Schedule Changes

Schedule Change Notes
Sometimes a simple schedule change can increase the pleasure of an artist’s career. Despite what most people think, being a professional artist takes a great deal of energy. We have a bad habit of mismanaging our schedule, filling it with time wasting and unproductive activities. Sometimes it is good to step back and consider whether the automatic habits we have formed, are really helping us create and sell art.
I came to the realization late last year that I was spending more time at my town studio than I need to. Since my town studio is inside a store, Paddiwhack, there is staff there to handle sales, and my assistant also works there part time. She watches my back when I’m not there. I discovered that Saturday is the best day to be there, and one day a week is enough. I have adjusted my schedule there.
This year I am spending more time at my Country Studio, watching over the renovation and planning activities there for friends and collectors once the studio is tip top. I have more painting time now and more time to explore nature. I’m not as tired. I save gas, and expenses as well. I have a productive schedule each day.
Time hurries along faster and faster as I age, which makes me very determined to use my schedule very wisely. Assuming you are a working professional artist who needs to sell your art, here are some questions to ask yourself for saving schedule time:
Why am I entering juried shows in museums and art centers? Do I expect to sell, win prize money, gain recognition,build my resume?
Have I gained any of the above?
If not, is it wise to continue?
Why do I belong to art associations or art centers? Companionship and socialization?
Are they helping me to sell my paintings? Are they helping me to improve my art skills?
What art events am I doing each year and are they bringing me good income? Examples might be paint outs or sidewalk shows. Have you considered the time you are using? Gas and expenses? Time you are away from marketing to your collectors and potential collectors? Time at your easel in your studio to produce good work?
How much time do I spend on social media? Have I studied and learned which platforms are successful and produce actual sales?
Each one is different and there are many steps to success, consuming a lot of your schedule. I post to all of them, but Facebook gets most of my attention, as I sell paintings there. Instagram is beginning to produce sales as well.
What Studio habits take the most of my schedule?
Is there any way to streamline those tasks and free up more time. I do most of my ordering online, saving shopping time for studio supplies. I keep the studio organized and tidy, keeping me on task with little wasted time.
Do I use a newsletter or write a blog?
My blog is a great way to communicate and my most success for a schedule saver is to use an editorial calendar. It was the best thing I learned for blogging and newsletters. I stick to it regularly, staying ahead by about six weeks for blog posts. I no longer have to try to come up with topics on the fly. When an idea comes to me I put it in my editorial calendar so I have something useful to write about.
Do I keep an idea list?
I have one on my IPad. When ideas for paintings, marketing, blog topics come to me, I add the idea to my list. It might take a week, a month or years to actually implement the idea, but it is waiting for me when I am ready.
Should I spend time taking painting workshops or classes?
If you honestly feel that an artist can help you to grow your skills, then yes. Be careful to make sure the teacher is right for you. I know more than one outstanding painter who is a poor teacher. Get referrals from other students. Perhaps online classes will take less time and be less expensive than travel.
Should I invest time in my online presence, online art galleries, your web site?
If you are selling reasonably well, face to face, then yes. Your website is important and worth your investment, but it needs to be tended to and nurtured regularly. SEO will be important. Research will be important to success. Some online shops do produce sales. I use Etsy and Daily Paintworks. Others I have tried have not worked well for me.
Be aware that time is your most valuable resource and schedule is vital to use time wisely.
More musings for artists and collectors to come…
Today’s Recipe
Bacon wrapped carrots

2 lb fresh carrots, peeled
1 lb bacon
Nonstick aluminum foil
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel carrots, then wrap 1 slice of bacon tightly around each. Place on foil-lined baking sheet (wash hands); coat with spray.
  2. Bake 20 minutes; brush with syrup. Bake 8–10 more minutes or until bacon is crispy and carrots are tender. Place on serving platter and sprinkle with salt; serve.


Women Artists Observation


Women Artists Observation Notes

I been thinking about women artists and why women in general handicap themselves in career. This post will probably anger a lot of women artists but it is my blog and I have the right to muse about the way of the world.

I have observed that most of the truly successful women artists are either single or highly independent in their partnerships and marriages.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Most of the women artists I know, put off their own career needs to assist husbands’ businesses or career moves. When husband retires, wife retires too because he doesn’t want to give up travel or retirement dreams. In reality, no artist needs ever to retire as long as they are well enough to paint. Many women artists miss career opportunities to care for children’s needs and I mean grown children.


I attended a picnic event with another artist once. I knew no one save the artist who brought me. I sat at a table observing the crowd. The men and women separated by gender. The women talked about children, grandchildren, shopping, hair salons, celebrities and other women. The men talked about world, national and local news and politics, the stock market, finance, real estate and sports.  I struck me powerfully that men still dominate the world for a reason.

I was chastised several times by women who join women artists associations, because I do not join in or participate in these groups. I see no need for them. I don’t need to be known as a woman artist. I am a painter, no gender bias needed.

