Archive for the ‘Original Oil Paintings’ Category

The American Dream

July 4, 2017

Zishuai is a delightful young man who attends our Bible Study Group. As part of our Church’s Patriotic Celebration on July 2 he told of coming to America. When he landed in Chicago 5 years ago Zishuai couldn’t speak a word of English. Think of the courage that took! He chose to leave his family, country and everything that was familiar to him in order to pursue the “American Dream”! Zishuai is now studying Kinesiology in college and has joined the U.S. Army Reserves to proudly serve and protect his adopted country. He is working toward becoming a U.S. citizen and plans to stay here permanently.

Fei is the daughter of Bing, a Chinese doctor who is doing research at UTHSCSA. They are also members of the Bible Study Group I work with. Fei and Bing were Baptized together on Mother’s Day! Our sweet Fei took part in our Patriotic Celebration by singing “Jesus Loves Me” in both English and Chinese. The congregation was invited to join the third time which was in English again. Her mom recorded this video. I’m so proud of Fei, she was just accepted into the Northeast School of the Arts! Now she is on the way to pursuing her “American Dream”, becoming an actress and professional singer.

Min is also a doctor working in a research lab at UTHSCSA. Soon after arriving in America she had an aortic aneurism and almost died. Min’s recovery was long and arduous. She survived and attributes the miracle of her life to God and our American doctors. She received several transfusions while recovering. Min’s mother said, “My daughter has American blood. I’m very proud.” A few months ago Min had the opportunity to travel to Yellowstone National Park where she saw Bison for the very first time! She greatly appreciates the freedoms that all of us who’ve been born here take for granted. 

UPDATE! After reading my blog Min asked me to add the following, “That is true, me and all my families are deeply grateful to America. When the doctor told her about the blood transfusion of more than 5000 mL from American volunteers to save my life, my mother burst her words: great thanks to American people, and long live friendship between American and Chinese people. So Mikki, would you please also add this meaning? I think it will really help to express my gratitude to America, the great country, and her great people!” 

Bing, Fei, Min and I after the Patriotic Celebration. What an eye opener it is for me to listen to my friends talk about the restrictions and oppression they experience in their home country. Fei would have been forced to follow her mother’s and grandfather’s paths as doctors. Bing made many sacrifices to bring her daughter to America so Fei could do what she loves most, SING!

I thank Our Lord for allowing me to be born in the United States. Please take a moment today to think about how fortunate you are to be an American. Let’s also pray for all the men and women who make sacrifices to keep us safe, as well as those who ultimately gave their lives so we may live in this great country. GOD BLESS AMERICA! Happy 241st Birthday to our wonderful United States! I wish everyone a Happy 4th of July! HUGS,

Visiting Collectors

July 3, 2017

Once my art is packed and heads out on FedEX that’s the last I usually see of it. I seldom get to view my paintings in their new homes. So it was a real treat to visit my collectors, Paul and Nancy. I had forgotten how many paintings I’ve done for them.

“After the Rain” was done to capture the beauty of the old barn on the way to Paul and Nancy’s lake home. It was beginning to fall down when I did the painting in 2012. You may click on any of the images to see them larger.

And it’s a good thing we did. The picturesque structure is now gone, just the little pond remains. 

Another painting, “Warm Welcome” is of a farm along the same route. This piece was done last year as a surprise for Nancy. 

Ann and I got to visit the Southern Comfort Cattle Company and enjoy its beauty! There is a pond, just out of view to the left of the photo. For the painting Paul and I decided to slide it to the right and have one of the cows standing in the water. I also put the gate more on the top of a hill to get a better view of the pond. That’s the fun of being an artist, we can make the world as we’d like it to be. The cattle weren’t out today, they must have been in a different pasture.

The angel is Nancy’s mother, Mary Kay. They call her their guardian angel, thus the initials on the ribbons, M. K. G. A. They placed the painting right by the door into the garage, where they can see her every time they leave or enter their home. 

I really like how Nancy had one of my ACEO’s framed with the accompanying sketch!

If I remember correctly this piece was a surprise Valentine’s Gift!

One of Paul’s favorites, “Calming Waters”, hangs in Nancy’s office. Jack liked this painting so much he put it on the cover of one of his art marketing books, “Artist Confidential”!

Our art tour was interrupted by a doe and fawn visiting Paul and Nancy’s garden! Isn’t that little baby so cute? Just PLEASE don’t eat the daisies!

Once sidetracked we decided it was time to head out for lunch. Downtown Charlotte has some delightful eateries, the food at the French Quarter Tavern was outstanding. I totally forgot to take pictures of the rest of Paul and Nancy’s paintings, OOPS! I have to admit I haven’t relaxed like this in a long time. God has blessed me with such wonderful friends/collectors. Now it’s time to head home and back to the studio! HUGS, 

Goofin’ OFF

June 24, 2017

Well………I have a confession to make. I’ve been GOOFIN’ OFF! I’m visiting a couple of collectors in North Carolina who are also very dear friends. After being in Charlotte a bit Paul and Nancy whisked us away to their lake home on Lake Hartwell.

