Bird Fun

Bird fun

Bird Fun

Bird Fun Notes

I am having so much bird fun these days. My interest in painting little birds started in summer, two years ago. Someone asked me if I would paint a bird.  I thought, why not? Might as well learn something new! I worked with oils that summer, doing a series of little birds on canvas panel. I think all but three of those have been sold.

Bird Fun

In January 2019,  I began drawing again. It was natural to include birds and Drawing birds has helped me to learn more about their anatomy and wing structure. My birds tend to be quite primitive and stylistic. They are certainly not fine art, but rather fun art.

Bird Fun

i am a serious landscape and tree painter, striving to be the best in that genre that I can possibly be. It takes serious discipline and much research and effort to excel as a professional painter. I also believe it is important to play as a painter and have fun. My bird drawings and paintings give me a great amount of pleasure and take me out of the landscape to play with art. Most of the birdies are goofy, but they are whimsical and bring a smile, so needed in our stressful world.

Bird Fun

I recently discovered a company who makes marvelous square, cradled wood panels in any size I want for my bird paintings. They will hang or sit upright on a shelf or desk. Thank you Sunbelt Manufacturing for making these beautiful panels. I’ve been using their 6×6 panels for my nest paintings and 4×4 inch for the little birds. The perfect size for fun bird paintings.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Easy Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower
1 (15-oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

pinch of thyme

pinch of chopped parsley

splash of white wine

1/2 cup Parmesan  cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Chop cauliflower into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Combine cauliflower, herbs, wine, and Alfredo sauce in 9-inch square baking dish; top with bread crumbs mixed with cheese.
  3. Bake 30–35 minutes or until bubbly and cauliflower is tender.

 

 

 

Acrylics Mode

slow multitasking

Acrylics Mode

Acrylics Mode Notes

I turned to acrylics in October of 2018, putting my oils away for a spell. I had my Hot Dog party that month and wanted to clean up the studio for the party. Acrylics are cleaner, easier to use, less expensive, and not smelly. I decided to go along for awhile with acrylics and see what I could do.

Acrylics Mode

Linda’s Graphite Drawings

I’ve had a long love/hate history with acrylics. I’ve been an oil painter since I was 13 years old. I started painting with acrylics at about 40, so I’ve been at the easel with them for 28 years. The first 10 years were a disaster. I hated them so much. I would use them for a month and then put them away. At the time, I tried to use them like oils and it was not pretty, and very frustrating. I didn’t give up. I kept trying on and off. About ten years ago, I spent a whole year learning how to use them. Then I went to using both mediums at two stations in the studio, which worked well.

Acrylics Mode

I found that oddly, using two or more mediums seemed to cross over from one to the other in terms of technique sharing. I added casein to my mediums as well. I learned a lot about glazing and making seamless paintings between mediums. My oils and acrylics look entirely seamless most of the time now. Most people cannot tell the difference between the two when they view my paintings.

Acrylic Mode

Linda’s Etsy Shop

The biggest problem I see for landscape painters is a built in prejudice biased against acrylics and for oils. Back in my days at Paint Outs, painters shunned acrylics and painters who used them. I had spent a good year of studying acrylics before the paint out season. I took acrylics to a paint out, saying nothing to others. When the paintings were turned in, I told others that they were acrylics. They didn’t believe me. I see this silly attitude all the time from landscape painters. I know a woman artist who did beautiful acrylics. She joined one of the hoity toity painting groups and within a year, had switched over to oils. I’m sure she caved into the attitude of the group, as she had been a very successful acrylic painter for many years. Her acrylic work was far superior to her oil work. The abstract community does not seem to have this silly attitude, which I’m happy to note. To me, all mediums are genuine with superior skills. Luckily, I’m one of those stubborn people who don’t let others dictate how I paint and with which medium. They don’t pay my bills, so  I don’t care what they think.

Acrylic Mode

I think I have reached a new level with acrylics this time. I am feeling comfortable with them at last. I am sure I will go back to my lovely oils again at some point. I will wake up one day and decide it is time to bring them out. I will probably go back to using three mediums again. I don’t know when. It will be time to learn new things with my oils.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Sun Dried Tomato Bread

1/2 jar sun dried tomatoes

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup honey

1/2 tsp basil

1 T salt

3 T yeast

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup whole wheat flour

5 cups bread flour

2 cups warm water

1 cup half & half

Combine warm water,yeast, honey and let ferment about 5 minutes. Add all ingredients with salt last. use dough hook in mixer or knead by hand until dough is elastic and mixed thoroughly. You may need to add a bit more flour.

