Fried Chicken


Fried Chicken Notes

Fried chicken is one of the best parts of being from the South. I was born and raised on fried chicken and I still love it. I would never give up fried chicken for anyone. These days my Doc keeps me on a fairly strict diet to avoid diabetes. I eat boring low carb, low sugar food day after day. On Sunday, I am allowed to eat whatever I want. I like to rotate between stuffed baked potatoes and salad and fried chicken and salad on Sunday. There are a million recipes for fried chicken and every southern family has their own. I always fry mine in a cast iron skillet with vegetable oil. I like to fry it on medium heat, letting it steam on the inside and eventually brown evenly on the crust. I season my flour with salt/pepper/onion flakes/paprika/dried thyme. I coat it twice, waiting in between for the skin to soak in the first coat. I put it on a rack in the oven to keep warm while I make the chicken gravy.

Landscape Paintings

I’ve had a lot of really good chicken and every family had it for Sunday dinner when I was a kid. The best chicken I ever ate was at a place called the Dixie Grill in Live Oak Florida. I also like chicken at Pouncy’s in Perry Florida, as well as chicken at the Front Porch Restaurant and Pie Shop in Dunellin Florida. Publix makes good fried chicken and so does Fresh Market in my town.

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What does this have to do with art? I think our food and our culture matter in the way we create and think about painting. I would have been a different painter had I grown up with Southwestern food or northern food. I know it. I would have been a lot thinner in my old age too, but I love everything about my Southern heritage food. The grits, cornbread, collards, and fried chicken make me  the painter I am. I would not love the farms, cattle, trees draped in moss, the lakes and tall palms if I hadn’t grown up in the South.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe
This is the bean dip I make for studio parties and taco parties.
2 cans refried beans or 1 pound mashed black or pinto beans
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
1 can sliced black olives (optional)
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 small diced onion or green onions sliced
1 fresh chopped tomato
1 bell pepper diced
Mix it all up and serve with corn chips or scoops. Garnish with a few of the diced vegetables for color.

We Change Gradually


We Change Gradually Notes

We change gradually without even realizing it. When I look back over the last several years, I have had many changes in my life, some excellent and some are disappointing. I think the best thing to do is go with the changes in the happiest possible way. I’m no Pollyanna. Anyone who really knows me realizes that most of the changes I go through are hard fought, and reluctant. It is with hindsight that I begin to see the good in change.

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We make changes often because of age, physical, or family situations. These affect our careers as artists too. Some changes are abrupt and terrible, forcing us to change our habits, the places we love to paint and our studio set ups. As we age, our stamina declines. We must continue to produce good work but our energy level changes.
It is important to know what you must do to adjust to these career changes and to remain flexible and smart about them. Here are a few of the ways I cope with change:

1. I give myself a short pity party. A day or two of grumbling is ok, as long as it does not paralyze me.

2. I begin to make a viable plan. If I don’t have as much energy as I age, I paint less frequently out doors, which takes a lot of energy. I spend more time on smaller paintings, making the large painting sessions count. I stretch out large paintings with more frequent short sessions, instead of long hours a day. I decide to paint in the time allotments I do have. I sometimes change to easier mediums that I can use, sitting at my desk instead of standing for long hours at my easel.

3. I spend more time being efficiently organized. I don’t want to waste time that might be precious. A weekly to do list, a supply list, a good inventory of supplies all help, if time management has become a change in my schedule. I always have my painting stations set up and ready to work, saving me time and frustration.

4. I spend more time thinking about what I really want to do with my career. It is not free. I wasted a great deal of it when I was a younger artist. One of the main changes in my life has become the plan to cut out any activities that I don’t want to do in my career. Next year I will teach much less, spend less time in my town studio, and spend more time out here in the woods where I am the most content as a painter. I will put more effort into selling work online, as I feel that is the future of retail. I will have more fun parties in my Country Studio.

5. Whatever the changes for you, take the situation in hand and be proactive about the changes, not reactive. Take a moment to regroup and then push on with as much bravado as you can. Make new, good changes as you move forward. Coping and continuing to grow is the key.

