through the blog when you get the posts, just CLICK on the small titles at the top of the page. The one on the right for the next post or the title on the left side for the previous session.

I appreciate you subscribing to my blog! With Big Hugs,


© Senkarik 2023


March 13, 2023

Needless to say, with the pandemic it’s been a while since I’ve had a Collector Event and been able to give you a Big Hug. BUT, that is all about to change because I’m going to be at my new Santa Fe Gallery, LEGENDS OF THE WEST FINE ART, in just a few months.

YEP! I’ll be able to give you those long overdue, IN PERSON HUGS at the Gallery, 102 E. Water Street, on August 25 and 26. The opening reception is Friday from 4 to 7PM. I’ll be there again on Saturday from 11AM to 4PM. Plenty of time for us to visit and catch up. PLUS, I’ll have several new paintings for you to select from to add to your collection. I’m even thinking of including some surprise pieces I’ve been working on. You’ll just have to come and see!

Wanted to let you know early so you may start making your plans now to escape the summer heat and travel to beautiful, cool Santa Fe. I’ll keep you updated and am really looking forward to seeing you!

To RSVP for the event, PLEASE CALL the gallery at 505.610.5331.

Or you may EMAIL them at


© Senkarik 2023


March 8, 2023

Golden Daisies fill the bed beneath the Chili Ristras. They are first blocked in with mixes of Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange and pure Cadmium Yellow Medium. As you read through my blog please remember, you may click on any image to view an enlargement.

Dusty gray-green foliage, made of several shades of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White, is painted around the masses of Yellow. Then the dark centers of the Daises are added with a mixture of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin Original.

Magenta Petunias nestle close to the Daisies. The fragrant blossoms are Magenta + Dioxazine Purple + White and Magenta + White. Their leaves, mixtures of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow, are brighter than those of the Daisies.

The Petunias’ deep, indented centers are delineated with a mix of Magenta + Liquin Original.

Using thick, impressionistic brushwork, the rock wall to the right of the opening is painted.

Red Salvia hugs the base of the courtyard wall.

We’re ready to begin planting the bright Pink Hollyhocks.

COME WATCH the VIDEO DEMONSTRATION as I block in the Hollyhocks!

Nasturtiums tumble out of the terra cotta containers hugging close to the Salvia and Hollyhocks. The bright blossoms are mixes of Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light and pure Cadmium Orange.

Disc shaped leaves finish out the Nasturtiums and we’re DONE! TRUCHAS TREASURE is ready to head home to Texas to fill Melissa and Jerry’s hearts with warm memories of New Mexico when they aren’t able to be at their beautiful hacienda retreat. I sure appreciate you following along. As Jack would say, “Much Obliged!”


© Senkarik 2023

A Little Bit of Chili Heat

March 6, 2023

The flagstone floor is completely covered with mixtures of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White, Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + White and Ultramarine Blue + White. Extra White is added for the portion of the floor splashed by the sunlight spilling through the gate.

You may click on any image to see an enlargement!

Next a mix of MUD + Liquin Original is used to indicate the crevices between the individual flagstones. This is done impressionistically, I don’t want to outline each and every stone; but just give the feeling of the irregular floor.

The large, terra cotta containers are made of MUD + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light and MUD + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light + White. I go ahead and cast the heart shaped shadows of the Sweet Potato Vine that will be residing in this pot!

Let’s add some Chili Heat to the painting! The long Ristras are painted with Cadmium Red Deep + Magenta, Cadmium Red Deep, Cadmium Red Deep + Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Red Deep + Cadmium Red Light + White. The paint is applied with heavy texture, using the brush to “Sculpt” the red peppers.

The rock wall is painted in the same impressionistic style as the courtyard flagstones.

Other than one exception, the Geraniums are painted with mixtures from the Hot Chili Peppers. Pure Cadmium Red Light is used for the highlights on the blossoms, differentiating them from the Ristras. The bright green leaves are combinations of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

Sweet Potato Vine has been tucked in at the base of the Geraniums and that’s all for today. We should finish up in our next session. Hope you’ll come back and watch, we’ll be planting all the rest of the colorful flowers! With Big Hugs,


© Senkarik 2023


March 2, 2023

Distinctive Black and White Magpies are frequent visitors to the Truchas hacienda, coming to feast on the peanuts Melissa and Jerry leave out for them. These beautiful birds are very intelligent and unlike most other bird species, males and females look alike. Another interesting fact I found is that a group of Magpies is called a “Parliament”!

To see enlargements of any of these pictures, just click on the image.

If you’ve followed my blog very long, you know I love watching and feeding birds too. So, I just had to add a few Magpies!

The adobe wall is painted with mixtures of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow + White.

Next, I work on the pair of Magpies that have landed on the rock pillar by the door. My hand is braced against the Mahl Stick to steady it as I delineate the details of the birds. What is a Mahl Stick? CLICK HERE to find out!

Wispy wisteria drapes down over the door. The dangling blooms are blocked in first with various mixes of Dioxazine Purple + White and Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White. Leaves are painted around the masses of purple, helping to shape the blossoms.

Combinations of Alizarin Crimson + MUD + White and Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Red Light + MUD + White are used for the red tin roof covering the porch.

The shadowed portion of the unique Southwest designs on the door are painted with Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White. The sunlit parts are Ultramarine Blue + White.

We’re moving right along. Thanks for following our progress today, I hope to see you back at my studio again soon! With Colorful Smiles,


© Senkarik 2023