Place in greased bowl until dough rises to top. Punch down and knead again. Separate into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Allow to rise again and gently place in 350 degree oven. Bake until loaves are brown and check bottom to see that it is brown too. Turn out onto cooling racks and let sit until completely cool. Freeze extra loaves.

Painting Checklists Work

painting Checklists work

Painting Checklists Work

Painting Checklists Work Notes

As we all know, painting can be distressingly complicated, especially when we are beginning. There are dozens of things we need to remember all at the same time. One of the things I encourage my students to do is to make a small list of suggestions, a Painting Checklist which can be laminated to hard board like mat board or glued and then covered with a sheet protector. This little list can be clipped to your easel or paint box in studio or if you work on location. I mean a list about the size of a 3×5 inch index card. You can have different lists which might be more tailored to individual situations. Think of this as sort of a site map to your painting process.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Painting Checklists Work

Here is an example I use:

1. Keep your composition as simple as possible.
2. Omit fussy details.
3. Squint your eyes frequently to establish values.
4. Block in values early.
5. Create Intervals-Try not to put major elements on the same plane.
6. Work all over the painting, gradually adding details.
7. Step back frequently and give your mind a rest.
8. Create resting places in the composition when appropriate.
9. Use diagonals curves and angles to create interest.
10. Create a center of interest through brushwork, detail and color intensity.
11. Do you have a plan for your painting?
12. Will it have a dominant value? Dark, Light, Mid Value?
13. Lay in value and color where you see it. Save the refinement for later.
14. Do not over blend. Keep brushwork crisp and clean.
15. Does the painting have Texture, Rhythm and Harmony?

Painting Checklists Work

One of the lists could have the theme of values and contrast, with questions or suggestions about those issues. Another could have to do with color mixing to help you stay in control of your palette. Why not create a miniature color chart for your palette of the day? Color value charts in miniature? Yet another could involve compositional elements, a way to check off good and bad compositional methods. Finally, you could have a list of questions about what methods you will use to plan your composition.

Monthly Painting Offer

Painting  Checklists Work

All of these little lists and charts could be kept in a box next to your easel where you could pull them out and clip above your painting when needed. I often make simple versions to give out in workshop notebooks, but taking the time to organize a decent number of them to use for each situation is even better. Well worth the time it would take to organize and make them for your paintingtool box. The real thing about these lists is that they can be personalized to suit each artist’s personal needs. Think of it like making a series of to do lists that you use over and over.

Painting Checklists Work

If you are an audio learner instead of a visual learner, make tapes instead of the cards. You can listen to yourself talking about how to do good compositions and so forth.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe

Chicken Sandwich Spread

1 pouch of pre-cooked chicken

1   8 oz package cream cheese

salt/pepper

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 diced red pepper

1 T mayo

1 T sweet pickle relish

Mix all and spread on sandwich breat or homemade carrot bread.

 

 

 

 

 

One Hundred Fans

one hundred fans

One Hundred Fans

Bird Fun - image  on https://lindablondheim.comOne Hundred Fans Notes

I got an email yesterday from a painter who is terribly worried about the economy. She worries about our current political situation nationally,  internationally.and whether painting sales will go down the tubes. I think everyone who paints for a living worries about the economy and politics in difficult times. We have constant doom and gloom on TV every night and that cannot help.

One Hundred Fans

Linda’s Etsy Shop

We do have some control over our own destiny. We have to have faith in ourselves and our work in order to get through hard times. I never allow myself to think that I will fail. There are always people with disposable income even in poor economies. There will always be people who love art and who believe in us. I believe we must have faith in them, knowing that they will sustain us even when the public won’t. Our collectors are our friends and in many ways our family. They mean a great deal to us as artists. In a mundane world, artists see beauty and love for the earth and it’s treasures. Our collectors are champions for us, cheering us on. We need our One Hundred Fans! We need each other to make the world a wonderful place. It is a partnership of devotion for both parties. If we truly care for our collectors, they will care for us. I am always gratified to get many emails from  collectors who receive my Mail Art during the Lenten season. Most of them are delighted by the surprise and they want me to know how much it means to them. Sometimes I get surprise emails or letters from collectors who just want to cheer me on.

One Hundred Fans

I recently read the article about art collectors and selling art. The person wrote that if artists had one hundred loyal fans in their life, they would never need more. I think he was right. One hundred loyal collectors who bought a painting or two, who told their friends about their favorite artist and encouraged their friends to support an artist, would keep us going for quite a long time.

Instead of trying to get more and more strangers to look at our work, perhaps we need to turn our attention to those who have supported us for many years.

