Studio Party Fun

studio party fun

Studio Party Fun

Studio Party Fun Notes

Studio Party fun is necessary for my good health and happiness. I have had studio parties as long as I have been an artist. The parties are my way of thanking old and new friends who support me in many ways. There are some important steps to take for a successful studio party.

Studio Party Fun

Promotion is first. If you don’t invite people, nobody will come. I use a variety of methods to promote my parties. Social media is free for the most part, and you can run inexpensive ads as well. I use a post card mail out to invite my local and area mailing list. I send them out about four weeks before the party. I also use email invitations to my newsletter subscribers. I have a nice app called Postale, which sends an attractive email post card. That goes out to a variety of email contact that are not on my postal mailing or newsletter list. That covers just about all of my contacts.

Studio Party Fun

Linda’s Graphite Drawings

Some of the ways I promote my parties is trough features of the party to come. My parties are all food themed. A different consistent theme for each of my four yearly parties. I show photos of the cooking process, my tea set, my studio clean, stories about my nature trail to viewers before the party, to keep it on their minds. I want them to have as much fun as I do at my parties. Sometimes I feature an author, music duo, or nature expert for the parties. They are not just about my art. Good food, good friends and new friends are the goal.

Studio Party Fun

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Cleaning is so important. A clean studio with no messy paints or stacks of stuff cluttering it is essential for a successful party. I store away all of my easels, paints, tools, and canvases, transforming it from a working studio to a nice gallery space a day or two before the party. Dusting and floor polishing, nice table cloths, and good music are important. I put out a dozen folding chairs around the room, leaving room for folk to browse and tour my studio and look at my art.

Studio Party Fun

Signage is equally important. I have typed out price lists around the studio. I have small signage on shelves with prices, a sign for the party special and price. I have a sign on the desk, telling people how to purchase. people don’t like to discuss pricing at a party. With the signage, they don’t have to. My studio assistant handles all of the food, coffee making, sales, wrapping sold paintings. She does a wonderful job. An assistant for parties is essential. It allows me to relax and enjoy my guests completely. I never have to be a used car salesman at my parties. No hard sell at all. if you are not lucky enough to have a regular assistant, ask a friend or relative to handle it for you that day. Pay them for their time. It is so important. I also have signage out on the road. I use yard signs, very inexpensive. I put them up the night before.

Studio party Fun

I get about a 5% of invited attendance, which is pretty typical in the art industry. So, I average 25-35 people for my parties. Considering I live out in the middle of nowhere and have a crummy road to the studio, I am pleased. It takes about 25 minutes to get to my studio from the nearest city. Most of them come about noon or later and the last leave about 5:30. It is a wonderful experience each time. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Studio Party Fun

I have four parties a year and I always make sure that there are new and different paintings for each party. This is important. Some method is re-framing, other is moving around paintings and then new work is sprinkled into the mix. These parties are important enough to do the best I can to please people. They enjoy seeing new work and different menus. A well done party is a lot of work, but the benefit is so worth it whether sales are good or not. The good PR will last for a long time and the invitation puts your work in front of people whether they attend or not.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Today’s Recipe

Salmon in Pastry

1 (17.30-oz) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
Nonstick aluminum foil
Flour (for dusting)
4 salmon fillets (1 1/2 lb)
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning
8 tablespoons spinach dip, divided
2 oz aged white cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
2 tablespoons garlic butter

Set puff pastry out to thaw.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil. Coat work surface with flour. Roll out pastry sheets, using a rolling pin, into 20- x 24-inch sheets; cut each sheet in half.

Coat salmon with seafood seasoning. Shred cheese. Spread 2 tablespoons spinach dip over each salmon fillet, then evenly sprinkle with cheese.

Place 1 salmon fillet in the middle of each pastry sheet spinach dip-side down; fold pastry carefully over salmon, then place seam-side down on baking sheet.

Brush melted butter evenly over pastries; bake 25–30 minutes or until pastries are golden and salmon is 145°F. Let stand 5 minutes to cool before serving

Artist to Patron

artist to patron

Artist to Patron

Artist to Patron Notes

A common topic for a hobby artist is the lament that there is never time to paint. I t tell them that we always do what we really want to. We always make time for what is really important to us. There is no getting around it. If you watch tv, cook, do laundry, play with your kids, garden, golf, etc.etc, you are doing what is a priority for you in your life. If you are not doing art, then it is not as important to you as you may think or say it is.

Artist to Patron

Linda’s Rustic Paintings

When I was raising my kids I worked as a chef,caterer, cleaned houses and painted in between those tasks. I have always found a way to paint no matter how many other jobs I had, because it was important to me. If you are thinking about painting but not doing it, think about all of the little stuff you are doing which is not really important. Are you just making excuses and hiding from your art?

