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Meet Mikki Senkarik—traditional artist, wordsmith, gardener, and wearer of many hats! You may recognize her works from their breath-taking details and their gorgeous displays of bright, floral colors. However, she can paint a picture with either a brush or a keyboard to create an equally enthralling experience. In fact, this is how she tells her story on her blog: it is certainly one of love of life, art, and people.
Senkarik is an award-winning artist, but before she became the distinguished artist that she is today, her blog tells us that she studied at the University of South Florida and then at the Medical College of Georgia, earning her master’s degree in medical illustrating. From there, Senkarik dove straight into the medical illustration field, but found that the field had “no room for deviation.” She began to pursue fine art “to take a break from the rigid requirements of the Anatomical and Surgical Illustrations,” the artist tells us. In her blog, she writes that horses were her “first love as a child,” so horses were the first creatures that she ventured into drawing.
As Senkarik ventured more deeply into the world of fine art, she dabbled and made friends from all over! Shortly after beginning her pursuit of fine art, the aspiring artist was invited to participate in an art show at a local mall with a group of female artists with whom she had become acquainted. Agreeing to participate in this art show was one of the best decisions she has ever made, one that led her to meet the love of her life, the “State Artist of Texas” Jack White, when he made his way through their show.
White complimented her work, and knowing how great an artist he was, Senkarik somehow worked up the courage to ask for his artistic advice! The two set up a meeting to talk about art and to go over her portfolio, not knowing that this was the start of their wonderful and meaningful relationship. In her blog, Senkarik writes that they met at an outdoor Mexican restaurant, a bright setting compared to the torn emotions that White could see displayed in her art. In fact, he commented on their presence, which struck a chord in Senkarik’s heart. How could someone tell that through her work? White was just that good.
After their first meeting, White entered Senkarik’s work into an art competition without her knowledge. This ended up being a learning experience for the budding artist. She learned that she worked well under pressure, and that although she did not win that competition, she had enjoyed the process of painting! White continued to push her to pursue art and to enter more competitions, and after a while, he decided to mentor Senkarik as she grew in her talent. Through all of their business with painting, learning, and teaching, the two began to travel together. Through these travels, Senkarik realized that White, who had shown her true art, true care, and now the world, was not only her best friend, but also the love of her life!
White was a fresh taste of water compared to the abusive, alcoholic husband that Senkarik was married to when they first met. “Like most women who grow up in abusive households, I walked right back into an abusive relationship later in life,” Senkarik says, reflecting on that marriage. It was Jack White who finally convinced her to leave her abusive husband. From there, Senkarik’s life turned “right side up.” With White providing her with a stable relationship and pushing Senkarik to challenge herself and explore her talent, she began to paint more. She also finally began to heal from the childhood trauma that had influenced her life in so many ways, as well as from her previous marriage. Through teaching, painting, travel, and love, White truly took Senkarik under his wing and into his heart.
“On July 15, 2016, Our Lord gathered my beloved Jack in His arms and carried him Home to Heaven,” Senkarik writes in her blog. Senkarik struggled with his loss, and who wouldn’t? The world lost an amazing man and artist that day. But Senkarik tells her blog’s readers that the “Lord has been with [her] every step of the way on [her] new path.”
Jack White taught her to paint, and paint she does! Why? “I want to make the world come alive, flowers burst with exuberance and the landscape bubble with excitement,” Senkarik writes. Today she paints what one of her early fans called “billboards of happiness.” Her zest for life continues to show itself in her paintings, and her brush continues to “happily [skip] across the canvas” as God leads her down “wonderful new paths.” Though she misses her true love, Senkarik writes that she has continued to move forward and live life to the fullest, “just as Jack would want me to!”
If you like Mikki Senkarik’s art, but think one of her paintings may be beyond your budget, coffee mugs featuring some of her works are available at fineartamerica.com, at prices that won’t break the bank.