I raised two daughters alone. I worked by day as a chef and by night and weekends as a painter for 13 years. I cleaned houses, cooked for restaurants and worked as a caterer during the hard years of their childhood, but I never gave up my art. As a grandmother now, I set limits on visitation, though I love my grandson so much. My job after all the years of sacrifice, is to be in business for myself and to be a painter. It is all I ever aspired to. My dream has come true.

I fully admit that I do not play well in the sand box and have no interest in sacrificing my time and dreams to assist someone else’s career, childcare, or retirement.  Contrary to popular belief, women cannot have it all, but they can have their share if they are willing to work hard and set limits to others. My daughters well know that my career was hard won and I’m not about to give it up to convenience their wants. I help them in many ways, including financial when needed, and a monthly fun night with my grandson, but they understand the limits to my time. I worked hard for my time and it is precious to me.

Women artists need to treat their job as a job, if they ever expect to be successful. Putting their job on the back burner for others is altruistic but not realistic if they plan to be truly successful.

My advice for women artists is:

Set limits for others

Value your time as an important resource

Set a schedule for painting, marketing and business each day

Study painting, marketing, computer skills

Don’t hide from business requirements. If you are unwilling to learn and do business, hire someone to do it for you but it must be done.

Be professional in your dealings with collectors and other artists.

Work at least 40 hours a week at being a professional artist.

There are many more skills needed but if you cannot do the above, enjoy being a hobby artist and don’t worry about making a living from art.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…


Today’s Recipe

I saw this recipe for pie crust on Facebook. It looks great!

1 sheet of puff pastry

Cinnamon mixed with sugar

Place pastry on waxed paper. Sprinkle pastry with cinnamon sugar. Roll pastry, long side up into a roll, like a cinnamon roll. Slice in thin slices. Place slices in a circle on another piece of wax paper and top with a piece of waxed paper. Roll it out with a rolling pen until it is thin like pie crust. It is so pretty. Use two  to make a pie, or use it for strudel.

Making a Stew



Making a Stew Notes

Making a Stew is a lot like the process of painting.  First I assemble cut vegetables,(carrots,fresh tomatoes,potatoes diced,onion diced, green peas, corn, celery, mushrooms) then use a nice sirloin roast to cut into large pieces of stew meat. I always use a whole roast rather than buying stew meat. A roast will be tender and not have gristle. I fry the meat in EVOO after dredging it in flour mixed with garlic, thyme, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. As I carefully turn the meat and brown it, I take a 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce and mix it with a half cup of wine to pour over the meat and deglaze the pan. All of this goes into the crock pot with the vegetables and a couple of cans of beef stock. Then the pot is turned on to do it’s magic for the day, filling the house with an aroma to salivate over. During the last half hour, a sprig of fresh rosemary is added to the pot and it is indescribable in the end.

Orange Lake

I was a chef for 13 years, ran a couple of small restaurants, had a small catering business, and worked as a private chef, all the while painting and drawing on the side. Making food is important to me. It is part of my heritage as a Southern person and my culture. Lots of the stories told about the South are told around the table at meals.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I cook with great care and attention to detail. I want it to taste wonderful and making many meals with care has been important to me. It occurred to me while I assembled the stew that painting and making art should be done in the same way. Are we using excellent materials to craft our paintings? Brushes, paint quality, supports? Are they well made?

Are we doing research and study to prepare our “recipe” for a good painting? Doing compositional studies. value studies? Color charts? Then comes the cooking time. Are we working in a methodical deliberate way on important paintings? Giving them cooking time in between construction stages?

Then there is the plate presentation, Is the food beautifully presented to our dinner guests? Is our painting refined and well executed, whatever our style might be? If we frame, is it well made and fitting for our painting?

Are we charming hosts to our guests? Do we treat our  collectors and friends with the utmost respect, welcoming them into our world as valued guests; made to feel as important as they really are?

I’ll give you an example. I recently sold a painting to a new collector. She wrote to tell me that she loved the painting but that it had been slightly damaged in the finish during the shipping. She said the painting was fine and did not need an exchange, but just wanted to let me know. I wrote to her and insisted that she keep that painting and choose another one on me. She hesitated, but I insisted and so the second painting is on the way to her. I could have ignored it and I’m sure she would have been ok, but my reputation and full guarantee of my work was at stake in my mind. I want my collectors to be completely satisfied and thrilled with the paintings they buy from me. I stand behind my work. She sweetly wrote back to me and said “No wonder your  collectors are so loyal to you.”

Many artists think of  collectors in negative ways, as if they are a pain. I have always valued my collectors  more than I can say. They put food on my table and pay my bills. They allow me to have a wonderful life, full of adventure and fun. Whatever I can do  making their life good, I am happy to do. Many of them become my treasured personal friends.

How do we get the word out about our delicious stew?

Do we care whether our web sites are updated, our blogs are updated and useful to others?

Do we treat museum directors, gallery directors, other artists with courtesy?

Do we bother to answer emails?

Take the time to encourage other artists and answer their questions?

Do we follow up on information that might help us in the future, thanking those who send it to us?

Do we send out newsletters and announcements which have interest to others, including great stories,recipes, or useful treats for our collectors?

Are we thinking about them and their interests or just trying to shove our work down their throats with endless announcements about shows ?