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I know a woman who insists on calling herself an artist but she hasn’t picked up a brush in 15 years. She has plenty of time to meet friends for lunch, and travel extensively, but she doesn’t have time to paint. I think there is a certain mystique in calling ones self an artist for some people. They don’t really want to paint but are loathe to give up the romantic notion that they are an artist. I’ve always considered myself to be a painter rather than an artist. There is nothing romantic about it really. It’s hard work and joyous but not very romantic when you make your living painting.

Artist to Patron

I don’t begrudge those who don’t really do any art but wish to call themselves artists. We all need something wonderful in our lives and there is nothing better than the arts.

Artist to Patron

What I would love to see is that those who don’t paint would redirect their interest toward supporting artists instead. Sponsoring or patronizing their favorite artist would mean so much more to them and to the artists they know. Some of them do become avid patrons and I believe they are happier and more fulfilled in that role. Let me say before you start throwing the rotten tomatoes, that I certainly have no say in anyone’s muse but my own and wish no offense to anyone.

Artist to Patron

Some of the former artists turned patrons, are so much happier as collectors or supporters of artists than they were as frustrated artists. They have a higher purpose in their lives. I don’t just mean financial patronage. Many of my supporters do favors for me, find me new collectors, share my paintings on social media, take me to breakfast and show kindness constantly.

Artist to Patron

The reality is that we have far more artists than collectors. Collecting is vital to the health of the artists who make their living from their craft. If I had a dollar for every hobbyist who tells me they have no time to paint, I would be wealthy in no time. What if every one of those began supporting other artists who must sell to survive? It is a thought worth considering.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……..

Todays Recipe:

Chili Casserole

2 lbs. ground chuck
2 can kidney beans
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups water
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups grated cheese
1 pkg. Fritos
Cooking Spray
1 tbs. Canola oil

Sour cream and shredded lettuce to top at the table.

Preheat oven to 350°. Brown meat & onion in oil. Drain. Add tomatos chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, water. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Place a layer of meat mixture in bottom of baking pan. Add a layer of beans, then a layer of Fritos & a layer of cheese. Repeat layers. Leave last layer of cheese to top baked casserole. Bake 35 minutes. Top with cheese & continue baking until cheese is melted & bubbly. Top with Sour cream and some shredded lettuce.

Foreshortening Tree Limbs

foreshortening tree limbs

Foreshortening Tree Limbs

Foreshortening Tree Limbs Notes

Studio Party Fun - image  on https://lindablondheim.com
Foreshortening of trees is very important if you wish to portray them realistically. The winter in Florida is the best time to practice foreshortening  drawings of  limbs. Observation of bare trees and their structures is the best way to learn this skill. The biggest problem many of my students have, is their difficulty of foreshortening limbs on trees or even canopies. There is a tendency for painters to think of trees as two dimensional, and flat.

Foreshortening Tree Limbs

One of the mistakes I often see is the tendency to use limbs side to side perfectly balanced rather than in the organic random patterns they really grow. My observation has shown that limbs that grow away from my view tend to be a bit grayer and softer than those growing toward me. I do admit that I push that atmospheric quality with artistic license but that is my due as the painter.

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I think the easiest thing to do is to spend time with pencil and paper out in the yard. That is how I study them after doing a fair amount of observation. I have used a marker to outline the shapes I made originally, just so you can see clearly. I usually just use pencil. Depending on my position in looking at trees, either straight on, below the limbs or above them, the foreshortened limbs will often be darker on the bottom of the limb. Of course, other limbs will be throwing cast shadows around on other limbs as well.

Foreshortening Tree Limbs

The space between two ends of an image is shortened any time the image’s length is other than parallel to my eyes. So if my limb is offset from parallel, I will be unable to see parts of it. The problem with foreshortening comes when we have a preconceived notion of what things look like, rather than relying on real observation. We know the limb is long though we can only see the front part of it, depending on our perspective. So how much the limb is foreshortened depends upon the position of it’s connection to the trunk and the tip to our eyes. Is the limb higher than our eyes, or lower?  For example, if you are looking at an animal’s body at a three quarter angle, turned away from you the rump is going to be bigger than the front of the body, due to linear perspective. It works that way with limbs too.

Foreshortening Tree Limbs

I often notice palm tree paintings that show no foreshortening of the fronds, making the fronds look like they all come from a central pinwheel with frond stems all of the same length.  They should be foreshortened as they come closest to the viewer. This frequently happens in a variety of tree paintings, making trunks and canopies look like icons or symbols of trees, not three dimensional.