Another collector and long time friend of Jack’s and mine, “Angel” Ann, came with me. Here she is on the dock.

First thing when we arrived, our hosts put the pontoon boat in the water. Nancy brought it around the point to us.

Captain Paul took over and we headed out for a ride.

We landed on a great little island and had the beach all to ourselves. The puppies couldn’t wait to jump out and go swimming. That’s Hombre on the left. Please remember, you may click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

Nancy took a fun shot of me, Ann and Paul. That’s Biscuit cavorting on the sand in front of us.

Nancy enjoying the ride!

Even though a storm was brewing God blessed us with a beautiful sunset. The rain on the tin roof of the cottage provided a peaceful lullaby, lulling all to sleep! With relaxed hugs,

Tapestry of Spring

June 15, 2017

Tall, lanky Penstemmon sends up fiery spires over the rocks. The darkest parts of the blossoms are blocked in with mixtures of Alizarin Crimson + a touch of White and Cadmium Red Deep. Don’t forget, you may click on any of images to see them larger.

The foliage is made of combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. Brushstrokes of Pthalo Blue + a tiny bit of White are added in the darkest areas of the leaves, bringing extra coolness to the shadows.

Petals shimmering in the sun are highlighted with pure Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Red Light + White. The corner of my Bright (square) brush is used to make the long, tubular flowers.

TALKIN’ VIDEO.…Painting the Yellow Coreopsis nestled at the base of the Penstemmon.

PART II of Painting the Coreopsis

Mixtures of Cadmium Red Deep + Cadmium Red Medium, Cadmium Red Medium + Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Red Light make the African Daisies. The leaves are combinations of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow. Light, as well as the stream, flows into the painting from the right side of the canvas. The brightness sliding in behind the dark clump of flowers helps to give the impression of depth in the painting.

TALKIN’ VIDEO.….The three step process of adding centers to the African Daisies.

Tapestry of Spring     24″ x 30″

TA DA! We’re done! Can’t you just hear the music of the water tumbling over the rocks and birds happily singing away in the trees back by the cabin? Wonder what’s for supper! Something’s cooking inside, you can see the smoke rising from the chimney. Is that a waft of Texas Barbeque in the gentle breeze? Let’s walk back through the Tapestry of Spring Wildflowers and go see! With Colorful Smiles and Hugs, 

The Babbling Brook

June 14, 2017

Today we’ll work on the rocks and babbling brook. My color is laid out on my palette, a sheet of 1/4 inch glass over a white shelf board. This unit is placed on top of a kitchen or culinary cart with 2 shelves underneath that provide a handy place for my extra tubes of paint. The mixes are #1. Three shades of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Ultramarine Blue + White. #2. Several combinations of Cadmium Orange + MUD + White. #3. Two mixtures of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. #4. Cobalt Blue + White. #5. Mix #3 + MUD + White. #6. Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White. The little dab of blue is leftover from the Bluebonnets.

After blocking in the stream the reflections of the rocks are pulled, straight down, into the wet paint. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

Well……I had a great video of painting the rocks. At least I thought I did until I went to the camera to stop filming. Much to my dismay I discovered I’d forgotten to push the START BUTTON! OPPPSS!!!! My kitties, Molly and Sissie, must think I’m crazy talking to myself. They certainly do give me a funny look sometimes! Anyway, the rocks have been painted and now the water in the middle pond is added. Some of the blue reflects up onto the sides of the boulders.

The lower pond is painted with the rock colors. Then brushstrokes of the #3 mixtures are pulled horizontally into the water near the base of the waterfall. More of the browns are left in the foreground to give the impression of rocks under the surface of the shallow water.

The breaking edge of the water as it cascades over the rocky falls is highlighted with pure White. 

The canvas, attached to the cardboard backing, is placed in Jack’s desk chair. This makes the lower edge easier to paint. You can see how having the canvas on the cardboard allows me to handle the wet painting with ease. If you’d like to see how I fixed the canvas to the backing CLICK HERE.

I don’t know about you but I’m ready to go dangle my toes in that cool water. It got into the mid 90’s here in Texas today! And some good news, I got my new website up and running at Still have some construction work to do on several pages, writing and adding images, but take a look anyway! Just CLICK HERE.  HUGS,

Bluebonnets Explained!

June 13, 2017

Before starting to paint the field of Bluebonnets I get all of the color I’ll need mixed and laid out on my palette. The little globs on the left are paint remaining from our last session. #1. White + Magenta. #2. 3 shades of Ultramarine Blue + White. #3. Cobalt Blue + White. #4. Dioxazine Purple + White. #5. Several combinations of White + Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange. This shows what a wide variety of colors you can achieve by mixing just two hues + White. #6. Mixes in different proportions of Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Yellow Medium.  #7. Some of the distant mountain and sky colors saved from previous sessions.

