Helping Artists

farming

Helping Artists Notes

Helping artists is a topic dear to my heart. Artists are the few souls throughout history who produce unique and beautiful gifts to the world. Artists are the historians of their own time on earth, recording the culture, food, politics and land they stand on, as no camera could. Many live marginal lives, working a variety of jobs to eek out a living. A few, like me are lucky to be full time painters, but that comes with a cost of living without fine homes, new cars and so forth. I have many stories related to the old cars I drive.

Cabbage Palms

Helping artists to survive falls on the backs of a few collectors who understand the value of original art, not as decoration but as true unique views from an artist’s soul. Helping other artists should be part of our careers as artists. Particularly if we have struggled ourselves along the way. There was a time when I painted on cardboard, using cheap dime store paints, because that is all I could get. In fact, I’ll never forget that I won a prize in a show with a cardboard painting. It was one of the great thrills of my early career. As I began to become more successful, I acquired more well heeled friends who began to assist me with paint, brushes, frames, paint boxes, donations for events and now residencies in their coastal vacation homes.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I always told myself if I made it as an artist, that I would not forget how tough it was in the early stage of my career. I try to live up to that promise to myself every day. I mentor many artists, lend out frames for their shows, give out supplies to those in need and sponsor student exhibits now and then. Today I read a post on Etsy from a young artist who is struggling, working two jobs, out of money and out of supplies. She will not see her family during the holidays and she is badly depressed. I intend to send her supplies so she will be able to continue with her work. I’ve never met her but that doesn’t matter. I buy paintings from artists in need each year for my two grown daughters, for their collections. I started that when they were 16 each. Now they enjoy original art each year for their own homes.

This isn’t about what I do, but what you can do to help an artist continue to create. This year I have had a big sale at my Country Studio, to raise the money I need for renewal. Who supported me by purchasing my paintings? My wonderful collectors and my own art students! No professional artists bought or even came to see the selection. This is no surprise. I am guilty of this too. I don’t do much to support other professionals.

I think artists can do more to support each other. The paintings I purchase are from struggling emerging painters who need a boost of confidence and who really need that sale. I send supplies to the strugglers. Perhaps I need to purchase now and then from the pros I know. I need to consider this insight about myself and others. Next shopping season, I might need to support the pros I know.

Anyone who admires art or who has favorite artists can be helping to support them easily:

Referrals to friends who can afford original art
Plan a studio visit with friends
Helping with a nice testimonial for their web page
Take an artist out for coffee or breakfast
If you are a business person, offer to mentor an artist with good advice on marketing
Host a party at your home for a group of artists and use your mailing list to invite likely art lovers.
Purchase equipment or supplies for artists
Get into the habit of gifting small art
Buy original art, not cheap reproductions
Lend your beautiful vacation home to your favorite artist for a residency
Use your social media connections to refer artists to friends. This is so easy and it only takes a moment. Helping artists the easy way should be a regular habit on social media.

Artists need to be valued, just as engineers, doctors and attorneys are. When you consider that just about every part of our world depends on an artist and designer, we should be more supportive.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Linda’s Favorite Baked Potatoes
2 large baking potatoes
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup butter
10 grape tomatoes, cut into fourths
¼ small onion diced fine
¼ tsp dried thyme leaves
Salt/pepper
¼ tsp dried parsley
1 cup diced ham
1 ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Scrub potatoes with water, put in microwave for 10 minutes in the morning. Refrigerate until supper time. Coat potatoes with olive oil. Cut potatoes in half. Scoop potatoes out of the skins and put into large bowl. Place potato skins on a sheet pan. Set oven to 375.
Add the rest of ingredients , saving ¼ cup of cheese, to the scooped out potatoes in the bowl. Use a potato masher to mix everything up. Place in the skins and use ¼ cup cheese on the tops of the potatoes. Bake until golden brown and skin is crispy. Yummy! I have this every Sunday night for dinner with a salad.
You can use bacon, seasoned ground beef or chicken instead of the ham, all good.

