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.

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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

Painting Checklists Work - 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

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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.

Vision Beyond Seeing

vision beyond seeing

Vision Beyond Seeing

Vision Beyond Seeing Notes

I wanted to muse on the issue of having vision beyond what I actually see when I paint a landscape. I think that is what makes a painting a painting rather than an illustration, at least for me. My paintings start out based on the elements and view I  see, whether it be from a photo reference or from life out in the field. There is something that attracts me to the scene initially. I may move things around in the composition but basically my painting idea comes from the scene.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Vision Beyond Seeing

At some point in the painting, usually shortly after the block in, my inner view takes over completely. The view in front of me is no longer relevant to the painting process. The exception being animals, people or architecture, because I think a visual reference is important in those cases. For pure nature, the muse takes hold and I am thinking and processing design elements more than the view. The elements of design, armature, rebatment, my own personal style become stronger than the scene. That is why you can line up a dozen painters in front of a scene and have a dozen distinctively different paintings. Illustrators must be exacting in their designs, true to the subject before them, but painters have great freedom to sway from the realistic interpretation.

Vision Beyond Seeing

I always tell my students that the person who buys your painting will likely never see this view in person. Instead, they must see it through your eyes and your job is to make it look wonderful. The longer I paint, the more I realize that a good painting is no accident, but rather a deliberate step by step process.

There are dozens of forks in the road for each and every painting. I think about that a lot, wondering what would have happened if I had chosen the other direction during the process? How would the painting have evolved differently to the one I have completed? There are no maps for the process other than a solid knowledge of composing, design, color and values. There are many possibilities within that good structure of a painting. Many of the choices that an experienced painter makes could easily be changed and still work.

Linda’s Rustic Paintings

Vision Beyond Seeing

One of the processes I enjoy the most is working in series. This allows me to make the many choices possible in working with a subject. For example, I do many orange tree paintings. As one sells, I can do the next in the series. I try to approach each one with new eyes, remembering the choices I made in the last and trying new choices in the next attempt. There is a continuity due to subject, but there is a wonderful change in doing each one. it might be in color palette, design change, or values, but as I am a painter, my own vision and signature come out in each one. Though the experiments are different, you see that the same painter has done them all.

Art is more than painting. It is vision beyond seeing as well.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

 

 

Today’s Recipe:

Tomatoes are so wonderful. They are on the diet of many cultures around the world. Here in the South there is much “bragging rights” going on for tomato size, color and taste. Tomatoes have been the subject of many paintings because they are so beautiful with the green, yellow, pink and deep red colors different varieties produce. When my girls were young, I was a caterer. I had a garden with various vegetables for my catering jobs. I used to grow the lovely yellow tomatoes. I had a blue spatter ware bowl on the kitchen table and I always kept the yellow tomatoes in that bowl. They were a beautiful site each day.

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 to 6 green tomatoes
salt
pepper
cornmeal
Pinch of dried basil
bacon grease, olive oil or vegetable oil

Slice the tomatoes Salt, basil and pepper them to taste. Dip in meal and fry in hot grease or oil about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Good with breakfast.

I also like grilled ripe tomato slice without meal. Dip them in oil and grill with salt pepper and basil. great as a side to eggs and bacon.

Mission Filled Career

mission filled career

Mission Filled Career

Mission Filled Career Notes

I have long had a mission oriented career. I don’t believe I would have achieved success and independence without it. There should be sound and doable reasons to be a painter if an artist has depth and richness in their paintings. Painting for it’s own sake is enjoyable of course, but without a true mission it is superficial.

Mission Filled Career

My missions have evolved some over the years but are still solid. I have a mission statement on the home page of this web site and I tend to like mission statements rather than bios. I don’t think most people care a whole lot about your accolades and resumes, unless they are in the art industry. Most of my collectors and art friends want to know what I believe in and how my paintings will improve the world we all live in.

Studio Special

The other mission I have long had is to improve and assist in the life of other painters. When I was a young painter, fresh out of art school, there was little to no help from older, more experienced artists.  Their secrets were closely guarded in those days.

Mission Filled Career

I told myself at the time, if I ever made it, I would change that scenario and I’m happy to say that I have been able to help many emerging artists over the years. A lot of the topics on this blog are in that vein and I have sent countless packages of art supplies to artists in need  over the years.  I try to give a mentoring scholarship every year or so as well and I buy two original paintings a year to support other painters.

Those are the two main missions of my career and they have brought me much joy and purpose. They have enriched my work and given me a solid purpose as I research the arcane mystery of painting.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Mission Filled Career

Having a firm doable mission also keeps you humble. I know a lot of very arrogant artists and I wonder if they have set a purpose to their work and lives? Having defined missions puts your ego where it belongs I think. The work is more about your mission than your pride and accolades.