Small Paintings

Change is harder than just about anything we do. We often put it off too long, hoping problems will correct themselves but they almost never do. Change is scary and we have to be brave to face it. Making changes in our career before they force themselves on us, is the best way to get positive changes. At least we have some control over changes that way. I must admit that most of the changes I have chosen to make in my long career have been the best choice. I have often wasted time waiting too long to make those decisions. I should have been brave enough to make them as soon as I knew they were due.

Today’s recipe

Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower (about 2 lb)
3 tablespoons pesto
3 tablespoons lemon dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Nonstick aluminum foil
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove leaves and cut stalk even with bottom of cauliflower.
2. Whisk pesto, dressing, oil, and garlic powder until blended. Place cauliflower on large sheet of foil. Brush with 3 tablespoons pesto mixture; wrap loosely with foil and place on baking sheet.
3. Roast 30 minutes; remove foil and brush with another 3 tablespoons pesto mixture. Roast 15–20 more minutes or until lightly browned. Slice cauliflower carefully and serve topped with remaining 2 tablespoons pesto mixture sprinkled with parmesan.

Loyal Collectors


Loyal Collectors Notes

Loyal care for my collectors is an important part of my career as an artist. I am ever amazed by their kindness, warmth and friendship. They support me in many large and small ways. Over the years I have tried to think of many ways to be loyal and kind in return.

One of my best ideas has been my collectors club. My collectors club gives members a 25% discount on all their purchases of framed paintings at Paddiwhack and 30% at my Country Studio. For my friends who buy multiple paintings, this really adds up. They are also privileged to hold art salons and private parties at my studio. I arrange for appetizers and cold drinks for the party, and even do homemade cakes on request for celebrations and birthdays. I do a short demonstration painting for guests, and they are welcome to stroll along my nature trail as part of the fun. I charge a one time fee of 20.00 for membership. That is to weed out people who have no interest in purchasing art.

Linda’s Collectors Club

I have a referral team of loyal friends who share my paintings on Facebook. This team has helped me graciously, without asking for anything. It has become my habit to send them small paintings as thank you’s for their loyal kindness.

Each year as a Lenten sacrifice, I send out 40 small art gifts to my list of collectors for 40 days. This has been very well appreciated by my friends as a surprise. To me this is better than giving up chocolate or some kind of minimal sacrifice. It has meaning for me and my collectors.

I give away a surprise painting each month in my Paddiwhack studio. I put a note on the back of a painting and place it around the store, ready to find by a shopper. It is a fun scavenger hunt for visitors and always a delightful surprise for someone in the store.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I send out bird seed packets, dog biscuits for canine friends, tea bags, and small goodies from time to time for my studio guests. There are many fine ways to show how much collectors mean to me. It is inexcusable to take collectors for granted. Every time I sell a painting, large or tiny, I am thrilled and so grateful for that experience. If you are a professional artist, find ways to be grateful to your supporters and to reward their loyalty.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe

Avocado Salad
1 avocado
1/3 cup roasted pistachios, finely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 bag baby spinach (5–6 oz)
1/4 cup lemon vinaigrette
Peel avocado and remove seed, then cut flesh into small cubes. Chop pistachios and place in salad bowl with remaining ingredients. Toss salad to coat; serve.

Atmosphere Light Dark


Atmosphere Light Dark Notes

Two of my favorite  studies in painting are atmosphere and light. I return to this over and over again in my work. I think it is from painting on location for so many years. Attempting to portray that powerful combination of light and dreamy atmosphere is a huge challenge that some painters excel at and others miss entirely. I’ve never had much interest in tonalism or the Hudson River style of painting, though it has again become very popular with other painters and many collectors. I suppose it is just not the way I see things. Florida is not really very tonalist to me.

The light here is intense and heavy with humidity and atmosphere. The sub tropical climate does not lend itself to subdued paintings. I know one very good tonalist who paints Florida with no green at all in his palette. The paintings are quite lovely but they don’t really look like Florida to me.  We all have our own stylistic interests. Not much of a south Florida art fan either with the pink clouds and teals, etc. People get the idea that all Florida painters paint like the Highwaymen and Bean Backus, and of course many do, but it’s not for me.