Henry

henry

My beloved Henry died yesterday. He was my constant companion and my beautiful French Bulldog. Henry was 9 1/2 years old. He passed over the Rainbow Bridge to be with his many canine friends. Henry was full of fun. He had a thousand expressions. He could look like a street thug or an angel, depending on his mood. He never met anyone he didn’t love and was loved by everyone who was lucky to know him. Life won’t be quite as lovely or as much fun without him. My beautiful kind boy….

Conducting Career

conducting
Conducting career Notes
Conducting your career gives you many paths and options. I am very impressed by these words from the late Robert Genn.
Accept the gift of a life in art and know it is a high and noble calling–both a miracle and a responsibility. 
Know that you’re part of a great international brotherhood and sisterhood of artists who are living now and have gone before. – Robert Genn
These two were very significant for me.  I have always thought that being an artist is a rare reward in life. Some think of it as a curse. There is great privilege and responsibility which comes with conducting this unusual career.  Beginning artists look up to professionals. We can dash their dreams or give them hope and encouragement. We can give them vital career information or we can destroy their will to succeed with careless cruelty. Teaching and mentoring artists is a serious responsibility. These new artists and even hobbyists are fragile. They must know they can depend on their mentors to steer them in a positive and correct behavioral path. Mentors must have high standards in the way of conducting themselves and their own careers. “Monkey see-Monkey do” comes to mind. I don’t pretend to be a paragon of virtue, but I do try to be a role model for my artist friends and students. When I make a mistake, I do try to correct or own up to it.
We can enjoy a privileged friendship with collectors, enhancing their experience and joy of owning art and befriending an artist or we can take advantage of them, using the privilege and care they extend to us callously. Artists live in such an interesting place, between poverty and wealth. Many of us live minimal lifestyles but we are befriended by the wealthy and privileged. In fact, many of my friends are quite well to do. We are privy to fine foods, beautiful lands and homes thanks to our collectors and patrons. I am so lucky to have the fine friendships and support of many who could buy their art elsewhere. I am ever aware of my privilege in having these wonderful collectors, most who are  close friends after a time. I never take that for granted and am ever grateful!
We have a big responsibility to make art important to others, to educate and help others understand that art must be part of our everyday life, that art is timeless, historical, and a rare gift to the world. We can serve as ambassadors for art, or we can be arrogant fools, sneered at by the world. With privilege comes responsibility.
More musings for artists and collectors to come…….
Today’s Recipe

 Braised Red Cabbage

1 Granny Smith apple, coarsely chopped
2 (16-oz) jars sweet-and-sour red cabbage (drained)
1/2 cup fresh pre-diced onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Peel apple, if desired, then chop (about 1 1/2 cups). Combine all ingredients in microwave-safe bowl and cover.
Microwave on HIGH for 3–5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir and serve. (Makes 6 servings.)

Cooperative Efforts

cooperative

Cooperative Efforts Notes

 

I’ve been thinking about cooperative efforts for artists. I don’t seem to be gifted in that area. I’ve never played very well in the sand box. That is really the crux of many artists’ careers. We are competitive by nature. Too many bosses and not enough workers.

Landscape Paintings

I’ve had a lot of experience as a project manager in my long career. It is rather a thankless job. Most of the people in the project want to go their own way and many are unreliable. The project sounds like a good idea, unless they are asked to be accountable. It is great to be included as long as you don’t have to do anything but show up for the sale, food, and accolades. The idea of sacrifice and cooperative behavior is foreign to many artists. We are all about “me”.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I really want to be involved in activities but I don’t really like the people who are running the show or in charge. That is how many artists feel. I confess to feeling that way myself often. Artists are not a cooperative breed for the most part. We are cliquish by nature as well, which sets up misunderstanding, feelings of isolation, and inferiority between groups.

Frankly, I have always liked artists from other cities the best. I’ve never felt welcomed in my own arts community. My efforts at friendship and community with professional artists at home, have failed. I used to invite other artists to my studio, but most never showed up. I have artist friends here, mostly my students, but not most of the professional artists here. I’ve never quite fit into the cliques here. I hear this from artists all over the world about their own relationships with other local artists. This seems to be universal. Social media has helped to alleviate the feelings of isolation for me and others. I have made many wonderful artist friends from around the world.