Mission Filled Career

Setting a mission for yourself takes a bit of thought. I thought about what I wanted to improve in the world with my art. Missions are not about you and often not about your personal preferences in politics, religion,etc. Missions are about how you wish to improve the earth and life for others. Missions can have dual purposes or a single one. As far as I am concerned, my two  missions are for the life of my career and a many year commitment, not something I cast off and reboot regularly. It can take a lifetime to fulfill your mission, so if you are up to the task, be serious about it.

I am content in knowing that there is a real purpose to my career and I believe mission oriented people are happier and more fulfilled.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Easy Mini Chocolate Croissants

Buy frozen puff pastry sheets

1 Chocolate candy bar ( milk, semi sweet, dark, with nuts, what ever you like best)

1 egg beaten

parchment paper

sheet pan.

Line sheet pan with parchment paper

Thaw and cut pastry into squares

Put each piece of chocolate into a square and fold over the pastry, sealing it with egg wash. You can make a variety of shapes as you wish. Bake at 350 until brown and crisp. A quick, tasty treat!

 

Workshop Advice

workshop advice

Workshop Advice

Workshop Advice Notes

It’s been about a year since I taught a workshop, so it’s about time to do that again.

I have structured the 2019 workshops for advanced beginners through intermediate painters. I like to work with painters who feel they have a lot to learn, even if they are advanced. I consider myself to be an advanced beginning painter with lots to learn though I have been painting since dirt formed.

Linda’s Rustic Paintings

Workshop Advice

I like the idea of being a life long learner. I don’t take students who consider themselves to be advanced painters because I often find they have the need to prove how much they know, and that they need to show off for the instructor and other students. I have worked with many self proclaimed advanced painters who in the end, don’t know all that much ;>) They get angry and frustrated when the assignments are difficult and they can’t deliver. They are disruptive and hard to control in a workshop situation. At my stage of career, I don’t want to work with ego oriented painters. I love painters who genuinely feel pleasure in the painting experience and don’t care to prove anything to me. I have helped many painters who paint far better than I do, because they were willing to think about things in a new way. A workshop should not be a battle of one upsmanship.

Workshop Advice

I think new beginners should have a class all to themselves. They are nervous and apprehensive about picking up a brush, and deserve careful attention and patience. That should be a separate workshop entirely.

The very best workshop experience comes to painters who arrive with an open mind, ready to try anything for a day or two. Eager to learn and practice, even if they will never do these techniques again.

Workshop Advice

Plan ahead, make a packing list. Sleep well and rest before the workshop because you will be spending a long day in studio or out doors, depending on the type of workshop. Keep your supplies at a minimum. You want set up and take down to be easy. Keep the bulk of your supplies in a box in your car and replenish from that.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Communicate in advance with the instructor. Ask all of your questions before you sign up. Think about your learning style. Do you like to sit and watch the instructor paint, or do you prefer to get started painting. Do you like hearing information, reading information or just painting a lot with critiques? You should think about that and ask questions about the instructors methods of teaching. If he/she is reluctant to answer your questions, find a different workshop. His/her attitude before the workshop is a good indication of how you will be treated as a student.

Workshop Advice

Don’t book a workshop out of your experience range. If you are a beginner, doing an advanced workshop will be disruptive for you, the instructor, and other students. You will be lost and irritating to the advanced students.

Don’t book a workshop with too many students. You won’t get much attention. I like to teach from 8-12 students.

Don’t expect to do quality paintings at a workshop. No one should put that pressure on themselves. Consider your painting to be studies and if they are beautiful, be happy with a nice surprise. I give myself permission to do bad paintings at a workshop and for my students to do the same. It is a different atmosphere entirely, from our normal painting routines. I have had far too many students whose expectations were dashed, then blaming me for their poor paintings. These kind of ego motivated students expect their paintings to look like mine after two days. Leave your ego at home if you want to learn.

Workshop Advice

If you book a workshop and cancel, expect to pay for it anyway. It is so unfair to book a workshop, allowing an instructor to prepare for your arrival and then cancel. They have already done the work, ordered supplies and are counting on that income. Painting teachers have to make a living from their business, just like anyone else. I give back 50% of the fee for artists who cancel, but don’t expect anyone to do that.

Make sure that you like the instructor’s painting style. That doesn’t mean you want to paint like they do, just that you admire their work and it is in the same genre and style that you want to do.

Workshop Advice

If you would like to have a wonderful experience painting in north Florida, Join me in 2019 for a one day workshop at my Country Studio. I’ll be doing private workshops for groups of friends, clubs and other groups. Painting with your friends will be an enjoyable experience. You pick the subjects or ideas for the workshop and I will plan it. The workshops are on any day you choose and go from 9AM-4PM. Lunch and beverages are included for the fee of 125.00

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Today’s Recipe

Potato Strips

I like to take a knife and thinly slice potato skins first, then the meat of the potato. I oil a sheet pan with olive oil, tossing the potato slices and skin with the oil. I separate them on the pan. I slat/pepper them , then add dried thyme, paprika, dried onion flakes, and a ton of parmesan shredded cheese. I bake them at 400 in the oven until they are crisp and browned. They make a fine snack all by themselves or a side for steak or hamburgers.

Yummy!

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