We’ll plant some flowers in that rock planter. The #6 mixes are used here.

OK, you asked for it……Talking ’bout painting Bluebonnets! 

Part II

Part III

Now the Bluebonnets are in I start blocking in the California Poppies. I also use the #6 mixtures here. Where the Orange flowers extend up over the Bluebonnets the thick paint is gently “Laid” on top of the blue. This way I don’t pick up the underlying color and muddy the bright orange blossoms. Rocks along the stream are painted with some of the paint used for the cabin. 

Look at the raised flower bed by the cabin. I’ve painted some of the Magenta, #1, over the reds and oranges to mute them. Then I start adding the thread like stems of the California Poppies. You may click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

White Thistle Poppies grow around the side of the gallery wrap canvas. They are blocked in with mixes of White + Ultramarine Blue, White + Pthalo Blue and White + Dioxazine Purple.

White highlights and yellow centers complete the Thistles. That’s all for today. AND….Please, always feel free to ask questions! With Colorful Smiles, 

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


Embrace of Live Oaks

June 12, 2017

Got my color laid out on the palette to paint those beautiful old Live Oaks embracing the cozy cabin. #1. White + Ultramarine Blue. #2. A darker shade of White + Ultramarine Blue. #3. Two mixes of White + Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange. #4. Three different combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #5. Cadmium Yellow Medium added to the lighter shade of mix #4. #6. Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White.

The meadow behind the trees is painted with the two shades of #3. The light running behind the building and trunks adds distance. Mixes #4 and #5 are used for the foliage of the Oaks. A little White is combined with mix #5 for the lightest leaves behind the roof. The same concept as before applies here, sun illuminating the tree in back of the dark building will give the feeling of more depth.

The trees to the right of the cabin POP UP, over the mountain in the background, to provide additional distance. 

I’ve decided the tops of the trees on the right edge will come below the far hills. This makes that clump drop further back. Please remember, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

Now….Let’s paint the Cabin. AND I have audio telling you exactly what I’m doing and why!

Painting the Cabin – Part II

Painting the Cabin – Part III

Painting the Cabin – Part IV

So, our cozy little Cabin is happily nestled among the Live Oaks. We’ll be working on the Bluebonnets next! HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Lake Tahoe Auction Ends TONIGHT!

June 11, 2017


Tahoe Reflections

Don’t forget, my eBay auction for “Tahoe Reflections” ends tonight, Sunday June 11 at 8 PM Central Time. This Senkarik Original Oil Painting would make a wonderful Father’s Day Gift. To see the image larger just click on the picture.

CLICK HERE to go to the auction!

If you would like to watch the videos of “Tahoe Reflections” being painted from start to finish just CLICK HERE.

Happy Bidding!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Fluffy Texas Clouds

June 10, 2017

We’ll begin with the sky. When doing any piece with a landscape I “Paint Forward”. That means I do the sky first, then the most distant mountain, closer ones and so on. My color mixtures are laid out on the palette, #1. White + Pthalo Blue. #2. White + Cobalt Blue. #3. White + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) and #4. White + a little of Mix #3 + a touch of Cadmium Orange.

VIDEO with AUDIO.….Painting the sky!

Now the “Painting Forward” begins. The hills farthest away from us are made of several shades of White + Ultramarine Blue + MUD. The top of the mountain is dragged over the wet paint of the sky, softening the edge. This follows one of the simple rules that help to give the appearance of depth in a painting: Soft Edges Go Back, Hard Edges Come Forward.

The closest bluffs are blocked in with mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD + White. Several combinations in varying proportions are made, giving a wide range of cool, muted greens.

We’ll work on the ancient live oaks and the structure in our next session. Hope you’ll come watch….I’ll have a video as I’m painting the cozy little cabin! With Colorful Smiles and Hugs, 

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

A Cozy Cabin

June 9, 2017

My collectors stayed at this wonderful Bed and Breakfast near Lost Maples, a beautiful part of Texas. Can’t you just imagine how cool it was to relax in this cozy cabin? AND with all the comforts of home, I might add, notice the dish!

Dan and Kathy asked me to add a field of Bluebonnets and other wildflowers as well as a babbling brook in the foreground. Here’s my sketch.

Work on the canvas begins by sketching up the building in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. I want to establish the placement of the building first. Then I’ll build the rest of the composition around it.

Look in the background behind the cabin, there is a round rock planter. You may click on the image to see it larger. Most likely it originally was a water tank for horses and cattle to drink from. But now it appears to have been converted to a raised garden.

I’m going to move the raised planter to the left of the cabin. Believe me, after constructing our garden here, it’s much easier to do in a painting than in real life!

Moving to the foreground I start making the “Stair steps” of the little water falls.

Rocks line the stream. Wouldn’t it be fun to use those boulders as stepping stones to cross from one side of the water to the other?

Flowers are labeled and we’re done. Ready to begin painting in our 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!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG