Trail Adventures

trail

Trail Adventure Notes

Deer Woods Trail is officially open again for the winter season. I have unplugged the treadmill and am walking with the birds and animals each day. It feels wonderful to be back out in the woods. The trail is located in the land, next to my studio, adjacent to my yard. This land was my daddy and mother’s first, purchased when I was about 12 years old. They used it as a country retreat for some years and then sold their home in the city and we moved here full time in 1970.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

My current studio is behind the old home and once was my daddy’s workshop. My sister and I live here now. We carved Deer Woods Trail in 2015. It has been extended once and I have eyes on another extension this winter if time permits. The trail is my quiet place where I can think about all kinds of ideas for the art career, observing nature as I poke along. I’ve always loved the natural world, and trails particularly.

Quick Studies Workshop

Most days I run into a couple of deer out grazing. They like the trail as much as I do. I hear all kinds of song birds, raptors, owls, and loud mouthed crows. I enjoy looking at the tracks from a variety of animals who were on the trail overnight. Now and then I see cat tracks, which I think are bobcats, too large for feral cats, but too small for panthers. This week, I am enjoying the toadstools that are popping up along the trail, some delicate white with thin stems and others brown and heavy with sprinklings of designs on top.

I am beginning to see the dogwood trees starting to turn as fall creeps in quietly. Soon the grasses will begin to turn the wheat and rust colors of winter, leaves will drop and the best color of Florida will appear on the trail, Dusty blues, purples, rusts, wheats and browns will carpet the land. The grays of bare trees will be a lovely addition to the trail here and there along with the ever greens of pines. Fall is beginning to rush by already. I wish I could tug on it and slow it down for more enjoyed time. As I age, I love the fall and winter more and more.

My tortoise friends love it too. They are out of their dens, enjoying the last of the fresh grasses. I have a couple of new homesteaders  in new dug dens this fall. They snuck in and built dens over the summer when I was off the trail. Fred has expanded his den some too. He is my architect tortoise. His den is large and elaborate. He likes to sit just outside the roof overhang and watch for me. He quickly scoots back as I approach. I say hello as I walk past, he watches carefully without comment.

More trail notes to come……

Today’s Recipe

Linda’s Favorite Trail Mix

1 jar dry roasted peanuts

1 cup roasted pecans ( I roast them on a sheet pan )

1  cup roasted almonds

1 cup roasted walnuts

1 small box raisins

1 small bag Reeses Pieces

1 small bag M&M’s

1 small bag of dried cranberries

Mix them all up and store in jars with tight fitting lids.

Painters VS Collectors

painters

Painters VS Collectors Notes

It occurred to me today that we painters spend a lot of time thinking about what other painters are doing and seeking their approval of our own work. I don’t know why it never occurred to me before. Aren’t we doing this backwards? In fact, it seems pretty silly to me when I realize that painters, with some exceptions, are not the ones who are keeping food on my table and paying my bills. Actually, few professional painters that I know buy paintings. I and some others do, but we are definitely in the minority, at least in my circle. Many of my friends and students have, but not my competitors. Should I be spending most of my time thinking about the likes and dislikes of my collectors instead of what turns on other painters? I think yes.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I’m not suggesting that I change my painting style, or palette to suit fads in the industry. That is a losing proposition. It’s impossible to do that and I would lose my soul and spirit as a painter by chasing after rainbows. It does seem to me that many painters I meet on art forums, and see on the Internet are chasing after the latest fad or superstar or painting style which is all the rage among painters for the moment. For example, there is a painter who has been doing 6×6 inch still life paintings for awhile. She is very successful and a dynamic painter. Now I see copycats all over the Internet doing 6×6 inch paintings of still life subjects. None that I have seen have quite the technique and panache that this painter has, so they become poor substitutes to the discerning eye.

The other thing I have noticed is that poor and sloppy brushwork is in vogue among landscape painters. There seems to be a race to do work as sloppily as possible and the sloppier it looks, the more accolades and pats on the back painters get from their peers.

Plan a Successful Studio Party Tutorial

All of this seems to be related to the need for approval from peers and any painter for that matter. Of course we all like to hear kind comments and share our work, but there is a difference in being confident enough to do your own thing or being one of the sheep. Are other painters’ opinions more important than those who support us and provide a living for us? From my observations it seems to be that way. I was  once crushed by another painter’s opinion, but why should I have been? She doesn’t support me, my collectors do. If they love my work, why should I care that she didn’t?

It makes me wonder about the relationship between artists and collectors. My collectors much prefer my studio work over my plein air work. Since I am willing and able to do either type of painting, isn’t it smart to spend a fair amount of time in the studio? If the people who buy art prefer some styles, is it smart to completely avoid doing that work? I’m not talking about painting things I detest, but rather doing some paintings which will appeal to my collectors and myself in order to please them and make them feel good about purchasing my art.

Isn’t it better to go my own way and paint the way I enjoy the most rather than trying to please other painters just because they are on the latest trend? I think I would rather please myself and be happy with my work than to try and radically change because that is the latest thing. I have actually talked with excellent landscape painters who were very satisfied with their work but now say they must become looser with their brushwork because the superstar of the moment is painting with loose brushwork. Wow! I thought artists were supposed to be individuals and mavericks!!!

All of these issues give me a lot to think about. Perhaps I will think about what I like and less about what other painters think is “good” after pondering these questions. If you are more concerned about what other painters think than your collectors, you are on the wrong path in my humble opinion.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Today’s Recipe

Linda’s Sweet Potato Fries

Spray or oil a sheet pan. Preheat oven to 400.

Microwave 3 large sweet potatoes for about 4 minutes. They should be just starting to soften but not soft. Let them cool in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Peal them and slice into fries. Put 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour in a flat dish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the fries in the flour an shake off all excess flour in a net strainer or colander. Place fries on baking dish. Spray with non stick olive oil or canola oil spray. Bake about half done, turnover fries and re-spray. When they are almost toasty brown, spray them one more time. Serve hot. They are delish!!

Small Format Advantage

crows

Small Format Advantage Notes

I have been doing two or three small format paintings every day for a few months now. Believe it or not, I am beginning to see the value in these small paintings as a technique builder. They are a totally different approach than large work and better than traditional small format like 5×7-8×10. The biggest advantage to them is good composing. You have a tiny shot at a good composition and they can go very wrong very quickly with a palette knife. They are fairly easy to construct with small brushes, but when you get that palette knife out, it’s a free for all!! Control in that format with knife is out the window and so you have to really think hard.

Home Page

I have been surprised at how difficult these little paintings are and my appreciation for them has grown substantially after this experience. Of course the serious miniature painters spend weeks working on their perfect little paintings, but this is me ;>) I’m having fun and learning something at the same time. I am getting a bit of refinement going in them as I practice more, but I must say that I like the palette knife ones as much as the brush ones I’ve been doing. There is a rich quality about miniatures that doesn’t always translate well in larger format paintings. I think the rich color and painterly application works in them.

There is a lovely mass feel to miniature work, a crisp contrast, a minimal quality that appeals to me. They are more abstract than larger format work. I think the years of notan study come out in these for me. Here’s to miniatures.

 

I have found that the bird paintings work very well in the small format. Most of the birds are 2 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches. They are mounted to a 4×6 mat board. This has been a really good technique builder. I’ve not gotten around to larger birds yet. Birds are complex and their feather structures can be complicated on wings and tail. it is a gradual learning process.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Today’s Recipe

Crab Dip

1 cup crab meat cooked

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayo

2 T  chili sauce

2 T soy sauce

1/2 cup diced green onions

pinch of garlic powder

salt/pepper

Mix it all up and serve with crackers.

 

 

Late October

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Late October Notes

Here it is, late October. We’ve just had our first cool snap of Fall in north Florida. Walking on my Deer Woods Trail is so pleasant now. This is the season I wait patiently for from May through September. The toadstools are showing their happy hats in a variety of sizes and shapes. Late or early blooms are on my wild plum tree. It can’t decide on what season to bloom. The wild sunflowers are seeding out. Each day on my walk I pull seed heads off and scatter them further along the trail. In a couple of years the trail edge will have tall sunflowers along the way.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

The dogwoods are yellowing more, but it is unclear whether we will have deep red this year. Dark is creeping ever sooner now, so my late walking schedule has moved back to 3:30 PM now. I so enjoy watching Fall and Winter creep up very gradually into the natural world. Bugs are few, snakes have retreated, and the birds are still singing. The neighborhood deer are grazing on the last of the tall green grasses before the first frost arrives.

Fred, Al and Troy have enlarged their dens for another cold season. We have a new tortoise I have not seen yet. It is further down the trail, not far from Fred’s den.  Bobette and Ruby have abandoned their dens and moved out, putting the rent sign outside of their dens. I know not where they have moved. They left no forwarding address.

Linda’s Small Paintings

It will soon be time to go out for a day of exploring my neighborhood with my camera, to take new photos of the farms and ranches within 10 miles of my land. I’ll be going out with my paint box to the university dairy farm soon to paint the big trees , silos and cattle.

Late in the year we have marvelous cloud formations out here away from city pollution. Florida has wonderful clouds. Here in fall and winter the clouds are warm whites and the sky begins to turn more cobalt and ultramarine blue. The shadows on the fields are longer and warmer. The blues, purples and grays move onto my palette now, replacing the cool yellows and greens of spring and summer.

I always feel a wonderful nostalgia for happy times, the woods I’ve walked in, the trails at Fair Oaks, the camp fires, marshmallows on fire, my horses from youth, cattle and all the lovely memories from life on farms and ranches.

I’m so lucky to enjoy this season again.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Pickle Butter

1/2 c. butter, melted
2 tbsp. dill pickle brine
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
Dash of hot sauce
1/4 c. chopped dill pickles
1 tbsp. chopped dill

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Serve warm as a dipping sauce.

Clean Up

selling

Clean Up Notes

There are always lots of reasons to clean up your spaces in life. Recently, we went through a very scary hurricane. It flooded my yard and up to the country studio door. I have been talking about cleaning up my country studio for some time. I am waiting for my last class in 2017 to end. I want to go though the space like a freight train, pitching stuff buried in cabinets for years  as well as mountains of papers stuffed in drawers. I’ve had a studio materials sale going for a few weeks in the spare room, selling frames, books, brushes and so forth that I don’t need to keep. Artists are the worse pack rats. Having a messy, full studio is productive for me. I am a minimalist and in my ideal world I like a near empty space with everything in its place.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

The storm gives me a good reason to continue the effort. My house was saved and that gave me the impetus to do some cleaning and pitching there too. Sometimes a major upheaval is just what we need to clean up our busy lives. I hate yard work, but I make myself spend 5 to 10 minutes one day a week each month of the cool season in Florida, October – April. I drag myself out there and saw off limbs and drag yard trash over to the burn pile for my annual burn.

Cloud Painting Recipes

I believe that I am more efficient if I keep picking at the problems, solving them a little at a time rather than doing a huge project at once. I don’t like my life to be out of order for more than a day or two, so tearing up in a big way is disturbing for me. I pick the same day each week to clean the bird cage, wash out the fish bowl, change the sheets, clean the bathroom as well as any other chores. This routine approach to clean up helps me to stay on task and to actually do what I am supposed to.  Procrastination is my enemy!

I believe the key to clean up is a thoughtful plan of action rather than random efforts. I am going to have my studio assistant Carolyn, come out to the studio in January for a day or two to help me do the major part of the clean up. In the mean time, I will get my plan in order, ready to go. I can start on it a little as the next months slide by. I won’t just start doing stuff randomly. I’ll take it step by step. What clean up projects do you have to do? When will you start? make your plan first.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…….

Today’s Recipe

Mediterranean Beans

1 small zucchini, sliced
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup pre-diced red onions
1 (19-oz) can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon capers

– Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (1 cup).
– Chop garlic and parsley coarsely; set parsley aside.

1. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Place 2 tablespoons oil in pan, then add garlic, onions, and beans; cook and stir 4-5 minutes or until onions begin to soften.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients (except remaining olive oil and parsley); cook 3-4 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
3. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with parsley; serve. (Makes 6 servings.)

Big Plan

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Big Plan Notes

I’ve been moving toward my big plan. For the last four years I have been looking for new studio space in Gainesville, the town a few miles from my home. My current town space is a bit too small. Being inside a store is distracting for my visitors. I thought I was going to get a more private space in the store, but it did not work out. I’ve never found the right space at a price I can afford. After much thought, I have a new plan.

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My country studio is paid for and my land and home are paid for. The studio is an adequate size as a professional studio. I had flooding during Hurricane Irma. The building needs to be refreshed, painted inside and out, cabinets need to be removed, a new step and rail. Trim work replaced. It will be like new. Setting up a permanent venue for my paintings is going to end the stress of trying to find a space.

 

I’m having a giant studio sale on Saturday, November 4th, hoping to raise the money to do the repairs in December. When the building is fixed up I will begin to have more parties and events here in the Country Studio Eventually I will make the Country Studio my main studio, saving lots of rent money I would have spent in the city. I will still have paintings at the current space in Paddiwhack, but will not be there as much. I also now have paintings at The Perfect Gift, in Gainesville.

 

I have the lovely Deer Woods Trail to offer friends for walking and exploring next to my country Studio. Henry will be available for autographs and to share dog biscuits. I will offer art lover salons again so friends can celebrate private group parties. It is a cozy happy space so why not use it more for guests and events? This seems like a good big plan. It will save time, gas, and I will have my website and Etsy shop for sales too.

I’m only about 15 miles from the city and the ride out is pleasant. My dirt road has been improved, since the Irma storm and I will improve my signage as part of my studio fix up. I will have more time to paint and less stress as I gradually spend more time in my renewed country studio.

I hope ya’ll will come out and visit at the Country Studio and come for the big sale!

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups no-salt-added chicken stock (or broth)
2 cups water
12 oz linguine pasta
4 oz Deli goat (or ricotta) cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (14.5-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well drained
3 cups baby spinach (or arugula)
Steps
Bring stock and water to a boil for pasta.
Break pasta in half (for easier preparation) and place in stock; cook 12–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Stir in cheeses until blended. Add tomatoes and spinach; stir until spinach wilts. Serve.

Pochade Box Notes

Pochade Box Notes

I paint on location with a variety of pochade boxes. They are the little paint boxes that fit on tripods. I made an interesting discovery about my own process today. My approach to composition is quite different on location than it is in the studio.  When I paint in the studio, I am object oriented in my approach. I see the composition as a placement of various objects around the picture plane. Sure I break them down into values, color,shape and so forth, but they are always defined objects in my mind.

Brush Work Tutorial

When I paint with my pochade box on location, I automatically think in a much more abstract way. The painting I did below is an excellent example of the way I process on location:

Trail Adventures - image  on https://lindablondheim.com

When I paint with my pochade box, I never really think of the trees as trees. I start with dark values and then build  the other values and colors around those dark spots. My location work is often barely under control until the very end. I reduce the objects into their most abstract elements and then start refining a bit here and there. I never really an figure out what I am doing on location. The light is difficult, so bright here in Florida and so contrasty. As I age, I have trouble discerning subtlety due to the harsh light. I miss a lot of detail that I would see in the studio, and so it’s kind of a minimal experience. I think Notan is perfect for location work because it is so mass oriented. My location work is essentially color massing and value massing. That’s all I really see out there.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

It never occurred to me that the location work is the way it is because I see differently than I do in the studio. I’m not talking about all the “magic of plein air painting” nonsense, I am talking about literally and physically seeing differently. It is kind of a reduction of information to my brain when I paint outside. Have you ever practiced doing mass drawings without using a contour line? That’s what I mean about how I see on location. Sort of like watching a foreign film with no sub titles. I think it is something I will now be able to accept. I’ll not continue to punish myself for bad plein air work. If that is the way I paint on location, then there must be a reason for it. All this time I have looked at my location work when I get back to the studio, thinking what in the world was I missing out there? Why wouldn’t I see the mistakes on the painting, when I can see them in the studio? There is obviously some kind of brain disconnect for me out there. It’s an aha moment for me. I feel better. This is why I never take my pochade box work seriously. It will never be of the quality of my studio work, which is well thought out and composed in good light.

Trail Adventures - image  on https://lindablondheim.com
My pochade box work almost always lands in the browse bin for a reduced price. I do keep the occasional one to frame and sell as a legitimately good painting. I have learned in all my long years to consider plein air work as it is, a field study.  Valuable in the sense that it gives me reference for larger, more complex paintings. It also gives me information about light, and atmospheric perspective. I enjoy the natural world as well. I’m not part of the plein air is the only real painting method  crowd. I used to spend a fair amount of time with others, painting on location in various groups. These days I prefer painting alone on my own land or other farms. I like to be undisturbed and unhurried. I am less interested in the social aspect of outdoor painting. I learn more undistracted by chatter. I teach a bit so that gives me as much social painting time as I wish for.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe

Dill, Salmon and Cream Cheese Appetizer

Drain one can of salmon or one cooked salmon fillet flaked
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 T lemon juice
1 package crescent rolls

Blend cheese salmon and lemon juice thoroughly

Pinch edges of rolls together to make a solid sheet

spread mixture on roll and roll up like a pinwheel. Slice int bite sized rounds ad bake on parchment until done. Serve hot.

Success Plan

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Success Plan Notes

I read about unhappy artists who are angry with life, because they don’t find success. This has been going on long before the current economy which has  affected many of us. I understand them because I used to be one of them. I was one of those frustrated, angry artists. I felt that the world owed me my shot and I wasn’t really getting it. I had lots of friends who lived very well indeed on the food chain and who had the opportunity to promote themselves, seeming to get all the breaks.