I have no solution to this un-cooperative situation, seemingly everywhere. Musing about it helps to keep it on the possibility burner, but I have no ideas or answers. Cooperative efforts would be nice and it seems like they would definitely be beneficial for marketing and career success. I have one friend whom I often do projects with and share residencies. It is a great idea, but in terms of a group, who knows?

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe

This is an old favorite for me.

Sweet and Sour Sausage

1 pound of little smoked sausages

1 jar grape jelly

1 jar crushed pineapples

1 jar chili sauce

1 small onion cut in bit sized pieces

1 bell pepper cut in chunks

Dash of hot sauce

Combine all in a crock pot and simmer for a couple of hours. Serve as appetizer or over rice as a meal.

Plein Air Stories

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Plein Air Stories

Since I got out to plein air paint last week, it got me thinking about my history with plein air painting and some of the crazy stuff about my humble beginnings thereof. Back in the day, I was the “Sanford and Son” of location painting. This was long before the fad showed up in Florida, with fancy equipment and everybody and his cousin calling themselves plein air painters. There were no paint outs then and no publicity. In fact I had never heard of the term plein air and I still think it is pretty hoity toity. I called it painting outside.

Home Page

It used to take me all day to load everything up in my old pick up truck. I had never heard of French easels or pochade boxes. I used an aluminum Stanrite easel from my studio. Not one of the little field easels, it was a regular studio easel. I had a folding card table, boxes of stuff and just about every paint I could bring. It was like moving into a new studio each time I decided to go out. I then met my painting pal David Johnson who would meet me out on location just to laugh, I swear. He had an old Julian easel and a back pack. We would plein  air paint about once a month together. To make matters worse, I would take huge canvases out to paint, making awful paintings. I did not know that alla prima work would be more successful in a small format. Once I did a hideous 30×40 inch painting in about four hours. I once drove over a hundred miles to paint and discovered I had left my paints at home.

Helping Artists - image  on https://lindablondheim.com

My first actual formal paint out experience was in Ozello Florida. I had been painting on location for a few years. I wanted to know if there was anyone besides David and myself who painted outside in Florida. I went to an artist forum online and put out a call to artists to met me in Ozello ( Sleepy, remote fishing village)if they wanted to paint. I arrived about 5 AM and discovered that the wind was blowing about 40 miles per hour. I had a huge canvas to paint and had to tie everything down with bungee cords and duct tape. In all, we had 24 people from Pensacola to the Miami area who showed up for the day. We painted all morning and then broke for lunch at a local seafood restaurant. It was a great fun and a wonderful experience I will never forget. That was the beginning of Plein Air Florida, the state organization for plein air painters. David and I dreamed it up, put it together and made it happen.  It was something I am very proud of and I know he is too.

Small Paintings

I don’t have anything to do with organized plein air anymore. At one time, I was a consultant for just about every paint out that was started in Florida. In those days the paint outs were great fun and the artists were treated very well. Artists were housed and fed with no fees or expenses other than gas money. They were all invitational in those days and the art quality was very high. I was proud to be a part of those events.

 

Now, artists are charged application fees, etc and are not provided housing or meals at many  of these events. No thanks. I don’t pay to play other than commission fees on sales. I find that painting on my own time, when and where I wish to paint outside is much more satisfying. These days I use a paint box, tripod, a bottle of water and hat to paint. The box holds my canvas, 6 tubes of paint, solvent and three or four brushes for my plein air excursions. I have have simplified my process considerably, making it a calm, enjoyable experience.

 

Today’s Recipe:

Cherry Bread

This recipe is from my catering days. it is a beautiful bread and wonderful for dainty cream cheese sandwiches.

Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

sift:

four cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Mix together:

2 eggs
2 C sugar or sugar substitute for baking
1 can cherry pie filling
2 T oil

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Don’t over mix. if more liquid is needed, add a 1/4-1/2 C milk

Divide into pans and bake until a toothpick or straw comes out clean. Yummy bread. My family loves it. It makes a particularly good chicken salad sandwich too. Refrigerate before slicing and store refrigerated.

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