Foreshortening Tree Limbs

As in other skills, practice helps a lot. Don’t always try to make start to finish paintings. Spend time sketching or doing studies of parts and pieces of the subjects you paint. Learn the characteristics of species of trees,and those who live in your area. They are not generic. Make field notes as you are out walking. As you drive along in the car think about how trees appear from the top down. Stand directly under them and look up. All of this observation is not only fun, but useful as well.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Linda’s News

Save the date for my annual Chili Party, February 9, 2019. 11 AM – 4PM at my Country Studio.This party will feature well known Florida author Lucy Tobias.

Today’s Recipe

Corned Beef Pate’

1 can corned beef

1 package onion soup mix

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup mayo

1 T pickle relish

1 T brown mustard

dash of pepper and salt

Mix together and serve with rye crackers and dill chips.

Intervals Improve

Intervals improveIntervals Improve

Intervals Improve Notes

One of the corrections I often have to make in my own paintings is to clearly separate intervals or spaces between planes and objects. This is something I all too often forget to consider and it is a sometimes difficult task, when a composition is tight with many elements.

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One solution is to vary the heights and lengths of objects like tree canopies, trunks, mountains,groups of objects, and man made objects. This allows the viewer to proceed through the composition without hitting stopping points and getting bogged down or bored.

Intervals Improve

Another way to create intervals is with color changes within groups of objects. I do this a lot with atmospherics in tree lines. I love atmospherics and push them a lot in my work. This is an easy way to create the illusion of depth.

Don’t forget that color temperature changes can create a separation between objects quite nicely too. It’s not always about changes in value or placement of objects to give the illusion of intervals. A shift in color temperature can work just as well. Placing a cool green tree next to a warm green tree, slightly overlapping the canopy on the warm over the cool is an example of how to improve intervals in a subtle way.

Intervals Improve

Values can certainly create intervals, pushing and pulling objects back and forth in the picture plane.

Intervals are an often overlooked important part of design in a painting. I think we have a tendency to line things up like little soldiers. Even rows of trees can be adjusted slightly to improve interest from the viewer.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Intervals Improve

Patterns in grasses are a very easy way to create minor intervals in composing. Using varying greens or dried grass colors with subtle value changes create instant intervals in your compositions. Intervals encourage viewers to move between sections and elements of paintings, moving them around through the painting without leaving it too soon. The longer the viewer stays with the painting, the more intrigued they will be by the work.

More musings for artists and collectors to come.

Today’s Recipe:

Southern Belle Salad

I remember this from my childhood.

1 cup pitted sweet cherries
1 package cherry gelatin
1 cup Coke
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 3 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Drain cherry juice. Bring 3/4 of the juice to boil. Add gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Stir in Coke and lemon juice. Chill until slightly firm. Cut cream cheese into small pieces. Fold cheese,nuts and cherries into the gelatin mixture. Chill until firm and serve cold.

Best Way Artist

fall doings

 best way artist

Best Way Artist Notes

I figure if I can live for the next 20 years in decent health, I will produce my best work. Selfishly, I want to devote most of my time to painting for myself and selling, not teaching for a living. I have found the perfect balance between teaching and painting. I teach one day a month, and one or two one day workshops a year. it is just enough teaching to be fun and interesting for me and hopefully my students.

best way artist

If I can settle down and spend enough studio time, I believe my work is beginning to advance to a new plateau. I have worked hard and learned much about painting in the last few years. I believe the hard work is paying off. There is still art money out there. What I have to do is  keep the good marketing going even when times are better, especially then. I don’t want to get complacent or lazy. My collectors are too important to be let down.

best way artist

Here are some things I believe we all should make as the best way to be an artist in our career.

Linda’s Etsy Shop


Be an ethical and supportive artist

Help the people coming up behind you. Be an example for them in your own career. Consider it a responsibility to offer the best of yourself as a decent and ethical person in your business. Others are watching you. Be an inspiration for them. Will you always be nice and wonderful? Hell no!!

best way artist

I can be a perfect, sarcastic ass when I feel like it! This is not Disney World, it’s the real world. The point is that we all have a brand new day to improve ourselves. Be smart enough to forget your bad days striving to be as good and thoughtfully kind as you can be,whenever you are able to. Be the role model you should be as often as you can. None of us are on top of our game all the time.

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Be fair and ethical as a business person. Stand behind your work and what you offer a hundred percent. Take pride in the paintings you do and never feel ashamed that you are not the best painter out there. My pride is that I wake up every day, and do the best work I am capable of at any given stage of my career. Do I do better work than I did ten years ago? Of course. Should I be ashamed of the paintings I did ten years ago? Absolutely not! I am proud of that 10 year old painting, or 20 year old painting. I did my very best to do it well. Why would I be ashamed of it?