One Hundred Fans

I am delighted to have a fan club of one hundred Supporters. I have my Collectors Club, which helps them save money and helps me to make a living,a wonderful partnership.  I like the idea of One Hundred Fans very much. Having the regular support of collectors would take all of the stress out of an artist’s life, allowing them to paint, not worry about bills all the time. I liked the system back in the Renaissance times.

Patrons supported artists and kept them on retainer to do paintings. The artist was given a stipend to pay expenses and then did paintings on demand. What if we had patrons who pre-paid x amount of money each year and then had first choice on paintings coming out of the studio for the year? That would be a wonderful way to purchase art. If a collector liked a particular artist’s work, what a great way to know he/she could have the paintings he/she liked the best for that year!

One Hundred Fans

Then there are the dozens of fans who don’t purchase but who support us with small donations of sponsorship, equipment,supplies and kind testimonials to others abut us. Theya re equally important in that without them we could not find collectors.

Linda’s Rustic Paintings

Even in the darkest times, my advice is to never give up, no matter what. I’ve had many dark times in my long career. The funny thing is that you never really “Make It”. Disaster is always right around the corner. The financial swings back and forth are incredible for the average artist. You can be sitting on easy street basking in the glow of success because everybody loves you and then Bam!!! You don’t have a dime in your pocket. Just a month or two can change your situation that fast. Suddenly, you are persona non gratis. Six months later, your work is selling again.

The artists who survive this roller coaster are the ones who refuse to give up. Most people don’t have the personality type to do this kind of work because of the financial hardship. I can’t say that I blame them, but here I am and I’m too old and stubborn to quit :>)

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe:

This is an old South favorite. You see it a lot in restaurants around the South.

Mississippi Mud

1 stick butter
1/2 cup cocoa
5 eggs (Xtra large)
1 1/4 cups sifted flour (self-rising)
2 cups sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
2 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter, add cocoa, eggs, sugar, and flour; mix well. Stir in nuts and vanilla then pour into a greased 13 X 9 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Top immediately after removing from oven. (see below)

Topping

1 bag miniature marshmallows
1 box powdered sugar
1 stick (softened) butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Cover the top of the cake with marshmallows as soon as it comes out of the oven. Beat the rest of the ingredients well and pour over the marshmallows before they melt together.

Critique Professionals

critique profesionals

 

Critique Professionals

Critique Professionals Notes

I  have a  critique professional service for emerging artists. What a joy that is!! I just love doing this service for painters, because I have to think a lot about the process of painting. I often see ways that I can improve my own work by critiquing another painter’s work. I think it is very useful to have your work critiqued by someone who is more advanced than you are. I recommend that painters pay a professional they respect and whose process and painting style is compatible, to do critiquing either regularly or occasionally. My critique sessions include a critique for four paintings at a time either in person or online. This can be once a week, once a month, or now and then.

Critique Professionals

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I don’t recommend being critiqued on art forums by people you don’t even know. Frankly it can be damaging to your work to listen to the wrong person. Some painters are just plain mean and counterproductive to learning anything valuable. They often don’t understand another’s aesthetic at all or their painting goals. Sometimes you are a better painter than your critic, so be sure you are listening to somebody who has a good design background, who understands the region you paint and who has a thorough knowledge of the subject and stylistic goals you are pursuing. In other words, I don’t try to help portrait painters because I don’t do many portraits. I work professionally with landscape painters, beginning to intermediate and emerging level most of the time. Use a critic who gets what you are trying to do!

Critique Professionals

Monthly Painting Offer

Critiquing art is serious business. It is not for amateurs in my opinion. I never offer one unless it is asked for or unless I am working with my students in class. It is vitally important to critique in a positive way and in a useful way. I must first understand the goals of the artist and what they wish to improve on. Stepping all over their paintings without that prior knowledge can destroy their hopes and goals quickly. Many of my critique students and I spend a lot of time talking about the arcane mysteries of painting and developing a plan for their future study and improvement. I am a coach as well as critic for many of them. Some want marketing help, others painting help. In any case, I must have an understanding or their personal goals to help them. I must have knowledge, tact and empathy to be a good coach and mentor. There are many professional painters who are masterful at their craft but very poor teachers. There are many very good teachers who are marginal at their craft. The ideal of course is to find an artist who is an excellent painter and teacher, who treats your work with the dignity it deserves. You get what you pay for.

Critique Professionals

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Potato Skin Crisps

Peel potatoes with a knife in wide strips and the meat in thin slices

Place in a large bowl

Drizzle with olive oil

add shredded Parmesan cheese, pinch of thyme, salt,pepper,paprika,dried onion flakes

Arrange on a baking sheet, separating pieces. bake at 400 degrees until brown and crisp.

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