It never occurred to me that my failure was my own fault and not theirs. It took me a long time to grow up, but thank God I did. I learned that I could not possibly respect other artists because I did not respect myself. I could not learn to respect myself until I could allow myself to accept and love myself and my work.

How did I learn success?

The first thing I did was let go of my own conceit and hubris. That was the very hardest step and it did not happen quickly. I still have to tamp myself down every now and then. I was born with a large ego. I was the baby of the family and adored by my father. I got away with a lot that my older sisters did not. I was the first person ever in my family to get a college degree and then go on to grad school. I won best of show as a senior in the art department at college and that was a big deal, so the seeds were set for a real ego party. For most of my early career I was an insufferable ass!! I look back and cringe. I didn’t like me very much and neither did anyone else. Letting go of that was my greatest challenge.

The next step to success was to become a person of service. I learned to give freely of myself and my knowledge. Someone emailed me recently to say that I was a fool to give away my knowledge so much on this blog. Perhaps they are right, but I don’t think so. I believe what I share will eventually come back to me, both in the joy it brings me in sharing, and in the knowledge that we should all serve in the best way we can.

I firmly believe in a life of service. I think it makes me a better person than I used to be. I will be blessed for helping other artists and I never know how much I help. That is the beauty of giving. It is inexaustible, because someone I help today will pass on their help to another and another. I’ve always believed we have a circle of influence. In my circle of people I know or who know me, I can help several other artists and other people. They have a circle too, which overlaps mine and so forth, It’s like the drops on water, they overlap and continue out. I can’t really worry about people I can’t help who are far from me geographically and culturally, and I paralyze myself If I worry too much about what I can’t do. I feel it is smarter to focus on my circle and do all I can. I focus on artists, after all, who would I want to help more?

When times are good, I buy paintings from other artists and give them to my kids. I have done this for years and I like to think it makes the artists feel wonderful, at least I hope it does. I know other artists who do this too. We could probably all buy at least one painting a year from another artist. Think how much power we have to improve our artist friends lives. When is the last time you invited another artist out for coffee and treated them to a meal? Offered to share your materials with someone you know is in trouble and can’t afford supplies. It’s so easy to say ” I ordered the wrong color tube of paint. Can you use it?” They don’t have to know you are helping them. Another way to help is offering to lend frames to an artist who may have exhibitions and can’t afford decent frames. I have done this many times for emerging artists. Think about what you might be able to do for an artist who is struggling right now if you can afford to help them.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

The next success step for me was to accept that I can be better than I used to be, both as a person and as a painter. I can love my work and myself now without undue guilt over my past mistakes. I can forgive my arrogance and chalk it up to my past and leave it there. I believe one of the terrible useless and destructive things we must overcome, is guilt. My goodness, let’s get rid of our hair shirts and let go of our past transgressions.

Small Paintings

I can honor the paintings that I did in the past, no matter how terrible they were, because that is the best work I was capable of at the time. I celebrate the fact that people loved them as they were and I should think of them with fondness and appreciation, as they were the stepping stones to building technique and understanding the process of painting. I am never ashamed of my work. It is a success because I am willing to try. Part two of this is understanding and acceptance of my current work. I can accept that it is far from what I wish it to be, and enjoy the process of learning, anticipating growth in my work.

The next step is to really believe in success and have real faith in my future. That includes letting go of the fear of failure. This is essential for any kind of goal. What really will happen if I fail? I will simply lose my business and have to find a job. Not the end of the world even if it were to happen. But it won’t, because I am committed in my heart and soul to succeed, and I will. I know I can succeed and so I will.

Does this mean I just sit around and wait for pie in the sky? No way. I am ever working toward my goal, with lots of effort and ideas.

My last step of success is to divorce myself from negativity as much as possible. I am trying for lemonade rather than lemons, learning to look at the good in situations even when they are stressful. I’m trying to avoid helplessness and bad news, preferring to laugh than cry when possible. There is so much negative that can be avoided all together, and I do. I try to surround myself with people who are excited about life and it’s possibilities. I have learned to avoid the evening news most of the time, and to focus instead on what I can do to help myself and others who depend on me for support and friendship.