Do we send out the best photos possible of our work?

Do we encourage dialogue from collectors, asking them to share their lives with us?

It is really about them, not us. 

Well, That’s my stew. What are your ingredients?

Today’s Recipe

See above!

Think Art Design



Think Design

Think about art design as an important part of your world as a painter. I like to think of design as part of my big three, composition/values/color.

Design takes time. That is one reason I think my studio work has always been better than my plein air work. The plein air is study time for me and helps me to learn observation skills and to collect information about what things really look like. I learn how light works in the real outdoors, color, shadows etc. All that is important, but for me the real process of painting takes place in the studio with the deliberate step by step design.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I work out the design kinks first, with lots of small studies. I sit at my design table and play with pencil, paper, colored pencils, and markers. Then I do painting studies of scenes and compositions I might like in tiny casein paintings. I find these little paintings to be so valuable in decision making. I sell the little paintings on Etsy and in my studio. They are actually quite popular. I taught myself to paint birds that way.

Evinston Field Painting

I choose the compositions I like the best for actual oil paintings. I slow the process of design down at my easel.  I rarely work alla prima in the studio. I take breaks between stages, sometimes for an hour, a few hours or overnight. This allows me to think about options and changes which may improve the composition, values, dominance, color combinations and so forth. The painting comes together little by little and I have time to change here and there as I go along.

I don’t have the feeling of urgency to just get through it that I feel on location. There is a lot of pressure out in the field for me, to turn out decent looking work because I spend a lot of time in demonstrations or in teaching. People expect to see good work. Rarely do I get to just fool around with painting out on location. My fooling around with painting and study time is done in studio, where I don’t have to worry about doing anything but learning and painting for joy.

I think the key to good studio work for me is the quality of freshness that plein air brings, but with better composition and refinement that studio work can give. If I can somehow bring the best of both to my work then I have accomplished something. That is my goal in any case.



Todays Recipe:

This is a really easy but good casserole to feed a crowd. You can use chicken, ground beef or shrimp as the meat.

Beef and Rice Casserole

2 cups Uncle Ben’s brown rice
1 can beef stock + 1 can diced tomatoes + enough water to make four cups liquid

1/2 teaspoon leaf thyme
salt and pepper
1 diced onion
1 pound ground beef browned
1 T chopped fresh parsley
2 stalks celery finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 T tomato paste

Mix everything up and put it in a greased pan and bake until rice is tender.

Comments collectors friends

Comments Notes
I am grateful to my friends and collectors for sending me comments and testimonials. Here are some of the kind comments I have received from friends and collectors:
Why should you visit Linda Blondheim’s  Studio?

I enjoy viewing her original art. She always has great stories about the places she paints.

The Country Studio sits on beautiful land. her walking, Deer Woods Trail is wonderful.

It gives me an opportunity to watch an artist at work and to have a sense of what it must be like to be an artist. Linda is candid and honest.

The studio is a comfortable place to sit and relax  with no sales pressure.

There is always a hot cup of coffee or tea or a snack available. It’s a matter of being made to feel “right at home” and my sense is that the snacks are often homemade or otherwise, thoughtfully chosen. The whole atmosphere feels personal and warm.

An opportunity to be surrounded by beauty and experience many aspects of an artist’s work – not just the more refined and finished pieces on the walls for sale but also the ‘browse bin’…which I always gravitate to, not so much because of the lower prices, but because of the history in that bin and the variety of scenes.

I like the opportunity to visit with Linda, enjoy the ambience, and see paintings in person; a fun addition to my Paddiwhack visit.

Linda makes every visitor feel loved.

It’s exciting to see the variety of Linda’s paintings.

Linda’s paintings are even more beautiful than the photos at her web site or in her emails.

I’m more tempted to buy at her  studio than from her web site.

Her paintings are magnificent.

Linda is the real deal and very people savvy.

It is inspiring and relaxing at the same time.

I feel welcomed.

Your inspiring paintings, your company, your snacks and goodies, classes, parties, Henry on the rare occasions I get to see him.

The studio is a place to put your soul in a place where the colors and inspiration reflecting from a room of beautiful paintings soothes your soul.

I like coming to talk to you. I found that afternoon I spent with you and the other plein air painters delightful.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I couldn’t possibly buy this kind of excellent PR. It is so important to let people know why you have a studio and why they will enjoy being there. If you have a retail studio, ask your friends and patrons to help you. if you love them and are good to them, they will respond. I put collector’s comments on a page of my web site.  Comments,testimonials and word of mouth are the best way to find new friends and eventually new collectors for your art. Taking the time to treat guests well and to develop relationships means everything to an art career. 

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Left Over Casserole

I made this last night. The night before we had tacos for dinner with Spanish rice. I had about 3 cups of rice and 8 oz of taco meat left.

I mixed that up with a can of diced tomatoes with peppers and onions, and a can of cream of mushroom soup. I put all of that mixed into a casserole dish and baked at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. I added canned French Fried onion rings to the top and browned them for about 4 minutes. I served it with sliced melon and mixed veges. It was really great and a good way to revamp left over taco fixings.