I realized some time ago that I don’t seem to fit in anyone’s movement or style, which is a curse and a blessing. I would probably sell a lot more paintings if I did fit into a popular style. Many collectors feel safer in collecting recognized styles like groups or schools.

I do ok so I guess I must be doing something right.

This painting is the kind of study I enjoy regarding light and atmosphere. I will spend more time on this focus after I get back out on location this fall and winter. The light is best during that period of the year and it really speaks to me as I paint around the neighborhood.

Values in Landscape Painting Tutorial

As I tell my students, if you want light, you have to have dark too. I’ve observed that many painters are afraid of contrast and values. Perhaps they see in mid range values. I see a lot of contrast and I enjoy the contrasts between light and dark. My love for notan shows itself in my work. I have learned to group most of my values into light mid and dark families, narrowing the range between them significantly. That makes for a lot of contrast. I know one painter who has very dark painting with pops of light here and there. There are lots of ways to use contrast and it depends on your own view of value schemes. I tend to be in the lighter category often, with accents of quite dark and few mid range values. I do believe every painter sees light differently and that is what makes painting so special and unique.

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Atmosphere and light study is ongoing. I try to spend a fair amount of my fall and winter months observing atmosphere and light here in north Florida.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe

Brie Finger Sandwiches
1 loaf bakery  bread, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 (8-oz) wedge brie cheese
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Cut bread into 8 (1/2-inch) slices; arrange 4 slices of bread on cutting board. Thinly slice brie into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Arrange cheese in a single layer over each slice of bread, completely covering the surface; top with remaining 4 slices of bread. Spread butter on both outer-facing sides of bread.
Preheat large, nonstick sauté pan on medium-low 2–3 minutes. Place sandwiches in pan; cook 3–4 minutes each side or until golden brown and cheese has melted. Transfer to a cooling rack; sprinkle evenly with sea salt and thyme leaves. Let stand 2 minutes to cool. Slice each sandwich into 4 strips;

Fairy House Fun


Fairy House Fun Notes

Now and then I go back to my fairy house fun. I’ve been building the little houses and doing paintings of the houses for years. Mine are not really the traditional middle ages huts that are the traditional houses.  My fairy abodes are quirky t say the least. I build cottages, condos, fish camps, tortoise fairy houses and some other of the wild creatures who live in the woods. Most of the little paintings are on wood panels or paper, matted to 4×6 inches.

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I started these houses and paintings during my tenure as an artist in residence at Fair Oaks estate. At one time, I had them all over the woods and on Fish Prairie. I made them of wood and also used clay pots. The ones of wood decay in a couple of years, going back to the earth as they should. The clay houses last for years, and can be repainted as they fade. I use strawberry clay pots to make elaborate  fairy houses. I turn the pots upside down, use pine bark for shingles, paint ladders, window trim, clothes lines and antennas around the pot. It is free standing.

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I think it is important to have fun art as part of a career. I enjoy the fairy projects very much and some sell to bring in income. Most of them I place around on my own trail or keep in the studio to admire. They provide fun for my visitors too. My fairy houses are my toys. I don’t think we ever outgrow our love of toys.

Small Paintings

To help preserve the little paintings on wood, I first use gesso on the panel. I paint them with casein and embellish with pen and ink. I varnish them on all sides and edges with clear varnish.

I use short screws to attach the paintings to trees and stumps along the trail. They are a nice little surprise for trail walkers.

More musings for artists and collectors…..

Today’s Recipe

Grilled Corned Beef Hash Sandwich

I serve this for breakfast or night breakfast.

4 large soft tortillas


1 can corned beef hash

6 slices sharp cheddar cheese

1 sliced tomato

4 eggs

butter one side of each tortilla.

spread corned beef hash on 2 tortillas

top with slices of cheese

top with one layer of sliced tomatoes

top with second tortilla

Place on sheet pan. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Fry the four eggs

Cut sandwich into four slices and top with fried eggs.