Make Good Art

As I have said many times on this blog, there is no substitute for good easel time. I’m talking about study time,and serious painting time in studio. All of the books, lessons, and workshops in the world, will do you no good if you do not put in the necessary time at the easel. Study=painting. Work, work,work, and then work some more if you want to be a good painter. Don’t be afraid to make bad paintings. Bad paintings help you figure out stuff that is too hard for you. Go after the hard things. Make the bad paintings and figure out why they are bad. Correct one mistake at a time. Don’t just keep making bad paintings. Stop and figure out what to try next. If you don’t know, ask for help. Study with someone who is good at showing you. Get professional critiques for your work. That is a great investment. Whatever you do, keep painting. I do about 350-400 paintings a year. Many are studies or not good. Doing that much painting will teach you to paint!!!

best way artist

Stay Away from Poisonous People

There are artists who thrive by running down other artists and making them feel bad about their work. They are very good at this. There will be people in your social circle, your family and the art community who are a constant drain on your energy and who make you doubt yourself as a painter. There will be people who question your right to be a painter, heaping guilt on top of you for the money you spend on art materials, and the time you spend away from them. Then there is the constant bad news on TV, sexual depravity and generally low quality programming on TV.

Successful, happy people do not hang around with this attitude. Successful people are positive and motivated to greatness in their lives, They simply avoid negativity as much as possible, in both their social and personal lives and what they choose to spend their time doing.

If the people you are associating yourself with make you feel bad about your art, disengage from them. You might say, “I have no choice, they are my best friends or family”. My solution is to set boundaries during your time with them. Tell them that discussion about your art and business is off limits. If they break that rule, get up and leave. It won’t take long for them to figure out that the subject is closed.

best way artist

Keep your life positive and get up each day, excited by the love of painting and you will succeed. The last thought I have each night before sleep is that I will succeed.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Beer Cheese Spread

1/4 cup beer
2 cups crumbled blue cheese
1 8 0z cream cheese
1 tsp W sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 crushed clove garlic
dash hot sauce

Mix it all up

Serve in a bowl with crackers

Abstract Beginnings

abstract beginnings

Abstract Beginnings

Abstract Beginnings Notes

All paintings have abstract beginnings in my view. From the abstract expressionism so popular again now to the very refined of realism, it is all starts with the abstract. Some are starts, which I enjoy and some are block ins that all painters begin with. I’ve been studying this process for a long time. I am a mass painter in that I see objects in large masses of value and shapes. I tend away for linear form except for fine tree limbs and final details of a painting. It is that gradual transition from the abstract to the refinement that separates a lot of styles. That is the intrigue for me. I’ve never really had any interest in being a true abstract painter. I like the natural world too much to abandon it for vague shapes and colors, though I completely respect those who paint that way.

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Abstract Beginnings

My study method is a beginning in abstract shapes values and colors, moving along in that vein until the end is near. I like to add refinement where I want the attention of the viewer to rest for a moment. My goal is a transition around the painting between abstraction to semi-abstraction and to fine detail where it is warranted. I like clean paint and mud where it is intentional, not by poor brushwork. Perhaps that is why my love affair with alla prima has faded. I don’t like sloppy brushwork whether it is refined or of a loose quality.

Abstract beginnings

It is more of a mindset in the process than any major process changes. In other words, my mental approach to the method is different. I start with the idea of doing a painting, using spare information. Just enough to tell the story and make it viable for my studies. The larger painting is approached in the same way, but varying amounts of detail or refinement are added as needed to produce a finished work. Using this method is making me more accountable for my detail additions. I have to think about what is really necessary, rather than moving forward with detail in an unmeasured way.  I like this process very much. Further study is needed of course, this is just a different method of painting. Shaking up the old dog with some new ideas is always a good idea. I would never want to be a rote or complacent painter. I never want to learn everything. I want the quest for excellence to go on as long as I can hold a brush.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Abstract beginnings

It is important that painters understand that they may never be a master painter. I never will but it does not deter  or depress me.There will always be painters who can out paint me all day long. I think painters spend too much time thinking about their pecking order or who is better, or who they are better than. The art world has become too much about contests and position. Really! Who cares who is better? No one paints like me and I can live with that. I don’t have to be the best or even good. As long as I have a desire to learn my craft and as long as folks like my work and buy it, I am successful. I am doing what I adore with my life, meeting splendid people who believe in me and my work. I don’t think prestige is all that important. I have a big resume but I haven’t been asked for it in years. Our work is our name. Standing in front of that easel and working at it every day is what counts. As long as I am improving and working hard, I am a success!

These experiments with abstract beginnings are sometimes successful and sometimes not. I have a burn pile on my land a few steps from the studio. Lots of canvases go on it as I progress through various experiments and techniques. Some turn out good, luckily. There is a lot about our world that is from abstract to refined, and all in between. I’ll keep working at it.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Salsa

2 large avocado s, chopped
1-1/2 cups cooked fresh corn kernel s
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion s
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup  Italian Dressing
Combine gently and serve with chips