Now whenever I am slighted by another artist, or left out of the latest exhibit, I ignore it and think instead about my next painting and new ideas. I can’t tell you what a difference this attitude change has made in my career, except to say it has been enormous. I no longer sweat the small stuff. Of course I feel pain and rejection, but I don’t allow it to take away from my focus on what is really good about life as an artist.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe

Linda’s Chef Salad

In my quest to have a healthier diet, I make a lot of salads for supper. This one is a favorite.

Place mixed salad greens on a plate. Add the following:

1/2 diced apple

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 sliced fresh pineapple

1 slice sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

1 slice ham, chopped

1 slice chicken or turkey chopped

1/4 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 cucumber, sliced

1 hard boiled egg, sliced

Top it all off with some vinegar and olive oil dressing. Yummy!

Clean Post Irma

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Clean Post Irma Notes

I am in the clean up process for my studio, post hurricane Irma. It took about three weeks to clean up the yard and Deer Woods Trail. Now my focus has shifted to my Country Studio. I have a set of goals for the studio, which will have to be completed after December, when my students are through with our class in December.

My studio clean up includes:

painting the inside and outside

replacing the wood panel that covers the old shop door (now rotting at the bottom)

Removing the cabinets that are rotting at the bottom from the hurricane flood

splatter painting the concrete floor, so it won’t matter what spills on it (one of my galleries did this with their concrete floor and it is very cute.

building a new step for the deck and a little hand rail

All of this takes money, so I am going to have a big studio sale on November 4th to help raise the money. In the mean time, I am going through all of my paintings in the studio, sorting them to sell. I am emptying out all the cabinets and sorting through them to throw away rotting stuff and keep other stuff. I am systematically going through the studio to reorganize and make it lean and mean after clean up. Some of the walls may be ruined behind the cabinets. I’ll have to assess that when they are pulled out.

clean

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I’ve wanted to do a major clean up for about 10 years, but never had the motivation really. I consider myself lucky to have escaped much worse damage from the storm. Now is the time to clean up my work space and make it prettier and happier. I’m excited by the possibilities.

Home Page

Sometimes clean up is as much mental as physical. As I age, my home studio becomes more important to me. I am looking forward to renewing this building. It was my father’s workshop many years ago and I feel his presence there when I work. From time to time, I have lived in it too, when various children or friends have needed to have a place to live. Henry has his own bed there and my students come in and out. It is a happy place, with no arguments, angst or anger, a place of peace.

I plan to have all of my future studio parties in the Country Studio, after the clean up and renovation, to have trail visitors and to spend more time here in my own neighborhood painting. I look forward to a new beginning for the old place. Disasters can be turned around into victories, depending on your point of view.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Interest Fading Notes

linda

Interest Fading  Notes

I’ve had a couple of interesting conversations with other painters about the fading interest in representational, original art. They have observed that interest in traditional fine art and in landscape painting is fading.
I don’t know if they are right or not. One artist has traveled extensively and lived in Africa and Europe as well as the USA. The other has traveled extensively through the USA and spends most of his time in the western USA. I don’t really know if they are right. I’m just a country painter with most of my travels in the South. I did travel through Europe as a young college student one summer.

Painting Trees PDF 20.00

I suppose that digital art may be the wave of future art. The millennials and their children may desert the world of original art on canvas, but perhaps not. When I was teaching beginning painting, I had several young college students in my classes and they were very enthusiastic. The paint and drink wine businesses are booming with millennials using the parties as date night activities. I hope my two friends are wrong. I find that when people actually try to learn painting, they become avid collectors. They understand how hard good painting is to achieve.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

At one time, the art market was flooded with cheap copies of paintings on canvas, and it probably still is, but I find that there are still people who understand the value of original art. If you have ever spent time in good museums, you will have no doubt about the value of paintings. One look at John Singer Sargent’s originals will heighten your interest. A view of the room sized water lilies by Monet will leave you gasping. A tiny jewel of an oil painting, rich with brush strokes and color by Vermeer will please you to no end.

If my friends are right, and mine is the last generation who has interest in traditional painting, I’m so grateful that I can be a part of this rich tradition. As I stand in front of the easel in my studio, or out in a field with my paint box, I know that I am standing with generations of landscape painters. I’m carrying on the dreams of the Renaissance painters, Impressionists, and other generations of painters, patiently putting brush to canvas, step by step working through a painting. It feels good to be a part of that great tradition. I’m so glad I didn’t miss the opportunity.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe

Creamy Corn Relish

1 (15.25-oz) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, drained
1 cup tomato trinity mix (fresh diced tomatoes, onions, bell peppers)
1/4 cup pre-sliced green onions
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients.
Chill until ready to serve. Stir once before serving.

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