Respect Art


Respect Art Notes

Respect for the art of others and your own fragile work is an important part of good mental health for artists. It took me a long time to understand that I didn’t have to paint like anyone else or be as good as anyone else. I also learned that I don’t have to judge anyone else’s work. That is very hard. All artists,  like everyone else, have opinions on what we consider as good art or bad. We can’t help it. We have built in biases about art, based on our primitive brain,cultural history, and our training as young artists. We also have color biases built in. I am a warm biased painter. If you come to my studio, (Please do!) you will see many more warm palette paintings than cool. I also like a high contrast value scheme for most of my work. I am not a tonalist or a mid tone painter. I simply can’t do those styles well.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I don’t have to do abstract, hyper-realism, watercolor or many of the other styles and mediums I don’t do well. I do need to respect and admire the skill it takes to do all of those mediums and styles. I do need to be happy for the success for all of the painters who do outstanding work. I do need to respect the work of poor and mediocre level painters a well.  I do poor and mediocre work frequently because I am a student of painting. I am trying to learn new technique and subjects I’m not trained for.

Collector Testimonials

Accepting the poor attempts of others and myself who are learning, frees me from meanness of mind. Accepting the reality that there are painters who are far superior to me in every medium and style helps me to avoid the green monster envy and competitiveness of one upsmanship.

There is one sincere wish I have for myself and all other artists. I wish that no artist or student of art would ever feel inferior to other artists. I wish that no artist would feel shunned by their own community of artists. I wish that no artist would ever be afraid to go to an art class because they feel their work is no good enough. If you are in a class and feel ashamed of your paintings, talk to your teacher and get reassurance of your worth to be there. No good art teacher would make you feel foolish to be an artist. The opportunity to paint with friends is a rare and wonderful experience. Believe me. All of us are students and in need of practice and more work. Your teacher is too if he/she is honest. Don’t waste a moment of joy be lost because you fear the quality of your skill. Painting is so hard that I will never learn enough to be a master. Most painters wont. That is the secret to the joy of painting, knowing there is more to learn.

Give yourself and others the respect they deserve for doing something that most people will never try.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe

Easy Chicken Bake From my sister Dale McClellan.


One large jar of chipped dried beef

5 or 6 boneless chicken breast (skinless)

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

Equal container of sour cream

1 1/2 to 2 cups of spinach (fresh or frozen)

1 large can of dried oriental noodles


Mix sour cream and cream of chicken soup together and set aside.


Layer torn pieced of chipped beef in bottom of casserole dish.  Next layer spinach then chicken.  Pour all of  sour cream and soup mix evenly over entire  top of chicken.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Spread dried noodles over top and bake another 5 minutes or until noodles are slightly browned.




Country Studio


Country Studio Notes

All of my efforts, time and money have gone into renewing my Country Studio this year. Last Saturday and Sunday was my big show off the studio open house. It was a wonderful success. Artists have studio parties all the time, and I always wonder if anyone will come? My studio is 15 miles from the city and urbanites don’t often stray from their home base. Happily, I am getting more folks out to the studio these days.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I served chicken and rice, with vegetable toppings, Clementine oranges, and brownies for dessert. It was a big hit. I had to ask my assistant Carolyn to make more chicken and rice in the afternoon on Saturday. I had already prepared the ingredients for her, so she put it all in the rice cooker and got it done in about a half hour. I always serve real food at my Country Studio parties. No wine and nibbles from me. People are always surprised and delighted to have a hearty meal at my parties.

Collectors Club

My renovators, the Junk Yard Girls were on hand to meet and greet guests. They were charming and interesting for my guests on Saturday, entertaining them with DIY advice and good stories about some of the projects they have done recently.  They will be returning in a few weeks to add some small window shelves for my miniature paintings and to begin projects on my old house. You can tell my priorities with a beautiful studio next to my ancient house trailer, sorely in need of the Junk Yard Girls.

I love my studio so much now. I can’t wait to get in it every day and my once a month class students love it too.


Don’t forget to come out the first Friday each month from 10-noon+ for game day at the Country Studio. We have card games and board games, Scrabble and Checkers too. Snacks and beverages provided. Take a morning off and do something old fashioned and fun!

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe

Pork with Brie Sauce

1 wedge Deli Brie cheese (7–8 oz)
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)
1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
8 oz fresh, presliced baby portabellas
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 batch of mashed potatoes
1/4 cup vegetable (or chicken) broth

Cut rind from Brie and cut into chunks (about 1 cup); chop parsley. Cut pork into 1-inch medallions; coat with seasoning (wash hands).
Preheat large, nonstick sauté pan on medium-high 1–2 minutes. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in pan, until frothy. Add pork; cook 2–3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove pork from pan.
Place remaining 2 tablespoons butter, mushrooms, garlic, and thyme in same pan; cook 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until mushrooms are tender. Microwave potatoes following package instructions.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in broth and pork medallions; simmer 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and pork is 145°F. Remove pan from heat; stir in Brie until melted. Serve pork with mushroom sauce over mashed potatoes, sprinkled with parsley.



Save Money

Save Money Notes
How to save money is a constant effort for artists. I try to think of ways to save a buck here and there. Here are some ideas.
I have to print out all of my receipts for the tax man, so I have discovered that you can set your printer to draft mode and black and white for printing receipts, or papers that are needed to be saved but don’t have to look good. It saves a lot of ink.
Buy art materials during online sales and when free shipping is offered. I will buy items that I always use, when on sale. Use standard sizes for painting supports. It will save a lot on framing, so you can always buy ready made frames when they are on sale.
To keep your brushes clean the cheap, easy way, buy large bottles of Murphy’s Oil Soap at discount stores. I use it full strength in a jar. I bundle the brushes with a hair ponytail thing, stick a pencil in sideways and hang the brushes, tips suspended in the jar. The next day, pull them out without stirring up the soap, rinse under a faucet until all soap is off and lay the brushes on paper towel to dry, shaping them first. Cleans and softens the brushes beautifully. If youa re using acrylic brushes, take the extra step of washing the brushes in Dawn soap after the Murphy’s oil soap.
I buy all of my studio cleaning supplies at the discount stores as well as paper towels.
I use the left over paint on my palette to tone canvases for later use. I also scrape it into a pile to use as my neutral color for mixing in the next painting.
I let my solvent set until the sediment goes to the bottom. I pour off the clean solvent into a clean jar and wipe out the sediment in the old jar. That way I never have to pour out solvent.
Marble tiles from the home improvement stores make great palettes. You can combine four and put a piece of duct tape over the cracks to make a larger palette. I don’t use a hand held palette, preferring one on my table next to the easel. I also use a 12×16 inch piece of furniture grade plywood for a palette and it works great. The plywood palette cut into 12×16 inches fits perfectly into a Masterson’s palette with a lid. A great way to safe your oils.
I keep my paints sorted by color. It is easier to see what colors you are out of if all of the same color is together, reds,blues,etc.
I have a great relationship with my local framer. I send him business from my collectors and studio visitors and he gives me a nice discount . We work together as a team.
Buy in bulk with other artists for great shipping discounts during sales.
Create a collectors club for your regular collectors, to save them money and they will purchase more than one painting. Regular collectors become real, personal friends. A regular collector is better than a one time purchaser, who has no relationship to you.
I have used the same formula to manage my income for years. 15% into savings, 50% into paying bills, and 35% to the business. It has worked for me for a long time.
My last tip is to order water at restaurants and put that money saved in your savings account.
More musings for artists and collectors to come……


Toning Supports


Toning Your Supports Notes

I really like toning my supports and letting them dry before I paint on them. I do it both for oils and acrylics. What I mean by toning is the thinnest of stains, done very quickly with a large brush. Very little pigment and a lot of solvent, or air brush medium if you are using acrylics. I see a lot of beginning painters who tone their canvas with colored gesso or with very thick paint covering the surface with a smooth,even, opaque paint. To me that is not toning, it is under painting.

Come out to my Country Studio tomorrow and Sunday (March 10-11) from 11-4 both days. Enjoy some chicken and rice, brownies, and a stroll down Deer Woods Trail. I want to show you my renewed studio!

Why tone?

A pre-toned canvas saves you a lot of time, getting all those little white spaces covered. This is especially helpful out on location where time is of the essence.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

A pre-toned canvas or panel gives you a lovely harmony of color in your painting. The viewer will see the little specks of the toned color throughout the painting, making the palette unified by one color.

Toning is a great way to use the left over paints on your palette at the end of a painting session. This is how I use my left over paint. It’s not necessary to have a particular color in mind to tone, in fact, if you mix up the leftovers you will get some very nice neutral grays to tone with. you can tone a whole lot of canvases and hard supports with just a little paint, because it is mostly solvent for oils and airbrush medium for acrylics. The canvas or panel will be dry and ready to use the next time you are ready to start a new painting. I often toned panels before I went to professional paint outs. It saved a lot of time in the field.

Collectors Club

Another way to tone is by color temperature. Use a cool tone on the canvas for a cool dominant painting, a warm undertone for a warm dominant palette, or do the opposite to give it a kick.

I also like to use compliments for undertones. I often tone my painting with a red like cad red light, alizarin, or red iron oxide because they are a compliment to Florida greens, giving the painting more depth and richness.

I don’t always use blue or gray skies in my landscapes. I’ve been known to use yellow, brown,red,pink, and even green on occasion for skies. Often, I will let the undertone of the painting help me decide.

Another way to use the left over paint on your palette is to save it in small jars. I call it a mud pot. I just keep scraping off the paint into the little jars. I mix the paint up into neutrals, pouring a tiny bit of linseed oil on top or airbrush medium into acrylic jars, and then seal up the jar. I use this paint to block in my paintings in the first stage. Doesn’t really matter what the color is anyway in the block in and I don’t waste paint.

Tone your supports for a richer, depth filled painting and you won’t have to face the dreaded white pristine canvas with trepidation.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

An Old Southern Recipe

Egg and Olive Sandwich Spread

1 dozen boiled eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 jar salad olives, drained and chopped
1 T or more mayo

Mix it all up and chill. It can be used as a sandwich spread combined with sliced meats or alone.

Palette Musings




Palette Musings Notes

I’ve been working on a couple of winter palette paintings. I really love my winter palette and feel very comfortable with them but I have had to work hard to come up with a suitable revision of them for summer work. I think I finally have. The key to me was retaining the lovely color of the winter palette, a limited number of hues and the harmony of color so important to me. I needed to put in the cooler greens and yellows though for Florida Summer, without making the colors scream! After quite a few months of experimentation, here is the current palette.

Linda’s Etsy Shop


cad yellow lemon

cad red light

ultramarine blue

Prussian blue

paynes gray

titanium white


Use cad yellow medium instead of lemon

Use red iron oxide instead of cad red light




So, lemon yellow and the Prussian blue are the additions to my summer palette. This gives me a range and keeps the color under control. The only thing I can’t really mix is a true violet. For that I would need to add a rose, which I have for that if needed. I really love the dirtier purple I get with the cad red light and UB. There aren’t that many violets around where I live but there are lots of the mauvy colors. I think I’m going to like this palette.

I find the key for color mixing and harmony revolve around using different small limited palettes for different paintings, rather than trying to make one palette fit all my needs. I used to use a huge range of hues to meet every single painting possibility, but I found myself having lots of problems with harmony. Too many paintings with out control of color.

Small Paintings

I usually found this problem to be typical for my plein air work. Working plein air is often about immediacy and quick decisions. Unfortunately, that is often disastrous for inexperienced painters. Having a palette that you know will work, in advance, and sticking to it will save many heart aches.

To me, the best way to develop a palette is in the studio under controlled conditions. I like to do my experiments first, selecting and discarding hues until I see something I like. Then I will make a color chart for that palette. This tells me if there are problem areas for the palette and whether I like all of the mixes. Then comes the two value charts, one with black and one with compliments only. Only then do I decide that it can go into my useful palettes book for future paintings. When I go out into the field, I know exactly what will work and what won’t because I know my palettes well. I can set up my box with the 5-6 colors which I think will work best for any particular scene. I have my charts with me to compare to the local color of the scene as well.

I remember a few years ago going to North Georgia to paint for a week. I wasn’t as experienced as I am now. I was doing horrible paintings for about 6 days in a row. It was truly humiliating. I finally decided to get rid of the palette I was using and go back to a severely restricted palette with 4 colors. I was able to get myself back under control for the last two days of painting and to turn out some less terrible work. The problem was that I was in a strange place,with different color than North Florida, so I was lost. I let it get the best of me and lost control in my palette. In those days there was no planning for painting, no real study of color mixing or values.

My idea of plein air work was to show up and paint, hoping for a decent painting and not to be too embarrassed. It has only been in the last few years that I can turn out good work alla prima when I have to. It is still my least favorite way to paint but I can’t get around the necessity to do it when I do location work. Now days I am armed with good color charts, an understanding of how value families relate to each other and the process of Notan. I’m much better prepared than I used to be.

All I have to do is pull out my notebook and leaf through about 10 palettes to select the best one for the place I’m painting. No more guess work and awful mistakes. If you have your palette thought out and feel confident about it, you won’t need to concentrate on that. You can think about other painting problem solving issues instead like value structure and composition.

There are so many issues to consider when you paint that the more of them you have under control, the easier time you will have in making a decent painting.

Here are a few tips for managing your palette for beginning oil painters:

Try to put your paints out in the same order across the top of your palette each time. You will learn to know exactly where each hue is located.

Keep the white separated, squeezing out more white than other hues. You will usually use more white than any other hue. It is important not to contaminate the white if possible.

Squeeze the paints out in ribbons instead of large blobs. It will stay cleaner and less contaminated.

Pull from the end of each ribbon for mixing, leaving the rest of the ribbon intact.

Do all mixing further down the palette, away from the ribbons of color. Use a palette knife to pull from the ribbons, placing the small portions elsewhere on the palette to mix.

As the rest of the palette becomes messy, stop and wipe it off entirely, leaving the ribbons alone. You will then have a fresh palette surface to mix on without disturbing your original lines of paint.

As the original ribbons are used up, wipe the spot where they were and reload with fresh ribbons of paint.

This is a great system, especially for oil painters, because you can prep your palette and just keep using the paint as you go through the day and then leave the ribbons for the next day’s work.

Today’s Recipe:

Hummus Dip

2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) can chick-peas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water, plus extra, if needed
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted lightly
Toasted pita thins

On a cutting board mince and mash the garlic to a paste with the salt. In a food processor puree the chick-peas with the garlic paste, the lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the oil, and 1/2 cup water, scraping down the sides, until the hummus is smooth and add salt, to taste. Add water, if necessary, to thin the hummus to the desired consistency and transfer the hummus to a bowl. In the food processor, cleaned, puree the remaining 1/4-cup oil with the parsley until the oil is bright green and the parsley is minced transfer the parsley oil to a small jar. The hummus and the parsley oil may be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. Divide the hummus between shallow serving dishes and smooth the tops. Drizzle the hummus with the parsley oil and sprinkle it with the pine nuts. Serve the hummus with the pita.